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India's first indigenous COVID-19 vaccine expected by August 15

ICMR has directed the fast-tracking of human trials of Covaxin and launch of the Covid-19 vaccine by August 15th

COVID-19 vaccine, Himanta Biswa Sarma, ICMR, Bharat Biotech International Limited, Covaxin, COVID-19 treatment, Corona treatment, COVID-19 drug, COVID-19 cure, coronavirus pandemicRepresentational Image

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  3 July 2020 1:56 PM GMT

Guwahati: The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in a letter to the twelve institutes involved in clinical trials of the Covid-19 vaccine, has urged them to launch the vaccine by August 15, latest. Urging the institutes to speed up, ICMR Director General wrote that its one of the "fast track, top priority projects monitored at the topmost level of the government."

ICMR has partnered with the Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL) for clinical trials of the indigenous vaccine developed: Covaxin. BBIL is using the virus strains located at ICMR's National Institute of Virology in Pune to develop the vaccine and recently it got the DCGI's nod for human clinical trials.

The clinical trials are conducted in twelve institutes of the country located in Visakhapatnam, Rohtak, New Delhi, Patna, Belgaum (Karnataka), Nagpur, Gorakhpur, Kattankulathur (Tamil Nadu), Hyderabad, Arya Nagar, Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh), and Goa.

ICMR further said, "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." It also advised the institutes to begin the subject enrolment during the first week of July.

Meanwhile, the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) on Thursday permitted Ahmedabad based pharmaceutical major Zydus Cadila to conduct phase I and Phase II of human trials for the Covid-19 vaccine. Earlier, the company had claimed successful completion of the trial of the vaccine on animals citing the immune-boosting capacity of the vaccine. It also said that it will begin the human trials this month in over 1,000 subjects in multiple sites across the country.

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