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New Delhi: The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in partnership with Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL) has started the process of clinical trials for an indigenous vaccine to cure coronavirus.

The indigenous vaccine ‘COVAXIN’ is being developed with the virus strain isolated at ICMR’s National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune.

Also Read: COVID-19 vaccine expected by end of this year: Dr Bimal Das, AIIMS

The clinical trails for the vaccine will be conducted in 12 institutions across the country. ICMR has also asked these 12 institutions to fast track the clinical trial process of the vaccine as it is being considered as a “top priority project” being monitored at the topmost level in the government.

In a letter addressed to these 12 institutions, ICMR stated that it has plans to launch the vaccine for public health by August 15 after completing all the trails as soon as possible.

“BBIL is working expeditiously to meet the target, however, the final outcome will depend on the cooperation of all clinical trial sites involved in this project,” it further said in the letter by ICMR.

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The ICMR has also instructed all these institutions to start the clinical trials of the vaccine by the first week of July. The clinical trials for the vaccine will be conducted in Visakhapatnam, Rohtak, New Delhi, Patna, Belgaum (Karnataka), Nagpur, Gorakhpur, Kattankulathur (Tamil Nadu), Hyderabad, Arya Nagar, Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh) and Goa

Also, the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has given permission to pharmaceutical giant Zydus Cadilla to conduct phase I and II human clinical trials for the COVID-19 vaccine.

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