PGIMER to start Oxford Covid vaccine trials by end of August
Around 2,000 people will be examined and about 1,600 persons will be selected. Out of them the institute has committed around 250 people. Recruitment will be done in the first monthUpdated: Aug 03, 2020 21:44 IST
The Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) is among 17 institutes across the country chosen for trials of the Oxford University-Astra Zeneca – Covid-19 vaccine (Covishield), which it’s likely to start by the end of August.
The institute has been selected for the trials after the Drugs Controller General of India granted approvals to the Serum Institute of India in Pune for conducting phase 2 and 3 of the Covishield trials.
Dr Madhu Gupta, Principal Investigator of the trials and professor, Community Medicine and School of Public Health, PGIMER, says the protocol has just been finalised and clearance for trials will be sought by the ethics committee of the institute.
“Things are going at a really fast pace. The ethics committee will now review the protocol because the patient’s safety is the utmost priority. They will see the harms and the benefits and once they approve it, we will look for a site, recruit staff and start the trial. I think by the end of this month we will be able to start the recruitment of individuals for six-month long trials,” Dr Gupta said.
The institute will advertise for participants who are above 18-years of age, healthy, have not contracted the infection and are not in contact with any Covid-19 positive patient.
“Around 2,000 people will be examined and about 1,600 persons will be selected. Out of them we have committed around 250 people from PGIMER. Recruitment will be done in the first month and it will be a competitive process among the sites. We will see whether participants develop protection against the virus,” Dr Gupta said.
Prof Jagat Ram, director, PGIMER, said, “The results of the trials will have far-reaching impact. We will strengthen our capacities, wherever required, to come out with tangible outcomes. A core group will be constituted to work out the modalities and comprehensive plan with timelines to meet the desired expectations of the Drugs Controller General of India and contribute towards containing the pandemic to the best of our abilities.”