Race to find a vaccine for the novel coronavirus continues even as the pandemic has wreaked havoc across the world. While India has thus far reported a total of over 4.9 million cases of the disease, as per Union health ministry data, globally, there have been over 29 million cases of the disease thus far, as per worldometers.
As various possible vaccines are trialled across the world, and people hope for a breakthrough, US businessman and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates on Tuesday called India a leading vaccine producer, adding India’s cooperation is needed to manufacture Covid-19 vaccine.
Meanwhile, Adar Poonawalla, the chief executive of Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) expressed apprehension there won’t be enough vaccine for everyone in the world before 2024-end.
Here are the latest developments in Covid-19 vaccine trials:
• Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates on Tuesday expressed hope for a large-scale Covid-19 vaccine rollout in India next year. “All of us want to get a vaccine out in India as fast as we can, once we know that its very effective and very safe.
• Poonawalla, whose SII is in partnership with five international firms-including AstraZeneca and Novovax-to develop a vaccine, said world will need around 15 billion doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, if it is a two-dose vaccine.
• AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine trials have been put on hold in the US till at least midweek, pending a US investigation into a serious side effect in Britain, sources familiar with developments said.
• The World Health Organisation (WHO), meanwhile, praised AstraZeneca’s decision to halt its Covid-19 vaccine trials, saying safety is always critical, crucial and has been looked at by AstraZeneca ‘in an appropriate manner.’
• A Chinese official said vaccine may be available for public use in the country in November 2020. China currently has four vaccines in final stage of clinical trials, of which at least three have been offered for emergency use.
• Over 300 volunteers were inoculated during the post-registration trials of Russia’s CovidD-19 vaccine, dubbed Sputnik V, with 14% reporting ‘minor complaints.’
(With agency inputs)
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