Phase 2 trial of Sputnik V may resume in India soon

Henrietta Strickland
October 18, 2020

A government spokesperson did not comment on the Queen's potential role but said: "The science is clear - vaccines save lives, which is why we are leading a global effort to find a Covid-19 vaccine".

Replying to a query on mutations of SARS-COV2, ICMR Director-General Dr Balram Bhargava had said at a press briefing earlier this week that minor changes called "drifts" may happen from time to time, but major genetic mutations of viruses or "shifts" may happen in about a decade or two. Therefore, any vaccine developed for it will have to keep a tap on the possibility of mutation. It is to note that when a virus replicates, there may be some changes in the new strains that have formed.

As the world prepares for a vaccine against Covid-19, India has started identifying around 30 crore priority beneficiaries, including high-risk population and first responders - from healthcare workers to police, sanitation workers as well as the elderly and people with co-morbidities - who will likely receive an estimated 60 crore vaccine doses. He went on to suggest developing a vaccine delivery system on the lines of conduct of polls and disaster management while involving all levels of government and citizen groups.

He insisted on continued social distancing and COVID-appropriate behaviour such as wearing the mask, regularly washing hands and sanitation, especially in the wake of upcoming festival season.

The meeting was attended by Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister, NITI Aayog member, Principal Scientific Advisor, senior scientists, officers of PMO, and other government departments.

After the Indian drug regulator turned down Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Ltd's proposal earlier this month to conduct direct Phase-3 human trials for the Russian Covid-19 vaccine Sputnik V, the company and Russia's sovereign wealth fund Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) have now received the Drug Control General of India (DCGI) nod to conduct an adaptive Phase 2/3 human clinical trial for the Russian vaccine in India.

The vaccine was registered by Russia's Health Ministry in August.

"India is heading fast towards vaccine development as two manufacturers are already in phase-3 trial and one in the phase-2 trial, while more players are joining the race", the Indian Express quoted Jadhav as saying.

On August 11, 2020, Sputnik V, developed by the Gamaleya National Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology, was registered by the Ministry of Health of Russian Federation and became the world's first registered vaccine against Covid-19 based on the human adenoviral vectors platform.

In September, Dr Reddy's signed a partnership agreement with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which funded the development of the drug.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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