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COVID-19 vaccine human trials likely in two weeks: Chandigarh’s PGIMER to begin volunteer recruitment

Chandigarh’s Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research is among 17 sites in India participating in second and third phases of clinical trials of Covishield, the vaccine candidate developed jointly by Oxford University and AstraZeneca.

August 23, 2020 / 08:44 AM IST
Representative image

Representative image

The Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) is expected to start recruiting healthy individuals for clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccine candidates in two weeks.

PGIMER is likely to issuing an advertisement calling healthy individuals to volunteer, according to a report by The Tribune. The advertisement will list the eligibility criteria for volunteers. The institute is likely to induct 300 volunteers.

The news report adds that potential volunteers must be above 18 years of age and should not have been infected by COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

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The PGIMER is likely to recruit volunteers only from Chandigarh so that they can be called to the institute for follow-ups easily. Participants will not have to get admitted.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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The Serum Institute of India (SII) is conducting phase-III clinical trials for its vaccine candidate Covishield, developed jointly by University of Oxford and AstraZeneca. PGIMER is among 17 sites across India participating in the second and third phases of human clinical trials of the vaccine candidate.

In July, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi had launched a similar campaign to enrol volunteers for human trials for Covaxin, the indigenous COVID-19 vaccine candidate. Covaxin is being developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Institute of Virology (NIV).

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Moneycontrol News
first published: Aug 23, 2020 08:44 am

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