Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, India looks for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine candidate to be the likely first shot available for Indians by the end of 2020.
There are also two indigenously developed vaccine candidates, which are also being expected to get launched with a gap of few weeks if cleared in trials, said a report by The Times of India citing officials.
However, the COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed by the University of Oxford is ahead of the other two local vaccine candidates that have also entered the human clinical trials, the report stated.
Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) is a manufacturing partner of British pharma giant AstraZeneca for manufacturing the potential COVID-19 vaccine developed by the University of Oxford.
The SII, which has been permitted for conducting advanced phases of human clinical trials of the candidate in India, has started Phases 2 and 3 trials, said the report.
Meanwhile, the locally developed vaccine candidates Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, jointly developed with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), and Zydus Cadila’s Zycov D are both in early phases of human clinical trials, as per the report.
The trials by SII are the largest, which is being conducted with around 1,600 people aged above 18 years across 17 selected sites across the country, for the COVID-19 vaccine in the country so far. For the trials of the other two vaccine candidates, there have been around 1,000-1,100 participants enrolled in five to eight sites, said the report.
Also, in comparison to other vaccines being developed outside India, the Oxford vaccine candidate has scored better as it has an Indian company – SII as a manufacturing and distribution partner.
SII, which plans to make 100 million doses of vaccine every month and 400 million doses of the Oxford vaccine by the end of 2020, recently received $150 million from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the vaccine development and distribution. GAVI has also announced funding for manufacturing initial shots of the vaccine in the country, added the report.
Instagram Down: Giving 5xx Server Error
Update 19 Mar 2021 23:38 IST: Instagram and other apps are now working fine.
Instagram is currently facing downtime and users from all around the world are reporting Instagram Server Down on Twitter. Some users are also facing downtime on WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
The Instagram app is showing “couldn’t refresh feed”. and the Instagram website is giving 5xx Server Error.
Earthquake in Nalanda, Patna – Bihar with 3.5 Magnitude
An earthquake of magnitude 3.5 was reported near Nalanda in Bihar on Monday night, according to India’s National Center for Seismology.
The epicenter of the earthquake was 20 km northwest (NW) of Nalanda, Bihar, India, the agency said. The earthquake struck at 9:23 PM IST at a depth of 5 km from the surface. Tremors were also felt in Gaya, Bhagalpur, Nalanda, Patna.
Uttarakhand Power Plant Damaged After The Glacier Burst
Uttarakhand: A glacial burst in Chamoli district, Uttarakhand triggered an avalanche and massive flooding of the Alaknanda and Dhauliganga rivers on Sunday morning, forcing the emergency evacuation of thousands from surrounding areas, and damaging houses and the nearby Rishiganga power project.
Disaster response and management teams have been deployed to conduct search-and-rescue and relief operations. Around 100 to 150 people may have been killed, Uttarakhand Chief Secretary Om Prakash told news agency ANI. Authorities fear hundreds more may still be stuck. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is in Assam to campaign for Assembly polls, tweeted: “India stands with Uttarakhand and the nation prays for everyone’s safety.”
Disaster management teams have been mobilized and hundreds of ITBP (Indo-Tibetan Border Police) have been rushed for rescue operations.
SN Pradhan, chief of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), said that teams from the relief force have been moved for search-and-rescue and relief operations in Uttarakhand where a glacial burst has triggered an avalanche. “The glacial burst has taken out a bridge constructed by the Border Road Organisation. Also in the higher reaches, the Rishiganga hydel project also has been damaged,” he said.