The Phase 2 human trials of Oxford University’s Covid-19 vaccine, manufactured at the Pune-based Serum Institute of India, began on Tuesday, with the first dose of vaccine set to be administered to six trial participants at the Bharati Vidyapeeth Medical College and Hospital in Pune on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, as part of the process, the three men and women each were screened. They will be administered the vaccine if their RT-PCR and antibody test reports are clear.
“We are enrolling six persons for the trial, and the screening process is underway. Their RT-PCR and antibody tests are being conducted. If the reports are favorable, the vaccine doses will be administered,” Dr. Sanjay Lalwani, medical director of Bharati Vidyapeeth’s medical college and hospital, confirmed
The vaccine candidate, developed by Jenner Institute of Oxford University, will be launched under the brand name “Covishield” in India. The Serum Institute has tied up with British-Swedish pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca to produce 1 billion doses of the vaccine in the country.
The vaccine is made from a weakened version of a common cold, adenovirus, taken from chimpanzees, and genetically modified. The vaccine candidate – ChadOx1NcOV – has shown encouraging results in early human trials, according to experts. Results of the Phase 1/2 trial, published in ‘The Lancet’ medical journal, shows that the vaccine had induced strong immune response.