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CORONAVIRUS CASUALTIES (Feb 21):- GLOBAL:- Total Cases: 11,17,07,442; Total Deaths: 24,73,463 Recovered: 8,68,78,799 BELGIUM:- Total Cases: 7,52,379; Total Deaths: 21,887 BRAZIL:- Total Cases: 1,01,39,148; Total deaths: 2,46,006 CANADA:- Total Cases: 8,43,301; Total Deaths: 21,630 CHINA:- Total Cases: 89,831 ; Total Deaths: 4,636 FRANCE:- Total Cases: 35,83,135; Total Deaths: 84,147 GERMANY:- Total Cases: 23,88,417 Total Deaths: 68,343 INDIA:- Total Cases: 1,09,91,651; Total Deaths: 1,56,339 INDONESIA:- Total Cases: 12,78,653; Total Deaths: 34,489 IRAN:- Total Cases: 15,66,081; Total Deaths: 59,409 ITALY:- Total Cases: 27,95,796; Total Deaths: 95,486 JAPAN:- Total Cases: 4,23,311; Total Deaths: 7,333 MEXICO:-Total Cases: 20,38,276; Total Deaths: 1,79,797 NETHERLANDS:- Total Cases: 10,51,965; Total Deaths: 15,200 PHILIPPINES:- Total Cases: 5,61,169; Total Deaths: 12,088 RUSSIA:- Total Cases: 41,64,726; Total Deaths: 83,293 S KOREA:- Total Cases: 86,992; Total Deaths: 1,557 SPAIN:-Total Cases: 31,33,122; Total Deaths: 67,101 SWEDEN:- Total Cases: 6,31,166 Total Deaths: 12,649 SWITZERLAND:-Total Cases: 5,47,775; Total Deaths: 9,886 UAE:- Total Cases: 3,68,175; Total Deaths: 1,108 UK:- Total Cases: 41,05,675; Total Deaths: 1,20,365; US:- Total Cases: 2,87,06,473; Total Deaths: 5,09,875 - India Travel Times.Com   [Estd: 1998]       * * *    Travel, More Travel, Travel Means A Million Things     * * *    
Drug regulator okays Covishield, Covaxin for covid
With the DCGI giving approval (EUA) for Covishield and Covaxin, the covid vaccines produced within India, India will be launching the world's largest vaccination drive any time now. Immediate priority goes to the health workers.

NEW DELHI, Jan 3: The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has approved the covid vaccines of Oxford University-AstraZeneca and Bharat Biotech for emergency use in the country.

"The vaccines of Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech are being approved for restricted use in emergency situations," the Drugs Controller General of India, VG Somani, said in New Delhi on Sunday.

"The vaccines are 110 % safe. Some side-effects like mild fever, pain and allergy are common for every vaccine," he said.

"The DCGI granting approval to vaccines of @SerumInstIndia and @BharatBiotech accelerates the road to a healthier and COVID-free nation," Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted.

"It would make every Indian proud that the two vaccines that have been given emergency use approval are made in India! This shows the eagerness of our scientific community to fulfil the dream of an Aatmanirbhar Bharat, at the root of which is care and compassion", Modi said.

While the vaccine developed by Oxford University-AstraZeneca was put to clinical trials and is being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, the world's largest manufacturer of vaccines, the Bharat Biotech vaccine was developed indigenously in association with the ICMR. The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine made in India is called Covishield and the Bharat Biotech vaccine is called Covaxin.

The Subject Expert Committee (SEC) had on Friday recommended marketing authorisation for Covishield and on Saturday it cleared Bharat Biotech's Covaxin, leading to the approval of Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) for both by the DCGI.

The Serum Institute of India, Pune, which had conducted the clinical trials of Covishield, had submitted data on its safety, immunogenicity and efficacy to the DCGI earlier for the EUA. Covishield is the Indian version of the Oxford-developed vaccine in India.

Thereafter the drug regulator wanted them to submit the outcome of the UK regulator's assessment of the data of trials done there before taking up the review. On Wednesday, the MHRA issued the EUA for the vaccine to be administered in the UK. Soon the SEC made its recommendation to the DCGI and now the EUA has come.

Unlike the Pfizer's which uses the latest mRNA technology manipulating the human genes, Covishield and Covaxin are conventional vaccines that use the attenuated (Covishield) or deactivated (Covaxin) virus. The former uses the common cold virus called adenovirus. Both work by producing the spike protein in the human body so as to prime the immune system to deactivate any virus when it infects the body.

Both the covid vaccines, Covishield and Covaxin, are generally active against new coronavirus mutant strains as seen in the UK also, it is claimed.

EUA has been given to Covaxin although the phase 3 trials are not over. They are undertaking the last clinical trials on 26,000 participants.

An advantage of Covishield and Covaxin over Pfizer's is that both can be transported and administered under normal fridge temperature of 2 to 8 deg C and no super cold storage is required. Therefore, supply and administration become hassle-free and cost-effective.

Covishield has been found 90% effective if first dose is low and 62% if both doses are given full, with one month's gap.

The Indian Central Drug Lab (CDL) has tested the Covishield (AZD1222).

According to the SII management, the vaccine may cost Rs 250 per dose in the Indian market initially. Covaxin of Bharat Biotech will cost Rs 350 per dose. Both need two doses with a gap of a few weeks.

India is planning to vaccinate 30 crore people by July with the vaccines which are ready for use in course of time. With the doses available presently, the Government plans to vaccinate one crore health workers and two crore frontline workers. Priorities for the 27 crore has not been finalised. 75 lakh beneficiaries are already registered on co-WIN app.

India conducted a dry run of the vaccination in all the States and UTs successfully on Saturday. And with the EUA approval, India with a population of 1.3 billion, is ready to launch one of the world's largest vaccination drives. Twenty Ministries and 23 Departments are engaged in the work and 57,000 participants have been trained in 719 districts, apart from training 1,14,000 vaccinators.

India is the second worst affected country by coronavirus after the US with over 10 million cases and 1,50,000 deaths.

Under the at-risk manufacturing and stockpiling licence it got from the DCGI, the SII has already manufactured 40 million doses.

As per the agreement with AstraZeneca, the SII will produce 1 billion doses in India to be supplied to underdeveloped countries.

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