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Coronavirus News Updates: UK approves Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine, pre-orders 7 mn doses

Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: In trials with more than 30,000, the Moderna vaccine offered nearly 95 percent protection from severe COVID-19

FP Staff January 08, 2021 20:59:24 IST
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Coronavirus News Updates: UK approves Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine, pre-orders 7 mn doses

Health workers perform a trial run of COVID-19 vaccine delivery system in Ahmedabad, India, Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. IIndia tested its COVID-19 vaccine delivery system as it prepares to roll-out an inoculation program to stem the coronavirus pandemic. The exercise included necessary data entry into an online platform for monitoring vaccine delivery, along with testing of cold storage and transportation arrangements for the vaccine, according to the health ministry. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)

Highlights

13:05 (ist)

Pfizer's vaccine found effective against UK, SA variants of SARS-CoV-2 virus, study reports

New research suggests that Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine can protect against a mutation found in two highly contagious variants of the coronavirus that erupted in Britain and South Africa. Those variants are causing global concern. They both share a common mutation called N501Y, a slight alteration on one spot of the spike protein that coats the virus. That change is believed to be the reason they can spread so easily. Most of the vaccines being rolled out around the world train the body to recognize that spike protein and fight it. Pfizer teamed with researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston for laboratory tests to see if the mutation affected its vaccine’s ability to do so.

They used blood samples from 20 people who received the vaccine, made by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech, during a large study of the shots. Antibodies from those vaccine recipients successfully fended off the virus in lab dishes, according to the study posted late Thursday on an online site for researchers.

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LIVE NEWS and UPDATES

Jan 08, 2021 - 20:37 (IST)

614 new coronavirus cases in MP, nine deaths, 809 recoveries

Madhya Pradesh on Friday recorded 614 new COVID-19 cases, taking the count of infections in the state to 2,47,436, health officials said. With nine more people succumbing to the viral infection, the toll rose to 3,691.

As many as 809 patients were discharged from hospitals, taking the state's overall recovery count to 2,35,421. Of new fatalities, two died in Indore and one each in Bhopal, Gwalior, Jabalpur, Khargone, Morena, Barwani and Damoh districts.

Jan 08, 2021 - 18:42 (IST)

UK approves Moderna vaccine for rollout against COVID-19

The UK's regulatory authority on Friday approved a third COVID-19 vaccine for use in the country, made by the company Moderna.

However, supplies of the new jab are not expected to be available until the spring in a few weeks' time as the UK has pre-ordered 7 million doses. In trials with more than 30,000, the Moderna vaccine offered nearly 95 per cent protection from severe COVID. 

The Moderna vaccine works in a similar way to the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine that is already being offered by the National Health Service (NHS). It requires temperatures of around -20C for shipping — similar to a normal freezer. In comparison, the Pfizer/BioNTech one requires temperatures closer to -75C, making transport logistics much more difficult.

The Oxford/AstraZeneca jab is easier to store and distribute, as it can be kept at normal fridge temperature. All three vaccines, now cleared for use in the UK, require a second booster shot.

Jan 08, 2021 - 18:25 (IST)

EU doubles COVID-19 vaccines order with Pfizer-BioNTech

The European Commission said on Friday it has secured 300 million extra doses of the coronavirus Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, a move that could ease criticism that the EU's executive arm has not done enough to procure coronavirus shots for the entire bloc.

Jan 08, 2021 - 17:51 (IST)

Dharavi records one new COVID-19 case; tally at 3,842

With the addition of only one fresh case of coronavirus, the count of infections in Mumbai's Dharavi area stood at 3,842 on Friday, a senior civic official said. The slum-dominated locality had recorded five new cases the day before.

A total of 3,514 patients from the locality have recovered from the infection so far, the official from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation said. There are currently 16 active COVID-19 cases in Dharavi.

Jan 08, 2021 - 17:34 (IST)

Passenger flights from UK to India resumed today

Passenger flights resumed from the UK to India in limited numbers from Friday onwards after remaining suspended for 16 days due to the emergence of a new coronavirus variant in that country.

The first flight to land at the Delhi airport from London on Friday was Air India's AI112 that had 256 passengers in it, said Gauri Agarwal, founder of the Genestrings Diagnostic Center, on Thursday.

Genestrings is handling coronavirus testing of all passengers at the Delhi airport. One Vistara flight with 291 passengers will come from London to Delhi on Saturday and two flights - one of British Airways and another of Air India - with a total of 481 passengers will land at the Delhi airport on Sunday, she added.

Jan 08, 2021 - 16:55 (IST)

First case of infection of UK-strain of coronavirus found in Madhya Pradesh

In the first such case in Madhya Pradesh, a 39-year-old man who returned to Indore from the UK last month  has tested positive for the new coronavirus strain, PTI reported. The patient, who is asymptomatic, has been placed in home isolation, district collector Manish Singh said.

