01/5​Coronavirus vaccine India: Phase II human trials of COVAXIN started at Nagpur hospital; here is everything you need to know

​Coronavirus vaccine India: Phase II human trials of COVAXIN started at Nagpur hospital; here is everything you need to know

Even as the novel coronavirus continues to wreak havoc across the world (20,552,811 coronavirus cases and 7,46,644 fatalities till date), scientists and medical experts are working against the clock to develop a cure to curb the spread of the pandemic. Currently, there are more than 160 vaccine candidates being developed by researchers across the world and 27 out of these have reached the human trials stage.

While Russia became the first nation to register the world’s first coronavirus vaccine today, India is also making great strides in the development of ingenious vaccines to fight the highly infectious disease. As per recent reports, Phase II of human trials of India’s first experimental COVID vaccine have kickstarted in Nagpur.

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02/5​Everything you need to know about Phase II trials of Covaxin

​Everything you need to know about Phase II trials of Covaxin

India’s first homegrown coronavirus vaccine ‘Covaxin’ has been jointly developed by Hyderabad based Bharat Biotech in collaboration Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Institute of Virology (NIV). Phase I trials of Covaxin have already begun in AIIMS and Post-Graduate Institute (PGI) of Medical Sciences in Rohtak, after procuring regulatory approvals by the Drug Controller General of India.

While 12 medical institutes across the nation were given the go-ahead to conduct human trials the homegrown vaccine, in a significant progress Phase 2 human trials of Covaxin have started at the Gillurkar Hospital and Research Institute in Nagpur.

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03/5​What happens in Phase II of human trials

​What happens in Phase II of human trials

For the unversed, developing a vaccine is an extensive, long and complex process which usually takes several years to complete. However, owing to the scale of the pandemic, scientists across the world are working at breakneck speed to develop a jab for novel coronavirus. Even then, the vaccine candidate needs to undergo three crucial phases of human trials to test its safety and efficacy.

While Phase I is conducted on 80 to 100 people to figure out how the body reacts to the vaccine and understand the dose range, Phase II of clinical trials involve dosing hundreds of volunteers with the vaccine candidate, to gather more information about the side-effects and immune system response generated by the vaccine.

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04/5​How was India’s first indigenous vaccine developed

​How was India’s first indigenous vaccine developed

Covaxin has been developed using the inactive particles of the novel coronavirus, making it an inactivated vaccine. As per a statement by Bharat Biotech, “Once the vaccine is injected into a human, it has no potential to infect or replicate since it is a killed virus. It just serves to the immune system as a dead virus and mounts an antibody response towards the virus.”

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05/5​Other vaccines under development in India

​Other vaccines under development in India

Currently, 7 Indian companies are working on an effective jab to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus. Drugmaker Zydus Cadila has also started human dosing of its vaccine candidate 'ZyCoV-D' and is aiming to complete it in the next 7 months. Others include Panacea Biotec, Indian Immunologicals, Mynvax and Biological E.

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