43 volunteers selected for Oxford University’s Covid-19 vaccine trial in Mumbai

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Published on Sep 29, 2020 01:20 AM IST
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ByRupsa Chakraborty

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has selected 43 volunteers till Monday for the clinical trial of Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Oxford University. Of these, 12 have already received the first dosage of the drug.

After King Edward Memorial (KEM) Hospital, BYL Nair Hospital too, started its clinical trial of the vaccine on Monday. Four male volunteers below 40 years of age were given the first dosage in the morning at the hospital. They were kept for around four hours for observation and discharged from the hospital in the evening. They will be administered the second vaccine after a month.

“So far, we have selected 20 volunteers, including three women. None of them are related to our institute. They underwent RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) and antibody tests as per the guidelines. To avoid any health complications, we have selected young volunteers,” said an official, who is a part of the clinical trial at the hospital.

On Friday, three male volunteers have been administered the first dosage of the vaccine at KEM Hospital, while on Monday five participants were given the drug. In addition to this, 15 more volunteers have been selected by the hospital. “We are flooded with queries from citizens [who wish to volunteer] since Saturday. We have given waiting numbers to each of them. Everyday, we will call two-three people for medical check-ups,” said an official from KEM Hospital.

Each of the two hospitals will have to conduct the trial on 100 participants. They are expected to finish the selection process by the middle of October.

The vaccine induces a strong immune response. It provokes a T-cell (white blood cells that can attack cells infected with Covid-19) response within 14 days of vaccination and an antibody response within 28 days.

In the second week of September, both the hospitals had to halt the trial after a participant developed an adverse reaction in the United Kingdom. Later, the Drug Control General of India (DCGI) gave the permission to run the second and third phases of the trial. However, both the civic hospitals had to get the final approval from their ethics committees before starting with the screening of the volunteers.

Meanwhile, Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) – which is the world’s largest manufacturer of vaccines in terms of volume –partnered with and British-Swedish pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca to manufacture the experimental Covid-19 vaccine candidate formulated at the University of Oxford.

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