The Central Government is presently funding the development of at least four COVID-19 vaccine candidates, including the world’s first DNA vaccine Zydis Cadila’s ZyCov-D, under Mission COVID Suraksha of the Department of Biotechnology. So far, the Mission COVID Suraksha, which was announced last year, had committed to Rs 710 crore to support the vaccine candidates that have entered the human clinical trial stage and one which is in advanced pre-clinical stages. Additionally, the funding would be used to set up three animal challenge facilities and 19 clinical trial sites for testing vaccines on animals and humans.
Reportedly, as per the statement by the Centre in Rajya Sabha on July 20, the Mission is also assisting the ramping up of Covaxin production at Bharat Biotech and other three public sector undertaking companies amid the COVID-19 pandemic as fears spike for a potential third wave. In November 2020, the government of India had announced the third stimulus package of Rs 900 crore for Mission COVID Suraksha - The Indian COVID-19 Vaccine Development Mission.
COVID-19 vaccination in India
Meanwhile, as per the Health Ministry update on July 21, India’s Cumulative COVID-19 vaccination coverage has exceeded 41.54 crores as the recovery rate increases to 97.36%. Further, in the last 24 hours, according to the official update, the nation has registered at least 42,015 fresh cases of COVID-19. Cumulatively, 41,54,72,455 vaccine doses have been administered through 51,36,590 sessions, as per the provisional report till 7 AM on Wednesday. Moreover, 34,25,446 vaccine doses were administered in the last 24 hours.
Meanwhile, India’s Active Caseload today stands at 4,07,170 and active cases now constitute 1.30% of the country's total Positive Cases. India has been registering less than 50,000 daily new cases for 24 days consecutively as the states and union government continues to work in collaboration, said Union Health Ministry on July 21. With regards to coronavirus testing in the country, a total of 18,52,140 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours in the country. Cumulatively, India has conducted over 44.91 crores (44,91,93,273) tests so far.