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New Years Eve Cheer: India Closer To Covid-19 Vaccine After UK Oxford Approval


The UK approved the coronavirus vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca on Wednesday, paving the way for its implementation at a time when the country is in the grip of its worst wave of infections, and offering important support. that will probably be taken into account. account in India, where authorities reviewed the inoculation later in the day.

While the UK said it will start giving the first injections from next week, Indians will likely have to wait a bit longer from the Subject Matter Expert Committee (SEC) of the Central Medicines Control Organization (CDSCO). ), which is examining the security data. and efficacy trials: said a decision has not yet been made and an additional meeting will be convened on Friday. The SEC’s decision is likely to take into account the approval of the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

The adenovirus vaccine is being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII) in Pune. Described as a ‘vaccine for the world’, it is the most likely candidate to meet a large part of India’s vaccination needs because it is cheaper, easier to store and transport, and is probably more available than the other two vaccines. approved so far. in other countries, the mRNAs developed by Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna.

Read also | One Year of Trials: Controversies, Issues Facing the AstraZeneca-Oxford Covid-19 Vaccine

The UK MHRA approved the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine on 2 December, making it the first inoculation approved anywhere in the world after due scientific process. The Moderna vaccine was approved by the United States on December 18.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who spent several days in intensive care with Covid earlier this year, called the approval of the Oxford vaccine “truly fantastic news” and “a triumph for British science.”

“Now we are going to act to vaccinate as many people as possible as quickly as possible,” he added.

On Tuesday, 53,135 new cases of Covid were registered in the UK, the highest increase in a single day since mass testing began, as well as 414 more deaths, reinforcing the need for the country to speed up its vaccination process. .

London, which is among the areas in south-east England where a new, more transmissible variant has spread, recorded 14,875 new cases. The UK’s state-funded hospital system has been nearly overwhelmed, with 21,286 Covid-19 patients, forcing some hospitals to cancel other procedures.

In New Delhi, the CDSCO SEC held its second meeting on coronavirus vaccines, which was attended by representatives of the SII, which has applied for emergency use approval. Pfizer-BioNTech and Bharat Biotech also requested approvals, which were discussed at the meeting.

“… More time was requested on behalf of Pfizer. Additional data and information submitted by SII and Bharat Biotech Pvt. Ltd. was reviewed and analyzed by the SEC. Analysis of the additional information and data is ongoing. The SEC will meet again on January 1, 2021 (Friday), ”said a government statement. The SEC had requested information from SII and Bharat Biotech on December 9.

The Union government has announced that India aims to vaccinate at least 300 million high-risk people against Covid-19 by July next year. You are currently developing a list of recipients to be included in the priority list.

In the UK, the priority list includes around 25 million people, the BBC reported. As of December 24, the latest date for which data was available, according to Our World in Data, 800,000 of these people had received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Andrew Pollard, Director of the Oxford Vaccine Group and Lead Investigator of the Oxford Vaccine Trial, said: “The regulator’s assessment that this is a safe and effective vaccine is a landmark moment and an endorsement of the enormous effort of a dedicated team researchers and our dedicated trial participants. ”

Pascal Soriot, CEO of AstraZeneca, said the company could provide the UK with up to 2 million doses a week, with the first doses arriving on Wednesday or Thursday: “Vaccination will start next week and we will reach 1 million per week and more. those two million a week very quickly. “

UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: ‘Because we have enough of this vaccine to vaccinate the entire population, we have 100 million doses ordered, add that to Pfizer’s 30 million doses and that’s enough for two dose for the entire population ”.

But the significance of the UK’s decision is seen as relevant to other countries because the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is cheaper than its rivals and easier to store or move. Storage at ultra-cold or frozen temperatures that other vaccines require is “very impractical” in developing countries, said Dr Gillies O’Bryan-Tear, chair of policy and communications at Britain’s College of Pharmaceutical Medicine, reported Reuters. It means that AstraZeneca “can reach more parts of the world than Pfizer,” he said.

The company has also said it will sell it for $ 2.50 a dose and plans to make up to 3 billion doses by the end of 2021.

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