COVID-19 vaccine trial to start in Mumbai this week
The ethics committee gives the go-ahead after getting clarity from the ICMR on the medical insurance for the participants
After weeks of waiting, approval for the trial of the COVID-19 vaccine being developed by the Oxford University has finally come through and is expected to begin this week, said senior civic officials. The trial, which will include 320 participants, will be carried out in three phases at civic-run hospitals, and is expected to take around three months.
The ethics committee wrote to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) late last month, seeking clarity on the amount of the medical insurance for the participants. The committee, headed by Dr Padma Menon of KEM Hospital, had earlier met on August 20. Since it is a countrywide trial, the committee sought a uniform figure for all the trial participants in the country. The trial will be conducted at KEM and Nair hospitals, both having 160 participants each.
A senior civic official said on Monday that the ethics committee has finally received a clarification on the matter. "Everything has been clarified and a few other local issues that were discussed earlier will be resolved. The trial will start on September 10-11 in Mumbai," said the official.
The same pool candidates will participate in the phase II and phase III of the trial, and they will be monitored for six months, said the official. "There will be three doses in phase II and phase III. The second dose will be given 29 days after injecting the first dose. The candidate will be observed and three months later the third dose will be given."
One of the local issues was the options for monitoring of the patients and is being finalised. "While the participants will visit the hospital to receive the dose, there will be physical check-ups as well, for which we can either send a team from the health post or from the closest hospital to their homes. Also, we will be in constant touch with them over the phone," said the official.
Jumbo centres to get 270 ICU beds
Given the rise in the number of cases in the city, the BMC is taking measures to strengthen the jumbo facilities by adding 270 ICU beds. "We are adding another 200 ICU beds in the jumbo facility at NESCO Goregaon, 30 ICU beds at NSCI Dome and a few in other COVID centres. We want to be prepared and ensure that the mortality rate remains low in the city," said Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner.
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