India Coronavirus Dispatch: When will a vaccine be ready for use?

Pharmaceutical companies Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech have spurred optimism that a novel type of vaccine made from messenger RNA, known as mRNA, can offer high levels of protection against Covid-19
When will the top Covid-19 vaccines become available?

Encouraging results on Covid-19 vaccine trials by frontrunners in November have raised hopes that the first generation of coronavirus antidotes is likely to receive approval as soon as December end or early 2021. Ongoing late-stage human trials of mRNA vaccine candidates developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna Inc have pointed to efficacy rates as high as 95 per cent. 

Russia has also claimed a 92 per cent effectiveness for its Sputnik V vaccine candidate, which is being tested on humans in mid- to late-stage trials by Hyderabad-based Dr Reddy’s Laboratories in India. Of the dozens of vaccines in late-stage trials, the next data release will likely be from AstraZeneca Plc by Christmas. Johnson & Johnson says it is on track to deliver data this year or early next year. Read more here

OPINION: Delhi govt is testing-tracing, but Covid third wave means people have to be responsible too

As Delhi witnesses the latest third wave of the deadly coronavirus pandemic, it is essential not to lose sight of the bigger picture, that is, to stick to a smart testing and tracing strategy. Contact tracing and testing have been the fulcrum of the Arvind Kejriwal government’s strategy to curb the spread of the virus, and it has been largely successful. But the efforts are lost when people refuse to follow social distancing norms and practise safe hygiene guidelines. Testing and tracing strategy are what the government can do at a higher level, but it is also the responsibility of the people to follow the guidelines. Read more here

EXPLAINED: How do Pfizer and Moderna vaccines work? And why do they need to be kept so cold?

As the weather cools, the number of infections of the Covid-19 pandemic are rising sharply. Hamstrung by pandemic fatigue, economic constraints, and political discord, public health officials have struggled to control the surging pandemic. But now, a rush of interim analyses from pharmaceutical companies Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech have spurred optimism that a novel type of vaccine made from messenger RNA, known as mRNA, can offer high levels of protection by preventing Covid-19 among people who are vaccinated. But, how do they work? And why do they need to be kept so cold? Read more here

Bell’s palsy: Facial nerve paralysis found in coronavirus patients

Cases of facial nerve paralysis, or Bell’s palsy, are getting more common among Covid-19 patients. Patients, even with no confirmed diagnosis of Covid-19, are reporting facial paralysis, indicating the possibility that asymptomatic patients may also be suffering from its complications.

Bell’s palsy is caused by viral infections. The coronavirus can attack nerves in the face leading to inflammation, swelling, or compression. The nerves can no longer control the muscles in the face leading to drooping face from one side, loose or weak muscles and distortion in face albeit temporary. Read more here

Early treatment with Favipiravir shows faster viral clearance in mild Covid-19 cases: Study

Favipiravir, an oral antiviral drug approved for the treatment of Covid-19 in Japan and China, may be safe and effective for mild to moderate cases. Treatment with this drug has led to significant improvement in the time taken for the infection to be cured, as per results of the first-ever randomised controlled trial of the drug. Read more here



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