COVID-19 vaccine latest updates: Astrazeneca’s manufacturing ‘error’ raises concerns on vaccine efficacy, Covaxin to begin phase III trials in Gujarat

COVID-19 vaccine latest updates: Astrazeneca’s manufacturing ‘error’ raises concerns on vaccine efficacy, Covaxin to begin phase III trials in Gujarat
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  • Astrazeneca and Oxford University have acknowledged a manufacturing error that is raising questions about preliminary results of their experimental COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Bharat Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate, Covaxin, will begin its phase III trials at the Sola civil hospital in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
  • Pfizer begins process to register its COVID-19 vaccine in Brazil.
The latest wave of COVID-19 infections across the world has taken the global tally of cases over the 60 million mark. Deaths in the US have surpassed 2,60,000, 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 92 lakh cases.

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

Astrazeneca admits manufacturing ‘error’ in vaccine

AstraZeneca and Oxford University have acknowledged a manufacturing error that is raising questions about preliminary results of their experimental COVID-19 vaccine.

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A statement describing the error on November 25 comes days after the company and the university described the shots as "highly effective" and made no mention of why some study participants didn't receive as much vaccine in the first of two shots as expected.

The group of volunteers that got a lower dose seemed to be much better protected than the volunteers who got two full doses. Astrazeneca said that in the low-dose group, the vaccine appeared to be 90%effective. Whereas the group that got two full doses, the vaccine appeared to be 62% effective. The drugmakers said that combined, the vaccine appeared to be 70% effective.

Covaxin reaches Gujarat for phase III trials

Bharat Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate, Covaxin, will begin its phase III trials at the Sola civil hospital in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. The hospital has received 500 doses of the vaccine candidate for the trial, Gujarat deputy CM Nitin Patel said.
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The vaccine will be tested on healthy and elderly volunteers and health workers. They will receive two doses of the potential vaccine per month during this trial. Covaxin is being developed by the Hyderabad-based firm in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

Pfizer begins process to register its COVID-19 vaccine in Brazil

Pfizer has started the process to register its COVID-19 vaccine in Brazil. It has submitted the results of its tests to the country’s health regulators. "This is an important step so that the vaccine can be available in Brazil," Pfizer said in a statement.

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Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate is being developed in collaboration with the German pharmaceutical BioNTech.

Sinopharm applies for license to bring its vaccine to the market for public use

Sinopharm’s subsidiary, China National Biotec Group, has applied to the country’s health regulators to bring its COVID-19 vaccine candidate to the market for public use, according to reports. The application may include data from the company’s phase III trials conducted in the Middle East and South America. However, the company has not made the results of the vaccine's efficacy public yet.

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(with inputs from agencies)

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