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Mysore/Mysuru: The much-awaited clinical trial of COVID-19 vaccine – Covishield – developed by the University of Oxford began at JSS Hospital in city this morning. Pune-based Serum Institute of India partnered with AstraZeneca to manufacture the COVID-19 vaccine candidate. The volunteers received their first doses intramuscularly as part of Phase II human trials.
Five volunteers enrolled to get for the Phase II trial of Covishield vaccine at JSS Hospital. Doctors at the Hospital administered the vaccine to five persons after a detailed investigation and monitoring.
In Karnataka, JSS Hospital is the only institute that has been selected for the clinical trial.
Incidentally, the tests began on a day when JSS Group of Institutions is celebrating Dr. Sri Shivarathri Rajendra Swamiji’s 105th Jayanti Mahotsava that was virtually inaugurated by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh from New Delhi this morning.
Five volunteers had enrolled themselves for the trial after the doses were received from the Serum Institute of India. Before administering the vaccine, doctors checked their temperature, blood pressure and heart beats. The vitals of the two volunteers were observed after the vaccine jab, JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research (JSS AHER) Pro-Chancellor and Pharmacy Council of India President Dr. B. Suresh told Star of Mysore.
Covishield is the third vaccine candidate to enter human trials in the country, after Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and Zydus Cadila’s ZyCoV-D began tests in July.
ICMR to collate data
During the clinical trials at JSS, the five volunteers were vaccinated on their arm muscles. They will be given another dose 28 days from now to test the candidate vaccine’s safety. “It is a matter of pride that JSS Hospital has been selected among 17 institutes in India. We have the responsibility of continuously monitoring the patients and send the data to Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). After collating the data from 17 clinical trial centres, ICMR will take a call on the vaccine, its effectiveness and finally the production,” he explained.
“Dr Padmapriya from ICMR, Chennai is monitoring the trials. Along with Covishield trial, we are also doing BCG vaccine trials at our health centre. Senior citizens among the healthy volunteers have been chosen for the experiment,” Suresh said and added that if the required data of the trials is obtained by December, some good news can be expected from January 2021.
Volunteers will be observed for any reaction to the vaccine and also for the generation of antibodies against Coronavirus. The Phase II trial will be conducted on 100 volunteers across the country. After ensuring that there are no safety concerns in these 100 trials, 1,500 people will be administered the (potential) vaccine across the country in the next phase and generation of antibodies will be observed. If the results are positive, the vaccine is likely to be made available, sources said.