Covaxin, Our First “Make in India” Covid-19 Vaccine, Starts Human Trials. Is It Time to Cheer Yet?


Covaxin, Our First “Make in India” Covid-19 Vaccine, Starts Human Trials. Is It Time to Cheer Yet?

Illustration: Robin Chakraborty

It’s been three months since the coronavirus pandemic was declared, leaving researchers and scientists across the world scrambling to find a cure. India is now prepared to jump into that race, with a Hyderabad-based company recently getting approval to start human clinical trials for “Covaxin” its potential Covid-19 vaccine.

The “inactive vaccine” is being developed by Bharat Biotech in tandem with the Indian Council of Medical Research. Covaxin received the Drug Controller General of India’s go-ahead to conduct the first two phases of clinical trials in July.

Results of these two phases are expected by October, following which further tests will be conducted. But already early studies have been “promising” and show “extensive safety and effective immune responses, the company has said in a statement.

The first indegenous vaccine, if found successful, will go a long way in eliminating the virus in infected patients, which currently stands at over 2 lakh.

While this is India’s first attempt to eliminate Covid-19, over 100 such vaccines are said to be in development around the world, 17 of which have entered the human trial phase.

Still, according to the Business Standard, it’s important that every country develops its own, since once the vaccines are properly trialled, they will be administered to patients in their countries of origin first.

Experts have also said that it’s important that at least half a dozen of these vaccines show success in human trials, so we can successfully meet global demands.

Of course, it may be a few months until the results of the studies are released, but given the recent surge in cases back home, the news has sparked some hope that we could soon see a “Make in India” vaccine put an end to the pandemic once and for all.