Coronavirus: Human trials of India’s first locally produced vaccine begin in July

A group of volunteers in India will be immunised with a new locally-made coronavirus vaccine in July.

AN unspecified number of people will have the vaccine, as part of a trial by Hyderabad-based firm Bharat Biotech, tests in animals suggest the vaccine is safe and triggers an effective immune response.

The trials are among many across the world – there are around 120 vaccine programmes underway, in total there are half a dozen Indian firms developing vaccines. This is the first India-made vaccine and developed from a strain of the virus that was isolated locally and weakened under laboratory conditions.

The trials are set to start across the country in July. COVAXIN has been developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech, in association with ICMR (Indian Council for Medical Research). It is an inactivated vaccine which created from a strain of the infectious SARS-CoV-2 virus and has shown promise in preclinical studies, demonstrating extensive safety and effective immune responses.

Reportedly, similar efforts are being mounted across the globe, with a number of different drugs in different stages of the trial. Last week, the World Health Organisation (WHO) had said that AstraZeneca’s vaccine was probably the leading candidate.

The Britain-based firm has already begun large-scale, mid-stage human trials of the drug developed by researchers at the University of Oxford.


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Written by

Tony Winterburn

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