Coronavirus Vaccine Update: The United States has granted an emergency use authorization to Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine candidate. The US clearance comes weeks after the UK became the world’s first nation to begin mass launch of the Covid-19 vaccine.
Meanwhile, Indian drug regulators have given their go-ahead to the country’s first mRNA vaccine developed by Gennova. MRNA-based vaccines are scientifically the ideal choice for dealing with a pandemic due to their rapid development timeline, the DBT said.
US Approves Pfizer Vaccine
The US FDA has approved Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine for emergency use, and the first vaccines are expected in a few days.
The FDA granted an emergency use authorization for the Pfizer vaccine, developed with German partner BioNTech, which was shown to be 95% effective in preventing the disease in a late-stage trial.
The Pfizer vaccine has already been approved for the public in the UK, Canada, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia. India is also considering Pfizer dosage after the US pharmaceutical giant applied for emergency use authorization here. India is also actively considering two other candidate vaccines, the ones being developed by the Serum Institute of India (SII) in partnership with AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford and the second by Bharat Biotech.
India winks at mRNA vaccine
India’s first indigenous mRNA vaccine developed by Pune-based Gennova has received approval from drug regulators to initiate phase 1/2 human clinical trials.
MRNA vaccines do not use the conventional model to produce an immune response. Instead, they carry molecular instructions for making the protein in the body through synthetic RNA from the virus.
The host body uses this to produce the viral protein that it recognizes, causing the body to generate an immune response against the disease.
According to the Department of Biotechnology, mRNA-based vaccines are scientifically the ideal choice to deal with a pandemic due to their rapid development.
AstraZeneca to combine doses with Sputnik V
AstraZeneca will begin clinical trials to test a combination of its experimental Covid-19 vaccine with the Russian Sputnik V injection to see if this can increase the effectiveness of the British drug manufacturer’s vaccine. The announcement was made by Russia’s sovereign wealth fund.
Trials will begin at the end of the year and Russia wants to co-produce the new vaccine if it is shown to be effective, wealth fund RDIF said.
AstraZeneca said it was considering how it could test combinations of different vaccines and would soon begin to explore with Russia’s Gamaleya Institute, which developed Sputnik V, whether two vaccines based on a common cold virus could be successfully combined.