Trial was done on G-20 rhesus macaque monkeys for the trial of indigenous corona vaccine covaccine, they were found near Nagpur. These were the monkeys who had gone into the dense jungles of Maharashtra after the food shortage in the city in the first lockdown in the year 2020. This has been mentioned in a book which reveals many important things about the journey of becoming a vaccine vaccine.
This is mentioned in the book ‘Going Viral: Making of Covaxin the Inside Story’. In this book, the Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Dr. Balram Bhargava has told many such things about India’s journey of indigenous vaccine, which people did not know about yet. The book talks about the complexities of science and the challenges faced by Indian scientists during the fight against COVID-19, development of a strong laboratory network, new technologies ranging from diagnosis, treatment and serosurvey to vaccines.
In the book, Bhargava says it is important to remember that humans are not the protagonists of the success story of the vaccine, as 20 monkeys have contributed, thanks to which millions of us now have a life-saving vaccine. In the book, he said that when we reached the stage where we knew that the vaccine could produce antibodies in small animals, the next step was to test it on larger animals like monkeys. Whose body structure and immune system are similar to those of humans. Used in medical research around the world, rhesus macaque monkeys are considered the best for this kind of research.
In the book he further explains that the Level 4 laboratory of the ICMR-National Institute of Virology, which is the only state-of-the-art facility in India for primate studies. It once again accepted the challenge of doing this important research. After this the biggest hurdle was that from where to get the rhesus macaque monkeys because India does not have rhesus macaques bred by laboratories? For this, researchers from the National Institute of Virology contacted many zoos and institutions across India. For this, young monkeys were needed, which had good antibodies in their body, because older monkeys were not suitable for research.