Chandigarh: Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij Thursday said he will be administered a trial dose of Covaxin — India’s first indigenous Covid-19 vaccine candidate — at the Post Graduate Institute (PGI) of Medical Science, Rohtak, Friday.
Covaxin is being developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Pune-based National Institute of Virology.
“I will be administered trial dose of Coronavirus vaccine #Covaxin a Bharat Biotech product Tomorrow at 11 am at Civil Hospital, Ambala Cantt under the expert supervision of a team of Doctors from PGI Rohtak and Health Department. I have volunteered to take the trial dose,” Vij said in a tweet Thursday.
I Will be administered trial dose of Coronavirus vaccine #Covaxin a Bharat Biotech product Tomorrow at 11 am at Civil Hospital, Ambala Cantt under the expert supervision of a team of Doctors from PGI Rohtak and Health Department. I have volunteered to take the trial dose.
— ANIL VIJ MINISTER HARYANA (@anilvijminister) November 19, 2020
The BJP leader, who is also the home minister of the state, had Wednesday offered himself to be the first volunteer in the Phase-III trials for Covaxin. Vij is also the first politician in India to participate in the Covid-19 vaccine trials.
He is among 200 volunteers who will be administered two intramuscular doses, approximately 28 days apart, at the PGI, Rohtak. It is among 25 facilities in India where Phase-III trials of Covaxin will begin Friday.
26,000 volunteers across country
In an official statement Monday, Bharat Biotech had said the Phase-III trial will involve a total of 26,000 volunteers across the country. These are the first and largest efficacy trials being conducted for a Covid-19 vaccine in India.
“Trial volunteers will be randomly assigned to receive Covaxin or placebo. The trial is double blinded, such that the investigators, the participants and the company will not be aware of who is assigned to which group,” the statement further said.
Suchitra Ella, joint managing director of Bharat Biotech, had also said that the development and clinical evaluation of Covaxin was a “significant milestone for vaccinology in India”.
unforgettable day in our 25 yr public health journey , taking a covid vaccine to phase III trials – r&d to clinical studies in 6 months , especially during the pandemic ! Our tech teams @ Bharat Bio have been working relentlessly since May for this day ! God bless U ALL 👏🏼👍🏼🙏🏼 https://t.co/Fzcn7vluId
— suchitra ella (@SuchitraElla) November 16, 2020
The Drug Controller General of India had given the nod for human clinical trials of the vaccine in June. In September, a study published by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) had revealed that Covaxin produced a robust immune response in monkeys.