World

South Africa begins first trials for Covid-19 vaccine

The global fight against Covid-19 pandemic is intensifying with medical experts and drugmakers from across the world ramping up effort to arrive at the potential coronavirus vaccine and treatment.

With nearly 10 million Covid-19 patients across the globe and over 4.8 coronavirus fatalities, the virus has almost the entire planet under its grip and the need for a Covid-19 antidote becomes more urgent by the day.

American biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences has said it will soon start clinical trials for an inhaled formulation of its antiviral drug remdesivir used for the treatment of Covid-19. Remdesivir has made great strides in its role in the formulation of a vaccine against the contagion.

Here are the latest development on Covid-19 vaccine and treatment:

• The University of Oxford and AstraZeneca Plc.’s experimental vaccine, ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, is the first to enter the final stages of clinical trials. If the trial is successful, the Oxford Vaccine Group expects to launch the Covid-19 vaccine by the end of this year,

• The first clinical trial of Covid-19 vaccine developed by the Oxford University begins in South Africa.

• A Chinese military research institute has been approved to test its second experimental coronavirus vaccine in humans, the eighth Chinese candidate in clinical trials.

• Experts believe that Patanjali Ayurved Ltd’s claim of a breakthrough cure for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) needs vetting.

•The UK has started immunisation of about 300 people with a new coronavirus vaccine as part of a trial led experts at Imperial College London.

• The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI) – an influential foundation focused on preparation and response to epidemics – has identified manufacturers with capacity to produce four billion doses of Covid-19 a year. The CEPI is backing nine potential coronavirus vaccines.

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