Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) director general Balram Bhargava on Tuesday confirmed that the Phase 2 human trials of Oxford University and Astra zeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine commenced at Pune-based Serum Institute of India(SII). The primary dose of vaccine has been administered to six volunteers at the Bharati Vidyapeeth Medical College and Hospital in Pune today
This is a giant leap by India towards the development of covid -19 vaccine amid the cut throat competition from other countries. Pune-based SII is the third company to conduct human trials of the covid-19 vaccine ‘covishield’ in India after Bharat Biotech and Zydus Cadila (for ZyCoV-D), who began 1st and 2nd stage of clinical trials in July.
On Tuesday, as part of the trial protocol, three men and women volunteers were screened after ethical committee clearance. Dr Sanjay Lalwani, medical director of Bharati Vidyapeeth’s medical college and hospital said the participants were examined to check if their RT-PCR and antibody test reports are negative. Once the results are found to be satisfactory, they will be administered covishield vaccine inoculation.
The hospital aims to bring 300-350 individuals on board to study the vaccine efficacy on larger scale.