Serum Institute of India is conducting Phase 3 trials of a BCG vaccine to evaluate its ability in reducing COVID-19 infection and severe disease outcomes among high-risk persons, Department of Biotechnology said.
Around 6,000 individuals have been enrolled for trial. BCG vaccine is administered routinely to newborns as part of the national childhood immunisation programme to prevent tuberculosis.
The BCG vaccine is administered routinely to all newborns as part of the national childhood immunisation programme to prevent tuberculosis (TB), an infection caused by bacteria that mainly affects the lungs.
It has beneficial heterologous effects and proven antiviral and immune-modulatory properties that protect against infectious diseases through the induction of trained innate immunity and heterologous adaptive immunity.
“Serum Institute of India Pvt Ltd (SIIPL) has been supported under Department of Biotechnology’s National Biopharma Mission for conduct of a multi-site randomised double-blinded placebo-controlled phase III clinical trial of a recombinant BCG vaccine candidate, VPM1002.
“The objective of this trial is to evaluate the ability of VPM1002 in reducing infection incidence and severe disease outcomes of COVID-19 among high-risk persons of advanced age or co-morbidities and high-exposure healthcare workers (HCWs),” the statement said.
Meanwhile, India’s coronavirus cases have increased to 14,83,156 after a jump of 47,703 cases in last 24 hours. The death toll in the country has surged to 33,425.