Covid-19 vaccine update: PM Modi to visit vaccine development centres, AstraZeneca eyes second global trial
Various vaccine candidates for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) are in different stages of trials as a global search continues for a shot to treat a disease that more than 61 million people have contracted, as per a worldometers tally. The virus has also claimed more than 1.4 million lives, the tally shows.
In the latest updates on the coronavirus vaccine development front, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Saturday visit vaccine development centres in Pune, Ahmedabad and Hyderabad. Britain’s AstraZeneca, meanwhile, is under the scanner for an ‘error’ in the trial results of its vaccine candidate.
Here are the latest updates on the Covid-19 vaccine front:
1. PM Modi’s visit to vaccine development centres will include Pune’s Serum Institute of India (SII), Hyderabad’s Bharat Biotech International Limited and Ahmedabad’s Zydus Cadila. While SII will manufacture the AstraZenecea-Oxford University vaccine, Bharat Biotech is working on the country’s first indigenous vaccine-COVAXIN. Zydus Cadila, meanwhile, is developing its vaccine candidate, ZyCoV-D.
2. AstraZeneca is planning a second global trial to clear the discrepancy between two separate trial results. The efficacy of its vaccine candidate, AZD1222, came out to be 90% in earlier trial, in which first a half dose and then a full dose were administered. However, a second trial, in which two full doses were administered, the vaccine was found to be 62% effective. Also Britain, where the firm expects four million doses to be available by December-end, has asked its medicine regulator to assess the vaccine candidate for a temporary supply.
3. Russia’s Gamaleya research institute, has suggested that a shot of its Sputnik V vaccine candidate might boost the efficiacy of AstraZeneca’s AZD1222. “Current full dose AstraZeneca regimen resulted in 62% efficacy. If they go for a new clinical trial, we suggest trying a regimen of combining the AZ shot with the #SputnikV human adenoviral vector shot to boost efficacy. Combining vaccines may prove important for revaccinations,” the Gamaleya institute tweeted.
4. Canada’s drug regulator, Health Canada, has said it could approve the Pfizer Inc-BioNTech SE Covid-19 vaccine candidate “around December.” Supriya Sharma, senior medical adviser at Health Canada on Thursday said that the vaccine “is most advanced” in Health Canada’s reviews. Also in December, Canada’s neighbour, the United States, will decide if Pfizer’s vaccine is safe enough to be given emergency use authorisation (EUA).
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- Under the Trekking Traction Homestay Scheme, villages near important and popular trekking routes are being developed by the tourism department as trekking clusters.
- Congress leaders accused the police of using force to create a nuisance during a peaceful protest of farmers and Congress workers.
- Taking a cue from Prime Minister Narendra Modi calling Uttarakhand the Sainya Dham - fifth dham after the traditional Char Dhams -- Rawat in 2019 had announced that the state government will set up a Sainya Dham in Dehradun.
- A police team has been deployed in the village to ward off any fresh trouble. The police have also initiated an investigation to nab all the accused.
- Some leaders and political experts even described Modi’s visit as an exercise to woo Bengali voters on whom Bose’s ideology has great influence even after 76 years of his mysterious disappearance.
- With the scheme, nearly 5 million CAPF personnel and their families can avail cashless medical treatment.
- The scheme aims at reduction in livelihood vulnerabilities of the urban poor including migrant labourers and informal workers.
- Presently, over 5,000 cases are pending with the Tribunal of which the bulk of matters arise out of proceedings under PMLA.
- Gandhi is on a tour of the western belt where he will next visit Erode, Tiruppur, Karur and Dindigul districts to meet farmers, weavers and youngsters.