India to take part in WHO’s vaccine trials for Covid-19
India has volunteered to participate in the World Health Organization’s ongoing solidarity trial for developing vaccines for Covid-19, as the number of cases in the country ballooned to more than 900.
WHO with its partners is organizing a study called the solidarity trial in many countries in which some of the untested treatments are compared with each other. The study has been designed to generate the robust data needed to show which treatments are the most effective.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Friday said that India had not taken this decision so far as there weren’t enough cases in the country to participate in the trial.
“We have indicated our willingness to become a part of vaccine trials as and when they start for our population. Earlier our numbers were small and our contribution would have been minuscule,” said Raman R. Gangakhedkar, head of epidemiology and communicable diseases at ICMR.
“We are at present developing the repurposed molecule for vaccine. We have asked the department of biotechnology to take up the vaccine trials because they have ample infrastructure for vaccine development,” said Gangakhedkar.
Many countries, including Argentina, Bahrain, Canada, France, Iran, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, and Thailand, have already confirmed that they will join the solidarity trial, according to WHO.
WHO has also created a Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund, to help provide protective equipment for front-line health workers, equip diagnostic laboratories, improve surveillance and data collection, establish and maintain intensive care units, strengthen supply chains, accelerate research and development of vaccines and therapeutics, and take other critical steps to scale up the public health response to the Covid-19 pandemic.