The World Health Organization on Monday blasted wealthy countries for not only hogging Covid vaccines but in doing so, hindering the pathway for poorer nations to get them too. WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said some rich countries' direct deals with manufacturers had meant that previously-agreed vaccine allocations for poorer countries, via the Covax programme, were being reduced.
Ghana received the world's first delivery of coronavirus vaccines from the United Nations-backed COVAX initiative on Wednesday _ the long-awaited start for a program that has thus far fallen short of hopes that it would ensure shots were given quickly to the world's most vulnerable people.
Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin was the first to be given the vaccine, developed by US drugmaker Pfizer and German partner BioNTech, as part of government efforts to reassure people of the vaccine’s safety. After Muhyiddin was given his shot, officials clapped in the health department office in the administrative capital of Putrajaya.
The overall campaign thus far has been extremely uneven: 80% of the 210 million doses administered worldwide thus far were given in just 10 countries, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said this week.
The ICMR had announced on Tuesday that Pune-based National Institute of Virology was in the process of isolating and culturing the South African variant in its lab. The NIV has already readied a culture of the Brazilian variant for testing.
Scientists developed vaccines less than a year after COVID-19 was identified, a reflection of remarkable progress in vaccine technology. But progress in vaccine distribution is another story.
One group of suspects made a profit of about 18 million yuan ($2.8 million) by packaging saline solution or mineral water in 58,000 doses of spurious vaccines, Xinhua said, identifying its leader, arrested last Christmas Day, only by the surname Kong.
As India rolls out one of the world’s biggest inoculation programs, some health-care and other frontline workers are hesitating because of safety concerns over a vaccine that has yet to complete phase III trials.
Sri Lanka will become the eighth country to which India is gifting COVID-19 vaccines since it began its country-wide mega immunisation programme on January 16.
The American Hospital Association estimates that the nation would need to vaccinate 1.8 million people a day, every day, from Jan. 1 to May 31, to reach the goal of having widespread immunity by the summer.
As govt moves to expand the vaccination process to the 50-plus age group, the Centre is looking to rope in the private sector in a major way to cover a much larger target population of 27 crore people. Niti Aayog officials said details of the next phase of vaccinations were being firmed up and private sector participation would be large scale. India has vaccinated 1.14 cr people.
Fauci said the United States would support the "ACT Accelerator" - an umbrella effort including COVAX that also focuses on distributing diagnostic tools and therapeutics for the coronavirus to countries around the world.
Two million doses of Covisheild vaccines were sent to Bangladesh, while Nepal was supplied one million doses.
The actress joins Harrison Ford, Arnold Schwarzenegger & Sean Penn to receive the vaccine.
The President said India has supplied essential medicines to more than 150 countries in addition to fulfilling its domestic requirements following the pandemic.
Makers of COVID-19 vaccines need everything to go right as they scale up production to hundreds of millions of doses _ and any little hiccup could cause a delay. Some of their ingredients have never before been produced at the sheer volume needed.
In its Global Financial Stability update released on Wednesday, the International Monetary Fund underlined that until the coronavirus vaccines are widely available, the market rally and the economic recovery remain predicated on continued monetary and fiscal policy support.
One myth claims that the vaccines cause infertility by generating antibodies that not only target the coronavirus spike protein, as designed, but also inadvertently react with a protein in the placenta called syncytin-1.
Following the green light from the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the final step is approval by the European Commission which is expected to quickly follow.
"The process to distribute the vaccine, particularly outside of nursing homes and hospitals out into the community as a whole, did not really exist when we came into the White House," Klain said on NBC's "Meet the Press."
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced on Friday that the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) has granted approval to the SII, which is producing the vaccine in collaboration with the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca, to supply the drug to the country.
When asked whether India would do if Pakistan requests for the vaccines, MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava declined to answer saying the question is "hypothetical at this stage".
As millions of Americans form a queue to be inoculated against the coronavirus pandemic, some fortunate citizens have been vaccinated before everyone else and it all depends on being in the right place at the right time.
