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Haryana Minister Anil Vij who received Bharat Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine suffering from lung infection

Haryana Minister Anil Vij had offered to be a volunteer in the Phase 3 trials of Covaxin.

Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij was administered a jab of the Bharat Biotech's COVID-19 vaccine on November 20. He had tested positive for Covid-19 on December 5.

Written by Longjam Dineshwori |Published : December 16, 2020 2:43 PM IST

Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij, who tested positive for Covid-19 on December 5 days after receiving a dose of the Bharat Biotech's COVID-19 vaccine, has reportedly been admitted to Gurugram's Medanta Hospital in a critical condition. The Minister is suffering from lung infection, and is getting treatment under Dr Sushila Kataria, senior director of Internal Medicine Department at Medanta, IANS reported quoting sources.

Vij was shifted to Medanta on Tuesday evening from the Haryana government's Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (PGIMS) in Rohtak where he was admitted on Saturday and had received convalescent plasma therapy. Earlier, the institute had informed that the Minister had moderate Covid-19 with bilateral viral pneumonia. He was shifted to the private facility in Gurugram after his family found his health condition not improving there. Prior to admitting at PGIMS, Vij was treated at the Civil Hospital in Ambala.

Anil Vij received Bharat Biotech's COVID-19 vaccine last month

The minister had offered to be a volunteer in the Phase 3 trials of Covaxin, the indigenous Covid-19 vaccine candidate developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech. He received a jab of the two-dose vaccine on November 20 at the Civil Hospital in Ambala Cantonment. He had tested positive for Covid-19 on December 5, raising a concern regarding the vaccine's efficacy among the public.

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However, Bharat Biotech issued a statement maintaining that clinical trials of the vaccine are based on a two-dose schedule, given 28 days apart, its efficacy will be determined two weeks after volunteers receive the second dose, the company statement read.

The Union Health Ministry had also clarified that Covaxin is a two-dose vaccine and that the Haryana Health Minister was given only the first dose a fortnight before he tested COVID positive.

Covaxin is safe, developed on time-proven tech: Bharat Biotech

Bharat Biotech, which is conducting Phase-3 clinical trials of Covaxin in over 25 centres across India, applied for emergency use authorisation for its COVID-19 vaccine last week based on Phase 1 and 2 trial data.

After deliberating upon its applications, an expert committee of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) asked the company to provide additional safety and efficacy data from the ongoing phase 3 clinical trial in the country for further consideration.

Bharat Biotech's chairman and managing director Krishna Illa, however, claimed that Covaxin is safe and built on a time-proven technology.

Trials on animals (monkeys) have shown the efficacy and the Phase 1 and 2 human trial data has also proven it to be safe, he said while speaking virtually at a programme organised by the industry body FICCI.

Phase-2 trail was done on 2,000 people which is not a small number, Illa elaborated while adding that the vaccine can be given to any age group of people.

NITI Aayog member (health) Dr V K Paul on Tuesday informed media persons that the applications of Bharat Biotech, Serum Institute and Pfizer for emergency use authorisation for their COVID-19 vaccines are being examined by the subject expert committee on COVID-19 of CDSCO. He also assured that the drug regulator seeking more data from these companies will not impact the vaccine-roll out timeline.

With inputs from agencies

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