Covid-19 vaccine developers plan pledge, Russian shot ‘passes early trial test’


Coronavirus disease outbreak has killed nearly 870,000 people and infected more than 26 million others worldwide as well as upended hundreds of millions of lives and wreaked havoc on the global economy.



As the world looks forward to a shot against the deadly coronavirus disease (Covid-19), several major drug developers have decided to establish a pledge to not seek government approval until their vaccine candidates are proven to be safe.


The move is being considered to be a bulwark against increasing political pressure to introduce a vaccine in a pandemic-ravaged world.


Additionally, the president of the United Nations General Assembly has warned that a Covid-19 vaccine must be made accessible to everyone as the exclusion of even one country from the global recovery measure will mean that the world will still face the coronavirus crisis.


Coronavirus disease outbreak has killed nearly 870,000 people and infected more than 26 million others worldwide as well as upended hundreds of millions of lives and wreaked havoc on the global economy.


Here is all you need to know today about the race for Covid-19 vaccine:


• Covid-19 vaccine developers, including Pfizer Inc, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna Inc, have said they will pledge to adhere to high scientific and ethical standards in the conduct of clinical studies and in their manufacturing processes, Wall Street Journal reported. WSJ added the draft of a joint statement that is still being finalised. The companies might issue the pledge as soon as early next week, reports added.


* Russia continues to spearhead the race of Covid-19 vaccine as results of early tests have shown encouraging results. The Russian coronavirus vaccine “Sputnik V” was tested in two small trials, with each including 38 healthy adults aged between 18 and 60 who were administered a two-part immunisation. Twenty-one days after the first dose, the candidates were given the second shot with a booster and then were monitored over 42 days. All candidates developed antibodies to fight the virus contagion within three weeks, allowing Russia to lead the race for vaccine despite concerns raised by experts.


• Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, the president of the UN General Assembly, said a vaccine for the virus must be made available to everyone who needs it because if just one country is left out the world will still face a crisis from the coronavirus. “Inclusion is key, because without inclusion the suffering of those who are already left behind, will continue — and we cannot guarantee peace in that kind of a context,” Muhammad-Bande said.


• The turmoil around Covid-19 vaccine in Brazil sparked a new debate after President Jair Bolsonaro said vaccination for coronavirus should not be mandatory and “no one can force anyone to get a vaccine”. Bolsonaro’s critics and opponents slammed his latest take and said immunization cannot be viewed as a personal decision. “It is sad that once again Brazil’s president is setting a denialist example. It should be obligatory, except in special cases or under health circumstances that justify not taking a vaccine. An infected person infects others, and makes possible the death of others,” Sao Paulo state governor João Doria, a former Bolsonaro ally turned foe, said.


• Amid rising global expectations to defeat the Covid-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) has taken a step back and said it does not expect widespread immunisation against Covid-19 until mid-2021. The statement from WHO comes as the US is expected to release a vaccine within weeks.


• WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has also said the global body will not endorse a vaccine that is not safe and effective. Covid-19 has claimed hundreds of thousands and infected more than 26 million people, increasing the pressure on players in the fray to develop a vaccine for the contagion.


Source - HINDUSTAN TIMES