Covid-19 vaccine update: COVAXIN trials in Gujarat, AstraZeneca admits ‘error’
The global caseload of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) has topped 60 million-mark, as per a tally by worldometers, even as worldwide search continues for a vaccine which will help treat the disease. With the virus claiming more than 1.4 million lives worldwide, as per the worldometers tally, the need for a vaccine is only being felt increasingly.
Even as countries like India, as well as the United States, prepare a vaccine distribution plan, for once a candidate is finally approved by health regulators, here are the latest updates on the coronavirus vaccine front:
1. Bharat Biotech International Limited’s vaccine candidate has reached Gujarat for phase 3 trials. Ahmedabad’s Sola civil hospital is among 130 centres across the country selected for COVAXIN phase three trials, HG Koshia, commissioner, Gujarat Food and Drug Control Administration (FDCA) said. Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech, which has developed COVAXIN in partnership with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), last week announced the commencement of the third phase trials, the first candidate in India to reach this stage.
2. UK-headquartered AstraZeneca, which is working on a vaccine candidate with Oxford University, in a statement on Wednesday acknowledged an “error” that is bound to raise questions on the preliminary results of its candidate. In a late-phase analysis, participants received a full dose of the candidate, AZD1222; the efficacy was found to be 62%. This is against the earlier 90% efficacy found for the group which received a half-dose shot.
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3. A leading Chinese vaccine maker, China National Biotec Group Company, has applied to Chinese health regulators to bring its candidate to the market, state media Xinhua Finance reported on Wednesday. The application likely includes data from the company’s Phase three human testing being conducted in the Middle East and South America.
4. America’s Pfizer Inc has started the process to register its Covid-19 vaccine in Brazil, submitting to the country’s health regulators results of the tests of its vaccine candidate. “This is an important step so that the vaccine can be available in Brazil,” a statement from the company said in Portuguese. Pfizer is developing BNT162b2 with Germany’s BioNTech SE.
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- Choudhury's comments came after the TMC had on Wednesday said the Congress and the Left should support Banerjee in her fight against the BJP, a suggestion rejected by the two parties.
- In view of high active caseload the state had sought more vials in the first stage but it was told that in the second stage more vials will be given. Once lauded for its Covid-19 management, now Kerala is the virus hotspot of the country.
- The two countries will also work together in the field of telecom security, submarine optical fibre cable system to islands of India.
- Nepal is looking to India to provide vaccines as grant assistance for the first phase of its vaccination programme, which requires 12 million doses to cover 20% of its population. Nepal also plans to buy millions of doses from foreign suppliers, including SII and Bharat Biotech.
- Chief minister Edappadi Palaniswami will participate in the vaccination drive tomorrow in Madurai where a sanitary worker of a hospital is expected to receive the first shot.
- The Bihar chief minister reassured that the state’s law and order situation is stable and promised a speedy trial.
- Tomar also attacked Congress president Sonia Gandhi over her party’s stand on the laws. He said that both leaders should clarify if they were lying about these reforms in their election manifesto.