State governments, district officials and municipal commissioners have been asked to get ground staff, logistics and IT systems in place to carry out the drive that aims to cover 30 crore 'priority population' by July.
The Sputnik V and EMA teams held a scientific review of the vaccine on Tuesday, the Sputnik V account said, adding the EMA will take a decision on the authorization of the vaccine based on the reviews.
Two million doses of the vaccine, developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University and manufactured by Serum Institute of India (SII), will also be despatched to Bangladesh on Thursday, said officials briefed on the plans.
Singapore became the first Asian country to start vaccinating healthcare workers against Covid-19 with Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Wednesday. The health ministry's expert committee had recommended that persons at high risk of being infected, including healthcare workers and front-line workers, should be given priority for vaccination.
The vaccination, available at 48 designated clinics in 15 districts, began on December 24, targeting certain groups of people aged between 18 and 59 years, He Zhenyu, deputy director of the centre for disease control and prevention in Wuhan, told the media in Wuhan.
Special Assistant to Prime Minister Imran Khan on Health Dr Faisal Sultan confirmed on Saturday that the Drug Regulatory Authority Pakistan (DRAP) has granted approval for emergency use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine across the country, according to a report in the Geo TV.
The coronavirus pandemic is showing no signs of slowing down, with infections surging past 94 million and more than two million deaths, and Europe among the hardest-hit parts of the world.
Russia launched a voluntary vaccination programme with the Russia-made Sputnik V vaccine earlier in December, starting with the most vulnerable groups in Moscow.
As soon as Prime Minister Narendra Modi rolle out the vaccination drive, SGPGI Director Dr R K Dhiman, Ram Manohar Lohia Institute Director Dr A K Singh and Kannauj Medical College Principal Navneet Kumar were among the first few to get themselves vaccinated.
The first round of coronavirus vaccines in France is soon to begin as the country hopes to receive approval of the vaccine from EMA as soon as possible. The vaccines are set to be free for all as the government has earmarked 1.5 billion euros to cover costs. While the vaccine will not be mandatory, officials have urged citizens to get a shot.
Three COVID-19 vaccines, developed by Bharat Biotech, Serum Institute of India and Pfizer, are currently under active consideration of India's drug regulator. The Union health ministry, meanwhile, said that there is hope that early licensure is possible for all or any of them.
"I can confirm that as part of the Vatican City State vaccination programme to date, the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine has been administered to Pope Francis and the Pope Emeritus," spokesman Matteo Bruni said.
Researchers in Brazil said it was 50.4% effective at preventing symptomatic infections, barely enough for regulatory approval and below the 78% announced a week earlier.
Russia has imposed no broad lockdown during the second wave of infections that began in September and officials have said that targeted restrictions are enough to curb the virus.
"After having received the government purchase order for 55 lakh doses, the company shipped the first batch of vaccines (each vial containing 20 doses)," Bharat Biotech said in a statement.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (IGI Airport) Rajeev Ranjan said PCR vans along with local police will escort the vehicles carrying vaccines to its designated places. He said sufficient security arrangements have been put in place to facilitate the transportation of vaccines.
"Coronavirus is the century's biggest pandemic. It is important to protect our people from it. I appeal to the Central government to ensure that everyone gets free vaccine. The expenditure on this will save lots of lives," Kejriwal tweeted in Hindi.
India will start this month a vaccination drive to inoculate about 300 million people against Covid-19, an exercise considered to be one of the largest immunization drives in the world. What will it take to vaccinate a population of this size and who will be involved in this programme? ET’s Divya Rajagopal explains.World’s largest Covid vaccination campaign: Here is all you need to know
It will seek emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and conditional approval from the European Union on Monday.
People aged over 65 as well as those with chronic ailments or at a high risk of infection will receive the vaccine in the first stage, and those aged over 50 in the second, the health ministry said this week. Everyone else will be vaccinated in the third stage, the ministry said, without specifying the dates for each phase or how long the mass campaign would take.
It will remove false or baseless claims about immunisations, and debunked myths about the vaccine.
