NTAGI will decide next week

Around 80 million eligible children can register on the CoWIN app for their first dose of vaccine starting Saturday

New Delhi: Amid a sharp increase in Covid-19 cases across the country, the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NTAGI) and its working group will meet next week to finalize which vaccine will be given as a dose ” precaution ”to healthcare and front-line workers and seniors over 60 with co-morbidities from January 10.
While the government has only cleared Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin as the first dose of vaccine for children aged 15 to 18, it has yet to decide which vaccine should be used as a precautionary dose for others. About 80 million eligible children can register on the CoWIN app for their first dose of vaccine starting Saturday.

As children can be vaccinated from January 3, the government of Assam aims to give the first dose of Covaxin to all eligible adolescents within seven days of the start of the vaccination campaign. State Health Minister Keshab Mahanta said the administration aimed to fully immunize students by mid-February before their board review.

The Union Health Ministry will hold a series of meetings next week to finalize the vaccine for the precautionary dose. Several studies and clinical trials are already underway to assess the vaccine mix for improved immunity against Omicron, which is now spreading rapidly across the world.

NTAGI is also awaiting data on ongoing trials of the vaccine mix in the country. One of these studies is conducted by the Transnational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI), an independent institute of the Department of Biotechnology. Another heterologous vaccine study is underway at CMC Vellore. Bharat Biotech has also submitted a phase 3 clinical trial request to the DGCI for its intranasal vaccine against Covid-19. The trial will be conducted to see if the intranasal vaccine can be given as a third dose to people vaccinated with Covaxin and Covishield.

The latest reports suggest that Omicron has started to replace Delta in terms of the number of Covid-19 cases. About 80 percent of overseas travelers who have tested positive have the Omicron variant. One third of all positive cases had mild symptoms and the rest were asymptomatic.

Health Department data released at 8 a.m. on Friday showed the country had the largest single-day increase of 309 Omicron cases, bringing the number of those cases to 1,270 in 23 states and territories in the ‘Union. Data showed that 16,764 new cases of Covid-19 and 220 deaths from the viral disease were also reported in the past 24 hours.
Maharashtra marked the last day of the year with another massive peak in single-day Covid-19 cases with 8,067 people testing positive. Among the new cases, Mumbai recorded 5,428 infections – an increase of 1,757 from Thursday’s 3,671. The state’s cumulative tally has risen to 66 78,821. The state has also confirmed four new cases of Omicron, bringing the total to 454. Of these, a total of 157 patients have already recovered from a negative RT-PCR test report.

Alarmed by the rapid spread of Covid-19 infections, Mumbai police have issued an order under Article 144 CrPC prohibiting people from visiting beaches, open land, seashores, boardwalks, gardens , parks or similar public places between 5 p.m. and 5 a.m. until January 15. The order issued by DCP (operations) S. Chaitanya said: “The city continues to be threatened by the Covid-19 pandemic in light of the increase in cases and the emergence of the new Omicron variant .

In Delhi, where strict measures are already in place to control the spread of the virus, tours of the Rashtrapati Bhavan and the Rashtrapati Bhavan Museum have been halted from Saturday. The handover ceremony will also not take place until further notice.

As the world battles the Delta and Omicron variants, Arab News tweeted that Israel has recorded the first case of the “Florena” disease, a double infection of the Covid-19 infection and the flu. Israel had started administering a fourth vaccine against Covid-19 to those with weakened immunity on Friday, becoming one of the first countries to do so in hopes of countering an increase in cases caused by the Omicron variant.

The Serum Institute of India, meanwhile, has asked authorities for full marketing authorization for Covishield, saying supplies of the Covid-19 vaccine have exceeded 125 crore doses. SII had partnered with Covishield developer AstraZeneca to supply the vaccine to the Indian government.

In the United States, Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine has obtained full approval from the USFDA for use in people 16 years of age and older, passing from Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) earlier. The EUA is granted by authorities in a public health emergency to provide access to medical products after determining that the known and potential benefits of a product, when used to prevent, diagnose or treat the disease. disease, outweigh the known and potential risks of the product. In the event of full marketing authorization, vaccines must go through the standard regulatory process for reviewing the quality, safety and efficacy of medical products.

India’s drug regulator has also approved SII’s proposal to manufacture a drug substance for the new Omicron vaccine and to perform testing and analysis. The move is growing in importance given the country reporting a daily increase in new cases of Covid-19, which also include its Omicron variant. Another good news is that Emcure Pharmaceuticals Ltd has announced that it will launch its generic version of the anti-Covid-19 pill Molnupiravir within a week in India. The company plans to launch Molnupiravir under the brand name “Lizuvira” in the Indian market.

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