Coronavirus | Two Chennai institutes to participate in Oxford’s COVID-19 vaccine trials

The clinical trial will recruit 300 persons in all, says Health Minister C. Vijayabaskar

The clinical trial of Oxford University’s COVID-19 vaccine – Covishield – will be launched at two institutions in Chennai – Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (RGGGH) and Sri Ramachandra Institute of Higher Education and Research (SRIHER), Porur. The trial will recruit 300 persons in all, according to Health Minister C. Vijayabaskar.

In a press release issued on Wednesday, he said studies on the vaccine’s efficacy were on full swing. As a part of this, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Drug Controller General of India selected Chennai to take up the vaccine trial. The Director of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Government of Tamil Nadu was appointed as principal investigator. It would engage healthy individuals above 18 years of age.

It would be jointly carried out by the National Institute of Research in Tuberculosis, Chennai and ICMR. The Minister told reporters that the trial was all set to begin in the city. Official sources said the vaccine’s safety would be tested at RGGGH, while the immunogenicity would be evaluated at SRIHER. Each institute would have 150 participants each.

The Minister, in the release, said that the vaccine stimulated T-cell response in the body in 14 days. These T-cells, which are white blood cells, attacked the cells infected by coronavirus. The vaccine prompted antibody response in 28 days. Following the second phase, the third phase of trial would be conducted, and it is expected that the vaccine would be brought to use soon, he said.

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