Home / News / India /  India's first COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin: From trials to test results — key updates

As the coronavirus cases top 1.6 crore globally, the scientists are leaving no stone unturned to develop a vaccine. Covaxin, India's first indigenous vaccine against the novel COVID-19, has already started its clinical human trial across the country. Developed by Bharat Biotech International Limited along with Indian Council of Medical Research and National Institute of Virology, Covaxin was the first COVID-19 vaccine candidate to get an approval from Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) in India.

In the first phase of human trial, Covaxin will be tested in 12 hospitals across the country. Volunteers between the ages of 18 and 55 with no co-morbidity conditions will participate in the trial. The vaccine trial have already begun in Hyderabad, Rohtak, Patna, Kancheepuram, Delhi, Goa and Bhubaneswar.

Here's all you need to know about the human trial of Covaxin:

No side-effect so far

A 30-year-old man took the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine candidate at Delhi's All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) last week as part of human trial. "No immediate side-effects have been observed so far," Dr Sanjay Rai, professor at the centre for community medicine at AIIMS said, according to news agency PTI.

Covaxin shows "encouraging" results in PGIMS Rohtak

The first phase of human trial of Covaxin was completed in PGIMS Rohtak. The hospital started trial on July 17 and around 50 volunteers enrolled for this exercise. "50 people across India were administered the vaccine and the results were encouraging," Dr Savita Verma, principal investigator of the vaccine trial team, told news agency ANI.

Trial started in Bhubaneswar on Monday

The trial of 'Covaxin' began at the Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital in Bhubaneswar on Monday. Several people took the dose of coronavirus vaccine in the hospital, said Dr E Venkat Rao, principal investigator of the trial process.

How the first phase of human trial works

There are three formulations of the COVID-19 vaccine candidate. Each subject will be given any one of the formulation in two doses two weeks apart. The first 50 will get the lowest strength dose of the vaccine. If it is found to be safe in them, then it will be given to another 50 patients in high doses, Dr Rai told PTI.

What to expect from the first trial

At least 375 people will participate in the first phases of clinical human trial of India's first COVID-19 vaccine. More 3,500 volunteers have already enrolled for the trial.

"In the first phase, we see the safety of the vaccine which is of primary importance and the dose range is also calculated," AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria said.

How does Covaxin work?

Covaxin has been derived from a strain of the novel coronavirus isolated by the National Institute of Virology in Pune. Bharat Biotech developed an “inactivated" vaccine at its high-containment facility at Genome Valley in Hyderabad.

“Once the vaccine is injected into a human, it has no potential to infect or replicate, since it is a killed virus. It just serves to the immune system as a dead virus and mounts an antibody response towards the virus," Bharat Biotech said.

Second phase of trial:

The second phase of trial will be conducted on 750 volunteers. For phase II trial, people aged between 12-65 will be enrolled.

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