Oxford-Astrazeneca COVID-19 Vaccine: Phase II trials will begin in India today

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  • Serum Institute of India will begin human trials of Oxford-AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate in India today.
  • The hospital has been given a target of enlisting 300 to 350 volunteers. Those chosen for receiving a dose of vaccine will be in the age group of 18 to 99 years.
  • The other site for phase 2 trial in Pune, BJ Medical College, is ready and waiting for the vaccine candidate to arrive. The human trials there are set to begin there next week.
  • On successful completion of the trials at all sites, the vaccine will be launched under the brand name “Covishield”
Serum Institute of India will begin human trials of Oxford-AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate in India today at Bharti Vidyapeeth Medical College and Hospital in Pune.

"To start with we have identified five volunteers who will undergo COVID-19 and antibodies tests. Those whose reports are negative will be shortlisted for vaccination on Wednesday," told Dr Sanjay Lalwani, Medical Director, Bharti Vidyapeeth''s Medical College and Hospital and Research Centre PTI.

The hospital has been given a target of enlisting 300 to 350 volunteers. Those chosen for receiving a dose of vaccine will be in the age group of 18 to 99 years.

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The other site for phase 2 trial in Pune, BJ Medical College — to which the Sassoon General Hospital is attached — is ready and waiting for the vaccine candidate to arrive. The human trials there are set to begin there next week.

SII has selected 14 locations for the trial —
The ICMR-Regional Medical Research Centre, GorakhpurBharti Vidyapeeth''s Medical College and Hospital and Research Centre. Jehangir Clinical Development Centre
Andhra Medical College in Visakhapatnam JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research in Mysuru. BJ Medical College
AIIMS in DelhiRajendra Memorial Research Institute of Medical Sciences (RMRIMS) in PatnaNehru Hospital in Gorakhpur
PGIMER in ChandigarhABJ Medical College in PuneAIIMS in Jodhpur
The King Edward Memorial (KEM) in MumbaiNair Hospital in Mumbai


The vaccine will be launched under the brand name “Covishield” once the trials are successfully completed at all the sites.
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SII has signed two agreements for the supply of Covid-19 vaccines, the first being AstraZeneca-Oxford's candidate, for which the company has agreed to produce up to 1 billion doses for low and middle-income countries. The Oxford University vaccine candidate has received permission to start phase-two and three trials in India earlier this month.

The Serum Institute of India would introduce candidate vaccines from AstraZeneca and Novavax for COVID-19 at less than ₹250 per dose in India. The Pune-based institute partnered with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to offer up to 100 million doses, with the price capped at $3 for 92 low and middle-income countries (LMIC), including India.

According to SII, the vaccines will be available as early as the first half of 2021 after gaining approvals and qualifications from the World Health Organization (WHO). If successful, Novavax's candidate will be available to all 92 countries, while AstraZeneca's candidate vaccine will be available to 57 Gavi-eligible countries.
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