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Thursday, September 23, 2021

Coronavirus India Highlights: Hope to produce 1 crore vaccine doses by October, says Zydus Group MD

Coronavirus India Highlights: Gujarat-based Zydus Cadila’s three-dose Covid-19 vaccine was on Friday granted emergency use authorisation for use in adults and children above 12 years, making it potentially the first vaccine to be administered to the adolescent population in India.

By: Express Web Desk | Bengaluru, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi |
Updated: August 22, 2021 10:16:07 am
Covid-19A health worker administers a dose of a Covid-19 vaccine in Chennai. (File/PTI)

Coronavirus India Highlights: Drug firm Zydus Cadila on Saturday said they hope to produce 1 crore doses of its Covid-19 vaccine ZyCoV-D by October, news agency PTI reported. It further said that the company is hoping to start supplying vaccine doses by the middle to end of September, adding that the pricing of the dose will be announced in the next one or two weeks.

“Post the emergency use authorisation, now we will work closely with the regulatory authorities to work on the pricing and modality of delivery of the doses of our vaccine. In next one or two weeks we will have better clarity on the pricing,” Zydus Group Managing Director Sharvil Patel said in a virtual press conference, PTI reported. The company hopes that “by middle to end of September, we can start supplying the vaccines, and as I said we need to scale up to 1 crore doses and we believe by October we can achieve this. We believe by October we will start producing 1 crore doses and that would mean by end of Jan we can have 4 to 5 crore doses,” he added.

Gujarat-based Zydus Cadila’s three-dose Covid-19 vaccine was on Friday granted emergency use authorisation for use in adults and children above 12 years, making it potentially the first vaccine to be administered to the adolescent population in India. ZyCoV-D is set to become the first Covid vaccine candidate developed on a plasmid DNA platform to be commercially introduced anywhere in the world. The vaccine, jointly developed in partnership with the Department of Biotechnology, had demonstrated a primary efficacy of 66.66 per cent in phase 3 clinical trials. It was the first Covid-19 vaccine in India to be tested in the adolescent population — those in the 12-18-year age group.

Meanwhile, India reported 34,457 new cases of coronavirus infections and 375 deaths on Friday, according to data from the Union Health Ministry. Active cases in the country have come down to 3.61 lakh. Out of the new cases, Kerala reported 20,224 cases, and 99 deaths while Maharashtra had 4,365 new infections and 106 fatalities. The total death toll has reached 4.34 lakh.

Live Blog

Coronavirus India Live updates: Hope to produce 1 crore vaccine doses by October, says Zydus Group MD; India reports 34,457 new Covid-19 cases, 375 deaths in last 24 hours; Follow this space for the latest updates

22:44 (IST)21 Aug 2021
Tamil Nadu sees 1,652 new cases, 23 fatalities

Tamil Nadu on Saturday saw new 1,652 cases of COVID-19 and 23 fatalities, the Health Department said.

With these, the total number of the infected were 25,99,255 and deaths 34,686 till date, the department said.

Recoveries were more than the fresh infections with 1,859 people getting discharged in the last 24 hours, aggregating to 25,45,178 leaving 19,391 active infections, a bulletin said.

A total of 1,59,213 samples were tested in the last 24 hours, pushing the number of specimens examined to 4,07,50,790 till date.

Coimbatore, Chennai and Erode reported most of the new cases with 205, 183 and 152 cases respectively. Ramanathapuram recorded the lowest with three cases, the bulletin said. (PTI)

21:42 (IST)21 Aug 2021
Karnataka reports 1,350 new cases and 18 deaths; 260 fresh infections in Bengaluru

Karnataka on Saturday reported 1,350 fresh cases and 18 deaths. Among the new cases, 260 fresh infections were from Bengaluru.

21:33 (IST)21 Aug 2021
One more death, 25 new cases in Uttar Pradesh

The Covid-19 death toll in Uttar Pradesh rose to 22,792 on Saturday with one more fatality, while 25 fresh cases pushed the infection tally to 17,09,100, according to an official statement issued here.

The only death was reported from Bareilly, the state government said in the statement.

Of the 25 new cases, three each were reported from Lucknow, Maharajganj, Meerut and Gautam Buddh Nagar, it said. (PTI)

21:32 (IST)21 Aug 2021
Maharashtra reports 4,575 new cases, 145 deaths

Maharashtra reports fresh 4,575 Covid cases, 5,914 discharges, and 145 deaths in the last 24 hours.

20:52 (IST)21 Aug 2021
Gujarat sees 15 new cases; active infections at 184

Gujarat on Saturday recorded 15 new cases of coronavirus that took its tally of infections to 8,25,287, an official from the state health department said.

With the addition one fatality reported in Rajkot, the COVID-19 toll in the state stands at 10,079, the official said.

There are currently184 active cases in the western state, of which five patients are in a critical condition, he said.

Vadodara district reported the highest number of five new cases, followed by Ahmedabad with four, Surat with three, and Anand, Bhavnagar and Rajkot with one case each, the official said. (PTI)

20:51 (IST)21 Aug 2021
Over 58 crore Covid vaccine doses administered in India: Govt

The cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country has gone past 58 crore, the Union health ministry said on Saturday.

More than 43 lakh vaccine doses were administered on Saturday, according to a provisional report compiled at 7 pm.

The ministry said 20,88,547 beneficiaries in the age group of 18-44 years received the first dose and 7,36,870 were administered the second dose of the vaccine on Saturday.

Cumulatively, 21,60,58,123 people in the said age group have received the first dose and 1,92,54,925 have been administered the second dose of the vaccine since the start of the third phase of the vaccination drive across the states and Union territories. (PTI)

20:33 (IST)21 Aug 2021
Tamil Nadu eases Covid curbs: Schools, colleges to reopen from Sept 1, theatres from Aug 23

Announcing extension of the Covid lockdown in the state for two more weeks, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin said Saturday that the government has decided to resume physical classes in schools and colleges from September 1.

Schools will reopen on a rotational basis for students in classes IX-XII after a gap of nearly 18 months. Classes will be held following Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

According to a statement issued by Stalin, the government will take a decision on resuming lower classes after September 15 based on the how the reopening of higher classes pan out. Read more

20:25 (IST)21 Aug 2021
West Bengal reports 678 fresh cases, 10 more deaths

West Bengal has reported 678 fresh Covid cases and 10 more deaths, according to the state’s health bulletin. Among the new infections, 70 fresh cases were from Kolkata. The city also saw two more Covid-related deaths.

20:05 (IST)21 Aug 2021
Mumbai sees 259 new cases, five deaths

Mumbai on Saturday reported 259 fresh COVID-19 cases and five fatalities while 281 patients recovered, a civic official said. 

With the new additions, Mumbai's COVID-19 tally rose to 7,40,871 and the toll to 15,946, he said. The count of recoveries in Mumbai has gone up to 7,19,662, leaving the city with 2,825 active cases.

With 34,883 new tests, the number of samples tested so far in Mumbai went up to 88,89,888, the official said. (PTI)

20:03 (IST)21 Aug 2021
Madhya Pradesh to have over 200 MT oxygen generation capacity by Sept-end: CM

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Saturday said at least 190 oxygen generation plants, with a capacity to produce 221 metric tonnes of the life-saving gas, will be functional in the state by the end of September.

Chouhan made the statement while virtually inaugurating some of the oxygen plants in 10 hospitals, which can generate 5,500 litres of the life-saving gas per minute.

“Up until March, none of the government hospitals in the state had oxygen generation plants. However, at least 190 oxygen plants are being set up in the state, of which 68 plants have been completed and 65 are operational. All 190 plants with a capacity to generate 221 MT of oxygen will be functional by September end,” the chief minister said. (PTI)

19:12 (IST)21 Aug 2021
Kerala reports 17,106 new cases and 83 more deaths

Kerala reports 17,106 new Covid-19 cases, 20,846 recoveries, and 83 deaths in the last 24 hours.

18:52 (IST)21 Aug 2021
No side-effect associated with vaccine seen during trial: Zydus Group MD

A day after Zydus Cadila received approval for Emergency Use Authorization from DCGI  for ZyCoV-D, Dr Sharvil Patel, MD, Zydus Group, said no severe side-effect associated with the vaccine was seen.

“Trials were conducted in 50 centres in the country. Overall, the trials on 28,000 volunteers were conducted. We've done the trials on 1400 adolescents of 12-18 yrs. In all the trials, we've not seen any severe side effects related to the vaccine,” he was quoted as saying by ANI.

“The full phase 3 data doesn’t only shows efficacy but also means safety and long-term immunogenicity which is at least followed up for next 3-6 months. So, for the full report to be published in a peer-reviewed journal will take at least 4-5 months,” he added.

He further said, “We haven't started studies for the younger age group (2-12 yrs). We're working with regulators to work on a program to do a study in the younger age group also. We're going to the regulator with the proposed trial in next 5-7 days. We hope to do trials very soon.” (ANI)

18:47 (IST)21 Aug 2021
Over 1.21 lakh doses of Covid vaccine administered in Delhi on Friday: Govt bulletin

A total of 1,21,318 people were vaccinated against COVID-19 in the national capital on Friday, according to the Delhi government's vaccination bulletin.

The bulletin issued on Saturday showed that 90,882 people received their first dose while 30,436 were administered the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine on Friday.

The city has administered 1,22,37,895 vaccine doses so far, of which 87,77,612 were first doses and 34,60,283 second doses, it showed.

As of Saturday morning, the national capital had only four days of vaccine stock left, the bulletin claimed. (PTI)

17:12 (IST)21 Aug 2021
Pandemic not over yet, people should behave responsibly: Uddhav Thackeray

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday said people should not let their guard down as the threat of a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic still looms.

Talking to the media after inaugurating a paediatric COVID-19 care centre in suburban Santacruz, he said the pandemic is not over yet, and "people should behave responsibly".

"Don't forget that COVID-19 restrictions have been eased to keep the economic cycle moving. People should not fall prey to any kind of provocation which may endanger their lives and those of others," the chief minister said.

The daily rise in infections and the deaths due to COVID-19 need to be brought down, he said. (PTI)

17:10 (IST)21 Aug 2021
Entire Guwahati population to be vaccinated by Aug 31: Assam health minister

The Assam government has set a target to vaccinate the entire population of Kamrup Metropolitan district, under which the state's largest city Guwahati falls, by end of this month, Health and Family Welfare Minister Keshab Mahanta said on Saturday.

The vaccination drive on a mission mode will be conducted at the polling booth level of the district, with field teams already starting work on collection of data on non-vaccinated people, he said. (PTI)               

17:09 (IST)21 Aug 2021
Covid-19 vaccine to be administered at health clinics every day: Kolkata civic body

The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) will be holding COVID-19 inoculation drive at the city's health clinics all seven days a week, starting Monday, chairman of the civic body's board of administrators, Firhad Hakim, said, while also observing that the rush for the first jab is "far more" than that of the second.

Hakim, who is also the state's transport minister, further said that the civic body has the infrastructure to vaccinate as many as one lakh people in a day.

Earlier, the drive was held on specific days in a week. (PTI)

16:39 (IST)21 Aug 2021
One new Covid case in Mumbai's Dharavi, 10 active cases in area: BMC

One new Covid infection has been reported in Mumbai's Dharavi area today; active cases in the area stand at 10, says Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. (ANI)

16:31 (IST)21 Aug 2021
Delhi reports 19 new cases, positivity at 0.03%

Delhi reports 19 new cases and 48 recoveries. The positivity rate is at 0.03% now.

16:15 (IST)21 Aug 2021
No restrictions on timings now for markets to stay open in Delhi: Arvind Kejriwal

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said that restrictions on timings for markets to stay open have been done away with now.

“Markets of Delhi were allowed to function till 8 pm due to COVID-19. In wake of decreasing cases, this restriction will be removed starting Monday. Now the markets can open as per their normal time,” he said. (ANI)

15:58 (IST)21 Aug 2021
Hope to start supply of ZyCoV-D vaccine by mid to end Sept: Zydus Group MD

Drug firm Zydus Cadila on Saturday said it is looking to supply its COVID-19 vaccine ZyCoV-D by the middle to end of September, adding the pricing of the dose will be announced in the next one or two weeks, PTI reported.

The company's indigenously developed needle-free three-dose COVID-19 vaccine ZyCoV-D was granted emergency use authorisation (EUA) by the drug regulator on Friday, making it the first vaccine to be administered to beneficiaries in the age group of 12-18 years in the country.

"Post the emergency use authorisation, now we will work closely with the regulatory authorities to work on the pricing and modality of delivery of the doses of our vaccine. In next one or two weeks we will have better clarity on the pricing," Zydus Group Managing Director Sharvil Patel said in a virtual press conference.

The company hopes that "by middle to end of September, we can start supplying the vaccines, and as I said we need to scale up to 1 crore doses and we believe by October we can achieve this. We believe by October we will start producing 1 crore doses and that would mean by end of Jan we can have 4 to 5 crore doses," he added. (PTI)

Inactivated vaccines do not have a very good reputation, but Covaxin data looks promising: Expert

Mixing vaccines may be a good thing and may work better than two doses of the same vaccine, Dr Marc-Alain Widdowson, an infectious disease epidemiologist and director of the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, who has also worked for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told The Indian Express.

How effective will vaccines be against various mutant strains of SARS CoV2 virus? Will a third booster dose be needed?

There are no clear answers to this. The data suggests that two doses of mRNA vaccines are needed for good protection against the Delta variant, but it is not clear how long that immunity lasts, especially among the immunosuppressed or elderly. Israel is seeing some disease in vaccinated people and has started a third dose. However, the priority is to make more vaccines for the primary course rather than a booster, because even if vaccinated people get sick, it is less likely that they will die. Though I must say that we are moving to a situation where an updated vaccine could be used. Flu vaccines are updated every year, so we may end up in a similar situation with Covid-19. Vaccines will still be protective to an extent against severe disease and against most mutant strains at present, but we need to keep monitoring. (Read more here)

In other news, according to an RTI response filed by the Covid-19 Vaccine Administration Cell of the Union Health Ministry, the data on CoWin portal, as of August 17, shows that the "total number of beneficiaries who got their first dose of Covishield Vaccine but did not get their second dose within stipulated period of time" is 3,40,72,993. Similarly, the number stands at 46,78,406 for Covaxin beneficiaries.

A UK-based study by Oxford University has found that obtaining two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech or Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines remains the most effective way to ensure protection against the Covid-19 Delta variant of concern.

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