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said 45,93,427 beneficiaries have been vaccinated against COVID-19 till 1.30 PM on Thursday..
As a simulation of actual execution, another round of mock drill in all 700+ districts of all states/UTs (except UP and Haryana who have already conducted/ will be conducting the dry run in all districts on January 5 and January 7, respectively) is planned on January 8, 2021 to ensure efficient planning and management for vaccine delivery in each district of all states and UTs.
Covid-19 vaccination could be around the corner. The CEO of Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine maker, told ET on Friday India can start a vaccination drive by January and normalcy could return by October, provided approvals come soon enough. But administering a vaccine across the country will be a mammoth task. India has an effective polio vaccine delivery network but no experience with mass adult immunisation. Other major challenges include storing and transporting the doses in optimum temperatures and making sure they are administered properly even in remote areas. A look at how a vaccine might reach your arm:
The decision to look at vaccine development comes at a time when serious questions have been raised over emergency use authorisation given to Bharat Biotech's indigenous vaccine Covaxin before Phase III trials have been completed.
Oxford-AstraZeneca made Covishield by genetically engineering adenovirus that normally infects chimpanzees. It uses double-stranded DNA. Bharat Biotech made Covaxin is based on an inactivated form of the coronavirus.
The following is what we know about the race to deliver vaccines to help end the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 1.8 million people worldwide
Brent was up 30 cents or 0.6% at $50.55 a barrel by 0752 GMT, after gaining nearly 3% on Thursday. U.S. oil was up 31 cents, or 0.7%, at $47.09 a barrel, having also risen almost 3% in the previous session.
COVAXIN has been developed by Bharat Biotech, a company based in Hyderabad, with backing from the state-run Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
"I want to appeal to people to not believe in any rumors. Our prime criteria in the vaccine trial is the safety and efficacy and nothing will be compromised," Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said after reviewing the vaccine dry run at a government hospital in Delhi. Listen-in. (Text: IANS)Don't believe in rumours against coronavirus vaccine: Harsh Vardhan
Efficacy of Sputnik-V is 91.6% as confirmed by the data published in the Lancet, one of the world's oldest and most respected medical journals; it is one of only three vaccines in the world with efficacy of over 90%; Sputnik V provides full protection against severe cases of COVID-19.
The first patients in line on what has been dubbed "V-Day" -- the over-80s, care home workers and at-risk frontline health and social care staff -- will roll up their sleeves for an initial dose from early morning.
CBIC has amended the Courier Imports and Exports (Electronic Declaration and Processing) regulation to allow for temporary import and re-export of durable containers that will be used for transportation of the vaccine.
The limited data available suggests the vaccines will at least partly reduce transmission, and the studies to determine this with more clarity are underway. There should be more data within the next couple of months. Until then, precautionary measures like masking and distancing in the presence of unvaccinated people will remain important.
MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said at a media briefing that there has been interest in many countries in accessing vaccines from India and that it considers cooperation in the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic as its duty.
Sri Lanka's president on Thursday welcomed the first 500,000 doses of a Covid-19 vaccine from India, which has donated the shots to eight countries in the region. The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was manufactured by the Serum Institute of India. Sri Lanka said 150,000 health workers and 115,000 selected military and police troops will be the first to be inoculated at six hospitals in Colombo and its suburbs.
Makers of COVID-19 vaccines need everything to go right as they scale up production to hundreds of millions of doses - and any little hiccup could cause a delay. Some of their ingredients have never before been produced at the sheer volume needed.
According to a report by TOI, dry runs of the coronavirus vaccination programme started on Monday in four states, a day after India recorded its lowest single-day rise in COVID-19 cases in nearly six months. The two-day dry run from Monday in four states comes ahead of Centre's proposed ambitious vaccination drive likely to be kicked off in January.
A study conducted by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Covaxin showed a comparable neutralization activity of the vaccinated individuals against UK-variant strain. Covaxin, an indigenously developed and manufactured by Hyderabad based Bharat Biotech in collaboration with ICMR and National Institute of Virology (NIV).
