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Coronavirus News HIGHLIGHTS: Govt Readies Deal for 6.6 Crore Vaccine Doses With Serum Institute, to Cost Rs 200 Per Jab | January 04, 2021, 21:48 IST
Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: The Centre has prepared contours of vaccine purchase agreement with Serum Institute that is manufacturing Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine in India. Sources told News18 that the government will procure 6.6 crore doses to vaccinate three crore frontline and healthcare care workers at Rs 200 per dose.

Britain today began the mass rollout of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, a cheap and easy to distribute shot that experts hope will help crush the pandemic. Brian Pinker, an 82-year-old retired maintenance manager, received the jab at Oxford's Churchill Hospital, NHS England said.
Jan 04, 2021 21:48 (IST)

READ | Private Brazilian Clinics to Buy 5 Million Doses of Covid-19 Vaccine from Bharat Biotech

Private Brazilian clinics plan to buy 5 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine developed by India’s Bharat Biotech, their association said on Monday in a statement.

Jan 04, 2021 21:41 (IST)

Jharkhand reported 160 new COVID19 cases, 232 recoveries and one death today. The total number of cases now stands at 1,15,689 including 1,13,125 recoveries, 1036 deaths, and 1528 active cases: State Health Department

Jan 04, 2021 21:22 (IST)

Maharashtra reports 2,765 new COVID19 cases, 10,362 discharges, and 29 deaths today, as per State Health Department

Total cases: 19,47,011

Total recoveries: 18,47,361

Total active cases: 48,801

Total Deaths: 49,695

Jan 04, 2021 21:21 (IST)

West Bengal reports 597 new COVID19 cases, 1,347 discharges, and 25 deaths today, as per State Health Department 

Total cases: 5,55,572

Total recoveries: 5,36,084

Active cases: 9,671

Death toll: 9,817

Jan 04, 2021 21:02 (IST)

Manipur reported 51 new COVID19 cases, 47 recoveries & 3 death today, says State Health Department.

Total cases so far: 28,332

Total recoveries: 26,862

Active cases: 1,109

Total Deaths: 361

Recovery rate is 94.81 %

Jan 04, 2021 20:31 (IST)

READ | China Denies Coronavirus Leaked from Wuhan Lab, Says Global Outbreaks Caused Pandemic

China on Monday vehemently refuted the US charge that the novel coronavirus was leaked from a bio lab in the country and asserted that the pandemic was likely to have been caused by separate outbreaks…

Jan 04, 2021 20:14 (IST)

After 8 patients were found positive for the new Covid strain in Maharashtra, CM Uddhav Thackeray has decided to request the Centre to quarantine passengers arriving from the United Kingdom at other international airports in the country. It has been brought to the notice of govt that due to strict quarantine rules for UK returnees in Maharashtra, people returning from UK are taking flights to airports outside the state. Later they travel to Mumbai to avoid quarantine: Maharashtra Chief Minister's Office

Jan 04, 2021 19:59 (IST)

READ | Experts Question Govt's Claim of Covaxin Efficacy Against New Coronavirus Strains

Some healthcare experts Monday questioned the government's assertion that Bharat Biotech's COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin can target mutated coronavirus strains and maybe used us a "backup", as they asked…

Jan 04, 2021 19:39 (IST)

We will be able to produce upto 150 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine. We have seen good antibody response and safety in the vaccine and will administer it to 30,000 volunteers: Zydus MD.

Jan 04, 2021 19:37 (IST)

Ph-3 Trials With 30K Doses: Zydus MD | Zydus Group MD Dr Sharvil Patel says, the phase 2 trials for Covid-19 vaccine got a very good response and the Phase-3 will be carried on in 60+ sites with 30,000 doses. "We should be able to accomplish phase-3 in next 2-3 months. Should have efficacy results on the vaccine by first quarter of FY21. We have been investing large amount on capacities in last 6-8 months."

Jan 04, 2021 19:28 (IST)

CM Uddhav Thackeray today held a meeting to discuss the preparations on COVID vaccination in the state. In the same meeting, he also discussed the situation in state after eight persons were found positive for the new strain of coronavirus: Maharashtra Chief Minister's Office

Jan 04, 2021 19:10 (IST)

8 passengers who returned from Britain have been found positive for the new strain of COVID-19. Five of them are from Mumbai and one each from Pune, Thane and Mira Bhayander. Contact tracing is underway: Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope..

