This happened a fortnight before the Indian Council for Medical Research wrote to 12 hospitals and medical institutions to speed up the trial process of Bharat Biotech's vaccine and to launch Covaxin by August 15 for public use.
China is forging ahead in the race to develop a vaccine to help control the COVID-19 pandemic, with Sinovac Biotech's SVA.O experimental vaccine set to become the country's second and the world's third to enter final stage testing later this month.
Given that the coronavirus is spreading in the country at an exponential rate, people are waiting for the vaccine to be available soon.
Several clinician-researchers said they found the letter surprising because, as a doctor-researcher involved in past clinical trials, Bhargava would be expected to grasp the complexity of assessing a brand-new medicine or vaccine - something that typically takes years. Volunteers will be administered two intramuscular shots. "However, as a body of scientists-including many who are engaged in vaccine development-IASc strongly believes that the announced timeline is unfeasible.This timeline has raised unrealistic hope and expectations in the minds of our citizens", stated a statement issued by Partha P Mujumder of behalf of the Council and Fellowship of IASc. Meanwhile, Soumya Swaminathan, chief scientist at the World Health Organization, said there will be one or more safe and efficacious vaccines by next year. The virus causes deadly Covid-19 disease officially known as SARS-COV-2 and as of now, there is no cure.
Moderna - which has never produced an approved drug or vaccine ― has squabbled with government scientists over its planned Phase 3 clinical trial, delayed delivering trial protocols, and resisted experts' advice on how to run the study, three unidentified sources familiar with the vaccine project told Reuters.
Kolkata: Flights to Kolkata from six major cities, including Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai, will remain suspended for two weeks in view of the spurt in Covid cases in the state.
The trial will start "most probably" by Monday, said C. Prabhakar Reddy, a professor in Hyderabad's Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences - one of the trial sites that received ICMR's letter.
"IASc welcomes the exciting development of a candidate vaccine and wishes that the vaccine is quickly made available for public use".
Bharat Biotech, in a background note circulated, stated that the first two phases of clinical trials of Coronavirus vaccine can not be out before October.
"Faced with unprecedented nature of the Covid-19 pandemic, all other vaccine candidates across the globe have been similarly fast-tracked". The antibodies produced by the vaccine can completely neutralize the wild-type virus in the virus neutralization evaluation, indicating that the candidate vaccine has protective potential, Zydus of Cadila Healthcare Ltd. said in the statement.