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‘COVAXIN, India’s indigenous vaccine may be launched in early 2021’

COVAXIN

There seems to be no respite from Corona in near future as cases are constantly on the rise. With more than 90,000 daily cases, India is second most affected country after the Unites States. Total tally In India has crossed 44 lakh comprising around 9.19 active cases and 34 lakh recovered one.

But there is a bright spot amid this mayhem — India’s first indigenous coronavirus vaccine, Covaxin developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech, is likely to be launched in early 2021. Covaxin has successfully completed Phase 1 trials and the Centre has given its approval for Phase 2 of clinical trials from September 7, a IANS report said.

Sanjay Rai, Professor, Community Medicine, and Principal Investigator for Covid-19 vaccine trial at AIIMS, was quoted as saying by the report: “Phase 1 trial has been successfully completed. Phase 2 trial is most likely to get completed sometime in October. After this, the Phase 3 trial will begin. Covaxin may be launched in early 2021 (after completion of all trial stages).”

In the first phase of the Covaxin trial, around 375 participants were studied across 12 locations. From July 20 onwards, AIIMS began human trials of Covaxin on 100 healthy volunteers aged between 18 and 55 years. In Phase 1, the blood samples collected from the volunteers were monitored for side effects, the report said.

On a comparison of Covaxin with Russia’s Covid-19 vaccine, Rai insisted that Covaxin is better placed than the Russian vaccine. He added that Covaxin and the Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine candidate in India are technically at the same level in the clinical trials stage, though the Oxford vaccine has reached Phase 3 clinical trials in Britain, Brazil and South Africa.

Also read: Covaxin: Delhi-based Dr Dang selected as central lab for human clinical trials

On when would the mass production of Covid-19 vaccine begin, Rai said: “The companies involved in vaccine production see the beginning of Phase 3 trials as a positive sign in the development of the vaccine, to take a risk and begin production.” In Phase 1, the age group profiling is done (wherein vaccine study is done on people in different age groups). In Phase 2, nearly 600 to 700 people are vaccinated, and if the vaccine performs successfully in this phase, then it progresses to Phase 3, which is called the efficacy study (in this phase, thousands of people are enrolled).

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