The race to identify a potent COVID-19 vaccine to eradicate tghe deadly Corona Virus is fast nearing the finish line. Though Russia claimed to have registered the world's first COVID vaccine Sputnik V, and followed it up with another vaccine, the medical fraternity from the rest of the world have not unanimously accepted these 2 vaccine candidates as they have not completed the Phase 3 clinical trials yet. However, there are a number of other vaccine candidates which are at the end of the Phase 3 trials and can move into production soon. Just a couple of days back, Pfizer had announced some very good results for its vaccine candidate and earlier today, the US company Moderna had also revealed that its vaccine candidate had shown 94.5% efficiency in the Phase 3 trials!

Now, India is not too far behind from the world! India's indigenously developed COVID vaccine candidate, being jointly developed by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Hyderabad-based pharma company Bharat Biotech, which has been named Covaxin, has launched its Phase 3 trials from today! The company had posted on their Twitter handle that the Phase 3 trials for Covaxin would be taking off today and that it would be the largest efficacy trial ever conducted in India. This trial is said to involve over 26,000 participants from across the country and is India's first and largest efficacy trial ever undertaken. The company had also revealed that recruitment is underway for volunteers.

The Phase 3 trials of Covaxin would be conducted at 23 centres across India, including the AIIMS Delhi. The trials are also being conducted at Centres in Chennai, including the SRM Medical College Hospital in Kattankulathur. The CEO of Bharat Biotech has however expressed that vaccinating 130 crore people with the injectable Covaxin, would be one huge challenge. The volunteers participating in these Phase 3 trials would be injected with the vaccine through two intramuscular injections, 28 days apart. The volunteers would be randomly selected to receive either the vaccine shots or placebo shots. Reports state that these trials are double-blinded, meaning that the investigators, volunteers and even the company would not be aware of who received the vaccine shots and who received the dummy placebo shots.