COVID-19: Ethical challenges of vaccinating people with comorbidities

Considering a range of comorbidities that increases the risk of disease severity, which comorbidities should be given more priority for vaccination? Should people with two or more comorbidities be prioritised over those with just one comorbidity? Since males have greater risk of progressing to severe disease and deaths, should males with comorbidities be prioritised over … Continue reading COVID-19: Ethical challenges of vaccinating people with comorbidities

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Can COVID-19 vaccines with EUA be used at the population level?

Emergency use approval is given during public health emergencies and that emergency is the same for everyone, countries have identified high-risk groups that will receive the vaccine first. If and when vaccines from many manufacturers become available, can it be used at the population level even when they have only an emergency use approval is … Continue reading Can COVID-19 vaccines with EUA be used at the population level?

By putting the vaccine approval on hold for want of data, DCGI has underscored its priorities

With a single stroke of a pen, the Drugs Controller General of India has put to rest any doubts and concerns that it would rush to grant emergency use approval to COVID-19 vaccines tested and manufactured in India or elsewhere in the absence of supporting data. With a single stroke of a pen, the Drugs … Continue reading By putting the vaccine approval on hold for want of data, DCGI has underscored its priorities

Transparency in COVID-19 vaccine trials vital to gain public trust

Even as announcing sketchy results of vaccine trials through press releases has become the troubling norm during the pandemic, Serum Institute has moved further down on the transparency scale even as the company seeks an emergency use approval. The Pune-based vaccine manufacturer has so far not shared any information about vaccine safety and efficacy even … Continue reading Transparency in COVID-19 vaccine trials vital to gain public trust

COVID-19: Challenges in achieving herd immunity through vaccination

Where everyone is equally affected by COVID-19 disease, immunisation should be available to all when vaccines are ready. It is important to remember that vaccines are a tool to promote health equity. If the goal is to achieve herd immunity, we will need about 70% of the population to be covered. Breaking the chain of … Continue reading COVID-19: Challenges in achieving herd immunity through vaccination

Ethics of denying COVID-19 vaccine to placebo group participants once EUA is granted

Offering the vaccine right away to those in the placebo group will first require unblinding the study. Unblinding the study and offering the vaccine to the placebo group will make it almost impossible to gather further information on vaccine efficacy, thus making full licensure challenging.

Oxford vaccine found safe and immunogenic even in older adults

Results of the Phase-2 trial of the Oxford vaccine show that the vaccine is safe across age groups — younger (18-55 years age) and older adults (over 56 years age). In fact, older adults better tolerated the vaccine than younger adults, the results show. The vaccine also induced T cell immune responses and neutralising antibodies … Continue reading Oxford vaccine found safe and immunogenic even in older adults

Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine 95% efficacious, final analysis shows

On November 18, Pfizer announced that the final efficacy analysis of its candidate mRNA-based vaccine (BNT162b2) in phase-3 trial has been completed and the vaccine shows 95% efficacy to prevent COVID-19 disease beginning 28 days after the first dose. On November 18, Pfizer announced that the final efficacy analysis of its candidate mRNA-based vaccine (BNT162b2) … Continue reading Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine 95% efficacious, final analysis shows

More mRNA COVID-19 vaccines show stability at higher temperatures

The interim results of Moderna’s mRNA vaccine show that the vaccine has 94.5% efficacy in preventing COVID-19. But the striking difference between Pfizer's and Moderna vaccine lies in thermostability at relatively higher temperatures. The Moderna vaccine is stable at -20 degree C for up to six months, 2-8 degree C for 30 days, and at … Continue reading More mRNA COVID-19 vaccines show stability at higher temperatures

Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine shows promise, many unknowns remain

The over 90% effectiveness reported is basically against symptomatic infection. But the nature of infection — mild, moderate or severe — that the vaccine can protect against is not clear. It is also unclear if the vaccinated participants have been asymptomatically infected and whether older adults were protected. The first interim analysis of the Phase-3 … Continue reading Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine shows promise, many unknowns remain