The companies said they have asked the US Food and Drug Administration to allow for the vaccine to be stored for up to two weeks at minus 25 to minus 15 degrees Celsius (minus 13 to five degrees Fahrenheit), temperatures commonly found in pharmaceutical freezers and refrigerators.(Reuters)
The companies said they have asked the US Food and Drug Administration to allow for the vaccine to be stored for up to two weeks at minus 25 to minus 15 degrees Celsius (minus 13 to five degrees Fahrenheit), temperatures commonly found in pharmaceutical freezers and refrigerators.(Reuters)

Pfizer, BioNTech say Covid-19 vaccine can withstand warmer temperatures

Under the existing guidelines, the BioNTech/Pfizer jab needs to be stored at a frigid minus 80 to minus 60 C until five days before use, a delicate process that requires special ultra-cold containers for shipping and dry ice for storage.
AFP
PUBLISHED ON FEB 19, 2021 11:48 PM IST

Germany's BioNTech and its US partner Pfizer on Friday said tests have shown that their coronavirus vaccine can stand warmer temperatures than initially thought, potentially simplifying the jab's complex cold-chain logistics.

The companies said they have asked the US Food and Drug Administration to allow for the vaccine to be stored for up to two weeks at minus 25 to minus 15 degrees Celsius (minus 13 to five degrees Fahrenheit), temperatures commonly found in pharmaceutical freezers and refrigerators.

Under the existing guidelines, the BioNTech/Pfizer jab needs to be stored at a frigid minus 80 to minus 60 C until five days before use, a delicate process that requires special ultra-cold containers for shipping and dry ice for storage.

"If approved, this new storage option would offer pharmacies and vaccination centres greater flexibility in how they manage their vaccine supply," said Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla in a statement.

The BioNTech/Pfizer jab, based on novel mRNA technology, was the first vaccine against Covid-19 to be approved in the West late last year.

It was soon followed by US firm Moderna's vaccine, which uses similar technology but can remain stable at minus 20 C for six months and at normal fridge temperature for up to 30 days.

Another approved shot, developed by AstraZeneca/Oxford, uses more traditional vaccine methods and can be stored and shipped at standard fridge temperatures.

BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin said BioNTech and Pfizer were continuing to work on "new formulations that could make our vaccine even easier to transport and use".

The firms have also started testing their Covid-19 vaccine on healthy pregnant women.

The trial involves some 4,000 pregnant women in the United States, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mozambique, South Africa, Britain and Spain.

Those in the US have already received their first dose, BioNTech and Pfizer said earlier this week.

Separately, a study focused on more than 9,000 medical staff at Sheba hospital near Tel Aviv showed that the first dose of the Pfizer vaccination is 85 effective against coronavirus infection between two and four weeks after inoculation.

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Canadian company Resverlogix has used the QIMR Berghofer research findings as the basis for expanding its clinical trial of the drug, apabetalone.(Representative image/Bloomberg)
Canadian company Resverlogix has used the QIMR Berghofer research findings as the basis for expanding its clinical trial of the drug, apabetalone.(Representative image/Bloomberg)

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In severe cases of Covid-19, the immune system overreacts to the infection, releasing inflammatory molecules called cytokines into the bloodstream.
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PM Modi, President Kovind, Vice President Naidu, Union minister Harsh Vardhan and eminent Sarod player Ustad Amjad Ali Khan received their first does of Covid-19 vaccine. (HT Photos/Twitter/BeFunkyCollage)
PM Modi, President Kovind, Vice President Naidu, Union minister Harsh Vardhan and eminent Sarod player Ustad Amjad Ali Khan received their first does of Covid-19 vaccine. (HT Photos/Twitter/BeFunkyCollage)

Covid-19 vaccination drive: List of eminent personalities inoculated

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UPDATED ON MAR 03, 2021 08:10 PM IST
  • These lawmakers are trying to address vaccine hesitancy which medical experts and lawmakers believe may impact the vaccination drive.
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Representational image. (Pratham Gokhale/HT Photo)
Representational image. (Pratham Gokhale/HT Photo)

Covaxin shows 81% efficacy in phase 3 clinical trial: Bharat Biotech

UPDATED ON MAR 04, 2021 03:44 AM IST
The vaccine is stable at 2°C to 8°C (refrigeration) and is shipped in a ready-to-use liquid formulation that permits distribution using existing vaccine supply chain channels
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A health worker holding up a Covaxin Covid-19 vaccine vial at Delhi Heart and Lung Institute in New Delhi. (Amal KS/ Hindustan Times)
A health worker holding up a Covaxin Covid-19 vaccine vial at Delhi Heart and Lung Institute in New Delhi. (Amal KS/ Hindustan Times)

Bharat Biotech releases Phase 3 results, says Covaxin has 81% efficacy rate

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UPDATED ON MAR 03, 2021 07:53 PM IST
  • Interim clinical efficacy of India-made Covaxin is 81%, says Bharat Biotech
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Colorized scanning electron micrograph of an apoptotic cell (greenish brown) heavily infected with SARS-COV-2 virus particles (pink), also known as novel coronavirus, isolated from a patient sample.(Reuters)
Colorized scanning electron micrograph of an apoptotic cell (greenish brown) heavily infected with SARS-COV-2 virus particles (pink), also known as novel coronavirus, isolated from a patient sample.(Reuters)

