Three more volunteers have been administered the COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca and produced in India by Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII). Dr Sunita Palkar, in-charge of the research cell at Bharti Vidyapeeth's Medical College and Hospital, said that two male and one female were administered with ‘Covishield’ after their reports of RT-PCR test for COVID-19 and antibody test came negative.
When the vaccine is injected into a body, the vaccine enters cells and start producing coronavirus spike protein. The spike protein prompts the immune system to produce antibodies and trigger T-cells to destroy the infected cells. If the individual encounters the novel coronavirus, the antibodies and T-cells are activated to fight the virus.
Earlier on August 26, the medical college and hospital administered two volunteers with ‘Covishield’ as three of the five volunteers tested positive for antibodies. The medical facility's deputy medical director Dr Jitendra Oswal reportedly said that the vital health parameters of the two volunteers are normal.
"Since yesterday, our medical team is in touch with the two volunteers and both are fine. They do not have any pain, fever, injection-side reaction or systemic illness post-vaccination," he said.
SII has initiated phase 2 and 3 of trials for evaluating the response in terms of safety and immunity of the vaccine in healthy Indian adults, after receiving approval from the Drugs Controller General of India (DGCI). The study will consist of 1,600 participants of equal to or more than 18 years of age.
Apart from Pune's Bharti Vidyapeeth, B J Medical College Hospital in Pune, AIIMS Delhi, Rajendra Memorial Research Institute of Medical Sciences in Patna, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh, Nehru Hospital in Gorakhpur and Andhra Medical College in Visakhapatnam have been shortlisted to hold trials. AstraZeneca entered into separate agreements with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi the Vaccine Alliance, and the Serum Institute of India (SII) to bring the vaccine to low and middle-income countries and beyond.
(With PTI inputs)