Tribune News Service
New Delhi/Rohtak, Dec 20
The health authorities will meet in Delhi tomorrow to review data from the UK on the new mutated strain of SARS-Cov2 virus which causes Covid-19. The joint monitoring group constituted within the Health Ministry will meet with a WHO representative in attendance.
Experts on the group said India had not seen any significant/worrisome mutation of the Covid-19 virus so far and this was good news for the indigenous vaccines which are being developed. Mutation of the virus could spell challenges for the efficacy of the vaccines which have already been marketed, such as the Pfizer vaccine in the UK.
The PGIMS-Rohtak, meanwhile, is unlikely to complete phase-3 clinical trials of indigenous Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin by December 31 as the volunteers have shown tepid response.
The PGIMS was to administer the first dose of Covaxin to 1,000 participants till December 31, but merely 330 have so far been given the shot and only 60 more are in the queue. Sources said
Health Minister Anil Vij, who was administered the first dose on November 20, contracting infection and the vaccine unlikely to be available this year or early next year were the main reasons behind the lukewarm response.
Social activist Mukesh Bagdi said: “One of my relatives wanted to get himself enrolled for the trials, but shelved the plan after the minister got infected days after taking the jab.”
Dr Ramesh Verma, a co-investigator of the project, said they were still hopeful of achieving the target. “The first two phases of the trials have been successful. We appeal to the people to get themselves enrolled,” he added.