Tue. Oct 20th, 2020

On Friday, US Pharma giant Pfizer which is currently developing a vaccine to cure COVID-19 with BioNTech said that the vaccine could be ready by November. The Pharma giant also said that it could file in late November for U.S. authorization of the COVID-19 vaccine. Also Read – India’s COVID-19 Positivity Rate Falls Below 8 Per Cent as Testing Continue to Ris, Says Health Ministry

Meanwhile, as per the latest reports, India is likely to resume phase 2 clinical trials of the Russian COVID-19 vaccine, Sputnik V being conducted by Dr. Reddy’s. Also Read – 200-300 Million Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine Likely to be Ready by December-end: SII

People around the world are counting on a vaccine to control the spread of the coronavirus, which has killed more than a million people and ravaged the global economy. If we go by statistics, at the moment in the global race, there are 150 coronavirus vaccine candidates’, although 10 of them are in their phase III of clinical trials, as per India Today. Top contenders are Pfizer vaccine, Oxford and AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine, Johnson & Johnson vaccine, Moderna, and China’s Sinovac among others. Also Read – Coronavirus Vaccine Latest News: No Major Mutation in Virus, Won’t Hinder Vaccines, Says Centre; Modi Suggests Vaccine-delivery System Like Polls

Pfizer Vaccine raises hopes

The Pfizer news, published in a letter from its chief executive on its website lifted the U.S. stock market and the company’s shares, as reported by Reuters. “So let me be clear, assuming positive data, Pfizer will apply for Emergency Authorization Use in the U.S. soon after the safety milestone is achieved in the third week of November,” Pfizer Chief Executive Albert Bourla said, noting that he published the letter to provide greater clarity on the timeline for the vaccine.

US President Donald Trump had also emphasized repeatedly that a vaccine will be available before the November 3 elections.

Serum Institute of India and Oxford vaccine to reach India in March

In a report by Indian express, Serum Institute of India executive director Dr. Suresh Jadhav said that India might get the COVID-19 vaccine by March 2021 and is awaiting a green signal. He said that multiple manufacturers are working on it.
Serum Institute of India is manufacturing the coronavirus vaccine being developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca.

Sputnik V and Dr. Reddy’s to resume trials

After suffering a setback on the earlier trial, the firm has now come up with a revised protocol that stated that the Phase II trial would include 100 subjects, while the Phase III trials would involve 1,400 volunteers, as reported by PTI.

“The following deliberation, the SEC has recommended the grant of permission for the phase 2 clinical trial of the potential vaccine first. After they submit the safety and immunogenicity data of the first phase, they then would be allowed to proceed for phase 3 of the trials,” said a source to PTI.

As per reports, the subject expert committee (SEC) on Covid-19 deliberated on the application on Friday.
Dr. Reddy’s collaborated with The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) to conduct clinical trials of the Sputnik V vaccine as well as its distribution.

Meanwhile, Russia has announced on October 14 that it has given regulatory approval to another coronavirus COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine named EpiVacCorona comes after Russia recently granted similar approval to its first COVID-19 vaccine named Sputnik V.

WHO on COVID-19 Vaccine?

World Health Organization (WHO) Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan on Wednesday said that young and healthy adults may have to wait longer than people at high risk of Covid-19 infection including the elderly and frontline workers to get vaccinated.

While speaking at a WHO social media event, Soumya said, “Most people agree, it’s starting with health care workers, and front-line workers, but even there, you need to define which of them are at highest risk, and then the elderly, and so on.”

Chinese COVID-19 vaccine BBIBP-CorV

One of China’s leading COVID-19 vaccine candidates, called BBIBP-CorV was shown to be safe and elicited an immune response in a small early-phase human trial, researchers said on Friday. A previous clinical trial reported similar results for a different vaccine that is also based on inactivated whole SARS-CoV-2 virus, but in that study, the vaccine was only tested in people aged under 60 years.

(With inputs from Reuters and PTI)


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