Jan 04, 2021 19:04 (IST)

A total of 8,830 healthcare workers including private healthcare providers have been registered in Chandigarh for the administration of vaccination in the first phase: Chandigarh Administrator V P Singh Badnore

Jan 04, 2021 18:57 (IST)

Tamil Nadu reported 838 new Covid-19 cases, 985 discharges, and 10 deaths in the last 24 hours: State Health Department

Total cases: 8,21,550

Total discharges: 8,01,414

Death toll: 12,166

Active cases: 7,970

Jan 04, 2021 18:48 (IST)

Update | English cricketer Moeen Ali tested positive for COVID-19 on arrival in Sri Lanka: England and Wales Cricket Board.

Jan 04, 2021 18:43 (IST)

Covaxin is 200% Safe: Bharat Biotech | Covaxin has shown less than 10 % adverse reactions, while others have 60-70% adverse reactions. AstraZeneca was giving 4g paracetamol to volunteers to suppress such reactions. We haven’t given paracetamol to any volunteer. I can assure our vaccine is a 200 % safe: Bharat Biotech MD

Jan 04, 2021 18:39 (IST)

Covaxin is Simple 2-dose: Bharat Biotech | Covaxin is a simple two-dose, we are the only vaccine for above 12 years of age right now. We are planning to do even children trials soon, as per the protocol: Bharat Biotech MD Krishna Ella

Jan 04, 2021 18:38 (IST)

In 2019, CDCSO formed a notification, I request you to read the guidelines... it clearly states that if yours is a proven platform technology, safe platform technology & good pre-clinical trial data is available then you can get emergency license for the product. I don't know why Indian companies are always targeted by everyone in the world. It is a global practice to issue emergency medical license. Even the US says that if you have good immunisation data, emergency authorisation can be done: Bharat Biotech MD Krishna Ella

Jan 04, 2021 18:25 (IST)

It is a vaccine. It is not a backup. People should be responsible before making such statements: Bharat Biotech MD Krishna Ella on comments that Covaxin is a 'back-up vaccine'.

Jan 04, 2021 18:23 (IST)

3,021 new COVID19 cases and 5,145 recoveries reported in Kerala today.

Total active cases: 63,135
Total recovered cases: 7,12,389

Jan 04, 2021 18:19 (IST)

READ | Over 500 Centres in Phase 1 of Covid-19 Vaccination in Delhi, Facility Being Set Up for 2-8 Degrees Storage

Work is underway in full swing to set up centres for COVID-19 vaccination in the national capital with 500 such units to come up in the first phase, even as the storage facility is getting equipped…

Jan 04, 2021 18:12 (IST)

Five cases of Covid-19 have been reported in Nagaland today, taking total cases to 11,935 including 11,551 recoveries and 173 active cases: Nagaland Health Minister S Pangnyu Phom

Jan 04, 2021 18:06 (IST)

Will Roll Out Vaccine As Soon As Possible: Bharat Biotech | We will roll out the vaccine as early as possible. Batches have been sent to Kasauli govt testing lab already: Bharat Biotech MD Krishna Ella

Jan 04, 2021 18:05 (IST)

No placebo. We keep vaccinating people at an open level & then monitor the safety and efficacy. That is what it means in our project mode method in emergency licence: Bharat Biotech MD explaining meaning of the phrase "restricted use in emergency situation in clinical trial mode'. Give me one week’s time, I will give you confirm data: Bharat Biotech MD Krishna Ella on being asked 'if COVAXIN will be effective on the new virus strain'.

Jan 04, 2021 17:59 (IST)

Vaccine Cost Will Be High Initially: Bharat Biotech | Currently, we have 20 million doses. We are aiming to achieve 700 million doses capacity in four facilities -- three in Hyderabad and one in Bengaluru. We are encountering so many problems including related to logistics. In the beginning, the cost of vaccine may be a little higher. As the scale of production increases, the price will be controlled by market: Bharat Biotech MD Krishna Ella

Jan 04, 2021 17:56 (IST)

Delhi reports 384 new COVID19 cases, 727 recoveries and 12 deaths in the last 24 hours, as per Delhi Health Department

Total cases: 6,27,256

Total recoveries: 6,11,970

Death toll: 10,597

Active cases: 4,689

Jan 04, 2021 17:55 (IST)

Andhra Pradesh reports 128 new Covid-19 cases, 252 recoveries & 3 deaths in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of cases to 8,83,210 as per the State Health Department.

