India On Its Way To Develop Indigenous Covid-19 Vaccine
After India has made a mark in marketing the first experimental preventive Covid-19 drug, it is on its way to develop its own indigenous vaccine. After the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation has allowed Bharat Boitech India (BBIL) to start human trials, Covaxin might become the first Indian vaccine candidate to prevent the spread of corona virus.
The human clinical trials are scheduled to start from July 2020. The trials will be conducted as a part of the collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research’s National Institute of Virology (NIV).
The vaccine has been developed using the strain of the infection itself like in all other cases, where a vaccine essentially works to develop antibodies in the recipient’s body to fight the contraction of the original virus. Playing its part, NIV had isolated a strain of the virus from an asymptomatic Covid-19 patient in May. They then transferred it to BBIL.
The effectiveness of the vaccine comes from the fact that it has been developed from an inactivated virus that once injected will only boost the immune system but does not affect a healthy body with the virus itself.
The first sample has already been tested on animals for its levels of safety and the results have been good. Human trials will be carried out in two phases. The first phase will be conducted on a small group of individuals. This will help to calibrate the dosage of the vaccine to be used to see how much needs to be administered to effectively build immunity to the virus. It will also check for any side effects.
The second phase will be conducted on a larger group comprising hundreds of persons fitting the description of those for whom the vaccine is intended using characteristics like age and sex. This phase tests how effective the vaccine is on the population group being studied.
Additionally, companies like Panacea are in pre-clinical stage of trails. It is not clear as of now if Zydus and Serum have completed their preclinical studies and have also applied to CDSCO for approval to conduct human trials yet. However all these companies are trying to develop an indigenous form of the Covid-19 preventive vaccine.