Covid-19 vaccine unlikely before 2021, TB vaccine shows promise in reducing deaths
A parliamentary panel on Friday informed the government of India that a vaccine for Covid-19 is expected only by early next year.
Over six months into the coronavirus pandemic and the number of infected has crossed 12 million across the globe. Covid-19 has claimed more than 5 lakh lives globally while 7 million people have recovered from the deadly contagion worldwide. With a rapid surge in coronavirus cases across the globe, scientists and researchers are also ramping up effort to arrive at the potential Covid-19 vaccine.
Gilead Sciences Inc., Oxford experts and American biotech company Moderna are at the forefront of vaccine development for Covid-19. In an interview with HT, Oxford University professor Sunetra Gupta had said that by the end of this summer, “we should have proof that the vaccine works”.
Here are the latest developments on Covid-19 vaccine
• On Friday, Gilead Sciences Inc said an analysis showed its antiviral remdesivir helped reduce the risk of death in severely ill Covid-19 patients. It, however, added that rigorous clinical trials are needed to confirm ita benefit.
• Germany-based biotechnology company, BioNTech SE, could seek approval for its coronavirus vaccine by the end of the year, Wall Street Journal reported. The experimental vaccine, BNT162b1, showed promise against coronavirus in early-stage human testing and is expected to move into a large trial involving 30,000 participants this month, pending regulatory nod.
• Moderna Inc is expecting to begin late-stage trials of its vaccine later this month. Its vaccine was among the first to be tested in humans in the US. In a small trial conducted on a group of healthy individuals, the vaccine was found to produce protective antibodies. The company has signed an agreement with Spain’s Laboratorios Farmacéuticos Rovi SA to scale up the manufacturing and production of its potential Covid-19 vaccine for markets outside the US.
• A tuberculosis vaccine routinely given to children in countries with high rates of that bacterial disease might be helping to reduce deaths from Covid-19, researchers reported on Thursday. The findings were published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
• A parliamentary panel on Friday informed the government of India that a vaccine for Covid-19 is expected only by early next year. Presentations were given by the Department of Science and Technology, Department of Biotechnology, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the principal scientific adviser to the government before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment and Climate on the Centre’s Covid-19 preparedness.
(With inputs from agencies)
The 24-year-old man charged with the attempted murder of Salman Rushdie has denied being in contact with Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps and said that he acted alone when he stabbed the Mumbai-born author, whom he disliked for being "disingenuous". In a video interview to the New York Post from Chautauqua County Jail, Matar said that “When I heard he survived, I was surprised, I guess.”
A large Canadian parliamentary committee delegation is planning to visit the Chinese-claimed island of Taiwan in October, local media reported on Wednesday, a development that could further worsen relations between Ottawa and Beijing. Eight members of Canada's House of Commons standing committee on international trade are expected to travel to Taiwan, including many who are members of the Canada-Taiwan Friendship Group in the parliament, Canadian media reported.
The U.S. government on Thursday announced trade talks with Taiwan in a sign of support for the island democracy China claims as its own territory, prompting a warning by Beijing that it will take action if necessary to “safeguard its sovereignty.” The announcement comes after Beijing fired missiles into the sea to intimidate Taiwan after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi this month became the highest-ranking American official to visit the island in 25 years.
Punjabi is the fourth-most widely spoken language spoken at home in Canada while the number of those using other Indian tongues has risen steeply, according to new data released on Wednesday. Canada's two official languages, English and French, remain the two spoken most predominantly at home, followed by Mandarin and Punjabi, according to details issued on Wednesday by Statistics Canada (StatCan), the country's data agency. Other Indian languages are also flourishing in Canada.
A blast which ripped through a mosque packed with worshippers in the Afghan capital killed at least 21 people and wounded more than two dozen others, police said Thursday. The number of bombings across Afghanistan has declined since the Taliban returned to power in August last year, but several attacks -- many targeting minority communities -- have rocked the country in recent months, including some claimed by the jihadist Islamic State group.