Human trials of Covid vaccine begin at PGIMS, initial response encouraging

Final results of trials would be known in about six months, says Prof O. P. Kalra

Sunit Dhawan

Tribune News Service

Rohtak, July 17

The human trials of the country’s first indigenous Covid vaccine began at the Rohtak PGIMS on Friday. The vaccine was administered on three healthy persons in the age-group of 30-40 years who volunteered for the purpose.

University of Health Sciences Vice-Chancellor Prof O.P.Kalra (right) addresses a news conference to announce the conduct of human trials of Covid vaccine at Rohtak PGIMS on Friday. Photo: Manoj Dhaka

Rohtak PGIMS is among the 12 health institutes across the country where the human trials of the Covid vaccine being developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech are being conducted.

Prof (Dr) O.P.Kalra, the Vice-Chancellor of Pt Bhagwat Dayal Sharma University of Health Sciences, Rohtak, stated that the initial response of the vaccine was encouraging as none of the three patients showed any immediate adverse effects after being administered the vaccine.

“The vaccine will now be given to 10 persons and all of them would be observed on a regular basis. Then, in the second phase, the vaccine will be given to more persons and its dosage would also be increased,” Professor Kalra said while addressing a news conference here today.

He maintained that the final results of the human trials of the Covid vaccine would be known in about six months, though the initial indications would start emerging within two to three months.

Dr M.C.Gupta, Head of the Department of Pharmacology at the PGIMS, disclosed that the effect of the vaccine would be assessed in two ways: the generation of antibodies after the administration of the vaccine and any adverse reaction caused by it.

Dr Savita Verma, the Principal Investigator of the project, appealed to the healthy young persons to come forward and volunteer for the human trials of the Covid vaccine so that the trials could be completed timely. The persons desirous of volunteering for the cause can get themselves registered by calling on PGIMS Covid helpline no. 9416447071, she added.

Dr Dhruva Chaudhry, State Nodal Officer (Covid-19) and co-investigator of the project, asserted that despite the fast-tracking of the human trials of the Covid vaccine owing to its urgent necessity, the safety of the volunteers as well as patients would remain the primary concern.

Dr Ramesh Verma, another co-investigator of the project, said the human trials of the vaccine being would be conducted on 375 persons in the first phase and 750 persons in the second phase.

The PGIMS Director, Dr Rohtash K Yadav, Medical Superintendent Dr M.G.Vashishth and Covid Control Room in-charge Dr Varun Arora and Dr Amrish were also present.

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