The COVID-19 pandemic seems to be getting more dangerous every day. The country is reeling under a high caseload. Hence, all of us are being urged to be extremely cautious and maintain all precautions to prevent being infected or passing on the virus to our loved one.
At this juncture, a vaccine is the only thing that can save the day. For quite a few days now, we have been hearing reports on how India is making rapid strides in developing a vaccine. The name COVAXIN is doing the rounds. What is it and when can we expect it? Read on to find out.
What is COVAXIN?
COVAXIN is India’s first attempt at creating a vaccine that will successfully immunize the human body against the SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. It is actually an ‘inactivated’ vaccine made from killed COVID-19 viruses that will not harm the body when injected but will teach your immunity to recognise and kill COVID-19 virus if it enters your system by producing antibodies.
The vaccine is being developed by the ICMR’s (Indian council of medical research) National Institute of Virology wing as well as Bharat Biotech.
Has COVAXIN been approved?
Permission has been granted by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) to carry out human trials of COVAXIN.
What phase of trial is COVAXIN in?
The animal trials have concluded and there will have to be 3 phases of human trial before the vaccine is ready for launch. The DCGI has issued a permit to conduct only Phase 1 and Phase 2 of human trials.
In a letter recently published by the Indian Council of Medical Research, Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS), Hyderabad was selected as a trial site among a total of 12 Institutes (including the Patna and Delhi AIIMS) where the ICMR would be conducting human trials.
The trial at the Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences started on Tuesday, 8th July 2020 and is underway. At least 30 people will be screened and given the vaccine. Audio and visual consent of the persons will be sought before the trial begins.
According to the ICMR, the drug will be administered to 1100 people in different trial sites over the upcoming days and there will be two phases of human trials.
The director of NIMS has said that samples of blood will be drawn from healthy people and sent to New Delhi’s designated labs after which they will be examined by experts and the first-ever shot of COVAXIN will be administered.
The enrolment procedure started on 7th July.
Other Vaccines in the World
There is another vaccine being developed by Zydus Cadila and Bharat Biotech called Zy-Cov-D. It received a nod from the DCGI to carry out human trials. Zydus Cadila said that it has also procured permission from Mexico to test one of its products to see how effective it can be in COVID-19 management.
The US government is conducting Phase 3 human trials for 3 vaccine companies under the banner of Operation Warp Speed.
When will COVAXIN be available?
According to the ICMR, efforts are on to make the vaccine ready by 15th August 2020.
Remember to not let your guard down because the pandemic is still raging. Follow precautions strictly to stay safe and healthy.