Zorawar Kalra, MD of Massive Restaurants that runs brands such as Farzi Cafe and Made in Punjab, said business for existing brands is at 70% of the pre-Covid numbers.
The government's foremost infectious-disease expert is detailing some of the initial plans for rolling out a coronavirus vaccine in the US. "Towards the middle and end of December, we will be having available about 40 million doses of vaccines for 20 million people that will be allocated to the states according to population.," Dr. Anthony Fauci said during an online briefing Tuesday hosted by Colorado Gov. Jared Polis.US readies for rollout of coronavirus vaccine: Anthony Fauci
State media and officials are sowing doubts about Western vaccines and the origin of the coronavirus in an apparent bid to deflect the attacks. Both issues are in the spotlight because of the ongoing rollout of vaccines globally and the recent arrival of a WHO team in Wuhan, China, to investigate the origins of the virus.
Two vaccines--Covaxin and Covishield-- have received Emergency Use Authorisation (EAU) after going through established safety and immunogenicity in a well-prescribed regulatory process and these will be administered during the vaccination drive.
EpiVacCorona, which is being developed by Siberia’s Vector Institute, was authorized this month to carry out trials on 150 volunteers over 60 and 3,000 volunteers over 18, the watchdog has said.
In total 201,042,149 doses had been given worldwide by 1000 GMT -- a figure that does not include the latest data from China and Russia, who have stopped making their progress public in recent days.
Officials say two women who dressed up to make themselves appear as older adults to get coronavirus vaccinations were turned away and issued trespass warnings in Orlando. Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Michelle Guido told the Orlando Sentinel that the women altered their birth years on their vaccination registrations to bypass the state system, which prioritises people age 65 and older. (Text: AP)Florida women pose as seniors to get COVID shot; let off with warning
US President Joe Biden toured a state-of-the-art coronavirus vaccine plant and delivered remarks on his administration's progress as extreme winter weather across the country handed his vaccination campaign its first major setback, delaying shipment of about 6 million doses. (Text: AP)Joe Biden tours Pfizer plant as extreme weather delays 6 mn COVID vaccine doses
Pakistan this month started the anti-coronavirus vaccination drive with 500,000 doses of Sinopharm's vaccine donated by its ally China.
Addressing an international webinar "Kerala Health: Making the SDG A Reality," organised by the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Kerala, Dr Balram Bhargava, Director General of ICMR said a paper on Covaxin's neutralisation potential against the UK strain has been accepted for publication.
Biden became the latest in a string of U.S. political leaders who have received the vaccine. Vice President Mike Pence received it publicly at a White House event Friday while other members of Congress have also received doses
Pfizer and the Commission had earlier said that there would be no more slowdowns next week, after supplies were held up this week due to works at a Pfizer plant meant to ramp up production.
The CSIR's Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB), Delhi and Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad have alone done sequencing of over 2,200 genome sequences of coronavirus in India.
Companies, logistics firms, governments and hospitals are already ramping up infrastructure to safeguard vials of Covid vaccine against the looming risk of theft, burglary and pilferage. That’s not all — both vaccine makers and governments need to be alert to the possibility of counterfeiting and a potential grey market. They admit to being wary of lax security at hospitals etc.
"There is a capacity to store 2.5 lakh litres of vaccine in the state. For vaccination, six crore syringes are needed and till now, 4.5 crore have been allotted," the state government said.
On Tuesday, India had said it would send COVID-19 vaccines under grant assistance to Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles from Wednesday.
The WHO said on Monday that it was clearing the AstraZeneca vaccines made by the Serum Institute of India and South Korea's AstraZeneca-SKBio.
Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel got first dose of COVID-19 vaccination in Odisha’s Bhubaneswar on February 15. The vaccination drive was inaugurated by CRPF Inspector General SK Mohanty. Many CRPF personnel were being vaccinated during the drive. This campus is targeting to vaccinate minimum 800 CRPF personnel in four days.Watch: CRPF jawans get first dose of Covid-19 vaccine
"We can see the light at the end of the tunnel," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters at Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv. Early in the pandemic, Netanyahu tasked the Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR) with developing a vaccine against the virus.
