The phase III clinical trial of COVID-19 vaccine developed by the University of Oxford will be completed by the end of November of early December, an official said. University of Oxford joined hands with British Swedish firm Astrazeneca to make a COVID 19 vaccine. The phase III trial has already started in United States and Brazil. The vaccine has shown promising results in the first phase of clinical human trial. The researchers said that they found their experimental COVID-19 vaccine produced a dual immune response in people aged 18 to 55. “We are seeing good immune response in almost everybody,” said Dr Adrian Hill, director of the Jenner Institute at Oxford University.

Under an agreement between Mexican and Argentine governments and drugmaker, AstraZeneca may start production of Oxford COVID-19 vaccine in the first quarter of 2021. Sylvia Varela, head of AstraZeneca Mexico, said that Phase III trials were expected to conclude by November or December.

India’s apex drug regulatory body also granted approval to Serum Institute of India (SII) to conduct phase II and III human trial for the Oxford COVID-19 vaccine in India. “As per the study design, each subject will be administered two doses four weeks apart (first dose on day one and second dose on day 29) following which the safety and immunogenicity will be assessed at predefined intervals,” the official told PTI.

SII said the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will provide at-risk funding of $150 million to manufacture 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for India and low-and-middle income countries. Under this agreement, Pune-based firm can charge a maximum of $3 per dose for the two COVID-19 vaccines. The vaccine maker will get the funding from the Gates Foundation through international vaccine alliance GAVI.

“Keeping in mind the pandemic situation, we have two dedicated facilities to produce millions of doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, while withholding vast production of other products,” Adar Poonawalla, chief executive officer, SII.

Russia on Tuesday declared that it had become the first country to approve a vaccine against novel coronavirus. Dubbed as Sputnik V, the vaccine was developed by Gamaleya Research Institute and the Russian defence ministry. Russia registered the vaccine after less than two months of human testing.

Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed that one of his daughters had been inoculated with the vaccine. “I know it has proven efficient and forms a stable immunity, and I would like to repeat that it has passed all the necessary tests,” Putin said.

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