The global search for a vaccine to treat coronavirus disease (Covid-19) has entered a crucial phase with at least three countries – the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada – starting to administer injections for emergency cases. These are shots from the Pfizer Inc-BioNTech SE vaccine candidate, which has been approved for emergency use by several other countries as well.
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The global Covid-19 case count, meanwhile, is over 73 million with over 1.6 million lives lost to the virus, as per worldometers. In addition, nearly 52 million people have overcome the disease, the tally shows.
Here are the latest developments on the development front of the Covid-19 vaccine:
1. Dr VK Paul, a member of NITI Aayog, said Tuesday that the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) recently granted a nod for phase 1 and 2 trials of the vaccine candidate of Gennova Pharmaceuticals Limited based in Pune. The company’s vaccine candidate, called HGCO19, is based on the same technology – mRNA – used by the vaccine candidate Pfizer.
2. The United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) said Tuesday that its preliminary analysis confirmed the safety and efficacy of Moderna’s vaccine candidate. A group of outside experts is likely to approve the vaccine on Thursday, with FDA approval soon to follow. The agency’s announcement came the day after the Pfizer candidate vaccination campaign began across the country.
3. Oman joined the list of countries to allow the use of Pfizer’s candidate vaccine, its state agency reported Tuesday. The vaccine, local media reports, has been approved for use on people over the age of 16. Oman joins neighbors Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in allowing candidate Pfizer to shoot.
4. In an unusual move, Indonesia intends to vaccinate its young people before the elderly. The country will focus on vaccinating people between the ages of 18 and 59, starting with those working on the front lines such as health workers, police and the military.