Visakhapatnam: The Indian Council for Medical Research has selected the King George Hospital (KGH) in Vizag, the oldest government hospital in Andhra Pradesh, to conduct human clinical trials for potential COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin. KGH is one of the 12 medical institutes in India and the only one from Andhra Pradesh chosen for the clinical trials.
ICMR plans to launch the vaccine on 15 August. It has partnered with Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL) to conduct the trials. The BBIL is using the virus strain isolated at ICMR’s National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune to develop the vaccine.
The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation had, recently, given permission for phase I and II human clinical trials of Covaxin, making it the country’s first COVID-19 vaccine to get such approval.
KGH is the only institute from Andhra Pradesh to make it to the list of 12 medical institutes chosen by the ICMR for the clinical trials. Apart from IMS and SUM hospital, other institutes selected for the clinical trial are located in Visakhapatnam, Rohtak, New Delhi, Patna, Belgaum (Karnataka), Nagpur, Gorakhpur, Kattankulathur (Tamil Nadu), Hyderabad, Arya Nagar, Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh), and Goa.
In a letter to the 12 institutes, the ICMR said that it plans to launch the vaccine latest by 15 August after completion of all clinical trials. BBIL is working expeditiously to meet the deadline. However, the final outcome will depend on the cooperation of all institutes involved in the clinical trials.