J&J set to begin India trial of its single-shot vaccine

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Johnson & Johnson has told Indian regulators that it will soon begin clinical trials of its single-shot COVID-19 vaccine in the country, the Indian Express newspaper reported on Friday.

The U.S. drugs and healthcare giant has sent a letter to India’s Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) saying it would “very shortly apply for permission to conduct clinical bridging trials in India,” according to the report.

The report comes as many vaccination centres in India grapple with a shortage of vaccine supplies as the country of 1.3 billion is battling a second wave of COVID-19 infections that has eclipsed the first. India’s government, however, has repeatedly said there is no shortage of shots.

Johnson & Johnson and the CDSCO did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.

India currently has two approved vaccines in use, one developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca and the other, a shot from local player Bharat Biotech.

There are other vaccine candidates in trials in India including Russia’s Sputnik-V, for which local drugmaker Dr Reddy’s is currently conducting trials. Another shot developed by Cadila Healthcare Ltd is also in trials. 

Photo: A man gets photographed after taking the vaccine shot, at a selfie point put up inside a vaccination centre in Mumbai, India. EPA-EFE/DIVYAKANT SOLANKI

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