Eight of the 17 sites approved to conduct human trials for the University of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine candidate in India will be located in Maharashtra, The Indian Express has learnt. The remaining nine sites approved for the trials, which are likely to start next week are scattered across eight states.
In Maharashtra, four of the sites will be in Pune, two in Mumbai and one each in Nagpur and Wardha. Two sites will be in Chennai, while Visakhapatnam, Mysore, Jodhpur, Patna, Chandigarh, New Delhi and Gorakhpur will have one site each for the trials.
The trial sites include Andhra Medical College, KEM Hospital and Research Centre, Rajendra Memorial Research Institute of Medical Sciences, AIIMS Delhi and Jodhpur, Topiwala National Medical College, Institute of Community Medicine in Madras Medical College and BRD Medical College, according to a source.
The diversification of sites for the trials follows recommendations by a Subject Expert Committee (SEC) looking into Serum Institute of India’s (SII) application for approvals to conduct the trials here. The SEC had said that SII which has an agreement to make a billion doses of this vaccine for low- and middle-income countries, needed to have a “pan-India” representation of participants receiving the vaccine during the testing process. Prior to this, SII CEO Adar Poonawalla had announced plans to conduct the trials in only Mumbai and Pune.
At least 1,600 participants are expected to be enrolled for testing once the sites receive approvals.
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