CHENNAI: Phase I human trials for Covaxin, an indigenous vaccine against Covid-19, began at the SRM Medical College Hospital and Research Centre in Tamil Nadu on Thursday.
The research centre started screening volunteers for the trials on Monday. An official at the Research Centre confirmed that the trial started on Thursday with two volunteers being given doses of Covaxin.
Explaining that volunteers needed to test negative for COVID before participating in the trial, the official said screening was still going on. “They are subjected to several tests and are selected only if their test reports are normal," the official said.
Covaxin is derived from a strain of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid, isolated by the Indian Council for Medical Research -National Institute of Virology, Pune.
The ICMR partnered with Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL) to fast-track clinical trials of the vaccine (BBV152 Covid vaccine). It also gave approval for 12 institutions in India to conduct phase I and phase II human trials. The SRM Research Centre is the only institution in Tamil Nadu to get ICMR approval for the same.