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    Phase II clinical trials of Oxford COVID-19 vaccine begin in Chennai & Pune

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    Second Phase clinical trials of Oxford COVID-19 vaccine begin in Chennai and Pune. In Chennai, two prominent medical institutions are starting the second and third phase field trial of the Oxford vaccine candidate Covishield.

    In another development, the Tamil Nadu Government has exempted college students having arrears except in the last semester from writing the examinations, in view of Covid-19. Previously the exemption has been made for the regular students.

    Meanwhile, the total number of COVID-19 infections in the state is nearing the four lakh mark. 5958 people were tested positive yesterday taking the total to over three lakh 97 thousand. However, the active caseload in the state is about 52 thousand.

    Chennai is one of the seventeen locations in India to conduct the field trial of the promising vaccine candidate Covishield, developed jointly by the Oxford University and AstraZeneca.

    The Government Rajiv Gandhi General Hospital and the Sri Ramachandra Institute of Higher Education and Research are the two institutions in the city that run the trial.

    The state director of public health Dr TS Selva Vinayagam, who coordinates the study in Chennai, told sources, healthy volunteers above the age of 18 are being involved in its multi-centric clinical trial.

    Dr TS Selva Vinayagam, Director, Public Health said, “We will be starting the Phase-2 and Phase-3 together. We will be following the volunteers for up to 180 days. This is to assess the safety, immunogenicity and reacto-genecity. We will be doing that.” The T-cells in the white blood corpuscles against the viral pathogen are said to be observed in 14-days after administering the vaccine and the antibodies in about 28 days. Their effectiveness to eliminate the virus and several other factors will be exhaustively tested during the trial.

    In Maharashtra, the Phase II clinical trial of the Oxford COVID-19 vaccine, being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII), began at a medical college and hospital in Pune today.

    According to the Hospital officials, two male volunteers were administered the vaccine at Bharati Vidyapeeth’s Medical College and Hospital post noon today.

    AIR correspondent reports, doctors at Bharati Vidyapeeth’s Medical College and Hospital administered the first shot of the ‘Covishield’ vaccine to a 32-year-old man after his reports of COVID-19 and antibodies tests came out negative.

    Another 48-year-old male volunteer was also given the vaccine. According to details by the Medical Director of Bharati Vidyapeeth’s Medical College Hospital and Research Centre, Dr Sanjay Lalwani, the COVID-19 and antibodies tests were conducted on the five volunteers.

    Of them, the reports of three volunteers’ antibodies test came out positive so they became ineligible for today’s trial. The doctor informed that in all, 25 candidates will be given the vaccine in next seven days.

     Meanwhile, the Sangli district administration has initiated stringent action on the private hospitals which are asking to deposit advanced amount before admitting Covid positive patients. The Sangli district collector, Dr. Abhijit Choudhari said that the private hospitals cannot ask a patient to deposit advanced amount before his admission to the hospital.

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