The ICMR recently stoked controversy by asking hospitals to participate in clinical trials for developing a COVID-19 vaccine by August 15. Is this a realistic deadline? What does it tell us about the state of scientific research in India? How close are we, really, to a vaccine, and how will it be deployed? Anirudh Kanisetti speaks to Shambhavi Naik and Sunila Dixit in search of answers.