Haryana health minister Anil Vij, who was administered a dose of Covaxin last month, said on Saturday he has tested positive for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) and has been admitted to a hospital. Vij was given a shot of Covaxin, which is being indigenously developed by the Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), at a hospital in Ambala on November 20 as part of the third phase of the trial of the potential vaccine against the coronavirus disease.
“I have been tested Corona positive. I am admitted in Civil Hospital Ambala Cantt. All those who have come in close contact to me are advised to get themselves tested for corona,” he tweeted.
Vij had volunteered to be the first volunteer for the third phase trial of Covaxin, which started in Haryana on November 20. “Trial for third phase of Covaxin, a coronavirus vaccine product of Bharat Biotech, to start in Haryana on 20th November. I have offered myself as the first volunteer to get vaccinated,” Vij, who also holds the home portfolio, had tweeted on November 18.
“I will be administered trial dose tomorrow at 11am , at Civil Hospital, Ambala Cantt under the expert supervision of a team of Doctors from PGI Rohtak and Health Department. I have volunteered to take the trial dose,” the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader had tweeted a day before he was given the shot.
Vij’s media coordinator Vijender Chauhan said the minister was in Chandigarh on Friday afternoon and had reported fatigue later. “He got tested himself today morning and the result is positive. The staff will be tested today itself,” Chauhan said.
Bharat Biotech had said that phase 3 trials would involve a total of 26,000 people and be conducted at 25 centres across the country. “After successful completion of the interim analysis from the phase 1 and 2 clinical trials of Covaxin, Bharat Biotech received Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) approval for phase 3 clinical trials in 26,000 participants in over 25 centres across India,” the company had said in a statement. This will be India’s first phase 3 efficacy study for a Covid-19 vaccine, and the largest such trial ever conducted in the country, the statement added.
According to top officials of the National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (ICMR-NICED) in Kolkata, the results of the phase-III trial of the indigenously developed coronavirus vaccine candidate, Covaxin, will be available in November 2021. The interim report may be available by May 2021 at the earliest, they added