Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan Says Seven COVID-19 Vaccine Candidates In Clinical Trials

With the world’s biggest mass vaccination drive already underway in India, union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said on Tuesday that that seven more COVID-19 vaccine candidates are in stages of clinical trials.

He made the statement after receiving the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at Delhi Heart and Lung Institute.

Dr Harsh Vardhan said, “Around seven more COVID vaccine candidates are in clinical trials. Some of them are in the advanced phase of the trials. Around two dozen vaccines are in pre-clinical trials.”

Holding out a glimmer of hope, he said that 430 districts in the country have not reported a single case of coronavirus in the last 28 days.

“The situation is under control but we don’t have to be complacent in terms of observing COVID appropriate behaviour,” he said.

His wife Nutan Goel also took the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine today. Dr Harsh Vardhan said that neither of them felt any side effects after their first doses.

“Both Indian vaccines are safe and effective. A lot of people still have doubts regarding vaccines. I urge them not to believe what is being circulated in WhatsApp university,” he further said.

“There are only a few rare cases wherein people contracted COVID-19 after taking vaccines. Even if someone tests positive after taking vaccines, it minimalises the chances of their hospitalization or admission to ICU wards,” he added.

He had taken the first dose of the vaccine on March 2.

In what is billed as the largest vaccination drive in the world, as many as 6,11,13,354 vaccine doses have been administered till 8 am on March 30.

India had started its vaccination drive on January 16 with priority given to all healthcare and frontline workers in the first phase. The second phase started on March 1 where doses are being administered to people above the age of 60 and those between 45 and 59 years with specific comorbidities. From April 1, the government has decided to vaccinate all above 45 years.

India reported 56, 211 fresh COVID-19 cases and 271 related deaths in the last 24 hours, the union health ministry informed on Tuesday morning. (With ANI inputs)

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