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Pfizer, Oxford vaccines reduce severe Covid-19 in elderly, study finds (REUTERS)
Pfizer, Oxford vaccines reduce severe Covid-19 in elderly, study finds (REUTERS)

Pfizer, Oxford vaccines reduce severe Covid-19 in elderly, study finds

PTI
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 06:46 PM IST
A research has found that the respective vaccines developed by Pfizer, and Oxford University-AstraZeneca are highly effective in reducing severe coronavirus infection among people aged 70 years and above.
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Health secretary Rajesh Bhushan confirmed that the first dose of the vaccine has been administered to 6,704,856 healthcare workers and a second dose has been administered to 2,598,192 of them.(ANI)
Health secretary Rajesh Bhushan confirmed that the first dose of the vaccine has been administered to 6,704,856 healthcare workers and a second dose has been administered to 2,598,192 of them.(ANI)

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By hindustantimes.com | Written by Srivatsan K C, New Delhi
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“2.08 lakh doses have been given to people who are 45 years to 59 years of age with comorbidities and people above 60 years of age,” Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan said.
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India-made vaccines suit the needs of developing nations because of its cost-effectiveness and ease of use, experts say.(AP)
India-made vaccines suit the needs of developing nations because of its cost-effectiveness and ease of use, experts say.(AP)

‘Pharmacy of the world’ flexes its vaccine manufacturing muscle

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According to the health ministry’s Co-WIN guidelines issued on Sunday, one person will be able to register only three more eligible people using their mobile number.(Photo by Satish Bate/HT)
According to the health ministry’s Co-WIN guidelines issued on Sunday, one person will be able to register only three more eligible people using their mobile number.(Photo by Satish Bate/HT)

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The confusion was partly due to people believing the registration was through the Co-WIN mobile application available on mobile application stores. The application is in fact for vaccinators to manage the process and recipients need to instead use a website to sign themselves up.
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"The one thing that we should learn from this pandemic is the value of large clinical trials," Dr Kang said. (via Getty images)
"The one thing that we should learn from this pandemic is the value of large clinical trials," Dr Kang said. (via Getty images)

‘Lesson from the pandemic – the value of large-scale clinical trials’

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The cumulative number of Covid-19 vaccine doses administered in the country has crossed 1.47 crore on Monday, the ministry said.(Reuters)
The cumulative number of Covid-19 vaccine doses administered in the country has crossed 1.47 crore on Monday, the ministry said.(Reuters)

1.28 lakh people over 60 years get first dose of Covid-19 vaccine

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PUBLISHED ON MAR 01, 2021 11:04 PM IST
The ministry said that 25 lakh potential beneficiaries registered on the Co-Win portal since the registration opened up at 9 am on Monday.
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Maharashtra, the state worst-affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, reported the maximum daily new fatalities - 62 - followed by Kerala with 15 deaths on Monday.(HT Photo)
Maharashtra, the state worst-affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, reported the maximum daily new fatalities - 62 - followed by Kerala with 15 deaths on Monday.(HT Photo)

No Covid-19 related deaths in 20 states, UTs in last 24 hours: Government

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Srivatsan K C, New Delhi
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The health ministry also said that 106 deaths were reported across India in the said period and five states accounted for nearly 87 per cent of these fatalities.
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PM Modi with healthcare workers after receiving Covid-19 vaccine at AIIMS, New Delhi. (PMO)
PM Modi with healthcare workers after receiving Covid-19 vaccine at AIIMS, New Delhi. (PMO)

Covid-19 vaccination drive Phase 2: PM Modi receives Covaxin shot at AIIMS

By hindustantimes.com, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 01, 2021 12:24 PM IST
The Prime Minister shared a picture on Twitter where two healthcare workers are seen administering him with the Covid-19 vaccine.
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Since October, the need for medical oxygen has been steadily declining.(Bloomberg Photo. Representative image)
Since October, the need for medical oxygen has been steadily declining.(Bloomberg Photo. Representative image)

How India ensured steady supply of medical oxygen during Covid pandemic

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“What if 1 crore people fall sick across the country and need oxygen? How are we prepared? That’s one of the first things the government asked us,’’ recalls Saket Tikoo a member of the oxygen monitoring committee that was set up by the ministry of commerce’s Department of Promotion of industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).
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The immunisation drive across the country was halted for Saturday and Sunday to move to the new Co-WIN platform that will allow the self-registration of recipients.(ANI file photo)
The immunisation drive across the country was halted for Saturday and Sunday to move to the new Co-WIN platform that will allow the self-registration of recipients.(ANI file photo)

Covid-19 in India: Next phase of vaccine drive kick-starts today

PUBLISHED ON MAR 01, 2021 04:29 AM IST
From Monday, people eligible for the next phase can walk up to a vaccination centre to be registered for a dose. The decision will allow anyone above the age of 60 and those older than 45 but with comorbidities that make them more vulnerable to Covid-19 to approach government and private hospitals for shots.
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