Anil Vij Tests Positive for COVID, Had Taken Part in Covaxin Trial

Vij, who is admitted to hospital, advised all those who had come in close contact with him to get themselves tested.

2 min read
Haryana Home, Health, Urban Local Bodies, Technical Education, Science & Technology Minister Anil Vij.

Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij on Saturday, 5 December, took to Twitter to announce that he had tested positive for COVID-19 and was admitted in Civil Hospital Ambala Cantonment.

The minister advised all those who had come in close contact with him to get themselves tested for COVID-19.

Amid confusion over Covaxin, the Phase-3 trial of which Vij had participated in last month, both the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) have issued clarifications to explain the matter.

Participation in Phase-3 Trial of Covaxin

On 20 November, Vij had taken part in the phase three trial of Covaxin, a coronavirus vaccine, at the Civil Hospital at Ambala Cantonment. Vij said on Twitter that he had volunteered himself for the trial.

However, it may be noted here that it is not clear whether he was given a vaccine or a placebo, owing to the fact that such trials are ‘blind’.

Additionally, Covaxin requires a second dose 28 days after the first, and immunity only kicks in after that. Vij would still have a second dose pending as part of the trial.

MoHFW, Bharat Biotech Issue Clarifications

Reacting to the development, India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare issued a statement, saying “The antibodies against the infection build up in a human being only after a specific number of days pass after the second dose of the vaccine is taken.”

The MoHFW also pointed out that Vij had taken only one dose of a two-dose vaccine.

Meanwhile, Bharat Biotech, the maker of Covaxin also issued a statement saying, “Covaxin clinical trials are based on a 2-dose schedule, given 28 days apart. The vaccine efficacy will be determined 14 days post the second dose. Covaxin has been designed to be efficacious when subjects receive both doses.”

It also said reiterated that the phase-3 trials are double-blinded and randomised, where 50 percent of subjects receive the vaccine and 50 percent of subjects receive a placebo.

Covaxin is is India’s first indigenous COVID-19 vaccine candidate and is being developed by Bharat Biotech along with the Indian Council of Medical Research.

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