India's vaccine maker clarifies vaccine trial volunteer's report of COVID-19 infection

2020-12-05 13:35:42 GMT2020-12-05 21:35:42(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

NEW DELHI, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- India's indigenous COVID-19 vaccine maker Bharat Biotech on Saturday issued a statement over a vaccine trial volunteer's report of COVID-19 infection.

The company said its vaccine trials are based on a two-dose schedule, given 28 days apart, and that its vaccine Covaxin is designed to be protective two weeks after volunteers receive the second dose.

"The vaccine efficacy will be determined two weeks after the second dose," it said in the statement issued soon after Haryana's Health Minister Anil Vij, who was a volunteer in the third phase of vaccine trials in the northern state, said he tested positive for COVID-19.

In clarification, the Hyderabad-based pharmaceutical company also said, "The phase three trial is a double-blind study where volunteers have a 50 percent chance of receiving either vaccine or placebo."

Covaxin, one of three vaccine candidates being tested in India, is in its third phase of trials and will be administered to "26,000 subjects across India", the company said.

Last week, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Bharat Biotech to review the development of the vaccine.

On Friday Modi said that experts are hopeful that India will get a vaccine in the next few weeks.

On Saturday morning India's federal health ministry reported that the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Asian country has increased to 9,608,211 and the death toll to 139,700.

Globally India is the second worst-hit country by the COVID-19 pandemic. Enditem