Trials for the coronavirus vaccine developed at the Oxford University will begin in India as soon as a license is procured, said the Indian firm partnering the researchers in the UK.
The vaccine AZD1222 had a favourable response in the first phase of clinical trials. It did not prompt any serious side effects and elicited antibody and T-cell immune responses, according to trial results published in The Lancet medical journal.
The researchers said the vaccine caused minor side effects, but some of these could be reduced by taking paracetamol.
Adar Poonawalla, chief of the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer which is partnering the Oxford researchers, said the trials “have shown promising results and we are extremely happy about it”.
“We will be applying for the licensure trials to the Indian regulator in a week’s time. As soon as they grant us permission, we will begin with the trials for the vaccine in India. In addition, we will soon start manufacturing the vaccine in large volumes,” he added.
The Lancet review comes as India started its first human trial of indigenously developed vaccine COVAXIN. AIIMS-Delhi Director Dr Randeep Guleria said, adding that it would take at least three months for researchers to arrive at the first set of data.
The Oxford’s vaccine is one of more than 100 being developed across the world and its human trials started on April 23.
Clinical trials of seven others — some of them located in China and the US — are also being held.
More than a million people have been infected in India by the highly contagious virus, which, doctors said, not only causes viral pneumonia, but affects multiple organs, causes inflammation of the blood vessels and skin discolouration.