The Union health ministry on Tuesday announced that Novavax Covid-19 vaccine will be produced in India, hopefully in a very large quantity. Preparatory work has already been done by the Serum Institute of India as it is in collaboration with the original company. Bridging trials too are in advanced stages of completion. Efficacy and positive results of this study augur well for the country.
“We hope they will complete the trial as scheduled and start trials on children. As we have safety data for adults, it is time we start bridging trials on children, a population of special interest to us,’’ said NITI Aayog member VK Paul.
He said the results of the Novavax vaccine were promising. “What we’re learning from the data available in the public domain is the vaccine is safe and highly effective. It will be produced in India. Clinical trials are being conducted and are in the advanced stage of completion,” Paul said, adding, there will be some gap in production of Novavax vaccine for a while. “I am hoping the US company Novavax would start trials on children too,” he said.
Novavax on Monday said it intends to file for regulatory authorisations in the third quarter, upon completion of the final phases of process qualification and assay validation needed to meet chemistry, manufacturing and controls requirements. Upon regulatory approvals, Novavax remains on track to reach manufacturing capacity of 100 million doses a month by the end of the third quarter and 150 million doses a month by the end of the fourth quarter of 2021.
Further, the company said the two-shot vaccine was about 90% effective overall, and preliminary data showed it was safe. Novavax has an agreement with Covax to deliver up to 1.1 billion doses of its vaccine to emerging economies, along with agreements to produce doses in Korea, Japan, Canada and many other nations.
Lowest single day cases in 75 days
India accounted for 60,471 Covid infections, the lowest after 75 days, while the daily positivity rate dropped to 3.45%, less than 5% for the 8th consecutive day and the weekly positivity rate dropped to less than 5% at 4.39% and the daily fatalities fell to 2726, the Health Ministry said on Tuesday.
Total persons found infected stood at 2.96 crore while 95.04% of them or 2.83 crore have recovered and the active cases came down to 9.13 lakh and the total deaths so far stood at 3,77,031.
Maharashtra recorded the highest 1592 deaths, including the fatalities that were not counted in the past few days, while Tamil Nadu recorded 254 deaths, followed by Kerala 161 and Karntaka 120. Delhi reported 16 deaths in 24 hours.
With 17,51,358 tests in 24 hours, the total cumulative tests carried out so far in the country reached 38,13,75,984. India on Monday carried out highest 39.27 lakh vaccinations in a day, pushing the total to 25.90 crore.
A total of 3,77,031 deaths have been reported so far in the country, including 1,12,696 in Maharashtra, 33,033 in Karnataka, 29,801 in Tamil Nadu, 24,839 in Delhi, 21,858 in Uttar Pradesh, 16,974 in West Bengal, 15,602 in Punjab and 13,334 in Chhattisgarh.
Delta Plus variant of interest, not ‘variant of concern’
The new Delta Plus mutation of coronavirus is “a variant of interest”, not “a variant of concern”, the government said on Tuesday. “Delta variant played a major role in the second wave. An additional mutation of this variant, known as Delta Plus, has been detected and submitted to the global data system. It has been seen in Europe since March and was brought into the public domain 2 days ago on June 13,” NITI Aayog’s Member Health, Dr VK Paul, said Health Ministry.
“Delta Plus is a variant of interest, but not a variant of concern. It has not yet been classified as a variant of concern, in which there is adverse consequence to humanity. As per data available in the public domain, this variant nullifies the use of monoclonal antibody. We will scientifically study and learn more about this variant.”