The King George Hospital (KGH) in Vizag is all set to begin vaccine trials of COVID-19. Developed by Oxford University, this vaccine, named ‘Covishield’, is manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII). Earlier in August, the Andhra Pradesh state government and the AP State Ethics Committee had given a nod to conduct two clinical trials at KGH.
In line with the state government’s directives, the officials at KGH have chalked out plans to begin the vaccine trials of COVID-19. A team of experts from various departments of the hospital has been chosen to spearhead the programme. Interacting with Yo! Vizag, Andhra Medical College Principal and Superintendent of KGH, Dr PV Sudhakar informed that representatives of the SII held an online training session with the experts at KGH, on Tuesday, to familiarise them with the route map of the vaccine trials. Stating that the study will begin within a week, he said the guidelines issued by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) will be followed. Dr Devi Madhavi, Professor, Social and Preventive Medicine (SPM), Andhra Medical College (AMC) has been appointed as the principal investigator, he added.
Reportedly, a medical ward dedicated to the vaccine trials has been set up at the Plastic Surgery department of the hospital. The medical facility will be screening volunteers for the COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials. As a part of the trials, 100 volunteers who are found negative for the coronavirus in both RT-PCR and antigen tests will reportedly be administered the dose.
Meanwhile, medical institutions in major cities including Chennai and Mumbai have started clinical trials of the Covishield vaccine. While the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) had directed the SII to suspend any new recruitment in the phase-II and III clinical trials of the vaccine earlier this month, it later allowed the company to resume its phase two and three clinical trials for the Covishield vaccine after the pharma major submitted the recommendations of the Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB), UK and DSMB India.