It was the first case of infection of the UK variant of the virus in the state, said Dr Veena Sinha, additional director, MP Health Department. After returning from the UK, the man had come in contact with 39 people, 34 of them from outside Indore district..

These 34 people were contacted and informed about his status. The remaining five, including two of the patient's family members, are from Indore and have undergone COVID-19 tests and are in good health.

Jan 08, 2021 - 16:49 (IST)

Maharashtra minister says Centre should provide free COVID-19 vaccines

Maharashtra minister and Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde on Friday demanded that the Centre bear the cost of COVID-19 vaccination in the state. Speaking at the Thane civil hospital, he said people expect that the government should make coronavirus vaccines available free of cost.

"Therefore, the Union government should bear the expenses of the vaccination in the state. Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope has also urged the Centre to provide free vaccination," Shinde said.

He said that all preparations for the actual vaccination were in place in Thane district, of which he is the guardian minister. 

Jan 08, 2021 - 16:25 (IST)

'Karnataka to receive 13.90 lakh vaccine vials, likely to start administering it from 11 Jan'

Karnataka health minister K Sudhakar on Friday said the state is expected to receive 13,90,000 vials of vaccine against COVID-19 in a day or two, and it is likely to be administered starting from 11 January.

"The big good news for Karnataka is that I have received information from the Union Health Ministry that tomorrow or the day after probably we will be receiving 13,90,000 vials of vaccine for the state. It's a big happy news for all of us," he said.

Speaking to reporters after visiting a private hospital, where vaccination dry run is being conducted, Sudhakar said, the vaccination will be first administered to healthcare workers. "We have registered 6.30 lakh healthcare professionals in Karnataka till date. Those who are left out, may be in some medical or dental colleges, we have requested them to register," he said adding that health workers will be followed by those with comorbidities, those above 60 years and those in other departments like Police and Revenue working against the pandemic.

Jan 08, 2021 - 16:12 (IST)

Vaccine dry run conducted at 36 centres in Himachal Pradesh

A dry run for vaccination against COVID-19 was conducted at 36 centres in Himachal Pradesh, health officials were quoted as saying by PTI on Friday. Twenty-five people were administered the dummy vaccine at the centres during the dry run held on Wednesday, they said.

All of them were kept under observation for half an hour, they added. The dry run was done at three centre in the state capital Shimla including IGMC, Ghannahatti and Mashobra, officials said. 

Jan 08, 2021 - 15:45 (IST)

UK imposes mandatory COVID-19 tests for international travellers

International arrivals from anywhere in the world, including India, will now be required to prove a negative COVID-19 test taken up to 72 hours prior to departure for the UK, as part of new measures announced on Friday to contain the spread of new variants of coronavirus circulating internationally.

Passengers will be subject to an immediate fine of 500 pounds if they fail to comply with the new regulations on pre-departure testing.

Starting next week, inbound passengers arriving by boat, plane or train will have to take a test up to 72 hours before departing the country they are in and could be denied boarding without this.

Coronavirus News LATEST Updates: The UK's regulatory authority on Friday approved a third COVID-19 vaccine for use in the country, made by the company Moderna.

However, supplies of the new jab are not expected to be available until the spring in a few weeks' time as the UK has pre-ordered 7 million doses. In trials with more than 30,000, the Moderna vaccine offered nearly 95 per cent protection from severe COVID.

The Moderna vaccine works in a similar way to the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine that is already being offered by the National Health Service (NHS). It requires temperatures of around -20C for shipping — similar to a normal freezer. In comparison, the Pfizer/BioNTech one requires temperatures closer to -75C, making transport logistics much more difficult.

The Oxford/AstraZeneca jab is easier to store and distribute, as it can be kept at normal fridge temperature. All three vaccines, now cleared for use in the UK, require a second booster shot.

In the first such case in Madhya Pradesh, a 39-year-old man who returned to Indore from the UK last month has tested positive for the new coronavirus strain, PTI reported. The patient, who is asymptomatic, has been placed in home isolation, district collector Manish Singh said.

It was the first case of infection of the UK variant of the virus in the state, said Dr Veena Sinha, additional director, MP Health Department. After returning from the UK, the man had come in contact with 39 people, 34 of them from outside Indore district..

These 34 people were contacted and informed about his status. The remaining five, including two of the patient's family members, are from Indore and have undergone COVID-19 tests and are in good health.

Karnataka health minister K Sudhakar on Friday said the state is expected to receive 13,90,000 vials of vaccine against COVID-19 in a day or two, and it is likely to be administered starting from 11 January.

"The big good news for Karnataka is that I have received information from the Union Health Ministry that tomorrow or the day after probably we will be receiving 13,90,000 vials of vaccine for the state. It's a big happy news for all of us," he said.

