Covaxin shows 81% efficacy, say ICMR and Bharat Biotech
Wednesday, 3 March 2021 This interim efficacy trend puts Covaxin at par with other global front-runner vaccines, the desi vaccine’s co-developer, the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR), said in a statement. The results, evaluated by an independent data safety and monitoring board, show that the vaccine is well-tolerated and efficacious against SARS-CoV-2 across a wide range of age groups and variants, the ICMR added.
Bharat Biotech's COVID-19 vaccine, 'COVAXIN' has demonstrated an interim vaccine efficacy of 80.6% in its Phase 3 clinical trial. "Today is an important day for us, country and Indian science. COVAXIN has demonstrated an interim vaccine efficacy of around 80.6% in its Phase 3 clinical trial. The...
The Central Government has given permission to Haffkine Institute to produce Bharat Biotech's Covaxin. CM Uddhav Thackeray thanked PM Modi through a tweet by CM office, Maharashtra on April 15, "The Dept of Science and Technology, Government of India, has granted approval to Haffkine Institute to produce Bharat Biotech's Covaxin vaccine on a transfer of technology basis. CM Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray has thanked the Hon'ble PM Shri@narendramodi for approving this request."
In a shocking incident, COVAXIN doses allegedly went missing from cold storage of Jaipur's Hari Bux Kanwatia Government hospital. Total of 320 doses are absent from the place they were stored, police said citing complaint from the hospital. "We received report from the hospital that 320 doses of COVAXIN are missing from there. We have registered an FIR with charges of theft. Investigation is underway, CCTV footage will be checked. Action will be taken if any hospital staff is found involved," the official said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi took his second shot of COVID-19 vaccine at AIIMS, Delhi on April 08. He received the first dose of Bharat Biotech's COVAXIN on March 01. "I have given the second dose of COVAXIN to our Prime Minister Narendra Modi today. He spoke to us. It was a memorable moment for me as I got to meet him and vaccinate him," said Nisha Sharma, Nurse. "I am the vaccinator who gave the first dose of COVAXIN to PM Narendra Modi. Today, I got another opportunity to meet him and vaccinate him for the second time. I was elated again. He spoke to us, we even clicked pictures with him," said P Niveda, Nurse. The two nurses who administered COVID-19 vaccine to PM Narendra Modi at AIIMS, Delhi are-P Niveda from Puducherry and Nisha Sharma from Punjab.
COVID-19 situation continues to deteriorate across the country as there is no holding back to surge in cases. A day after daily cases breached 2-lakh mark, in April 15 India reported 2,17,353 new cases. Country's COVID caseload is at 1,42,91,917 with 15,69,743 active cases. 1,18,302 people were discharged in last 24 hours taking total recoveries to 1,25,47,866. With 1,185 new deaths, death toll has mounted to 1,74,308. According to Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), 26,34,76,625 samples tested for COVID-19. The COVID vaccination drive is underway across country. So far 11,72,23,509 COVID vaccine jabs have been inoculated.
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan attended ICMR's 'One Health' symposium on April 12 and announced constitution of a high-level steering committee for Eco-Health Initiatives in India. He said, "COVID-19 demonstrates the rapid spread of novel pathogens which can have a significant impact on the global economy... Preparedness for, and mitigation of such events require a 'One Health' approach." He further said, "I'm pleased to announce the constitution of a high-level steering committee for Eco-Health Initiatives in India. This committee will have its secretariat hosted at the ICMR, and will be supported by the upcoming the National Institute for One Health."
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan attended ICMR's 'One Health' symposium on April 12. He said, "With increased interaction between humans and animals, human health can't be seen in isolation and COVID-19 is more than a reminder... "One Health" approach recognises that people's health is closely connected with animals' health... Earth has experienced changes in climate and land use with practices like deforestation, intensive farming. Disruptions in environmental habitats can provide new opportunities for diseases to pass to animals."
Researchers from Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology studied a case of vertical COVID-19 transmission from mother to her unborn child that resulted in major complications in the pregnancy, premature birth and death of the child. The consortium then used a Skoltech-developed proteomics method to verify the diagnosis. The paper was published in the journal Viruses detailed the effects of SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus, on maternal and perinatal outcomes are poorly understood due to limited data and research in pregnant women with COVID-19.There is some evidence suggesting vertical transmission from mother to fetus during pregnancy is possible, as, for instance, in China, immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibodies were found in babies born to mothers with positive SARS-CoV-2 tests. Most known cases of COVID-19 in pregnant women have been in the third trimester of pregnancy, yet it is in the second trimester that the immune system of the mother is significantly less active. Professor Evgeny Nikolaev, Dr Alexey Kononikhin and Dr Alexander Brzhozovskiy of Skoltech and their colleagues in the consortium report the case of a healthy 27-year-old woman who got moderately sick with COVID-19 during the 21st week of her pregnancy.
A new consensus is emerging among scientists who say data in recent weeks on new variants from South Africa and Brazil has undercut their optimism about eradicating SARS-CoV-2 in the near future. Lisa Bernhard produced this report.
In an analysis, the Lancet COVID-19 Commission has called for three urgent actions in the COVID-19 response. "First, all regions with high rates of new COVID-19 cases, including the USA and the European Union (EU), should intensify measures to minimise community transmission and deploy COVID-19 vaccines rapidly," read the Lancet medical journal in its latest publication. Second, governments should urgently and fully fund WHO and the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, including COVAX. Third, the G20 countries should empower the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and multilateral development banks to increase the scale of financing and debt relief. Success on all three priorities--containment of transmission, rapid vaccination, and emergency finance--will require improved global cooperation, it said. New lineages are increasing transmission of infection and raising risks in regions that have been less affected by COVID-19, including in sub-Saharan Africa. Additionally, acquired immunity from earlier COVID-19 infections might be less protective against reinfection with some of the new SARS-CoV-2 variants. Mutant lineages might also reduce the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines and require adapted vaccines or boosters."* The medical journal also pointed out that at least half of the world's population lacks access to essential health services.