New Delhi: Union Health minister Harsh Vardhan on Tuesday (October 13) said that India will have a vaccine for the novel coronavirus from maybe more than one source by early next year.

"We're expecting that early next year, we should have vaccine in the country from maybe more than one source. Our expert groups are already formulating and devising strategies to plan on how to roll out the distribution of the vaccines in the country, who do we give the vaccine first and then of course we are strengthening  the cold chain facilities," Dr Harsh Vardhan said during a meeting of the Group of Ministers.

At present, four coronavirus vaccines are in advanced stages of pre-clinical trials in India.

COVID-19 vaccines currently in trial in India are 2 dose and 3 dose vaccines. Vaccine by Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech require 2 Doses while the Cadila Healthcare vaccine requires 3 Doses. For other vaccines in preclinical stages, the dosing is being tested.

Currently, two indigenously developed vaccine candidates, one by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with ICMR and the other by Zydus Cadila Ltd, are in phase 2 of the human clinical trials.

Also read: Coronavirus: India reports 55,342 new COVID-19 cases, 706 deaths in last 24 hours

Pune-based Serum Institute of India, which has partnered with AstraZeneca for manufacturing the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine candidate also, is conducting phase 2 and 3 human clinical trials of the candidate in India.

The minister had earlier said that a COVID-19 vaccine is likely to be available by the first quarter of 2021.

With a spike of 55,342 new cases and 706 deaths in the last 24 hours, India's Covid-19 tally reached 71,75,881 today, according to the data released by the Union Health Ministry. The coronavirus count includes 8,38,729 active cases, and 62,27,296 cured and discharged or migrated cases. Further, with 706 deaths reported due to the disease in the last 24 hours, the toll due to the disease is at 1,09,856 in the country.

India is the second worst affected country by the coronavirus pandemic after the United States.

On Sunday, Harsh Vardhan had warned the people of the country to stay away from large congregations and follow the guidelines issued by the government regarding precautions in view of the upcoming festival season.