Don’t expect Covaxin news on 15 August, says Bharat Biotech, phase 1 of ICMR trial still on

Medics and hospital staff applaud as patients who recovered from Covid-19 prepare to leave Krishna Hospital in Karad, Maharashtra, on 10 June 2020 | PTI File Photo

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New Delhi: There are no plans to announce the results of phase one of the Covaxin trials on 15 August, ThePrint has learnt.

Phase one of the Covaxin trials — the Covid-19 vaccine being developed by Bharat Biotech and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) — are still underway in at least eight of the 12 trial sites, with phase two expected to begin in the first few weeks of September.

The Covaxin trials became a point of controversy last month when ICMR chief Dr Balram Bhargava wrote a letter addressed to the 12 sites, telling them the ICMR hoped to “launch the vaccine for public health use latest by 15 August 2020 after completion of all clinical trials”.

The ICMR later clarified that the purpose of the letter was to expedite the trial process so results of phase one could be ready by 15 August.

Bharat Biotech, however, has denied having prepared an announcement related to the vaccine trials for Saturday.

“We have not prepared any document or announcement regarding the vaccine for tomorrow,” Sheela Panicker, spokesperson for Bharat Biotech told ThePrint.

The 12 vaccine trial sites are AIIMS Delhi, AIIMS Patna, Gillurkar Multispeciality Hospital (Nagpur, Maharashtra), the Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital (Bhubaneshwar, Odisha), Jeevan Rekha Hospital (Belgaum, Karnataka), King George Hospital (Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh), Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (Hyderabad, Telangana), PGIMS (Rohtak, Haryana), Prakhar Hospital (Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh), Rana Hospital and Trauma Center (Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh), Redkar Hospital and Research Centre (Goa), and SRM Hospital & Research Center (Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu).

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