The Hyderabad-based pharmaceutical company Biological E is expected to launch its COVID-19 vaccine Corbevax by September end in India, said sources on Monday.

Sources told ANI that the company has started its phase 3 clinical trials.

Biological E’s COVID-19 vaccine Corbevax has been booked by the government before preclinical stage phase 3 studies.

In the latest written reply, Union Minister of State for Health, Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar said that the Government of India has also provided financial assistance to domestic vaccine manufacturer Biological E which is currently in advance phase 3 clinical trials for ‘at-risk manufacturing’ of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Biological E is expected to apply for an Emergency use License (EUL) by August end and will be supplying 300 million doses to the Government of India by December 2021.

This comes a day after an expert panel has recommended the government to increase the vaccination and stick to non-pharmacological interventions, in a bid to curtail a possible third wave of COVID-19 as speculated by many health experts and COVID management bodies which might hit the country by September.

Speaking to ANI, one of the experts in the government-authorised panel suggested it has “recommended government to increase vaccination and stick to non-pharmacological interventions such as COVID-19 appropriate behaviour, wearing a mask, social distancing, and containment zone.”

As per the panel’s recommendations, the key is to strengthen health infrastructure and prepare adequately so that up to 4 lakh cases every day can be handled. In addition, routine services are also to be maintained, they said.

This will need 2 lakh additional ICU beds with 1 lakh ventilator beds. This will be in addition to vaccinations and Covid appropriate behavior,” sources told ANI.

In order to tackle the COVID-19 situation and improve the health infrastructure of the country, the government has announced a 23,000-crore COVID management package. States have already been directed to send their plans for building health infrastructure to the Union Health Ministry. Money will be given to the state immediately as per its plan.

Meanwhile, India’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage exceeded 43.51 crores on Sunday. Cumulatively,43,51,96,001 vaccine doses have been administered through 52,95,458 sessions, as per the provisional report till 8 am today. 18,99,874 vaccine doses were administered in the last 24 hours, said the Union Health Ministry on Monday.

The new phase of universalisation of COVID-19 vaccination commenced from June 21, June.

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