Mornings begin early on the 200-acre campus of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), located in the heart of the national capital of Delhi. Even as the rest of the city shakes off its slumber, there’s visible hustle at the hospital’s Department of Pulmonology. Phase II of clinical trials for a Covid-19 vaccine candidate is underway.

With no separate waiting area, the fifty-odd healthy volunteers—ranging from 18-65 years—sit outside in the open. The benches they occupy abut the hospital’s tuberculosis department, with a constant stream of infected patients flitting past them.

The volunteers are called in batches to receive the second dose of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.


Maitri Porecha

Maitri writes about everything health for The Ken. For close to 10 years now, she has navigated hospital corridors in her search for a good story. In a past life, when she was not a journalist, she used to teach French at her neighbourhood school. Also an avid fan of forensics, she is always up for decoding mysteries in her free time.

View Full Profile

Sign up to our India edition to read this story instantly

To sign up, you’ll create an account that will give you access to a new free story published once a week and archive of 214+ previously published free stories from our India edition. You’ll also receive one email every morning from us introducing the day’s story.

If you’ve already signed up, just enter your email below or login using Facebook or Google.