Bharat Biotech Defends Covaxin After Anil Vij Tests Positive Despite Taking First Dose
A heath worker draws the ‘Sputnik V’ covid vaccine from a vial during a trial in Moscow, Russia. (Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg)

Bharat Biotech Defends Covaxin After Anil Vij Tests Positive Despite Taking First Dose

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Bharat Biotech has defended the efficacy of its covid vaccine, after Harayana Minister Anil Vij tested positive for the disease despite taking the first shot of the medication.

Vij had offered to be the first volunteer in the Phase-III trials for Covaxin, the potential covid vaccine being developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with Indian Council of Medical Research. The drug firm said the vaccine has a two-dose schedule and its efficacy is determined 14 days after the second dosage.

“Covaxin clinical trials are based on a two-dose schedule, given 28 days apart. The vaccine’s efficacy will be determined 14 days after the second dose,” Bharat Biotech said in a statement on Saturday. The medication has been designed to be efficacious when subjects receive both doses and after the fourteen-day period after the second dose, it said.

Vij had received the first shot of the potential covid vaccine on Nov. 20. On Saturday, the minister said that he had a few days ago visited Panipat, where he spent 2-3 hours with a Bharatiya Janata Party leader, who too has tested positive for Covid-19.

Bharat Biotech said the Phase-III trials of Covaxin are double-blinded and randomised—50% of subjects receive the potential vaccine and the rest a placebo.

Covaxin is a fully indigenous covid vaccine. It is being tested on 26,000 subjects across 25 sites—the largest Phase-III clinical trial conducted in India. The goal is to evaluate the efficacy of Covaxin across the country, Bharat Biotech said.

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