Covid-19 vaccine update: Gennova Pharmaceuticals gets permission for trials, US deems Moderna candidate safe for use
Oman has joined the list of countries to allow the use of Pfizer’s vaccine candidate. Indonesia, meanwhile, is planning to vaccinate its young people before senior citizens.
Global search for a vaccine to treat the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) has entered a crucial phase with at least three countries - the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada - beginning to administer shots for emergency cases. These are shots of the Pfizer Inc-BioNTech SE vaccine candidate, which has been approved for emergency case use by several other countries as well.
The global tally of Covid-19 cases, meanwhile, is at more than 73 million with over 1.6 million lives lost due to the virus, as per worldometers. Nearly 52 million people, too, have defeated the disease, the tally shows.
Here are the latest developments on the Covid-19 vaccine development front:
1. Dr VK Paul, NITI Aayog member, on Tuesday said the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) had recently granted nod for phase 1 and 2 trials of the vaccine candidate of Pune-based Gennova Pharmaceuticals Limited. The firm’s vaccine candidate, called HGCO19, is based on the same technology - mRNA - as that used by the Pfizer vaccine candidate.
2. The United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) on Tuesday said its preliminary analysis confirmed the safety and efficacy of Moderna’s vaccine candidate. A panel comprising outside experts is likely to approve the vaccine on Thursday, with FDA’s approval to follow soon. The agency’s announcement came a day after the vaccination drive of the Pfizer candidate started across the country.
3. Oman joined the list of countries to allow the use of Pfizer’s vaccine candidate, its state-run agency reported on Tuesday. The vaccine, local media, has been approved for use on people above the age of 16. Oman joins neighbours Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in allowing the Pfizer candidate’s shot.
4. In an unusual move, Indonesia plans to vaccinate its young people before senior citizens. The country will focus on vaccinating people between 18 to 59 years of age, starting with those working on the front lines such as health workers, the police, and the military.