Government passes off factually incorrect vaccination information as ‘fact’

While Dr. Vinod Paul, Chair of the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19, said no country is vaccinating children, the U.S. has been vaccinating children older than 16 years since April 20. On May 10, the FDA authorised Pfizer vaccine in children 12-15 years, and five other countries too have approved the vaccine … Continue reading Government passes off factually incorrect vaccination information as ‘fact’

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Can vaccination of all adults slow down the second wave?

It is very much possible to slow down the pace of virus spread by vaccinating all above 18 years. However, with vaccine shortage in many States, the number of daily vaccinations in the last week has been dipping. Since April 1 the number daily fresh cases has been accelerating rapidly with the number of cases … Continue reading Can vaccination of all adults slow down the second wave?

How can India contain the second wave?

In a conversation I moderated, Dr. Gautam Menon, Professor of Physics and Biology at Ashoka University and Dr. Giridhara Babu, epidemiologist at the Public Health Foundation of India, Bengaluru and a member of the Karnataka COVID-19 Technical Advisory Committee discuss some possible options available to contain the second wave. Edited excerpts: After daily new COVID-19 … Continue reading How can India contain the second wave?

In a major shift, India fast-tracks restricted use approval for vaccines developed in other countries

On April 13, India permitted fast-track approval of COVID-19 vaccines developed, tested and approved outside the country. The decision has been taken to “expand the basket of vaccines for domestic use and hasten the pace and coverage” of COVID-19 vaccination. But before mass roll out of the vaccines that are developed and tested abroad can … Continue reading In a major shift, India fast-tracks restricted use approval for vaccines developed in other countries

Proving variant-specific efficacy will be a logistic nightmare, very expensive: Gagandeep Kang

Influenza vaccines are decided based on strains recommended by WHO twice a year for northern and southern hemisphere vaccines. They require animal studies in ferrets and small safety and immunogenicity studies, based on measurement of antibodies. If we had a reasonable antibody measurement which could reflect protection, then we could potentially follow a similar strategy … Continue reading Proving variant-specific efficacy will be a logistic nightmare, very expensive: Gagandeep Kang

Pfizer vaccine can be stored at -15 to -25 degree C for two weeks

On February 19, the U.S.-based Pfizer claimed in a release that its COVID-19 vaccine is stable when stored low temperature of -25 to -15 degree C, which are commonly found in pharmaceutical freezers and refrigerators. The stability data has been generated on batches manufactured over the past nine months of COVID-19 vaccine development. On Friday, … Continue reading Pfizer vaccine can be stored at -15 to -25 degree C for two weeks

Moderna, Pfizer vaccines neutralise variants encoding mutations E484K or N501Y but with less potency

The neutralisation by 14 of the 17 most potent antibodies was reduced or abolished by either K417N, or E484K, or N501Y mutations in sera of people vaccinated with Moderna or Pfizer vaccine. In a small cohort involving just 20 trial participants, researchers have found that both Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech are able to neutralise SARS-CoV-2 variants … Continue reading Moderna, Pfizer vaccines neutralise variants encoding mutations E484K or N501Y but with less potency

Vaccine dilemma: To take or not to take Covaxin

Since COVID-19 vaccination is not compulsory, a person walking into a site that provides only Covaxin can choose not to get vaccinated. But is it ethical to offer one health-care worker the Covaxin whose efficacy is unknown and another health-care worker the Covishield whose efficacy is known even though both face the same risk of … Continue reading Vaccine dilemma: To take or not to take Covaxin

I would not take Covaxin without efficacy data: Gagandeep Kang

Serum's Covishield and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin are examples of atmanirbhar (self-reliance) but have an element of non-Indian science — and at least to me that is fine, says Dr. Gagandeep Kang. Though Covaxin uses inactivated virus, neutralising antibodies against the spike protein are critical for reinfection. So if Covaxin is based on an old viral … Continue reading I would not take Covaxin without efficacy data: Gagandeep Kang

UK uses an untested strategy to rapidly but partially protect people at risk

With the virus running amok in the country and vaccines in short-supply, the U.K. is attempting an untested strategy of delaying the second dose of both AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccine even in the absence of data from large trials. The intent is to rapidly but partially protect more individuals who are at risk.