Experimental coronavirus vaccine makes its way to human trials

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Experimental coronavirus vaccine makes its way to human trials

How does Covaxin work? Everything you need to know

Tuesday, 21st July 2020

Experimental coronavirus vaccine, Covaxin developed by Bharat Biotech has made its way to human trials at All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi this week.


The volunteers will be screened in phase I of the Covaxin trial and will be given a dose of the vaccine this week. Other sites throughout India will adopt the same procedure to test the effectiveness of Covaxin.



Bharat Biotech, in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research developed this vaccine candidate that might be capable of treating Covid-19 disease. The vaccine consists of coronavirus particles treated in a lab and are inhibited to cause an infection.


The immune system is taught to identify and fight coronavirus when the vaccine is put into the body without letting the virus cause any infection.


The isolated strain of the virus was transported to Bharat Biotech in May 2020. Bharat Biotech attempted to ‘weaken’ or ‘inactivate’ the virus strain. This was done at a Bio-Safety Level 3 facility in Hyderabad’s Genome Valley.


The pre-clinical studies were concluded in late June, Bharat Biotech had said. The government then gave the green signal to the company to conduct human trials.  


Human trials of the vaccine have already started since this weekend. AIIMS-New Delhi has started screening the volunteers after AIIMS-New Delhi's Ethics Committee approved for human trials. This week, participants are going to be given a dose of Covaxin. This method is to take place at 11 more hospitals in the country after their respective Ethics Committees give approval.


The government has given permission to Bharat Biotech for both phases I and II human trials. The company is at phase I currently.


  • In phase I, the scientists are going to check if the vaccine is safe to be tested on more number of people.
  • In phase II, the scientists are going to check if the vaccine is capable of triggering immune response against coronavirus.
  • In phase III, all the aspects of Covaxin will be put to test and if the vaccine clears the final trial, it will be made available for the people to use. However, the timeline hasn’t yet been announced for the last phase.


350 volunteers will be participating in the phase I trials across the nation out of which, 100 will be a part of AIIMS-Delhi trial, reported PTI on 18th of June. Phase II will have 750 participants across the country. People in both the phases will be categorized into four groups- three groups will be given one of the three formulations of Covaxin and one group will receive a Japanese encephalitis vaccine already developed and tested by Bharat Biotech. However, no volunteer will know which formulation is being administered to them.



Source: India Today 



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