That appears to be a million dollar question and the opinion is divided on whether such activities should be given such strict time lines. The ICMR asked Bharat Biotech to expedite clinical trials for their jointly developed COVID-19 vaccine, Covaxin. The idea is to launch the vaccine by 15 August. However, this raises some potential ethical issues for Bharat Biotech.

ICMR has asked Bharat Biotech to start trials next week and complete the trials quickly so as to launch the vaccine by 15 August. The request to fast track has been made in the light of the public health emergency caused by the Coronavirus pandemic. It may be recollected that Covaxin was the first to get the DGCI approval to conduct detailed clinical trials.

The vaccine has been developed in Bharat Biotech’s research and manufacturing facility located at Genome Valley in Hyderabad. The approval was given based on animal trials and human clinical trials are scheduled to start in the month of July. However, insiders at Bharat Biotech and ICMR have conceded that precisely timelines may not really be practical.