Haryana health minister Anil Vij on Friday announced that clinical trials to fight Covid-19 with Covaxin — the country’s foremost vaccine candidate for Covid-19 — have started at Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Rohtak. “Three subjects were enrolled for this purpose today (Friday). All three have tolerated the vaccine very well. There were no adverse effects,” he tweeted.
In 10 days since PGIMS began enrolling subjects for clinical trials of Covaxin, close to 100 individuals from Haryana have registered to be a part of the study. Officials at PGIMS Rohtak — one of the 12 locations in the country selected to execute clinical trials of the indigenous vaccine — said that 22 of these volunteers have already been screened for their medical history, and that at least three of them will receive a dose of the experimental vaccine by the weekend or early next week.
Covaxin is an indigenous Covid-19 vaccine, which is being developed by Bharat Biotech and the ICMR’s National Institute of Virology, Pune. It is one of the two Indian vaccine candidates that have received the Drug Controller General of India’s nod to proceed with the Phase 1 and Phase 2 human clinical trials. In Rohtak, the sample size for Phase 1 trials is expected to around 8 to 10 people, officials said.
Earlier, Dr Dhruv Chaudhary, who is a part of a three-member team leading the clinical trials at PGIMS, Rohtak, said, “The first batch of volunteers have been screened. Eight individuals have undergone rigorous medical scrutiny to check whether or not they have been previously infected with the virus, whether they suffer from any ailments of the liver, lungs, or kidneys, and to check if they have any history of other infectious diseases. Three of these volunteers, who were found eligible, will receive a dose of the vaccine, possibly by the weekend. Another 14 people were screened on Thursday and their biochemical reports are awaited.”