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India Coronavirus Dispatch: Gurugram firm developing vaccine in pill form

AstraZeneca and Bharat Biotech studying Covid shots for children, vaccine distribution explained, and more-news relevant to India's fight against Covid-19

Coronavirus | Coronavirus Tests | Coronavirus Vaccine

Bharath Manjesh  |  New Delhi 

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Daily cases highest in six months

India reported 81,466 fresh infections on Friday, taking the cumulative caseload to 1,23,03,131, according to a report in the Scroll. The daily rise is the highest in six months. The country saw 469 deaths due to the pandemic, taking the death toll to 1,15,25,039, according to central health ministry data. The active caseload is at 6,14,696. As many as 6,87,89,138 shots have been administered since the nationwide inoculation programme kicked off on January 16. Of these, 36,71,242 were given on Thursday. Read more here

India’s Premas Biotech working on a vaccine in capsule form

Gurugram-based biotechnology firm Premas Biotech is developing a Covid-19 vaccine candidate in the form of an oral capsule, the firm's managing director Prabuddha Kundu told ThePrint. The company has partnered with the Jerusalem-headquartered Oramed Pharmaceuticals. “A single dose of the vaccine tablet or capsule has proven to be efficacious in animal studies. OraVax product is different as it would not require any special delivery mechanism and cold storage,” Kundu said. “If proven efficacious, this vaccine will give a lot of benefits to the world as it would not require syringes or administration in hospital settings.” Read more here

Explained: Covid vaccine distribution

The vaccine distribution takes place at two levels, according to an explainer in ThePrint. At the local level, hospitals pass on their requests for vaccines to district authorities which are then sent to the state administrations. The central government, meanwhile, routinely places orders with the vaccine makers based on assessments on Covid situations in states. Based on the Centre's demand, the vaccine makers dispatch the shots to various states by air. The vaccines are transported through a temperature-controlled supply chain that maintains their quality from the point of origin to the vaccine beneficiary. The vaccines then reach their destination at various hospitals, where they are administered to beneficiaries. Read more here

AstraZeneca, Bharat Biotech studying Covid shots for children: AIIMS head

British-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca and Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech are carrying out studies to determine safe and effective doses for children, AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria told NDTV. AstraZeneca's Covishield and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin are being administered in India currently. "If we really need to control the pandemic and have children back to school and be comfortable with that, we will have to look for vaccines which are for children. And I am aware that both the vaccine candidates which are being used in India are conducting studies to look at safety and dose as far as children are concerned," Guleria said. Read more here

Ivermectin should only be used in clinical trials: WHO

The evidence so far on the effectiveness of ivermectin drug in treating Covid-19 is inconclusive and until more data is available, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has recommended that the drug only be used in clinical trials, a report in The Indian Express said. Ivermectin is a broad-spectrum antiparasitic agent, included in WHO’s essential medicines list for several parasitic diseases. It is also used to treat scabies, the report said. Read more here

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First Published: Fri, April 02 2021. 14:43 IST