Covid-19 vaccine update: Bahrain gives nod to Pfizer, India’s purchase will cover 60% population, Moscow begins mass vaccination
After the United Kingdom gave nod to the emergency use of Pfizer vaccine, the worldwide race for vaccinating people has become more intense. After the UK, Bahrain has become the second nation in the world to grant an emergency authorisation for Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization has warned that vaccine will not be any “magic bullet” to handle the ongoing crisis, hammering home the need for continuing with the Covid-19 appropriate behaviour even after countries start vaccinating its people. India has emerged as the largest buyer of Covid-19 vaccines taking into account the millions of doses of Oxford-Astrazeneca, Novavax and Sputnik V candidates it has purchased.
Here are the latest updates on vaccines from across the world.
1. Before Pfizer vaccine, Bahrain, which has a population of 1.6 million, had granted emergency-use authorisation to a Chinese vaccine made by Sinopharm.
2. According to experts, the number of doses India has purchased will cover 60 per cent of its population, which will be enough to develop herd immunity.
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3. In an all-party meeting on Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said a Covid-19 vaccine in India may be ready in a few weeks and the vaccination drive will begin as soon as scientists give the nod.
4. Americans will not be forced to take Covid-19 vaccine, US President-elect Joe Biden has said as states submitted vaccine orders on Friday.
5. Moscow began distributing the Sputnik V Covid-19 shot via 70 clinics on Saturday, marking Russia’s first mass vaccination against the disease.
6. The World Health Organization has warned that vaccines will be no magic bullet for the coronavirus crisis as nations gear up for a massive roll-out to tackle surging infections. “Vaccines do not equal zero Covid,” said WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan, adding that not everyone will be able to receive it early next year.
7. The World Health Organization hopes to have half a billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines available for distribution by its global COVAX initiative in the first quarter of 2021.
In India, Haryana health minister Anil Vij, who was administered the trial dose of the indigenous Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin last month, has tested positive for coronavirus on Saturday. Bharat Biotech, the developer of the vaccine, clarified that its efficacy can only be determined 14 days after the second dose.
(With agency inputs)
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- All of the people given doses from the faulty delivery are healthcare professionals. In total 2,100 vaccine doses - around 20% of what Sweden has so far received from Moderna - were kept at too low a temperature.