The Specialized Healthcare and Medical Education Department (SHC&MED) has sought explanation from the Vice Chancellor of University of Health Sciences, Lahore with regard to his announcement of university’s plan to test an Australian vaccine, COVAX-19, on active coronavirus patients, as part of human clinical trial, without prior approval from concerned authorities. Prof Akram told a media briefing on Thursday that the varsity would test vaccine after preliminary data from its phase-I trials on animals showed it was safe for humans and could generate an immune response. He said that that the randomized trial of the vaccine would be made involving 50 Covid-19 patients aged below 60. “Twenty-five participants will receive two doses of the vaccine three weeks apart, and as many will be given a placebo (a substance that has no therapeutic effect, used as a control in testing new drugs)”, he said adding that the patients would then have blood tests to measure protective antibody and T-cell responses induced by the vaccine. Earlier, addressing through video-link Adelaide’s Flinders University Prof. Nikolai Petrovsky said that COVAX-19 was made from a synthetic protein using a plant sugar, and was based on an earlier SARS-1 coronavirus vaccine that proved effective in animal models. He said that the randomised trial was being conducted at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and involved 40 volunteers. ‘The subjects have had the vaccine, they’ve had no problems at all, and so that now allows us to move forward into much bigger studies to confirm the effectiveness of the vaccine,’ Prof. Petrovsky told the meeting attended by senior UHS faculty. This Punjab government has now stopped the UHS from testing the vaccine and sought a report from the VC to be submitted to the chief minister and chancellor of the university till Aug 11 and barred him from speaking to reporters till further order. The department, therefore, called upon the VC to explain his position till August 11, 2020 in this regard. The department also refrained him from addressing the media on technical matters.