Covid-19 roundup: Zydus Cadila submits 3-dose vaccine for regulatory approval; US donates Moderna jabs to Pakistan during shortage
India’s second home-grown vaccine could be approved by regulators soon as Zydus Cadila announced Thursday it has applied for emergency use approval with regulators in that nation.
The jab has demonstrated efficacy of 66.6%, and the company says studies have shown it is safe for children between the ages of 12 and 18 years old. The vaccine’s pivotal study was carried out in more than 50 clinical sites across India during the peak of the country’s second wave, which Cadila says reaffirms the efficacy against the Delta variant.
After the third dose, scientists observed 100% efficacy for moderate cases of the virus, Cadila said.
“This breakthrough marks a key milestone in scientific innovation and advancement in technology,” Sharvil Patel, the managing director of Cadila Healthcare, said in a statement. “As the first ever plasmid DNA vaccine for human use, ZyCoV-D has proven its safety and efficacy profile in our fight against COVID-19. The vaccine when approved will help not only adults but also adolescents in the 12 to 18 years age group.”
Zydus has also evaluated a two-dose version of the vaccine that uses three micro-dose portions.
Last year, Cadila announced it was researching two vaccine candidates for Covid, one that uses DNA to target the viral entry membrane protein, and another that used a live attenuated recombinant measles virus.
US donates Moderna jabs to Pakistan during shortage
Pakistan has received 2.5 million doses of Moderna’s vaccine Friday, US State Department spokesman Ned Price confirmed on Twitter.
“This delivery underscores our ties with the people of Pakistan and our commitment to beat the pandemic globally by vaccinating as many as possible, as quickly as possible,” the tweet said.
The delivery eases pressure on the capital of Islamabad in the midst of a vaccine shortage.
A U.S. shipment of 2.5M doses of the Moderna vaccine touched down in Pakistan today. This delivery underscores our ties with the people of Pakistan and our commitment to beat the pandemic globally by vaccinating as many as possible, as quickly as possible.
— Ned Price (@StateDeptSpox) July 2, 2021
The vaccines were delivered in partnership with COVAX, UNICEF and the Pakistani government, the Associated Press reported. The donation was part of the 80 million doses the US has pledged to share with the world.
Germany locks in doses for 2022 ahead of any possible variants
The German government will spend big money to secure another 204 million doses of vaccines, and 50.1 million of those doses will be from J&J and Moderna, Reuters reports. The spree is an attempt to avoid production bottlenecks and protection against possible variants.
The Robert Koch Institute has advised the government that there should be sufficient mRNA vaccines available to fully cover the country’s population, but alternatives should be brought on in case of any “unforeseen problems,” according to Reuters.
A total of 70 million combined doses will come from Sanofi, Novavax and Valneva. Nearly 85 million of the doses will come from Pfizer/BioNTech, as they are already contracted through the EU’s procurement scheme.
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