UK to go public with Covid 19 vaccine
Even as the world grapples with a second wave of Covid 19 infections, there’s a glint of good news during this festive season. The UK has become the first country in the world to approve a vaccine against Coronavirus. The Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine has been tested and would be ready to go public next week.
Britain’s medicines regulator, the MHRA, says the jab, which offers up to 95% protection against Covid-19 illness, is safe to be rolled out.
The first doses are already on their way to the UK, with 800,000 due in the coming days. Elderly people in care homes and care home staff have been placed top of the priority list, followed by over-80s and health and care staff.
The Pfizer/BioNTech jab is the fastest vaccine to go from concept to reality, taking only 10 months to follow the same steps that normally span 10 years.
The UK has already ordered 40 million doses of the jab – enough to vaccinate 20 million people.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has also ordered authorities to begin mass vaccinations against COVID-19 from next week in Russia. Russia will be producing 2 million vaccine doses of Sputnik V within the next few days.
Meanwhile, in India the Covaxin phase 3 trials have commenced in several states including Haryana, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and other states are also expected to begin soon. It is the largest clinical trial conducted for a coronavirus vaccine in India. Other than Hyderabad-based firm’s Covaxin, four other potential vaccines are under various phases of trial. Serum Institute of India is conducting phase-three trial of the Oxford-Astrazeneca Covid-19 vaccine while the indigenously developed vaccine by Zydus Cadila has completed phase-two clinical trial.
With worldwide cases crossing 65.4 million, the medical fraternity has asked people not to take the infections lightly. The US continues to register the highest number of cases, the latest being 14.5 million. India too is inching towards the 10 million mark. Brazil, Russia and France are the other top five countries.