Recovered Cases: 8,73,149
Active Cases: 2,943 
Total Deaths: 7,118

Jan 04, 2021 17:51 (IST)

We are proud to say that we have the only BSL-3 production facility in the world, even the US doesn't have it. We are here to help any of the public health emergency in any part of the world: Bharat Biotech MD Krishna Ella.

Jan 04, 2021 17:47 (IST)

Merck's Ebola Vaccine Got EUA Before Phase-3 Trials: Bharat Biotech | Even US government says emergency authorisation can be given if a company has good immunization data. Merck's Eloba vaccine got authorisation for emergency use even before completion of phase-3 trial. Johnson & Johnson did trials on 87 people and got emergency licence: Bharat Biotech.

Jan 04, 2021 17:42 (IST)

Many people just gossiping, it's just a backlash against Indian companies. That is not right for us. We don't deserve that. Merck's Ebola vaccine never completed a human clinical trial at all but WHO gave emergency authorisation for Liberia and Guinea: Bharat Biotech MD Krishna Ella.

Coronavirus News HIGHLIGHTS: Govt Readies Deal for 6.6 Crore Vaccine Doses With Serum Institute, to Cost Rs 200 Per Jab
Image used for representation. (Image Credit: Reuters)

India on Sunday authorised the emergency use of two coronavirus vaccines developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University and by local pharmaceutical firm Bharat Biotech, the country's drug regulator said, paving the way for one of the world's biggest inoculation drives. The two vaccines "are being approved for restricted use in emergency situations," V.G. Somani, the drugs controller general of India, said at a briefing. Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that the fast-track approvals were "a decisive turning point to strengthen a spirited fight" that "accelerates the road to a healthier and Covid-free nation". India is the world's second most infected nation with more than 10.3 million cases and almost 150,000 deaths, although its rate of infection has come down significantly from a mid-September peak of more than 90,000 cases daily.

The government has already held nationwide drills ahead of the mass vaccination drive and some 96,000 health workers have been trained to administer the shots. India has set an ambitious target of inoculating 300 million of its 1.3 billion people by mid-2021. The World Health Organisation welcomed the news. "The use of vaccine(s) in prioritised populations, along with continued implementation of other public health measures and community participation will be important in reducing the impact of Covid-19," WHO regional director Poonam Khetrapal Singh said in a statement.

The approval came amid fear in India, as in other countries, about the safety of the shots. A recent survey of 18,000 people across India found that 69 percent were in no rush to get vaccinated. "I was excited initially about the vaccine but not anymore because I don't trust it. I am not going to be inoculated," 58-year-old banker Vijaya Das told AFP on Sunday, echoing common apprehension across the country. "No vaccine is 100 percent effective so what is the guarantee that I won't get the coronavirus after I take the vaccine," added 48-year-old sales manager Suman Saurabh.

Anand Krishnan, a community medicine professor at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, said authorities needed to publicly release more data about the vaccine trials. "They have to share the results of the trial and let scientists come to their own conclusion and that way, the vaccine hesitancy would be much less," Krishnan told AFP. Both vaccines are to be administered in two doses and can be transported and stored at normal refrigeration temperatures. The Serum Institute of India, the world's biggest manufacturer of vaccines, has said it is making between 50 and 60 million doses a month of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine. Serum Institute chief executive Adar Poonawalla tweeted following the approvals that the vaccine would be "ready to roll-out in the coming weeks".

Bharat Biotech has yet to complete its Phase 3 trials, but Drugs Controller General Somani said the company's jabs were approved for restricted use in the "public interest as an abundant precaution, in clinical trial mode, to have more options for vaccinations, especially in case of infection by mutant strains". He told reporters after the briefing that the drug regulator would "never approve anything if there is the slightest safety concern". "The vaccines are 100 percent safe," he said, adding that side effects such as "mild fever, pain and allergy are common for every vaccine".

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan hit back at opposition lawmakers who expressed fear about the safety of the Bharat Biotech vaccine, tweeting that it was "disgraceful for anyone to politicise such a critical issue".