After experts raised concerns over the Indian Council of Medical Research’s (ICMR) decision to fast-track vaccine development for Coronavirus and said they would launch it by August 15, the medical body on Sunday clarified that their process “is exactly in accordance with globally accepted norms”.

“In the larger public health interest, it is important for ICMR to expedite clinical trials with a promising indigenous vaccine. Faced with the unprecedented nature of theCoronavirus pandemic, all other vaccine candidates across the globe have been similarly fast-tracked,” ICMR said in a statement.

“Just as red tape was not allowed to become a hindrance in the fast-track approval of new indigenous testing kits or for introducing in the Indian market potential Covid-19 related drugs, the indigenous vaccine development process has also been sought to be insulated from slow file movement,” the ICMR added in the statement.

Health experts have criticised the approach of ICMR and said that any clinical trial will take at least one year to complete all essential steps that include three-phased trial followed by safety efficacy study, side-effect profile, antibody analyses etc.

The ICMR and Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL) have collaborated to conduct clinical trials of an indigenous vaccine for Covid-19.

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