COVID-19 vaccine: Covaxin trial to begin at AIIMS; Dr Randeep Guleria doesn’t rule out community transmission

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Published: July 20, 2020 6:21 PM

In the last 24 hours, India witnessed the sharpest rise to date in the number of coronavirus cases with an addition of more than 40,000 cases.

Dr. Randeep Guleria ruled out the chance of community transmission across the country on account of a lack of sufficient evidence. (ANI image)

COVID-19 vaccine, Covaxin trial: India is all set to commence the trial of the indigenous vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the National Institute of Virology (NIV). At the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), phase 1 trial of the vaccine named Covaxin will be carried out on people in the age bracket of 18-55 years without any comorbidities that may put their life at risk against coronavirus infection.

Announcing the details of the Covaxin trial, AIIMS Director Dr. Randeep Guleria said that a total of 375 samples out of 1125 samples collected for the Covaxin trial will be used in the first phase while the remaining 750 samples will be tried in the second phase where people in the age group of 12 to 65 years will be recruited.

Bharat Biotech has developed Covaxin in partnership with NIV at its high-containment facility (Biosafety Level 3) at Genome Valley, Hyderabad. The phase 1 trial of Covaxin was delayed owing to a lack of approval from the ethics committee. Reportedly, Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Rohtak, and AIIMS Patna are the other two major medical institutions in the country besides AIIMS Delhi to take part in the first phase of human trials for the Coronavirus vaccine developed in India.

Addressing the question of Coronavirus peak in India, Dr. Guleria said that it is possible that certain areas such as the national capital Delhi have already hit a peak as the number of coronavirus cases has dropped significantly. However, he added that certain areas in the country are yet to see the crest of the coronavirus crisis, and the states that are witnessing a surge in cases currently will have a peak of coronavirus infection a bit late.

Deciphering the significantly lower mortality rate in India, Dr. Guleria pointed out that not only India but the whole Southeast has fared better against the coronavirus pandemic until now, than European nations such as Italy, Spain, or the United States in terms of Covid mortality rate.

On the highly contentious issue of the stage of coronavirus outbreak in the country, Dr. Guleria said the possibility of community transmission can not be ruled out, especially in the cities where cases have increased in large numbers in hotspots. He, however, ruled out the chance of community transmission across the country on account of a lack of sufficient evidence.

In the last 24 hours, India witnessed the sharpest rise to date in the number of coronavirus cases with an addition of more than 40,000 cases. The latest addition takes the national tally of coronavirus cases past 11 lakh-mark with death toll approaching 28,000. India, now, is the third-worst affected country by the coronavirus pandemic, after the United States of America and Brazil.

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