NEW DELHI (AP) – India began its first human trial of a new coronavirus vaccine candidate because the world’s second most populous country recorded nearly 49,000 new cases.
Additional infections brought India’s total to more than 1.3 million on Saturday, with a surge seen in a quarter of 36 states and union territories.
India has counted 31,358 deaths, including 757 in the past 24 hours. It has reported far lower mortality rates than the two other most severe countries in the world, the United States and Brazil. Johns Hopkins University shows that the US has more than 4.1 million cases, while Brazil has a total of almost 2.3 million cases.
The All India Institute of Medical Sciences, the main teaching hospital in the capital New Delhi, said it had given the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine trial on Friday.
Candidates for the vaccine, Covaxin, are among nearly two dozen currently in human trials worldwide. AIIMS was among 12 locations chosen by the Indian Medical Research Council to conduct a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, two-phase clinical trial of Covaxin.
Countries make big bets on various vaccine candidates, entering into purchase agreements with pharmaceutical companies for delivery if and when regulators consider the dosage safe and effective.
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