Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij, who was administered the trial dose of the indigenous COVID vaccine Covaxin last month, has tested positive for coronavirus, he said in a tweet on Saturday. Vij has been admitted to a hospital and urged all those who had come in contact with him recently to get tested.
"I have been tested Corona positive. I am admitted in Civil Hospital Ambala Cantt. All those who have come in close contact to me are advised to get themselves tested for corona (sic)," tweeted Vij, who is also the state's home minister.
The 67-year-old is a senior leader of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and a legislator from Ambala Cantt assembly constituency. He had offered to be the first volunteer in the phase three trials for Covaxin.
"I will be administered a trial dose of Coronavirus vaccine #Covaxin a Bharat Biotech product Tomorrow at 11 am at Civil hospital, Ambala Cantt under the expert supervision of a team of doctors from PGI Rohtak and Health Department, Vij had said in a tweet. "I have volunteered to take the trial dose," he had added.
#WATCH Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij being administered a trial dose of #Covaxin, at a hospital in Ambala.â€” ANI (@ANI) November 20, 2020
He had offered to be the first volunteer for the third phase trial of Covaxin, which started in the state today. pic.twitter.com/xKuXWLeFAB
Covaxin is being developed indigenously by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). In a statement to news agency ANI, Bharat Biotech said that the Covaxin clinical trials are based on a two-dose schedule, which are given 28 days apart. "The vaccine efficacy will be determined 14 days post the 2nd dose. Covaxin has been designed to be efficacious when subjects receive both doses. The phase-3 trials are double-blinded and randomized, where 50% of subjects (participants in the trial) receive vaccine & 50% of subjects receive placebo," Bharat Biotech has said. Minister Anil Vij was administered one shot on November 20.
It is essential to remember that Covaxin is a still a vaccine candidate and even if a vaccine is rolled out in India, the vaccine may not mean you are immune from getting infected by the coronavirus, and so citizens will need to keep taking precautions like physical distancing, washing hands, and wearing masks. Dr Shahid Jameel, a virologist and the Director of the Trivedi School of Biosciences at Ashoka University, had earlier told TNM, â€śMost successful vaccines only prevent disease, they donâ€™t prevent infection. And so will be the case with the COVID vaccine. If the natural infection doesnâ€™t give you long-lasting immunity, a vaccine isnâ€™t going to give you long-lasting immunity. This is becoming very clear from COVID, we wonâ€™t get long-lasting immunity.â€ť
With PTI inputs