Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij became the first person to be vaccinated in the third phase trials of Bharat Biotech’s Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin on Friday. Vij tweeted that he has offered himself as the first volunteer to get the trial vaccination.
Earlier, Vij had tweeted that he will be getting a trial dose of Covaxin on Friday at the Ambala Cantonment civil hospital under the supervision of doctors from PGI Rohtak and Health Department.
Bharat Biotech put out a statement saying the Covid-19 trials will be conducted in two medical facilities — the Pandit Bhagwat Dayal Sharma University of Health Sciences in Rohtak and the ESIC hospital in Faridabad. Covaxin is India’s home-grown Covid-19 vaccine which is being developed in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research and the National Institute of Virology. The vaccine received Drugs Controller General of India’s (DCGI) approval after its successful Phase 1 and Phase 2 human trials. The DCGI allowed the company for Phase 3 clinical trials on 26,000 participants in India.
Earlier, Bharat Biotech had announced the beginning of phase-3 trials of Covaxin. This is the largest clinical trial being conducted for a Covid-19 vaccine trial in the country.
The global search for effective coronavirus vaccines is fast nearing its goal as over 57 million people have contracted the disease so far and more than 1.3 million have died due to it. Pharmaceutical major Pfizer and biotechnology company Moderna has said their vaccine candidates have shown success in late-stage trials. Moderna claimed its vaccine is 94.5% effective, Pfizer has said its candidate has shown the effectiveness of 95%.
But there are problems also. The Pfizer vaccine needs to be produced and transported in extremely cold conditions otherwise the vaccine can be rendered ineffective. According to experts, Pfizer’s two-dose shots need to be stored in -70 degree Celsius, which is an ultra-low temperature setting for tropical countries such as India.
Currently, India’s total coronavirus cases mounted to 90,04,365 and the death toll climbed to 1,32,162 with the novel coronavirus claiming 584 lives in a span of the last 24 hours in the country. Meanwhile, according to the Health Ministry, the recovery rate in India has improved to 93.58 % with 83,83,602 recovered cases which exceeded active cases by 79,40,299.