Bhopal: Volunteers for Covaxin trials double; facility at GMC soon

BHOPAL: Thirteen more volunteers were administered the dose of Covaxin, the Bharat Biotech’s vaccine for protection against Coronavirus on the second day of the human-trial of the vaccine at Peoples’ Medical College in Bhopal on Friday. So far, 35 persons have got themselves registered for trial.

On the first day of the trial on Friday, seven volunteers were given the dose of the vaccine. Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), which is monitoring the trial, is targeting the vaccine’s trial on 2,000 people in Bhopal. Apart from Peoples’ Medical University, the trial would be conducted at Gandhi Medical College (GMC) as well. The trials were slated to begin at both the places simultaneously but it was deferred at GMC because ICMR had some issue with the site of the trial.

General manager, PR, at Peoples’ Group, Dipendra Shrivastava, said that there was no time frame decided as to when the trials would be over as the volunteers are thoroughly tested and only those who are medically fully fit are selected. “Test report of some persons aspiring to participate in the trial as volunteers was not received today, so they have been asked to come back on Monday,” he said.

“Human trial of the vaccine is an elaborate exercise. The number of people on whom the trail is being done may vary depending on availability of the volunteers. Second dose will also be administered to volunteers after 28 days. So, we are expecting the exercise to continue for at least six months,” said Shrivastava.

Meanwhile, medical education minister, Vishwas Sarang, visited Peoples’ Medical College on Friday afternoon to take stock of how the trial is being conducted. Talking to TOI, Sarang said, “I saw the entire procedure of how the volunteers are being administered the vaccine. I talked to experts involved in the exercise. He said the trial is to be conducted on 2000 persons, we don’t have that many volunteers as of now but people are coming, getting themselves registered for the trial. We hope the trial will be successful.”

Sarang also visited the sample receiving room, counselling room and vaccine storage room and talked to doctors and the volunteers. He said that the trial of the vaccine would begin in GMC soon.

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