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Covaxin Phase 3 Trial Begins In Kolkata; Bengal Minister Likely To Get First Shot

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Kolkata: The phase 3 trial of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, a vaccine manufactured to fight against COVID-19 — at the National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Disease (NICED) in Kolkata will start from Wednesday, a senior official said.

As per reports, Trinamool Congress leader and Bengal Cabinet’s Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim is likely to be administered the first shot of the Covaxin phase 3 trial.

Covaxin had earlier, successfully completed phase one and two trials. In Covaxin phase 3 trial in Kolkata, a total of 1,000 participants will be administered either placebo or vaccine shot.

Speaking further, the official informed that all those who have volunteered for the Covaxin phase 3 trial have been asked to appear on Wednesday.

He added that the vaccine will only be administered if the participants test fit as they cannot have any underlying health conditions.

When asked if the TMC leader will receive a shot of the vaccine or the placebo, the official stated that the trial is a ‘double-blinded placebo-controlled study’ which means that no one knows what is being given to who. Following the first shot, the volunteers will be administered another shot after a period of four weeks.

TMC leader and Mayor of Kolkata had earlier expressed his desire to volunteer for the Covaxin trials, which the NICED officials had welcomed.

Speaking to the media, an official from the institute had said, “It is a great feat that he has expressed his willingness to be a part of the programme and we will be happy to enrol him. He requires to take a few screening tests, following which the next step will be decided.”

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