With the longest human containment experiment in Indian history still in progress, it’s been 131 days since the entire nation is trying to fight off this global pandemic. Covid-19 has by far has infected 1.45 crore people across the globe and about more than six lakh people have succumbed to the disease already. The numbers only increase from here making the public around the world looking forward to a vaccine.
OXFORD UNIVERSITY’S VACCINE
On 20th July, scientists had affirmed that the vaccine developed by Oxford University appears to be safe after it showed quite promising Phase 1 results. In the first trial, 1,077 healthy adults were given a dose of the vaccine in UK Hospitals in April and May. The age of these adults varied from 18 to 55 years old. The results showed that the vaccine-induced strong antibody and T-cell immune responses, with T-cells being crucial to maintaining the protection against the virus for years.
The findings of the First Phase were published in the Lancet Medical Journal and prove to be quite promising, but the scientists weren’t yet sure that this would be enough. Scientists who were involved in the trial procedure found out that if given a second dose of the vaccine the immune system’s response was stronger and better as compared to only one dose. In Phase 2 of the trials, a small number of children and the elderly were included in the group to judge if the vaccine acts differently across the varied age groups.
SII TO BE A MANUFACTURING PARTNER
Oxford University chooses the Serum Institute of India (SII), Pune the largest vaccine manufacturer across the globe as a manufacturing partner. Currently, SII has listed five sites within the country to the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) to begin the third and final phase for the trial of Oxford University’s AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine.
The Pune based institute has also called on for permission from Drugs Controlled General of India (DCGI) to conduct phase 2 and 3 of trials for the potential vaccine. SII however, has anyway started off with the manufacturing of the vaccine even before the final nods are given to be ready with sizeable volumes in their hands.
5 SITES TO BE READIED FOR PHASE THREE
According to Renu Swarup, the Secretary of DBT, the third phase of the trials are very essential as it is important to have all the required data to be jotted down before the administration of the vaccine to Indians begins and also to have a successful trial of the vaccine. Swarup also further mentioned to PTI that DBT is part of any Covid-19 vaccine effort that is being taken up in India be it the funding, regulatory clearances, or giving access to different networks that exist within the country.
DBT has got the 5 sites ready for the proposed third phase trials and within a few more weeks the sites should be ready for manufacturers to take them up for human testing.
The trial in India is expected to end by August end. Otherwise, in India, two indigenous vaccines one by Zydus Cadila and the other one by Bharat Biotech have entered phase one of their human trials.
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