Pune, September 19: The phase-III human clinical trial of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University and being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII) will begin at the Sassoon General Hospital in Pune next week. Dean of the state-run Sassoon General Hospital Dr Muralidhar Tambe told this to PTI on Saturday.
"The phase-III trial of 'Covishield' vaccine will begin at Sassoon hospital from next week. It is likely to start on Monday. Some volunteers have already come forward for the trial. Around 150 to 200 volunteers will be administered the vaccine candidate dose," he said. COVID-19 Vaccine Covishield, Developed by Oxford University-AstraZeneca, Faces Ire of Muslim, Christian Clerics in Australia Over Use of Fetal Cells.
"From Saturday, the hospital started enrolling volunteers for the trial. Those who are willing to volunteer for the vaccination should contact the hospital," he said.
Under phase-II, trials were conducted at Bharti Vidyapeeth Medical College and also KEM Hospital in the city. The SII has partnered with British-Swedish pharma company AstraZeneca for manufacturing the COVID-19 vaccine candidate, developed by the University of Oxford. Earlier this month, the SII had paused the clinical trials of the vaccine candidate in the country.
The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) had on September 11 directed the SII to suspend any new recruitment in the phase-II and III clinical trial of the vaccine till further orders after AstraZeneca paused the trials in other countries because of "an unexplained illness" in a participant in the study. However, on September 15, the DCGI gave permission to the SII to resume clinical trial of the vaccine.