One of the volunteers said there was no side effect of the vaccine and the medical health officer from KEM hospital was regularly monitoring their health through phone calls. “I had participated in the vaccine trial in the first week of October and have not experienced any health problems since then,” he said.
As per the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), each of the volunteers have a Rs 1 crore life insurance cover in the event of their death from any side effect during the trial. Also, they have Rs 50 lakh as medical insurance if they suffer any adverse reaction from the vaccine. “So far, none of the participants has reported any adverse effect,” Kakani said.
“Each of the participants has to undergo an RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) test to check if they are carrying the Covid-19 pathogen. Then, through rapid antibody testing, we cross-check if the participants were ever infected with the virus in the past. Most of the participants are young, 20-45 years,” he added.
The vaccine induces a strong immune response. It provokes a T-cell (white blood cells that can attack cells infected with the virus) response within 14 days of vaccination and an antibody response within 28 days.
The Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII), which is the world’s largest manufacturer of vaccines in terms of volume, and the British-Swedish pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca have partnered to manufacture the experimental Covid-19 vaccine candidate formulated at the University of Oxford.