COVID-19 Vaccine

Over six months into the coronavirus pandemic and the number of infected has crossed 12 million across the globe. Covid-19 has claimed more than 5 lakh lives globally while 7 million people have recovered from the deadly contagion worldwide. With a rapid surge in coronavirus cases across the globe, scientists and researchers are also ramping up effort to arrive at the potential Covid-19 vaccine.On Friday, Gilead Sciences Inc said an analysis showed its antiviral remdesivir helped reduce the risk of death in severely ill Covid-19 patients. It, however, added that rigorous clinical trials are needed to confirm its benefits.

• Germany-based biotechnology company, BioNTech SE, could seek approval for its coronavirus vaccine by the end of the year, Wall Street Journal reported. The experimental vaccine, BNT162b1, showed promise against coronavirus in early-stage human testing and is expected to move into a large trial involving 30,000 participants this month, pending regulatory nod.

ModernaInc is expecting to begin late-stage trials of its vaccine later this month. Its vaccine was among the first to be tested in humans in the US. In a small trial conducted on a group of healthy individuals, the vaccine was found to produce protective antibodies. The company has signed an agreement with Spain’s LaboratoriosFarmacéuticosRovi SA to scale up the manufacturing and production of its potential Covid-19 vaccine for markets outside the US.

• A tuberculosis vaccine routinely given to children in countries with high rates of that bacterial disease might be helping to reduce deaths from Covid-19, researchers reported on Thursday. The findings were published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

• A parliamentary panel on Friday informed the government of India that a vaccine for Covid-19 is expected only by early next year. Presentations were given by the Department of Science and Technology, Department of Biotechnology, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the principal scientific adviser to the government before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment and Climate on the Centre’s Covid-19 preparedness.