Coronavirus: Section three trials of India-made vaccine start | India
The study for India’s first COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin has started with around 26,000 participants, Bharat Biotech announced.
The third phase of trials of India’s first vaccine against COVID-19 has begun in the largest human trials that have been conducted with around 26,000 participants, Bharat Biotech announced on Monday.
The Hyderabad-based company developed Covaxin vaccine in partnership with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) – India’s leading medical research institution.
The first doses of the vaccine were given to volunteers at the Nizam Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) in Hyderabad on Monday as part of the study, which will be monitored over the next year.
Covaxin has shown promising data on safety and immunogenicity in studies conducted in phase one and phase two.
The India study comes a day after U.S. biotech company Moderna Inc announced that preliminary data from an ongoing Phase 3 study of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine showed 94.5 percent effectiveness.
India is the second worst hit by COVID-19 with nearly 9 million cases [File: Adnan Abidi/Reuters]Last week, drug makers Pfizer and BioNTech said their experimental vaccine could be 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19, raising hopes for a big win in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic that affects more than a million people worldwide were killed.
On November 5, a senior Indian government scientist told Reuters that the Covaxin vaccine could be launched as early as February – months earlier than expected.
“The vaccine has shown good effectiveness,” said senior ICMR scientist Rajni Kant, who is also a member of the COVID-19 task force, at the research facility’s headquarters in New Delhi on November 5.
“It is expected that something will be available early next year, February or March.”
India is the second worst hit from COVID-19 – the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, with nearly nine million cases. There were fewer than 30,000 in India on Monday, with the number gradually falling since October.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the United Nations in September and pledged to make his country’s vaccine production capacity available worldwide to fight the coronavirus crisis. India is the world’s largest manufacturer of vaccines.