No amount of fiscal stimulus will revive the economy until fear is cured and service activities resume. To diminish fear, the top priority of the budget must be to vaccinate as many as possible as quickly as possible.
India's Coronavirus vaccination drive: Over 3 lakh healthcare workers to be inoculated on the 1st day. Ground details by Times Now's Arvind (SMS Hosp, Jaipur), Amir (Govt Medical College, Lucknow) & Arindam (Guwahati Medical College).India's Coronavirus vaccination drive: Ground report from Delhi, Guwahati, Jaipur, and Lucknow
Pfizer-Biontech and Moderna recently announced the first interim efficacy analysis of their Covid-19 vaccines. The financial markets cheered the news as an early marker of success.
India has an effective polio vaccine delivery network but no experience with mass adult immunisation. Other major challenges include storing and transporting the doses in optimum temperatures and making sure they are administered properly even in remote areas
Trucks will roll out Sunday morning as shipping companies UPS and FedEx begin delivering Pfizer's vaccine to nearly 150 locations, said Army Gen. Gustave F. Perna of Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration's vaccine development program. Another 450 sites will get the vaccine Tuesday and Wednesday.
The first 250,000 doses of the mRNA-based vaccine are expected to arrive in Mexico by the end of December and be distributed among medical workers. Another 2 million doses will be supplied throughout January and February. Beginning from March, the monthly shipment of doses is expected to increase to 12 million.
Additional Chief Secretary of Health Amit Mohan Prasad said, "Vaccination will be held at 311 places in all the 75 districts of the state on January 16. The drive will start at 9 am and will continue till 5 pm."
Analysis of contracts countries are signing with vaccine makers for advance booking of candidates shows that the deals are still fluid, changing in a matter of days with some companies gaining and some losing orders given that most candidates are still in trial stage.
Brent was up 45 cents or 0.9 per cent at $50.70 a barrel by 0121 GMT, after gaining nearly 3 per cent on Thursday. U.S. oil was up 50 cents, or 1 per cent, at $47.28 a barrel, having also risen almost 3 per cent in the previous session
The company’s shares gained 10% in Mumbai on Thursday, making them set for the biggest advance since July 2019.
The vaccine will be sent to 139 centres, where the vaccination drive will begin from January 16," Telangana Public health Department Director G Srinivas Rao said.
The jump to mass vaccinations presents new hurdles, in particular for an mRNA vaccine like Pfizer and BioNTech's that must be stored and shipped at minus 70 degrees Celsius (-94°F).
The airline said it has been working closely with its ground handling partner at Changi Airport, SATS, to ensure that the Singapore air hub is ready to handle and store large volumes of pharmaceutical shipments effectively.
In the letters addressed to the PM and Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, these NGOs have also sought punishment for the "responsible parties who were negligent in ensuring the safety, well being and the rights of the trial participants".
U.S. crude oil rose more than 8% and pushed up energy stocks while safe-haven U.S. Treasuries sold off after U.S. drugmaker Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech said a large-scale trial of their vaccine showed it was more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19.
Dr. Anthony Fauci is cautioning against deviating from the two dose regimen for the approved coronavirus vaccines, warning that delaying the second dose in an effort to speed vaccinations to more people could increase the number of potentially dangerous variants. Speaking at a White House briefing, the nation’s top infectious disease expert expressed concern that the immune response to the virus may be weaker without the “booster” shot.Covid-19 vaccination: Anthony Fauci warns against 2-dose regimen deviation
The case comes amid concerns being raised by industry experts and opposition parties on the emergency approval granted to Bharat Biotech's coronavirus vaccine ‘Covaxin’ without publication of efficacy data. The Phase III clinical trials are underway.
This being a pandemic (from the Greek word for “all people”), that welcome development presents all the usual problems of global differences in wealth, power and equity. Rich countries have already placed their orders. Poor countries can only hope not to be left out. What should be done?
Potential issues could arise around the younger generation who would be last in line to be vaccinated.