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.
An Earthquake of Magnitude 4.9 felt in Nepal, India and China
An earthquake of Magnitude 4.9 hit Nepal, India, and China at around 03.00 pm IST. Tremors were felt in Nepal with light tremors in some cities like Muzaffarpur, Hajipur, and Patna in the Indian state of Bihar.
The epicenter is said to be 10 km from Phulpingkatti in Nepal. More updates are awaited.
London Bridge Down: Death of Queen Elizabeth brings a moment of reckoning for Britain
LONDON: Queen Elizabeth II has died in Scotland aged 96 after battling health problems since last October, the Royal Family announced Thursday. Doctors had placed the queen under medical supervision at Balmoral Castle, her estate in the Scottish Highlands.
Buckingham Palace has just released the following statement: “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”
Her close family rushed to her bedside as doctors grew “concerned” about her health on Thursday, Buckingham Palace said. Her grandson and his wife, Harry and Meghan Markle – who had a public showdown with the Palace, flew in from Canada.
According to news agency AFP, the Queen pulled out of a planned meeting with her senior political advisors on Wednesday, after being told to rest. The previous day she had audiences at Balmoral – her Scottish Highlands retreat, with outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson and appointed his successor, Liz Truss.
In recent months, the Queen appeared visibly frail and had a series of withdrawals from public engagements. She had taken to walking with a stick and was also seen touring the Chelsea Flower Show in a motorized buggy.
In June, the UK came together for the Platinum Jubilee celebrations to mark the 70th anniversary of the Queen’s accession to the British throne. Her husband, Prince Phillip, died last year at the age of 99, two months before his 100th birthday.
Queen Elizabeth II’s tenure as head of state spanned post-war austerity, the transition from empire to Commonwealth, the end of the Cold War and the UK’s entry into – and withdrawal from – the European Union.
Her reign spanned 15 prime ministers starting with Winston Churchill, born in 1874, and including Liz Truss, born 101 years later in 1975, and appointed by the Queen earlier this week. She held weekly audiences with her prime minister throughout her reign.
Bharat Ratna awardee and true gem Lata Mangeshkar Ji is no more
The nightingale of the music industry, Lata Mangeshkar Ji passed away on February 6 at the age of 92 in the Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai. She was born on September 29, 1929. Very few singers have achieved the admiration that she did in her life.
She sang thousands of songs in more than 20 different languages. Not only in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan, she was also admired and praised in western countries.
PM Modi was among the first ones to share the sad news. “The kind and caring Lata Didi has left us. She leaves a void in our nation that cannot be filled. The coming generations will remember her as a stalwart of Indian culture, whose melodious voice had an unparalleled ability to mesmerise people,” he tweeted.
Apart from Bharat Ratna, she received numerous honors like the Daughter of the Nation award, the Legion of Honour award from the French government, and many more. Lata Mangeshkar truly was a gift that India will never cease cherishing.
We at Giveupnot pay our heartly tributes to her and wish that “unki aatma ko sadgati prapt ho”, OM SHANTI.