Serum Institute, Bharat Biotech to begin trials of nasal COVID-19 vaccine: Centre

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Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech are expected to pursue late-stage clinical trials of intranasal COVID-19 vaccines in the coming months once they receive regulatory approval, health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said on Sunday.

Dr Vardhan said the late-stage trial generally involves thousands of participants, sometimes 30,000 to 40,000.

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Of the vaccines currently in Phase 3 trials, all are administered by injection, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

On Saturday, India’s Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said they have received renewed approval to conduct late-stage clinical trials in India of the Russian COVID-19 vaccine.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said it will revisit its protocol for COVID-19 treatment after the WHO found some of the commonly used drugs, including remdesivir, had little or no impact on a patient’s chances of surviving, local media reported earlier on Sunday.

India on Monday reported a spike of 55,722 new COVID-19 cases and 579 deaths in the last 24 hours, taking the total case tally to 75,50,273.

There are 7,72,055 active cases while 66,63,608 people have been cured/discharged/migrated. The death toll from the disease has now climbed to 1,14,610, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

(With agency inputs)

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