Anil Vij was administered the dose at a hospital in Haryana’s Ambala Cantonment area Credit: All India Radio

Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij was administered a trial dose of Bharat Biotech’s potential coronavirus vaccine Covaxin on Friday. The 67-year-old politician thus became the first volunteer in the state for Covaxin’s third phase trial.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader was administered the dose at a hospital in Haryana’s Ambala Cantonment area. Vij had taken to his Twitter handle on Thursday to announce that he had volunteered for the trial dose. He specified the time and location of the administration as well, adding that the vaccine administration will be done under the supervision of a team of doctors from PGI Rohtak and the health department.

He tweeted, “I Will be administered trial dose of Coronavirus vaccine #Covaxin a Bharat Biotech product Tomorrow at 11 am at Civil Hospital, Ambala Cantt under the expert supervision of a team of Doctors from PGI Rohtak and Health Department. I have volunteered to take the trial dose”.

Earlier, he had announced the starting date of the third phase of the trial of the potential coronavirus vaccine in Haryana and tweeted about his decision on being the first volunteer.

This is the first time that a cabinet minister of any state government has volunteered to take a trial dose of a potential vaccine against COVID-19.

On Monday, November 16, Bharat Biotech, through its official Twitter account had announced the commencement of phase 3 clinical trial of Covaxin in the country. The firm claimed it to be “the largest efficacy trial ever conducted in India, with about 26,000 participants”.

These trials will be conducted in partnership with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and have been approved by the Drugs Controller General of India. Covaxin is being developed by the Hyderabad-based firm indigenously. The company also added that the vaccine has so far been evaluated in 1,000 subjects in Phase I and Phase II clinical trials. People above the age of 18 can volunteer for the trial doses.

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