Speaking to reporters after visiting a private hospital, where vaccination dry run is being conducted, Sudhakar said, the vaccination will be first administered to healthcare workers. "We have registered 6.30 lakh healthcare professionals in Karnataka till date. Those who are left out, may be in some medical or dental colleges, we have requested them to register," he said adding that health workers will be followed by those with comorbidities, those above 60 years and those in other departments like Police and Revenue working against the pandemic.

All those arriving from the UK, who test positive will be kept in an isolation facility, said Arvind Kejriwal.

We need about $7 billion in order to deliver enough vaccine to these countries through the end of 2021, said Kate O'Brien, WHO immunization director.

The Centre has started a new COVID platform to track particulars of potential vaccine beneficiaries and also issue electronic certificates to them, said the health minister after reviewing the dry run of COVID-19 vaccine in Chennai hospital.

The number of daily COVID-19 recoveries is increasing exponentially and stands at 10,037,398, the Union health ministry said on Friday.

The Union health ministry on Friday said that Kerala continued to report the highest number of daily confirmed coronavirus cases at 5,051.

All the people who have tested positive for the new variant of the virus were kept in single-room isolation at designated healthcare facilities by the respective state governments, the ministry had said.

Speaking to reporters after visiting a private hospital in Bengaluru, where vaccination dry run is being conducted, the health minister said, the vaccination will be first administered to health care workers.

Besides Covaxin, Bharat Biotech has been actively working on developing another vaccine, for which it tied up with Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis for the novel 'chimp-adenovirus', a single dose intranasal vaccine for COVID-19.

According to the ICMR, 17,93,36,364 COVID-19 samples have been tested so far, with 9,35,369 samples being tested on Thursday alone.

The US registered its highest deaths yet from the coronavirus on the very day the mob attack on the Capitol laid bare some of the same, deep political divisions that have hampered the battle against the pandemic.

With 234 more patients succumbing to the novel coronavirus, the COVID-19 tally in India climbed to 1,50,570 on Friday, according to the latest data update by Union health ministry.

The authorities will on Friday conduct the second dry run for the COVID-19 vaccination roll-out in Delhi that will span across several districts of the National Capital, officials said.

The districts include South Delhi, South East Delhi and North West Delhi and New Delhi, they said.

The first dry run for COVID-19 vaccination roll-out was held in Delhi on 2 January for which three sites were chosen across the National Capital.

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain had reviewed the exercise at a dispensary in Daryaganj, and said COVID-19 vaccine will be provided to people in the National Capital for free once it arrives, and asserted that the city government has made all preparations for the vaccination drive.

The previous three sites were GTB Hospital Shahdara, Urban Primary Health Centre, Daryaganj, and Venkateshwar Hospital, Dwarka.

Officials on Thursday said 10 vaccination centres have been chosen in South Delhi district for the dry run, and the sites include AIIMS, Safdarjung Hospital, Pt Madan Mohan Malaviya Hospital, Pushpwati Singhania Hospital and Research Institute.

In South East district, 19 sites have been chosen across three sub-divisions.

These sites include Batra Hospital, Fortis Hospital, Escorts Hospital, National Heart Institute, Holy Family Hospital, Apollo Hospital and MCW Gautampuri.

In North West District, the 12 sites chosen for the exercise include Max Hospital and Fortis Hospital, both at Shalimar Bagh; Saroj Hospital, Jaipur Golden Hospital, and BSA Hospital, officials said.

Four sites have chosen in the New Delhi district, including NorthernRailway central hospital and Fortishospital, Vasant Kunj.

The Union health minister chaired an online meeting with health ministers of all states and union territories regarding COVID-19 vaccination dry run to be conducted on 8 January in all districts of the country, according to the bulletin issued by the Delhi health department on Thursday.

India's drugs regulator has approved Oxford COVID-19 vaccine Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute, and indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in the country.

It paves the way for the roll-out of at least two vaccines in the country in the coming days.

A total of 1,000 vaccination centres will be set up in Delhi. And, about 600 centres will be set up in the first phase, for which work is underway in full swing.

At every vaccination centre, there will be multiple booths, each to take a maximum of 100 people, officials said on Wednesday.

There will be a nodal officer at each vaccination centre, officials said.

COVID Vaccine Intelligence Network or CoWIN app and its ecosystem will be used to manage and scale up the massive vaccination drive that is expected to begin soon across the country.

Everything will be fed to the database in real-time. Also, the person after being vaccinated will be kept under observation for any AEFI (adverse events following immunisation).

Jain on Saturday said the city government had so far made preparations to vaccinate one lakh people in a day.

The Delhi government is fully prepared to receive, store and administer COVID-19 vaccine to 51 lakh priority category persons in the city in the first phase of vaccination, the minister had said.

These include healthcare workers, who will be first to receive, followed by frontline workers, people aged above 50 and those below 50 years but with co-morbidities, he added.

Vaccination centres will either be hospitals or facilities linked to hospitals.

As part of the first phase, about three lakh healthcare workers and nearly six lakh frontline workers, totalling about nine lakh, will be the first ones to get the vaccine.

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