Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij, who received the first dose of Bharat Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate, Covaxin, during its Phase-III trial in the state two weeks ago, on Saturday said that he has tested positive for the virus.
Taking to Twitter, he said: “I have been tested Corona positive. I am admitted in Civil Hospital Ambala Cantt. All those who have come in close contact to (sic) me are advised to get themselves tested for corona.”
This comes a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi told an all-party meeting that a coronavirus vaccine could be just weeks away.
Vij had offered to be the first volunteer for the third phase trial of Covaxin in Haryana last month. He was administered a trial dose of Covaxin at a hospital in Ambala on November 20.
In October, the Drugs Controller General of India gave permission to Bharat Biotech for conducting the Phase-III clinical trial of Covaxin.The Phase-III trials of Covaxin, being conducted in partnership with ICMR, involve 26,000 volunteers across India. It is the largest clinical trial being conducted for a COVID-19 vaccine in India.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) hopes to have half a billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines available for distribution by the global COVAX initiative in the first quarter of 2021, its chief scientist said on Friday.
To date. 189 countries have joined the COVAX programme, which is backed by the WHO and seeks to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines. The United States is not among them, having secured bilateral deals.
The initial COVAX plan is to vaccinate the 20% of populations at highest risk, including health workers and people aged over 65.