Covaxin is 81 per cent effective in preventing Covid and can work against the UK variant of the virus, Bharat Biotech said Wednesday as it revealed a “first interim analysis” of Phase III trial results for a vaccine cleared in January amid concerns over safety and efficacy.
The company said its initial analysis was based on 43 trial participants getting coronavirus, of whom 36 had not received the vaccine. Interim analysis also showed that severe, serious, and medically attended adverse events occurred at low levels and were balanced between vaccine and placebo groups, Bharat Biotech said.
The company also said it planned further interim analysis for 87 cases and a final analysis for 130. This data has yet to be peer-reviewed.
India reported 14,989 fresh COVID-19 cases on Wednesday – 22 per cent higher than Tuesday – taking the tally to 1,11, 39,516, according to the health ministry data this morning. The active cases were recorded above 1.7 lakh after a month, the data stated.
The death count increased to 1,57,346 with 98 daily new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed.
Meanwhile, VK Sasikala, the ousted former chief of Tamil Nadu’s ruling AIADMK – who was released from a Bengaluru jail in January and was widely expected to challenge for control of the party, and the Chief Minister’s post, in next month’s election – will “stay away from politics and public life”.
In a letter released Wednesday night Sasikala – a confidante of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa – wrote: “I have never been after power or position even when Jaya was alive. Won’t do that after she is dead. I am staying away from politics to ensure continuation of AIADMK’s ‘golden rule’ in Tamil Nadu.”
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Germany will soon authorise the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine against Covid-19 for people over the age of 65, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday.
“The (German) vaccine commission, whose recommendations we are happy to follow, will authorise AstraZeneca for older age groups,” she told reporters after talks with regional leaders about the next steps in fighting the pandemic.
Germany had previously said it lacked sufficient data to greenlight the jab for those over 65, but Merkel said that thinking had changed thanks to recent encouraging studies.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday unveiled plans to gradually ease virus curbs in Europe’s top economy, caving to pressure from regional leaders and the public for more freedom after months of shutdowns.
Declaring a “new phase” in the pandemic, Merkel said more socialising between households would be allowed from Monday.
A consignment of Made-in-India COVID-19 vaccines has landed in Senegal on Wednesday under the ”Vaccine Maitri” initiative, said External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.
In a tweet, Mr Jaishankar said, “From Tiranga to Teranga. Made in India vaccines land in Senegal. #VaccineMaitri.”
The cumulative count of COVID-19 cases in Senegal has reached 35,037, including 896 deaths due to the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Earlier, Mr Jaishankar had said India has been “very much” at the forefront of the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and is providing vaccines to the world under ”Vaccine Maitri” initiatives.
Twenty-five nations across the world have already received Made in India vaccines and Forty-nine more countries will be supplied in the coming days, ranging from Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean to Africa, South-East Asia and the Pacific Islands, he had announced.
Under the Vaccine Maitri initiative, India has been providing coronavirus vaccines to its neighbouring countries.