COVAXIN trials in Gujarat, AstraZeneca admits ‘error’

The global caseload of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) has topped 60 million-mark, as per a tally by worldometers, even as worldwide search continues for a vaccine which will help treat the disease. With the virus claiming more than 1.4 million lives worldwide, as per the worldometers tally, the need for a vaccine is only being felt increasingly.

Even as countries like India, as well as the United States, prepare a vaccine distribution plan, for once a candidate is finally approved by health regulators, here are the latest updates on the coronavirus vaccine front:

  1. Bharat Biotech International Limited’s vaccine candidate has reached Gujarat for phase 3 trials. Ahmedabad’s Sola civil hospital is among 130 centres across the country selected for COVAXIN phase three trials, HG Koshia, commissioner, Gujarat Food and Drug Control Administration (FDCA) said.

2. UK-headquartered AstraZeneca, which is working on a vaccine candidate with Oxford University, in a statement on Wednesday acknowledged an “error” that is bound to raise questions on the preliminary results of its candidate. In a late-phase analysis, participants received a full dose of the candidate, AZD1222; the efficacy was found to be 62%. This is against the earlier 90% efficacy found for the group which received a half-dose shot.

3. A leading Chinese vaccine maker, China National Biotec Group Company, has applied to Chinese health regulators to bring its candidate to the market, state media Xinhua Finance reported on Wednesday.

4. America’s Pfizer Inc has started the process to register its Covid-19 vaccine in Brazil, submitting to the country’s health regulators results of the tests of its vaccine candidate. “This is an important step so that the vaccine can be available in Brazil,” a statement from the company said in Portuguese. Pfizer is developing BNT162b2 with Germany’s BioNTech SE.

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