COVID-19 vaccine latest updates: Spain approves phase III trials of J&J vaccine, Feluda test kit for COVID to be launched in Delhi

COVID-19 vaccine latest updates: Spain approves phase III trials of J&J vaccine, Feluda test kit for COVID to be launched in Delhi
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  • Feluda, the paper strip test for COVID-19 diagnosis is set to be launched in Delhi today, according to a report.
  • Spain approves phase three trials of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is 95% effective, final study shows
  • Early trials show that Chinese COVID vaccine, CoronaVac triggers a quick immune response
The latest wave of COVID-19 infections across the world has taken the global tally of cases over the 56 million mark. Deaths in the US have surpassed 2,50,000, a new grim milestone amid an unabated resurgence in the worst hit country in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University. India stands second with over 89 lakh cases.

There has been a glimmer of hope with three global vaccine candidates showing over 90% efficacy rate in the last one week.

Here’s a look at COVID-19 vaccine updates from around the world —

Spain approves phase three trials of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine

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Spain has authorised phase 3 trials of the vaccine being developed by Johnson and Johnson-owned Janssen Pharmaceutica, Reuters reported. This is the first vaccine candidate which will enter phase 3 trials in the country and will be conducted in nine hospitals.

Feluda paper strip test to be launched in Delhi

Feluda, the paper strip test for COVID-19 diagnosis is set to be launched in India’s national capital, Delhi, today, according to a report by Hindustan Times. The indigenously developed testing kit based on a gene editing technology called CRISPR was launched by the Tata Group earlier this month. Reports suggest that this paper strip test is expected to be cheaper than the current RT-PCR test. The Feluda test had shown 96% sensitivity and 98% specificity in tests; and was approved for use by the Indian Council of Medical Research in September.

Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is 95% effective, final study shows

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Global drug makers Pfizer and BioNTech said that their COVID-19 vaccine was found 95 per cent effective in the final analysis of the Phase 3 trial, including in people aged over 65 years, paving the way for the companies to apply for emergency authorisation from US regulators within days.

Early trials show that Chinese COVID vaccine, CoronaVac triggers a quick immune response

Preliminary trial results show that Sinovac Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine CoronaVac triggers a quick immune response in healthy volunteers aged 18 to 59 years. According to the findings of the phase 1/2 randomised clinical trial, the vaccine candidate could induce an antibody response in participants within 28 days of the first immunisation, by giving two doses 14 days apart.

However the level of antibodies produced was lower than in people who recovered from the disease, Reuters reported. The research that was published in a Lancet study shows that the vaccine is safe and could provide sufficient protection.
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Russian President: Sputnik V vaccine could be produced in India and China

Russian President Vladimir Putin called for a joint effort by the BRICS countries on the development of the coronavirus vaccines as he suggested that Russia's Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19 could be produced in China and India, which are members of the five-nation bloc.

"We believe it is important to speed up the establishment of the centre for development and research of BRICS vaccines, which we agreed to do two years ago, upon the initiative of our South African friends," Putin said while addressing the 12th BRICS summit via videoconferencing.

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Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine shows over 94% efficacy, Indian government is in talks with the US biotech giant

India is in dialogue with the US-based biotech giant Moderna over the progress in the clinical trials of its coronavirus vaccine candidate, which the firm said has shown 94.5 percent efficacy, official sources said on Monday.

"We are in dialogue not only with Moderna, but also with Pfizer, Serum Institute, Bharat Biotech and Zydus Cadila over the progress of the clinical trials of each of the vaccine candidates and where their vaccines stand in terms safety, immunogenicity and efficacy, and regulatory approvals," a source said.

On Monday, Moderna said that its vaccine candidate against COVID-19 was found to have an efficacy of 94.5 percent.
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Bharat Biotech begins phase III trials for Covaxin

Vaccine maker Bharat Biotech has started Phase III trials of Covaxin, India's first indigenous vaccine for COVID-19. The Phase III trials, which involve 26,000 volunteers across India, are being conducted in partnership with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

According to a Reuters report, Bharat Biotech COVAXIN could be launched as early as February as studies have so far shown it is safe and effective. Bharat Biotech had earlier hoped to launch it only in the second quarter of next year.

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Pfizer's new COVID-19 vaccine is 95% effective and the only severe side-effect to worry about is fatigue, according to the final results
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