Clinical trial of Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin begins in Kanpur hospital, 22 volunteers get dose
The clinical trial of Indian Covid-19 vaccine candidate Covaxin began in Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur and Gorakhpur hospitals on Friday.
In Kanpur, the first set of 22 volunteers were given the vaccine under strict medical supervision at the private Prakhar Hospital.
The medical facility in Kanpur and Gorakhpur’s Rana Hospital and Trauma Centre are among the 12 institutes across the country where the human trial of the vaccine, developed by Bharat Biotech, are being conducted.
A 26-year-old information technology (IT) professional from central Kanpur became the first person in Uttar Pradesh to get the vaccine dose. The man expressed happiness at being a “part of an exercise being carried out to help mankind.”
“I wanted to be a part of this. I told my family members about my decision. They were worried about the adverse side-effects (if any). I managed to convince them,” he said.
“As I walked into the room, I was asked to sit on the bed by the team waiting for me. I was praying that this vaccine works. It (vaccine) is essential to bring people out of despair and defeat this virus,” he added.
Dr JS Kushwaha, chairman of the hospital, said the vaccine dose was injected in all the 22 volunteers in one hour. Their condition was constantly monitored for three hours against the specified two hours.
“None of them complained of any problem nor did the medical team observe any adverse symptoms of the vaccine. I am extremely hopeful that this vaccine will work,” said Dr Kushwaha.
The hospital plans to conduct the trials on 100 healthy volunteers in two phases. The first phase has 36 participants out of which 22 were given the vaccine on Friday. “We have given the volunteers our helpline number; they can speak to our in-house experts and share their experiences or problems if they have any,” he said.
A team of eight experts, which a doctor from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) heads, would collect the blood samples of these 22 volunteers on August 13. The samples would be sent to an ICMR-recognised laboratory for anti-bodies’ test and data analysis. Another sample would be taken on August 27 for a similar test.
All the healthy volunteers were cleared to undergo the trial after medical screening. Their RT-PCR and anti-bodies’ test reports came on Thursday and the plan to give them the vaccine was set in motion at a notice of 16 hours. The volunteers come from diverse backgrounds and five of them are women — three participated in the Friday trial.
Apart from Kanpur and Gorakhpur hospitals, the other institutes selected for the clinical trial of Covaxin are located in Visakhapatnam, Rohtak, New Delhi, Patna, Belgaum, Nagpur, Kattankulathur, Hyderabad, Arya Nagar, and Goa.