Does Covaxin have WHO’s approval for use in children?

The health ministry's guidelines says Covaxin is the “only vaccine with WHO’s Emergency Use Listing (EUL) for the age-group 15-18”. This is incorrect. WHO has granted Emergency Use Listing for Covaxin for use in adults 18 years and above only. On December 25, 2021 Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that adolescents aged 15-17 years will … Continue reading Does Covaxin have WHO’s approval for use in children?

Does the Omicron variant make a case for booster doses?

What is the major objective of a booster dose -- to protect from infection or protect from severe disease and death, who should get it first whenever it is approved, is there enough evidence recommending for their use, and should we give boosters when primary immunisation is not complete? Dr. Chandrakant Lahariya, physician epidemiologist and … Continue reading Does the Omicron variant make a case for booster doses?

Virus rages in Europe as epicentre shifts

While most of the new daily cases reported are among the unvaccinated, breakthrough infections and hospitalisations are being reported in the fully vaccinated too. However, the deaths have predominantly been among the unvaccinated. With the staggering increase in the number of daily fresh coronavirus cases and deaths in many countries in Europe, the continent has … Continue reading Virus rages in Europe as epicentre shifts

‘Pandemic far from over’ even as global death toll crosses five million

The global death toll from COVID-19 crossed five million on November 1 and yet the the global number of reported cases and deaths from COVID-19 is now increasing for the first time in two months. The first million deaths were recorded on September 8, 2020, nearly nine months after the first death occurred, while the two-million mark was breached three and a … Continue reading ‘Pandemic far from over’ even as global death toll crosses five million

mRNA vaccine manufacturers loathe to share know-how

Moderna, which was funded $1 billion for research by the U.S. government, said in October 2020 that it will not enforce COVID-19-related patents against those making vaccines intended to combat the pandemic. But the company has refused to transfer technology to the South African hub to manufacture its mRNA vaccines for distribution to the African … Continue reading mRNA vaccine manufacturers loathe to share know-how

As U.S approves booster shots, under 3.5% vaccinated in Africa

Of the nearly 6 billion doses administered globally, only 2% have been in Africa; about 80% have been administered in high- and upper-middle income countries. Less than 3.5% of people in Africa have been fully vaccinated so far compared with 54% of the total population in the U.S. Unkept promises of supplying vaccines to COVAX, … Continue reading As U.S approves booster shots, under 3.5% vaccinated in Africa

New cases and deaths rising again globally

Ever since the new daily cases globally touched a new peak of over 0.9 million on April 28, the daily recorded cases have been steadily dropping before rising again from the fourth week of June. The highly transmissive Delta variant has been driving the cases in most countries. Brazil, India, Indonesia, the U.K and Colombia … Continue reading New cases and deaths rising again globally

Serum’s supply to COVAX hit by India’s poor vaccination planning

While India approved Rs.3,000 crore in funding to Serum to meet the cost of ramping up production capacity only on April 19, 2021, Serum had received $300 million funding in August and September 2020 from the Gates Foundation to supply 200 million doses by first half of 2021. But only a paltry 19.8 million doses … Continue reading Serum’s supply to COVAX hit by India’s poor vaccination planning

Explained: Probing the origin of SARS-CoV-2 virus

The WHO fact-finding team had initially rejected the possibility of a lab-leak saying it is “extremely unlikely” and that further investigation into it was not required. However, at a press briefing on February 12, the WHO Chief Tedros A Ghebreyesus appeared to backpaddle saying that on discussing with a few team members “all hypotheses [including … Continue reading Explained: Probing the origin of SARS-CoV-2 virus

Why working alongside China to uncover the virus’s origin is important

Even as global focus shifted to therapeutics and vaccine trials, it is reassuring that WHO is determined to discover the origin of the virus. But the pace of investigation leaves much to be desired. In 2003, a World Health Organization team was able to identify the animal source of SARS coronavirus within weeks despite the … Continue reading Why working alongside China to uncover the virus’s origin is important