The process for human trial of the Covid-19 vaccine that Bharat Biotech has developed formally began at a private hospital in Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur. The first set of participants, who have cleared the screening process, will be vaccinated on Thursday or Friday under medical supervision.
Prakhar Hospital, one of the two facilities chosen for testing the coronavirus vaccine in Uttar Pradesh, has 36 volunteers between the age group of 18 and 55 years. Five of the volunteers are women and two are 20-year-olds.
Coming from diverse backgrounds, the volunteers also include sportspersons. “They are mostly from middle class background and all of them registered on their own volition as they want to contribute to the experiment that can help mankind in these trying hours,” said Dr JS Kushwaha, chairman of the hospital.
All 36 volunteers on Monday underwent a comprehensive process of determining their health status, which needs to fit in the parametres the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) has defined. Their blood samples and swabs were taken and sent to the ICMR certified laboratory for RT-PCR and anti-body test.
“On the basis of these reports, the vaccine will be given to them at the hospital positively by Thursday or Friday,” said Kushwaha. The hospital will conduct the human trials in two phases on 100 volunteers.
“People are regularly calling us and seek details of the process they will have to follow. Even today we got four calls from people, two of them women, and they wanted to be part of this trial,” he said.
Before the vaccine is given, the hospital will insure the volunteers meet all the specified conditions. A team of specialists, led by a doctor from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), will administer the vaccine and monitor the health parametres for a period of two hours at the hospital before the volunteers are allowed to leave.
The team will collect the blood samples on the 14th day and then on 28th day, these samples would be sent to the ICMR certified laboratory for the test.
Kushwaha said the hospital is well-equipped for such trials and has conducted similar trials for Rotavirus and Pentavalent vaccines in the past.
The hospital has received the go-ahead from the Data and Safety Monitoring Board and Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation to commence the trial. Kushwaha appealed to the people that they should come forward and get involved in the trial.