Covaxin, developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech in collaboration with NIV and ICMR, recently received the nod from the drug regulatory authority to go ahead with human trials.

A health worker drawing blood from a patient for testingImage for representation/PTI
Coronavirus Coronavirus Thursday, July 23, 2020 - 16:11

Chennai’s SRM Medical College Hospital and Research Centre began its human trial of the COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin on Thursday. This is the second institute in south India to begin human trials on the vaccine, after Hyderabad’s Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS).

Speaking to Puthiya Thalaimurai, Dr A Sundaram, Dean (Medical Research) of the institute said that healthy people (pregnant women not allowed) aged between 18 and 55 years of age are eligible to be enrolled as a volunteer for this study. “Every week, the volunteers who have been administered the vaccine will come for a checkup here. We will test them and review their responses. This will go on for about six months. We will keep sending the results and observations to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR),” he said.

Two volunteers were administered the first dose of Covaxin on Thursday. The second dose of the vaccine will be administered after 14 days. The volunteers will be observed over a period of 194 days to check if antibodies are developed in their bodies against COVID-19.

Covaxin is made of a deactivated strain of novel coronavirus, which was isolated by the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune. With support from the ICMR, the Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech International Limited developed the vaccine and used it to evaluate its effect on animals. It was found to be safe and immunogenic. India’s drug regulatory authority, the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI), recently gave the nod to begin human trials of the vaccine to 12 institutes across the country.

Apart from SRM Medical College Hospital and Research Centre, human trials of Covaxin are also being conducted at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Patna, PGIMS, Rohtak, and Nizam’s Institute in Hyderabad. 

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