Bengal to start first clinical trial of Covid vaccine

Bengal’s first clinical trial of a Covid-19 vaccine may begin in December

Speaking to DH, the Director of NICED Shanta Dutta said that they had recently got the approval for conducting the trial of Covaxin

Representative image. Credit: iStock

West Bengal is all set for the first clinical trial of a Covid-19 vaccine in the state. The phase III clinical trial of the indigenous Covaxin will be conducted at the National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED) in Kolkata.

Speaking to DH, the Director of NICED Shanta Dutta said that they had recently got the approval for conducting the trial of Covaxin.

“If everything goes according to plan then we will start the phase III clinical trial of Covaxin by early December,” said Dutta. She also said that the trial would be conducted on 1,000 volunteers. While half of the volunteers would be administered with the vaccine, others would be given a placebo.

Dutta said that during the observation period the health condition of the volunteers would be monitored over the phone as well as through visits to their residences.

She also said that as per the agreement the study volunteers could not leave the address they would officially submit as it would be difficult to monitor their health conditions if they went far from their residences.

However, the selection of volunteers is yet to be completed. “Several people have contacted us expressing interest to be study volunteers. We are thinking of selecting volunteers among them,” said Dutta.

Earlier the College of Medicine and Sagar Dutta Medical College in Kolkata was expected to conduct phase II clinical trials of the Russian made Sputnik V vaccine. However, Health Department sources said that the hospital was yet to receive approval from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI).