The United States has given the final authorization on Friday to the nation’s first COVID-19 vaccine, marking what could be the beginning of the end of an outbreak that has killed nearly 300,000 Americans.US authorisation comes weeks after UK became the first nation in the world to begin mass rollout of the vaccine against Covid-19.
Meanwhile, the Indian drug regulators have given nod to the country’s first mRNA vaccine developed by Gennova. The mRNA-based vaccines are scientifically the ideal choice to address a pandemic because of their rapid developmental timeline, the DBT has said.
US approves Pfizer vaccine
The US FDA has approved Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine for emergency use, with the first vaccinations expected within days.
FDA has granted an emergency use authorisation 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 the Pfizer dose after US pharma giant sought emergency use authorisation here. India is also actively considering two other vaccine candidates, those being developed by the Serum Institute of India (SII) in partnership with AstraZeneca and Oxford University and the second by Bharat Biotech.
India nod to mRNA vaccine
India’s first indigenous mRNA vaccine candidate developed by Pune-based Gennova has been given approval from drug regulators to initiate Phase 1/2 human clinical trials.
The mRNA vaccines do not use the conventional model to produce immune response. Instead, they carry molecular instructions to make the protein in the body through a synthetic RNA of the virus.
The host body uses this to produce the viral protein that is recognised, thereby, making the body mount an immune response against the disease.
According to the Department of Biotechnology, the mRNA-based vaccines are scientifically the ideal choice to address a pandemic because of their rapid developmental timeline.
AstraZeneca to combine dose with Sputnik V
AstraZeneca is to start clinical trials to test a combination of its experimental Covid-19 vaccine with Russia’s Sputnik V shot to see if this can boost the efficacy of the British drug maker’s vaccine. The announcement was made by Russia’s sovereign wealth fund.
Trials will start by the end of the year and Russia wants to produce the new vaccine jointly if it is proven to be effective, said the RDIF wealth fund.
AstraZeneca said it was considering how it could assess combinations of different vaccines, and would soon begin exploring with Russia’s Gamaleya Institute, which developed Sputnik V, whether two vaccines based on a common-cold virus could be successfully combined.