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Covid vaccine in India by 15 Aug? ICMR speeds trials as Modi govt eyes Independence Day target

ICMR has written to 12 institutes, selected to run the clinical trials, to fast-track all approvals but warned against lapses in protocols and guidelines.

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New Delhi: The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the country’s apex health research body, has decided to fast-track clinical trials of the indigenous Covid-19 vaccine, which it is producing with Bharat Biotech international Limited (BBIL).

According to a letter written by director-general of ICMR, Dr Balram Bhargava, dated 2 July, the Narendra Modi government is aiming to launch the vaccine for public health use by 15 August.

“It is envisaged to launch the vaccine for public health use latest by 15 August 2020 after completion of all clinical trials,” reads the letter sent to 12 institutions selected for conducting the clinical trials.

Among the institutes allowed to conduct vaccine trials include the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi and Bihar, the Andhra Pradesh-based King George Hospital, the Rohtak-based Pandit Bhagwat Dayal Sharma Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences and the Hyderabad-based Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences.

“BBIL is working expeditiously to meet the target. However, the final outcome will depend on the cooperation of all clinical trial sites involved in this project,” the letter adds.

Also read: Children with Covid-19 could develop neurological symptoms like headaches, reveals study

Top-priority project

The vaccine — BBV152 COVID — is a “top priority” project being monitored at the highest levels of the Modi government, the letter pointed out.

The vaccine has been derived from a strain of SARS-CoV-z isolated by the ICMR-run National Institute of Virology, Pune. ICMR and BBIL are jointly working for the preclinical as well as clinical development of this vaccine.

“ln view of the public health emergency due to Covid-19 pandemic and urgency to launch the vaccine, you are strictly advised to fast track all approvals related to initiation of the clinical trial and ensure that the subject enrollment is initiated no later than 7th July 2020,” the letter states.

It, however, warns that guidelines and protocols must be followed.

“Kindly note that non-compliance will be viewed very seriously. Therefore, you are advised to treat this project on highest priority and meet the given timelines without any lapse,” the letter states.

Also read: Web-like substance emitted by white blood cells could worsen outcome in Covid patients: Study



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  1. Feels great looking at the anti-nationals getting burnt in the comments, don’t worry, if you’re so against the government anyhow, we’ll make sure you don’t get the vaccine 🙂 also, will request the Government to provide free burnol to them!

  2. I think if vaccine available as per stipulated time of 15th August. It’s really a big honour and achievement.
    Let’s cross the finger for happening all well in time.
    It’s a very big achievement for India in terms of health as well as wealth.

  3. Research does not work by political deadlines with nationalist bravado. This isn’t parading some new tank.
    As much as I know, it was never the case that India won any medical research race with the world, not that it is a race.
    We might be able to later produce the cheapest one, but first is unlikely.
    US scientists say they won’t get a vaccine until early next year, that too only optimistically.
    The idea that India will have it 4 months earlier is only possible by not testing the vaccine properly. We are not well reputed for rigorous trials.
    ICMR is not some world famous scientific organization. No one knows about it outside India. Balram Bhargava isn’t Fauci.

  4. Let our Goverment should allow the organisations to develop the vaccine as early as possible.

  5. This is very dangerous.The many phases of trials take months. Hurrying will be extremely dangerous.Caution,please!

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