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India's Covaxin to be tested on 375 volunteers

India's potential Covid-19 vaccine (Covaxin) trial is set to commence by testing the vaccine on 375 people during phase 1.

A healthcare worker wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) takes a swab from a vegetable vendor to test her for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a roadside market in Ahmedabad, India, July 7, 2020. REUTERS/Amit Dave

Covaxin, a potential Covid-19 vaccine, being developed jointly by Bharat Biotech and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) got clearance to be tested on 375 volunteers during the first phase of the clinical trials.

The vaccine should be administered to more than 1,000 in the first 2 phases of the trials, with the company setting the final date of enrollment for volunteers as 13 July.

How Covaxin works?

The Phase one trial is mainly based on a term called "immunogenicity" which means the ability to provoke an immune reaction. The success or otherwise of this process will play a key role in the trial moving from phase 1, which is expected to last for around 3 months, to phase 2.

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Injecting particular doses of the vaccine, which is essentially made of damaged or compromised particles of SARS-CoV-2 - the virus which causes Covid-19 - into human body should help create antibodies that build and improve the body's immunity so that it can eliminate the virus.

Other competitors in the race to develop a Covid--19 vaccine

There are several companies around the world participating in the race to develop a vaccine for Covid-19, including China's major Sinovac Biotech that is set to start phase 3 of its clinical trials in Brazil, and AstraZeneca-University of Oxford and China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) who are also in the late stages of their vaccine trials, with the world health organization having declared that as of 6 June there are 19 candidates who are currently in the stage of clinical evaluation for developing a vaccine.

There is a particular drive in India to find a vaccine with it becoming the third-most affected nation by the pandemic in terms of infections, behind only USA and Brazil.


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