Promising Covid-19 vaccine seen likely to become available before yearend

A potential Covid-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University is not only considered safe even for people with a weak immune system but may become available earlier than expected. (Photo courtesy: Deccan Herald)

(, Jul02’20) – A potential Covid-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University is not only considered safe even for people with a weak immune system but may become available earlier than expected, reported Jul 2, citing the World Health Organisation (WHO). In fact, the WHO has identified the Oxford University-AstraZeneca candidate as the front-runner among the about 140 vaccines that are in different stages of trials around the world.

The Oxford candidate has already entered late-stage trials, with 8,000 volunteers already enrolled, the report noted.

The developers have already signed a deal for producing 100 million doses of the vaccine, reported earlier reported Jun 29.

“We have removed some of the adenovirus genes so that when we use it as a vaccine, the adenovirus can’t spread through the body. That makes it very safe, even in people with a weak immune system. But because it is still a live virus, it is good at inducing a strong immune response after vaccination,” quoted Professor Sarah Gilbert, Nuffield Department of Medicine, Oxford University, as saying while participating in an informal discussion with ambassadors of the UN member states.

According to the WHO, 16 vaccines candidates have entered late-stage trials-clinical trials. Of them, five are being studied in China, three in the US, two in the UK and one each in Australia, Germany and Russia.

An early arrival of a vaccine would be a huge relief especially in countries like the USA, Brazil, India, Russia and elsewhere where the Covid-19 pandemic unleashed by China from its central city of Wuhan in late 2019 continues to infect tens of thousands of people each day, with the reported total across the world reaching nearly 10.7 million on Jul 2 afternoon.


In India, the Covid-19 tally zoomed past 600,000 cases to reach 604,641 on Jul 2 following a single-day increase of 19,148 cases, just five days after it had crossed the 500,000 mark, while the death toll rose to 17,834 after 434 single-day increase as of Jul 2 at 8AM, according to India’s health ministry data.

A total of 359,860, or 59.52 per cent, had recovered, so that the number of active cases was 226,947.

India currently has the fourth highest number of Covid-19 cases after the US, Brazil and Russia. It also has the eighth highest number of deaths from the global pandemic.

The 13 worst-hit states with more than 10,000 cases were led by Maharashtra with a total of 180,298 cases after 5,537 fresh cases were reported in the past 24 hours, followed by Tamil Nadu with 94,049 (↑3,882) cases, Delhi with 89,802 (↑2,442) cases, Gujarat with 33,232 (↑675) cases, Uttar Pradesh 24,056 (↑564), West Bengal 19,170 (↑611), Rajasthan 18,312 (↑298), Telangana 17,357 (↑1,018), Karnataka 16,514 (↑1,272), Andhra Pradesh 15,252 (↑657), Haryana 14,941 (↑393) cases, Madhya Pradesh 13,861 (↑268), and Bihar 10,249 (↑206).

Below them were 11 states/Union Territories with more than 1,000 cases, namely Assam 8,582 (↑355), Jammu & Kashmir 7,695 (↑198), Odisha 7,316 (↑251), Punjab 5,668 (↑100), Kerala 4,593 (↑151), Uttarakhand 2,947 (↑66), Chattisgarh 2,940 (↑80), Jharkhand 2,521 (↑31), Tripura 1,396 (↑8), Goa 1,387 (↑72), and Manipur 1,260 (↑26).

Besides, there were nine other states/ Union Territories with 100 or more cases, namely Ladakh 990 (↑17), Himachal Pradesh 979 (↑26), Puducherry 714 (↑0), Nagaland 459 (↑0), Chandigarh 446 (↑6), Arunachal Pradesh 195 (↑4), Mizoram 160 (↑0), Sikkim 101 (↑12), and Andaman and Nicobar Islands 100 (↑3). One state, Meghalaya, had 52 (↑0) cases.

Lakshadweep and Dadra Nagar Haveli remain the only States /Union Territories without any Covid-19 case.

Maharashtra also had the most number of deaths at 8,053 (↑198), followed by Delhi 2,803 (↑61), Gujarat 1,867 (↑21), Tamil Nadu 1,264 (↑63), Uttar Pradesh 718 (↑21), West Bengal 683 (↑15), Madhya Pradesh 581 (↑9), Rajasthan 421 (↑8), Telangana 267 (↑7), Karnataka 253 (↑7),  Haryana 240 (↑4), Andhra Pradesh 193 (↑6), Punjab 149 (↑5), Jammu & Kashmir 105 (↑4), Bihar 70 (↑3), Uttarakhand 41 (↑0), Odisha 25 (↑0), Kerala 24 (↑0), Jharkhand 15 (↑0), Chattisgarh 14 (↑1), Assam 12 (↑0), Puducherry 12 (↑0), Himachal Pradesh 10 (↑0), Chandigarh 6 (↑0), Goa 4 (↑1), Arunachal Pradesh 1 (↑0), Ladakh 1 (↑0), Meghalaya 1 (↑0), and Tripura 1 (↑0).

Five States/ Union Territory with Covid-19 cases have reported no deaths so far.



This is the fifth consecutive day Delhi reported less than 3,000 new Covid-19 cases each day. Before that, from Jun 23-Jun 26, the city had reported over 3,000 cases daily, noted Jul 2.

“If this trend persists for another four to five days, it may mean that we are past the peak,” it quoted epidemiologists as saying.

However, the city’s fatality rate continues to be high.

Delhi currently has 27,007 active cases and 59,992 people have recovered from the disease, the report noted.


Regarding the number of Tibetan cases, the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) has reported no change to its tally of 52 as of Jul 1 in India, Nepal and Bhutan, of which 26 were active while 24 had recovered and two had died.

The CTA reported no change in the total of 213 cases among Tibetans living in other countries abroad, of which 40 were active, 165 had recovered and eight had died.

The CTA report also says there had been a total of 107 cases in Chinese occupied Tibet, of which 106 had recovered and one had died.


In Himachal Pradesh, The All Himachal Associations of Hospitality and Tourism and the Restaurant Association of Dharamsala have urged the state government not to allow opening of hotels for tourists from other states till September or October, as this could pose a grave risk to the safety of locals, reported Jul 2.

The Dharamsala association wanted tourist activities in Himachal to be completely restricted during the coming few months despite its members suffering huge losses.

“During the summer, we get a bulk of our visitors from Punjab, Delhi, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. Since all these states are Covid-19 hotspots, we should not invite them to Himachal to put locals at risk,” Ashwani Babma, spokesperson for association, was quoted as saying.


Across the world the total number of Covid-19 cases had surged close to the 10.7 million mark to reach 10,694,288 while a total of 516,434 had died as of Jul 02 at 2:04:01 PM, according to the Dashboard maintained by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.

There were a whopping 207,266 new cases and 4,888 new deaths during the past 24 hours across 188 countries and regions.

The countries with the most number of reported Covid-19 cases thus far were the US (2,686,480), Brazil (1,448,753), Russia (653,479), India (604,641) … China (84,816).

The countries with the most number of Covid-19 deaths were the US (128,062), Brazil (60,632), the UK (43,991), Italy (34,788), France (29,864), Spain (28,510), Mexico (28,364), India (17,834) … China (4,641).



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