India on Saturday tested its COVID-19 vaccine delivery system with a nationwide trial, as it prepares to roll out an inoculation program.
The health ministry said that the trial included data entry into an online platform for monitoring vaccine delivery, along with testing of storage and transportation arrangements for the vaccine.
India’s drug regulator recommended the emergency-use approval of two vaccines for COVID-19 – one developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, and another by the Indian manufacturer Bharat Biotech. Both the vaccines will have to wait for final approval from the regulator.
The vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech is being made in collaboration with agencies of the Indian government. Early clinical studies showed that the vaccine does not have any serious side effects and produces antibodies for COVID-19.
The government announced plans to inoculate 300 million people in the first phase of the vaccination program, which will include healthcare and front-line workers, police and military troops.
India has confirmed over 10.3 million coronavirus infections and more than 149,000 deaths, making it the second worst-hit country in the world behind the United States.