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Amid continued falling Covid-19 infections, India recommends first vaccine approval

(TibetanReview.net, Jan02’21) – India said Jan 2 that a Covid-19 vaccine, when unrolled, will be free throughout the country. This was after an expert committee under the country’s top drug regulator recommended on Jan 1 that Covishield, the Indian version of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca, should be given emergency authorisation with certain conditions. That authorization from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) is expected to come within a couple of days or so.

The vaccine is to be administered in two doses at an interval of 4 to 12 weeks.

The vaccine is yet to complete phase 2/3 clinical trials in India and this will continue, noted the indianexpress.com Jan 2.

Also coming up for emergency authorization is India’s own Covaxin, being developed by Bharat Biotech, which is yet to finish late stage human trials on over 25,000 participants across the country, the report said. The firm was asked Dec 30 by the Subject Expert Committee (SEC) to submit additional, updated trial information for consideration, the report said.

The final approval for commencing mass vaccination has to come from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI).

The Central government has asked all states to be ready with their list of healthcare workers who will be inoculated with the first tranche of supplies. The 30 crore “priority population” includes healthcare and frontline workers, people above 50 years of age and those below 50 but with serious co-morbidities. Once supplies improve, the government will simultaneously start inoculating other categories, noted the timesofindia.com Jan 2.

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Meanwhile fresh daily Covid-19 cases in India fell for the second successive day this morning, dropping by 5% over the previous day’s figure, noted the ndtv.com Jan 2.

Also, India’s average daily tally of fresh cases fell below the 20,000 mark on Jan 1 for the first time since Jul 2, noted the timesofindia.com Jan 2. The seven-day rolling average of daily cases stood at 19,545 on Jan 1, the report said.

The latest data from India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare show that there were 19,079 new cases and 224 new deaths in the country in the past 24 hours as of Jan 2 at 8AM, taking their cumulative totals to 10,305,788 cases and 149,218 deaths.

A total of 9,906,387, or 96.12%, had recovered while the number of active cases was 250,183, or 2.43% of the total. The case fatality rate continued to be 1.45%. These were mostly improvements over the previous day’s percentage figures.

The latest daily number of new cases, at 19,079, was less than the daily number of those who had recovered, at 22,926, leading to a decline in the number of active cases by just 4,071.

Kerala continued to report the highest number of daily new cases at 4,991, followed by Maharashtra (3,524), West Bengal (1,153), Tamil Nadu (921), Chattisgarh (932), Karnataka (877), Uttar Pradesh (849), Madhya Pradesh (780), … Himachal Pradesh (193), and so on.

The 224 new fatalities include 59 from Maharashtra, 26 from West Bengal, 23 from Kerala, 21 from Delhi, 15 from Uttar Pradesh, 13 from Tamil Nadu, 12 from Madhya Pradesh, … 2 from Himachal Pradesh and so on.

The active caseload remained below 3 lakh for the 12th consecutive day.

India is currently the country with the world’s second highest number of Covid-19 cases and the third highest number of deaths.

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Across the world the number of Covid-19 cases totaled 84,055,697 and the deaths 1,829,018, according to the tally of Johns Hopkins University as of 3:53 PM on Jan 2, 2021.

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