Oxford vaccine best suited for India: PGI chief


Aditi Tandon

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 22

PGI, Chandigarh, Director Jagat Ram today said the Oxford University-Serum Institute of India vaccine, which is in the final stages of development, was the “most suitable for Indian settings”.

Speaking to The Tribune, he said the vaccine trials were progressing very well and early results were “very encouraging”. The PGI, Chandigarh, had already administered the second dose of vaccine to 100 volunteers as part of the ongoing phase 3 trials in India, he added. “Early phase trial results from the PGI showed strong safety outcomes in 149 participants who were administered the first dose of Covishield. In the final and third phase of the trial, all participants will be inoculated with the second dose. The second dose has already been given to 100 participants and the trial is nearing completion, after which results on immunogenicity and cell mediated immunity will be generated and analysed for final outcomes,” he said.

Easy storage

According to PGI Director Dr Jagat Ram, unlike the Pfizer vaccine that requires minus 70°C storage structures, Covishield can be stored between 2 and 8°C. Hence Covishield can be transported to rural hinterland to cover rural population as well.

To a specific query about why he thought the Oxford University-AstraZeneca-Serum Institute’s Covishield was the most suitable for Indian settings, he said, “Covishield is the most suited for India because it can be easily stored and transported. Unlike the Pfizer vaccine that requires minus 70°C storage structures, Covishield can be stored between 2 to 8°C. Hence Covishield scan be transported to rural hinterland to cover rural populations as well.”



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