Under-trial Covaxin given to 100 imminent personalities

Under-trial Covaxin given to 100 imminent personalities

The indigenously under-development Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin, which is currently under Phase 3 trials has been administered to over 100 imminent personalities, claimed an administrator connected to the trials.

Chaitanya Adikesavalu, of Clintrac International Private Limited, a research company monitoring the clinical trials, told the media on Saturday that 14 ministers plus an unspecified number of IPS officers had been vaccinated. 

Dr Rajesh Naidu, Managing Director of Clintrac confirmed to DH that ministers had been vaccinated but clarified that that so had housewives, laborers, students, IT professionals, and others. “The Covaxin trial is India-wide and we need a large number of people to get involved,” Dr Naidu said.

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He added that the trial run which is set to enter its second dose on December 30, seeks a total of 26,000 volunteers nationwide, across 25 sites, as per a requirement set out by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). The trial’s first dose of Phase III trials was administered on December 1.

However, the Covaxin trials run in Bengaluru have run into a lack of engagement from Bengalureans. “I expected about 1,500 volunteers to sign up for the trial in the first week considering that the city has a vibrant volunteer spirit, but was surprised by the limited turnout,” Dr Naidu said.

How limited? According to a source at the Vydehi Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre (VIMSRC) only 262 volunteers have come forward so far.

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Dr Naidu added that 800 people had registered to participate in the Vydehi trials, including several out-of-staters. At the same time, several insiders declined to comment on ministers and IPS officers being administered the vaccine. Dr K M Srinivas Murthy, Director of VIMSRC said that the trial is anonymized, which he said meant that Vydehi does not have access to the volunteer list. 

“That information is held by ICMR. We do not know details about who is coming to be vaccinated,” he said.

“The outlook for Covaxin is good. Just recently, the ICMR said that data reveals the ‘impressive safety and immunogenicity profile of Covaxin. Unlike other vaccines which need deep freezer storage, Covaxin can be stored in temperatures of 3 to 8 degrees centigrade,” he added.

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