Five more volunteers were inoculated with the Oxford COVID-19 vaccine candidate in Pune district on Thursday as part of the phase II clinical trial launched in search for an antidote against the viral infection that is showing no signs of abating in the country. Three of the volunteers were administered the Oxford COVID-19 vaccine candidate at Bharti Vidyapeeth's Medical College and Hospital in Pune city, a senior doctor from the medical facility said.
Two more volunteers were inoculated with the Oxford COVID-19 vaccine candidate at the KEM Hospital and Research Centre at Vadu in Shirur tehsil, 30km from Pune, an official said. Earlier, two volunteers, aged 32 and 48, were given a shot of the ''Covishied vaccine, being manufactured by the city-based Serum Institute of India (SII), on Wednesday when the phase II clinical trial of the medicine began at Bharti Vidyapeeth''s Medical College and Hospital.
"On Thursday afternoon, three more volunteers - two females and a male - were administered the vaccine candidate after their reports of RT-PCR test for COVID-19 and antibody test came negative," said Dr Sunita Palkar, in-charge of the research cell at the medical college. Meanwhile, authorities at KEM Hospital and Research Centre at Vadu said five volunteers were screened on Wednesday and reports for COVID-19 and antibody tests came negative for all of them.
"Of these five, two volunteers were given vaccine at the hospital''s Vadhu facility on Thursday," said a senior official from KEM Hospital. Meanwhile, the vital health parameters of the two volunteers, who were administered the Oxford COVID-19 vaccine candidate at Bharti Vidyapeeth's Medical College and Hospital on Wednesday, are normal, the medical facility's deputy medical director Dr Jitendra Oswal said.
"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. "They have been given all the necessary emergency numbers (to contact in case of need) and our medical team is also conducting follow-ups with them," he added.
The vaccine dose will be repeated on both the volunteers after one month, the hospital's medical director Dr Sanjay Lalwani earlier said. He said in all, 25 candidates will be given the vaccine in the next seven days.
SII, the world's largest vaccine maker has signed an agreement to manufacture the potential vaccine developed by the Jenner Institute of Oxford University in collaboration with British-Swedish pharma company AstraZeneca. The race for a COVID-19 vaccine is hotting up even as India continues to see a daily rise in number of positive cases. India''s virus tally has sprinted past the 33 lakh-mark.