By S VENKAT NARAYAN
The ICMR said that it is envisaged to launch the vaccine for public health use latest by August 15, after completion of all clinical trials.
ICMR has partnered with Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL) for clinical trials of indigenous vaccine ‘Covaxin’ for the coronavirus disease.
The 12 institutes selected for the clinical trial are located in Visakhapatnam, Rohtak, New Delhi, Patna, Belgaum (Karnataka), Nagpur, Gorakhpur, Kattankulathur (Tamil Nadu), Hyderabad, Arya Nagar, Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh), Goa, and Bhubaneswar-based Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital.
ICMR Director General Dr Balram Bhargava in his letter to principal investigators of the 12 sites said that it is one of the "top priority projects which is being monitored at the top-most level of the government".
"It is envisaged to launch the vaccine for public health use latest by August 15 after completion of all clinical trials " Bhargava said in the letter. A copy of the letter has been sent to the Bharat Biotech.
The indigenous, inactivated vaccine was developed and manufactured in Bharat Biotech’s facility located in Genome Valley in Hyderabad.
Bharat Biotech India Ltd’s covid-19 vaccine ‘Covaxin’ has become the first candidate developed in India to receive the Drug Controller General of India’s (DCGA) approval to enter human trials.
So far, India has two indigenous manufacturers for the potential COVID-19 vaccine. Another potential coronavirus vaccine is indigenously developed by Ahmedabad-based Zydus Cadila Healthcare.
Meanwhile, India reported the highest ever single-day spike of 20,903 COVID-19 cases, according to the data released by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. With this, India’s coronavirus tally has risen to 625,544.