Three Indian COVID-19 vaccines in different phases of clinical testing

Phase 2 and 3 of Oxford vaccine will start within a week

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The Indian Council of Medical Research on Tuesday said that three COVID-19 vaccines are at different phases of clinical testing in the country.

“Two vaccines—Bharat Biotech vaccine and DNA vaccine of Zydus Cadila—have completed phase 1 and will begin phase 2, while the third is Oxford vaccine,” ICMR director general Dr Balram Bhargava said.

He said the Oxford vaccine, being manufactured by Serum Institute of India (SII), has got approval for phase 2 and 3 of clinical trials. The trials will start within a week at 17 sites in the country.

The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) gave nod to the SII for conducting phase 2 and 3 human clinical trials of the COVID-19 vaccine on Sunday after a thorough evaluation based on the recommendations of the Subject Expert Committee on the pandemic.

According to a revised proposal submitted by SII, 1,600 people aged above 18 years will participate in the trials across 17 selected sites, including AIIMS Delhi,B J Medical College in Pune, Rajendra MemorialResearch Institute of Medical Sciences (RMRIMS) in Patna, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh,AIIMS-Jodhpur, Nehru Hospital in Gorakhpur, Andhra Medical College in Visakhapatnam and JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research in Mysore.

Currently, phase 2 and 3 clinical trials of the Oxford vaccine candidate is going on in the United Kingdom, phase 3 clinical trial in Brazil and phase 1 and 2 clinical trials in South Africa.

Dr Bhargava said physical distancing, wearing mask and proper hand hygiene are the best vaccines available at the moment.

Meanwhile, India witnessed a single-day spike of 52,050 COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, taking the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 18,55,746.

According to the Union health ministry, the actual caseload in the country is 5,86,298 with over 12 lakh people having recovered.