Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) and Bharat Biotech jointly have developed India's very own COVID-19 vaccine named Covaxin.
Here's everything you need to know about this vaccine that will be tested on 375 people in phase 1 trial and on 750 people in the subsequent phase.
What exactly is Covaxin?
Covaxin is a vaccine candidate which has been developed by Bharat Biotech India (BBIL) to fight coronavirus. It was developed in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research’s National Institute of Virology (NIV). The vaccine is India’s first ever candidate to have gone into human clinical trials. The trails are meant to start all across the country in July.
How was Covaxin created?
NIV isolated a strain of the coronavirus from an asymptomatic Covid-19 patient and transferred it to BBIL in early may. Then the firm used the strain to work on developing an “inactivated” vaccine. By inactivation, it refers to a dead virus that the vaccine uses. The company said:
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. The inactivated vaccines usually have a better safety record.
What is the next step?
BBIL has been given approvals for starting testing on humans through phase 1 and 2 clinical trials. This news certainly brings in hope as India is closer to finalising a domestically developed Covid-19 vaccine for its population. It also comes at a time when the country is only getting closer to hitting its peak.
How many stages of approval till the vaccine enters the market?
With the vaccine, after the approval from the regulatory authorities, the firm continues monitoring the use of its vaccine on humans. After that, they will submit post-marketing surveillance details which include checks for long-term unintended adverse effects of the product. Once all these processes are completed, the licensing of the vaccines will begin followed by its distribution.