Ex-CEO of pharma firm, family to receive Covishield dose in Phase II
New Delhi, Aug 28: Six people, including a former CEO of a pharmaceutical firm and his family, were administered a dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine candidate on Thursday.
"Four volunteers received the Covishield dose after their RT-PCR and antibody tests came out negative for the novel coronavirus," said Dr Sanjay Lalwani, medical director of Bharati hospital.
The Phase II human trial of Covishield vaccine began in Pune on Wednesday.
Four volunteers got the shot at Bharati hospital's clinical trial site, and rest were injected at KEM hospital and research centre's clinical trial site at Vadu.
As Phases II and III of the clinical trials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine candidate began in the country, 2 male volunteers became the first to be administered the dose at Bharati hospital.
'Covishield', the dose was administered to a 48-year-old gynaecologist and a 32-year-old man employed at a private firm in the city.
Dr Lalwani said among the four volunteers who received the dose on Thursday, three were women and one a man. Among other volunteers included the daughter of the gynaecologist.
Bharati hospital and KEM hospital and research centre in Pune have commenced with Phase II of the clinical trials and according to the authorities, 25 volunteers each will be enrolled within two to three days.
Meanwhile, India's Covid-19 pandemic continued to escalate as a record 77,266 fresh were reported in 24 hours, bringing the total count to 33,87,500, according to data from the Union Health Ministry this morning.
An additional 1,057 new deaths brought the overall death count to 61,529.
India has the third-highest number of virus infections in the world, after the United States and Brazil.