Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij offers to be the first volunteer for the third phase trial of Covaxin, which will start in the state on 20th November.

"Trial for third phase of Covaxin a coronavirus vaccine product of Bharat Biotech to start in Haryana on 20th November. I have offered myself as first volunteer to get vaccinated," Vij tweeted.

The third phase trials will involve nearly 26,000 volunteers across India and will be conducted in partnership with ICMR. It is the largest clinical trial conducted for a Covid-19 vaccine in India.

While volunteers in the age-group of 12-65 years were involved in the second phase of the clinical human trials of Covaxin, only adult volunteers (above the age of 18 years) will be involved in the third phase of the trials.

In Phase I, two doses of Covaxin were given to healthy volunteers in the age-group of 18 to 55 years, while in Phase II, two doses of the vaccine were given to a different set of volunteers in the age-group of 12 to 65 years.

While only healthy volunteers were involved in Phase 1, the volunteers who have controlled diabetes, hypertension or asthma etc were involved in Phase 2 of the trials.

Covaxin has been developed in collaboration with the ICMR - National Institute of Virology (NIV) using inactivated Sars-Cov-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The virus was isolated in an ICMR lab.

With several vaccines for the novel coronavirus in late-stage clinical trials, the Indian government is strategising their distribution.

Candidates like Pfizer and Moderna are yet to be granted licences in India, and are likely to first be delivered to countries that have already signed deals with these firms. The doses are likely to arrive in India months later.