Pune: In a major development, the Phase II human trials of Oxford University’s coronavirus vaccine, manufactured at the Serum Institute of India, in Pune started on Tuesday, with the first dose of vaccine administered to six participants at the Bharati Vidyapeeth Medical College and Hospital in Pune on Wednesday.
Dr Sanjay Lalvani said, “These two volunteers were given a dose of 0.5 ml. The vaccine has been produced at the Serum Institute of India project in Pune. The doctor gave a dose of vaccine to two eligible volunteers. This dose was given after the necessary medical examination.”
He added, “These two volunteers will have to be kept for a few hours in the hospital for observation to see if the vaccine has any side effects. Doctors will be monitoring the health of these volunteers for the next few days. A second dose of such a vaccine will be given after a span of 28 days.”
The testing process for the vaccine began on Tuesday on three men and a woman were examined on Tuesday as part of the pilot testing process. The vaccine was developed by the Jenner Institute at Oxford University. The vaccine will be administered in India under the brand name 'Covishield'.
Serum has signed an agreement with British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca to make around one billion doses of the vaccine in the country. On August 3, the Drug Controller General of India allowed Serum to undergo human testing in Phases two and three.
The vaccine will be tested in 17 medical institutes in India. These include KEM Hospital in Parel and BYL Nair Hospital in Mumbai Central run by the Mumbai based Municipal Corporations.