Oxford vaccine trials in India offer hope despite AstraZeneca dampener
Serum Institute of India has signed an agreement to mass produce the Oxford vaccine.Updated: Sep 09, 2020, 18:31 IST
Even as AstraZeneca has paused trials of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate after one of the participants in United Kingdom developed an unexplained illness, over 100 volunteers in India have completed the crucial week after receiving shots in the phase two human trials without showing any adverse reaction.
Pune based Serum institute of India (SII), the world’s largest vaccine maker, has signed an agreement to manufacture the potential vaccine developed by the Jenner Institute of Oxford University in collaboration with British-Swedish pharma company AstraZeneca.
SII clarified that the Indian trials of the vaccine candidate are continuing without any problems.
“We (Serum Institute of India) can’t comment on reports of AstraZeneca pausing the trials in the UK, other than that they have been paused for review and shall restart soon. The Indian trials are continuing and we have faced no issues at all,” SII said in a statement.
Of the 100 volunteers, 34 were from Bharti Vidyapeeth Medical College and hospital in Pune, who have been administered vaccine shots after trials for phase two began in India on August 26.
According to doctors at the medical college and hospital, none of the 34 volunteers have shown any sign of any health-related complications, with all their vital parameters appearing normal. Besides Bharti Vidyapeeth, two other hospitals in Pune are carrying out trials including the KEM.
“We have completed the phase-two trials of 100 enrolments in India of which 34 were from Bharti Vidyapeeth. It’s been a week after the shots were given to 34 volunteers at our institute and none of them showed any adverse reaction,” said Dr Sanjay Lalwani, medical director at Bharti Vidyapeeth medical college and hospital.
The entire data about volunteers and the results of trials, according to Lalwani, has been submitted to SII. The data in turn will be picked up by Data System Monitoring Board at Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) level for further review.