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India gives the green light for first human COVID-19 vaccine trials at AIIMS, Delhi

Darpan News Desk Darpan, 20 Jul, 2020
  • India gives the green light for first human COVID-19 vaccine trials at AIIMS, Delhi

After UK broke the news that they have a vaccine that can trigger an immune response, India isn't far behind.  India's first coronavirus vaccine COVAXIN human trials are in full swing Monday at the All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), Delhi after its Ethics Committee gave it the go ahead. 

COVAXIN is an indigenously developed COVID-19 vaccine candidate following which country's premier hospital has begun the exercise by enrolling healthy volunteers from Monday.

A few highlights in relation to vaccine trials at AIIMS below: 

AIIMS-Delhi is among the 12 sites selected by the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) for conducting phase I and II human trials of Covaxin.

In phase I, the vaccine would be tested on 375 volunteers and the maximum of 100 of them would be from AIIMS. Healthy volunteers having no comorbid conditions and without a history of COVID-19, aged more than 18 years and less than 55 years, would be eligible to participate in the randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Few volunteers have already registered for the trial.

AIIMS screens the individuals and evaluates their health condition from Monday  onwards before vaccinating them. COVID-19 vaccine candidate Covaxin, developed by the Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the ICMR and the National Institute of Virology (NIV), had recently got the yes for human clinical trials from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI).

Noting that this was the first indigenous vaccine being developed by India, ICMR Director General Dr Balram Bhargava in a letter to principal investigators of the 12 sites recently had asked them to fast-track the human clinical trial approvals stating it is one of the "top priority projects which is being monitored at the top-most level of the government".

The trials have so far started in AIIMS, Patna and some more sites.

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