11 Covid vaccines in India under development and in use:

There are many Covid-19 vaccines in India that are in the development process or undergoing clinical trials in India.

As of now, there are five vaccines that are used against Covid-19, among which the most commonly used in India are: Covishield and Covaxin for which the Government of India has given approval for emergency use.  

Sputnik V has also given the authority to implement its use in India on April 12th, 2021 and from May 1st, 2021, received in Hyderabad, India, and been in limited use.

The ZyCoV-D is an intradermal vaccine and it has become the 5th vaccine in India against Covid-19, after emergency approval. The first four vaccines were: Covishield, Covaxin, Sputnik V, and Moderna. A brief description of the ZyCoV-D vaccine and Moderna is given below in this article.

Even there are many vaccines that are in the developmental phase in India. I will discuss below each vaccine in a simple table to understand it better.

To start, first let’s have a brief idea about the different phases of vaccine development trials, which a vaccine has to pass.

Phases of Vaccine development:

There are following phases of Clinical trials which every vaccine has to go through it:

Phases of vaccine development/trialPurpose
Pre-clinical  Vaccine development in laboratory
Phase 1 Clinical trial
(8-10 individual participants)
For testing vaccine safety
Phase 2 Clinical trial
(50-100 individual participants)
For testing vaccine immunogenicity i.e., production of antibodies against virus
Phase 3 Clinical trial
(30k -50k individual participants)
For testing actual protection offered by the vaccine

The vaccines which are under trials and upcoming in India are given below:

 Type/ Mechanism of vaccineManufacturerPhase of Clinical Trial
CovishieldChimpanzee adenovirus vector vaccineSerum Institute of India, Pune in collaboration with AstraZenecaPhase III
CovaxinInactivated vaccineBharat Biotech International Ltd, Hyderabad in collaboration with ICMR, India.Phase III- for equal and >18years   Phase II/III- 2-18years
Sputnik VHuman Adenoviral vector vaccineDr. Reddy Laboratory, Hyderabad, India in collaboration with Gamaleya National Center, RussiaPhase I – Approved Phase II & III – Ongoing
ZyCoV-D  Plasmid DNA vaccineZydus CadilaPhase I &II – Approved Phase III – Ongoing
Biological E’s novel Covid-19 vaccineReceptor Binding Domain of SARS-CoV-2 (Protein subunit vaccine)Biological E. Limited, Hyderabad in collaboration with MIT, USAPhase I &II – Ongoing  
BBV154 – Intranasal vaccineAdenoviral vector vaccineBharat Biotech Ltd, Hyderabad, IndiaPhase I- Approved Phase II & III- Ongoing
COVOVAXrecombinant spike protein nanoparticle vaccine (SARS-CoV-2 rS) with Matrix-M1 adjuvantIndian Council of Medical Research and Serum Institute of India  Phase I – Approved Phase II & III – Ongoing
HGCO19 vaccinemRNA VaccinePune-based Gennova Biopharmaceuticals Limited in collaboration with HDT Biotech Corporation, Seattle, USAPhase I&II- Ongoing
NVX-Co V2373Protein SubunitSerum Institute of India, Pune in collaboration with NovavaxPhase III Efficacy: 89.7% & 86.3% against B.1.1.7/501Y.V1
Inactivated rabies vector platformInactivated vaccineBharat Biotech International Ltd., Hyderabad in collaboration with Thomas Jefferson University, USAPhase I
Vesiculo Vax Platformattenuated, recombinant vesicular stomatitis (VSV, VesiculoVax) vaccineAurobindo Pharma ltd., Hyderabad in collaboration with Aurovaccine, USAPhase II & III – Ongoing
Reference: ICMR and Operational guidelines of Covid-19 vaccines, MOHFW, GOI

The Covaxin vaccine is under Phase III trial for pediatric age group 2yrs to 18 years. Novavax has also shown a promising role in the UK with an efficacy of 86.3% against the B.1.1.7/501Y.V1 variant. BBV154 – Intranasal vaccine is also showing a vital role in the non-invasive technique of intranasal administration through a dropper.

ZyCoV-D vaccine

The ZyCoV-D vaccine is a three-dose vaccine, having a special feature of intradermal administration.

Type of Vaccine Plasmid DNA vaccine
Dose             0.2ml (0.1 ml in each arm)
Course                            3-doses
Route of Administration                      Intradermal
Schedule 28 days apart from each (Day 0, 28, 56)
Vaccination during Pregnancy                 Not recommended
Vaccination >18 years of age            Recommended
Vaccination for paediatric age Recommended for ≥ 12yrs
Vaccination to Lactating mother            Not Recommended
Storage and transportation                 +20C to +80C;       
Stable at 25C (Room temperature) for 3 months

Moderna vaccine


Moderna is manufactured by Moderna Therapeutics, USA. It is imported into India by Cipla. Moderna was Authorized in the United States from May 14, 2021.

Type of Vaccine mRNA vaccine
Dose             0.5ml
Course                            2-doses
Route of Administration                      Intramuscular
Multidose vial  policy                    15 doses per vial
Schedule                28-42 days apart
Vaccination during Pregnancy               Not  Recommended
Vaccination >18 years of age             Recommended
Vaccination for paediatric age Recommended for ≥ 12yrs
Vaccination to Lactating mother            Recommended
Storage and transportation -25℃ to -15℃ (6 months) and
2-8℃ (unpunctured up to 30 days)
8-25℃ (unpunctured up to 12 hrs.)  

Formulations used in Moderna vaccine:

  • Messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA),
  • Lipids (SM-102, polyethylene glycol [PEG] 2000
  • Dimyristoyl glycerol [DMG],
  • cholesterol, and
  • 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine [DSPC]),
  • Tromethamine hydrochloride,
  • Acetic acid,
  • Sodium acetate trihydrate, and
  • Sucrose.
    The Moderna vaccine does not have any preservatives, eggs or latex.

Moderna mRNA-1273 vaccine is given on 2 doses: 100 µg, 0.5 ml each, 28-42 days apart.

Possible Side Effects

You can notice the following localised sign and symptoms at Moderna vaccine injection site:

  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling

You can notice the following generalized sign and symptoms:

  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Nausea


  1. ≥18 years of healthy individuals are eligible to take the Moderna vaccine however, WHO recommends ≥12 years healthy children also can take it.
  2. Lactating women


  1. Previous allergic reaction/ or anaphylactic reaction on receiving the first dose.
  2. People with a high risk of severe COVID-19 or death
  3. Very frail elder individuals with a life expectancy of fewer than 3 months.
  4. Pregnancy: Pregnant woman is contraindicated only because of current limitations of safety data in pregnant women.

Safety and Efficacy:

The efficacy shown by Moderna vaccine is around 94.1 % after two weeks of first dose.

It is also efficacious against the new variants of SARS-CoV-2, including the B.1.1.7 and the 501Y.V2.

These new variants do not alter the effectiveness of the Moderna mRNA vaccine.