Five volunteers were inoculated with Covishield vaccine at JSS Hospital in Mysuru on Saturday, marking the start of clinical trials in Karnataka of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University and pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.
Pro Chancellor of JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research (JSSAHER) B. Suresh said the trials had begun with five healthy volunteers receiving their first vaccine shots on Saturday. “We will monitor them and see how they respond in the coming days”, he said.
A total of 250 volunteers will be part of the clinical trials taken up by JSSAHER, which is one of the few centres across the country identified by ICMR to carry out clinical phase 2 and 3 trials of the vaccine. JSSAHER is the only centre in Karnataka selected for the clinical trials of Covishield.
Dr. Suresh hoped for “good news” about the success of the vaccine candidate, which is being commercialised by Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII), to come out by November-December this year. The vaccines supplied to JSSAHER for the clinical trials were supplied by SII.
“If he trials are successful, the vaccines will also be available immediately”, he said adding that SII is taking all necessary steps to start making the vaccine available immediately after trials conclude. He said post-marketing trials are also expected to continue.