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Oxford vaccine fuels optimism in India as cases soar past million

Trials expected to start soon in world's third worst-hit country by pandemic

A research scientist works inside a laboratory at Serum Institute of India, the world's largest maker of vaccines, in the city of Pune on May 18.   © Reuters

NEW DELHI -- India, which has reported over a million cases of the novel coronavirus, is expected to soon be part of human trials for an Oxford University vaccine which has shown encouraging results in early stages of clinical testing.

Serum Institute of India, the world's largest vaccine-maker based in the western Indian city of Pune, has a production agreement with British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca -- which has partnered with Oxford in the COVID-19 vaccine development -- to manufacture their product in India once a successful candidate emerges.

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