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Covid vaccine could take 6-9 months, not 1 month: WHO chief scientist

Monday, July 6, 2020 • Tamil Comments

Last week, the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) wrote a letter to its partner Bharat Biotech asking it to "fast-track the development of an anti-Covid vaccine" before August 15. The vaccine's name is Covaxin. Several reports have since suggested that efforts are very much on to launch the vaccine on Independence Day. Efforts are on, but there is no guarantee that the vaccine will be ready very soon.

World Health Organization's chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan is not enthused. Speaking to The Hindu, the scientist has stated a potential vaccine is going to take 6-9 months to be developed. "The vaccine must show efficacy and safety. The completion of its trials is going to take months," she said.

Even optimistically, the timeline from the start of Phase I to the completion of Phase III could be about six to nine months, she added.

Speaking to The Wire, she said that "speed may be important but the vaccine could not come at the cost of scientific and ethical standards."

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