India’s first coronavirus vaccine: Here is everything we know about its development
The whole world is waiting eagerly for an effective vaccine to fight the coronavirus pandemic. It has not only claimed lives, but also impacted people, both physically and mentally. There are more than 170 vaccines in progress right now, but closer home we have our hopes pinned on India’s first vaccine called Covaxin.
Under normal circumstances, researchers and scientists take years before formulating and releasing a vaccine, however, the global impact of COVID on humankind has pressed a ‘forward’ button on all vaccines, where it is safe to expect a vaccine in the next 4-5 months (within a span of 12-18 months).
Covaxin, the vaccine candidate developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is in Phase 2 clinical trial in the country. And now the makers have sought approval from drug regulators to start the third phase clinical trial. As per reports, the Drugs Controller General of India (DGCI) has asked Bharat Biotech to submit “complete safety and immunogenicity data of the phase II trial” and some clarifications before proceeding for the next stage.
The results of their animal-based trial of the vaccine were found to be favourable. “The vaccine candidate was found to generate robust immune responses. Thus, preventing infection and disease in the primates upon high amounts of exposure to live SARS-CoV-2 virus.”
The vaccine candidate has been tested in 12 hospitals across India, where volunteers between the ages of 18 and 55 participated in the trial. These volunteers had no co-morbidities. The places where the trial took place include Hyderabad, Delhi, Goa, Rohtak, Patna, Kancheepuram and Bhubaneswar, among other places.
Once the trials are done, Bharat Biotech will be targeting a manufacturing capacity of 300 million doses. India is the largest vaccine producing country in the world and if India is able to produce an indigenous vaccine, it will help in fighting the capacity and managing the delivery capacity.
ICMR has said that the vaccine candidate will follow all global norms to produce the most effective vaccine, which may take sometime.
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