With the COVID-19 Novel Corona Virus Pandemic raging globally, there are many vaccine candidates being developed across the world. However, Russia recently announced that they have registered the world's first COVID vaccine. This vaccine - Sputnik V, did not undergo Stage 3 Human clinical trials and there are many voices from the medical fraternity, questioning the efficacy of this vaccine. However, the Russian President Vladimir Putin has backed this vaccine and went on to state that even one of his two daughters has been inoculated with it.

Meanwhile, India has also been developing a number indigenous vaccine candidates and just recently, the results of the phase 1 clinical trials of Covaxin, a vaccine being jointly developed by Bharat Biotech and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), gave some very encouraging results! The second phase of the clinical trials of this vaccine is expected to begin in September. Amidst all this, we have received reports that with the normal estimate for a vaccine to come out in only six to nine months, it can happen far earlier if the Indian government wants it to! A news report states a top ICMR official as addressing a parliamentary panel on Wednesday and informing them that Phase II clinical trials of two locally developed Indian COVID-19 vaccine candidates have almost been completed. Reportedly, the official has also mentioned that emergency authorisation of a vaccine can be considered if the Centre decides to do so!

ICMR's Director General Balram Bhargava has reportedly addressed the members of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs, that the COVID vaccine candidates developed by Bharat Biotech, Serum Institute of India and Cadila, are at different stages of trial with the Bharat Biotech and Cadila candidates nearing the end of their Stage II trials! We also hear that the candidate being developed by Serum Institute of India, in association with Oxford University, will enter the Phase-2(b) trials, this weekend, There are expected to be 1700 patients participating in them, across 17 different centers in our country. In his Independence Day address to the nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had mentioned that as soon as researchers give the Green Signal for a vaccine, India would begin mass production, almost immediately!