India: First COVID-19 Vaccine Likely to Launch by August 15

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The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said that indigenous Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin will likely be launched by August 15 and has asked clinical trials to be put on fast-track.

Covaxin is being developed in partnership with Hyderabad-based company Bharat Biotech India (BBIL) which recently got a nod for phase I and II clinical trials so far.

In an official statement, ICMR Director General, Dr Balram Bhargava, had stated that ICMR envisages the launch of the indigenous Covid-19 vaccine by August 15, reported The Indian Express.

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The ICMR statement stated: “BBIL is working expeditiously to meet the target, however, the final outcome will depend on the cooperation of all clinical trial sites involved in this project. This is the first indigenous vaccine being developed by lndia and is one of the top priority projects which is being monitored at the topmost level of the Government.”

Covaxin is derived from a strain of SARS-CoV-2 isolated by ICMR-National Institute of Virology, Pune. ICMR and BBIL are jointly working for the preclinical as well as clinical development of this vaccine, the ICMR statement further stated.

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With aims to launch the Covid-19 vaccine by August 15, Dr Bhargava has written to the medical institutions chosen for the vaccine’s trials to ensure all phases of testing are put on fast-track.

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