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India begins human trials of its first homegrown coronavirus vaccine

Published on 21/07/20 at 10:30am
Photo by Senior Airman Areca Wilson

India has begun human trials of its first internally developed vaccine for COVID-19.

The Indian Council of Medical Research have allowed both Phase 1 and 2 human trials of Covaxin, the experimental vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech. Lokesh Sharma, the Council’s media coordinator, said: “Trials at some sites began yesterday or before, at some places it will begin today and at some sites it will start tomorrow.”

Bharat Biotech is collaborating with both the Council and the National Institute of Virology, and the trials have begun with 100 of the 375 volunteers in 12 pre-selected hospitals for the Phase I study.  This will assess if the vaccine candidate is safe in humans.

Randeep Guleria, the Director of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, said: “We are starting the phase-1 of the trial. A second dose will be given after 14 days and then we will collect blood samples after various intervals and we will decide, based on the analysis, what is the effectiveness of this vaccine.”

Bharat Biotech has previously delivered more than 4 billion doses of various vaccines worldwide for diseases like H1N1 and rotavirus.

Conor Kavanagh

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