Coronavirus vaccine update July 31: Covaxin trails start in UP; Thousands signing up for trials in US, says official


Human clinical trial of indigenously developed Covaxin, a possible vaccine against coronavirus, began at a hospital in Uttar Pradesh, officials said.

The trial began at Rana Hospital and Trauma Centre, which is among the 12 institutes selected for clinical trials of the vaccine.

“The trials began under the supervision of physician Dr Ajit Pratap Singh and gynaecologist and obstetrician Dr Sona Ghosh. The vaccine has been administered to 9 volunteers so far,” Venketesh Chaturvedi, Chief Administrative Officer of the hospital, told news agency PTI.

The hospital is already experienced in vaccine trials of typhoid and Japanese Encephalitis.

“We have started human clinical trials of Bharat Biotech’s vaccine and soon the trial of Zydus Cadila vaccine will be started,” Chaturvedi added.

Meanwhile, the first phase of Covaxin’s human trial was completed at PGIMS Rohtak. The hospital had started trial on July 17 with over 50 volunteers. “About 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.

On the global front, Dr Anthony Fauci said that 250,000 people have registered on the National Institute of Heath’s website to take part in experimental vaccine trials.

The study of the first vaccine involving 30,000 people began this week. The US government plans to launch studies of additional vaccines every month through the fall.

Meanwhile, Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline said the US government will pay $2.1 billion to them for COVID-19 vaccines to cover 50 million people and to underwrite the drug makers’ testing and manufacturing.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said the Southeast Asian country would be given priority by China if supplies of a vaccine become available.

The Philippines plans to buy 40 million doses worth $400 million for 20 million people, around a fifth of the country’s 107 million population, the country’s Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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