India on Saturday crossed one crore COVID-19 infections, even as the death toll rose past 1.45 lakh with 347 deaths reported over the past 24 hours. The recovery rate, in a more positive turn of event, was recorded at an encouraging 95%.

The COVID-19 outbreak is said to have started in Wuhan, China, almost a year ago. Since then, many countries have dedicated some of their best scientific minds and resources into developing a suitable vaccine for the viral infection.

In India, currently, three Indian and international vaccine makers—Pfizer, Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute of India—have applied for emergency approval from the Drugs Controller General of India.

With cases crossing 1,00,04,599 and with the government expecting vaccination drives for frontline workers, healthcare practitioners and the at-risk population to roll out as early as the New Year, here’s a quick look at four COVID-19 vaccines okayed for human trials in India:

Covaxin: Developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the National Institute of Virology of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), this vaccine uses an inactivated form (whole dead virus) of the SARS-CoV-2 virus to induce an immune reaction from the body. A Phase 3 trial randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial of this vaccine with over 25,000 participants aged 18 and above was started in late November.

Covishield: Developed by Oxford University and Astra Zeneca, this vaccine is also called Chadox 1. Human trials for this vaccine were conducted by the Serum Institute of India (SII) and ICMR in India. This vaccine uses a vector or carrier—a harmless adenovirus—to present a small portion of the SARS-CoV-2 virus to our immune system. Phase II/III trials of this vaccine are now complete.

ZyCoV-D: Made by Zydus Cadila, this plasmid DNA vaccine works by injecting a genetically engineered material (plasmid) into the body which carries the “code” to make a small piece of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Once this piece is detected by our immune system, it should create antibodies. This vaccine is in phase II of human trials as of 19 December 2020, according to the ICMR vaccine tracker.

Sputnik V: In India, Russia’s Sputnik LLC and Dr Reddys Laboratories Limited are conducting phase II/III adaptive clinical trial of this adenovirus vector-based vaccine—the adenoviruses are used to inject genetic material for producing a tiny piece of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (the S protein) inside the body, to induce an immune response. The vaccine is also called Gam-COVID-Vac. It is in phase II of human trials in India, according to the ICMR.

BeCoV2: Currently in phase I/II trials across Delhi, Bihar, Hyderabad and Vizag, this vaccine contains the Covid virus’ “receptor binding domain”. Th vaccine comprising four formulations—BECOV2D, BECOV2C, BECOV2B and BECOV2A—is only being tested on 360 participants. The vaccine is delivered through an intramuscular injection in two doses, 28 days apart.

Medicines / Products that contain India Covid cases cross one crore; recovery rate recorded at 95%

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