New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij has offered to become the first volunteer for Phase-III clinical trial of Bharat Biotech's COVID-19 vaccine candidate Covaxin. The trial in the state will begin on November 20. "Trial for third phase of Covaxin a coronavirus vaccine product of Bhart Biotech to start in Haryana on 20th November. I have offered myself as first volunteer to get vaccinated," he tweeted.  

The Phase III trials will involve nearly 26,000 volunteers across India and will be conducted in partnership with ICMR. It is the largest clinical trial conducted for a Covid-19 vaccine in India. While volunteers in the age-group of 12-65 years were involved in the second phase of the clinical human trials of Covaxin, only adult volunteers (above the age of 18 years) will be involved in the third phase of the trials.

In Phase I, two doses of Covaxin were given to healthy volunteers in the age-group of 18 to 55 years, while in Phase II, two doses of the vaccine were given to a different set of volunteers in the age-group of 12 to 65 years.

While only healthy volunteers were involved in Phase 1, the volunteers who have controlled diabetes, hypertension or asthma etc were involved in Phase 2 of the trials.

Patients who are suffering from chronic diseases but whose blood sugar, liver and kidney function test reports are normal will be involved in the third phase of the trials.

Covaxin has been developed in collaboration with the ICMR - National Institute of Virology (NIV) using inactivated Sars-Cov-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The virus was isolated in an ICMR lab.

India's hopes of  an effective COVID-19 vaccine are now lying on locally-tested candidates as the ones developed by Pfizer and Moderna may not be available in big quantities owing to their cold-chain requirements. These five vaccine candidates include Russia’s Sputnik-V whose “Phase II going to Phase III” trials in India will start next week in collaboration with Dr Reddy’s Laboratories

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta