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ICMR Fast-tracks ‘Covaxin’, Intend Launch By August 15

New Delhi: The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said that it has partnered with Bharat Biotech to fast-track clinical trials of  India’s first indigenous COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin.

ICMR Director General Balram Bhargava asserted that ICMR aims to launch the indigenous COVID-19 vaccine by August 15 after its completion of the clinical trials.

In a letter to the selected institutes including one from Odisha where the clinical trial is to be done, the ICMR also informed that it is one of the top priority projects and its plan to launch the vaccine for public health use by August 15, 2020.

“This is the first indigenous vaccine being developed by India and is one of the top priority projects which are being monitored at the topmost level of the Government. The vaccine is derived from a strain of SARS-CoV-2 isolated by ICMR-National Institute of Virology, Pune. ICMR and BBIL are jointly working for the preclinical as well as clinical development of this vaccine,” the statement said.

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“It is envisaged to launch the vaccine for public health use latest by 15th August 2020 after completion of all 1st clinical trials. BBIL is working expeditiously to meet the target, however, final outcome will depend on the cooperation of all clinical trial sites involved in this project,” the statement added.

It may be noted that the Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital in Bhubaneswar has been nominated for COVID19 vaccine human trials by ICMR, the authorities of Siksha ‘O’ Anusandhan (SOA) Deemed to be University Odisha informed on Thursday.

Meanwhile, India’s COVID-19 tally rose to 6,04,641 on Thursday with a single-day increase of 19,148 cases, just five days after it crossed the five-lakh mark, while the death toll rose to 17,834 with 434 new fatalities, according to the Union Health Ministry.

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