USA administers its first COVID-19 vaccine

USA has administered its first COVID – 19 vaccine to a critical care nurse, Sandra Lindsay at Long Island Jewish medical centre in Queens, New York. She received the shot live on television.

The distributor of the vaccine is Pfizer in collaboration BioNtech, a German firm. UK was the first country to administer Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.

Northwell Health, the largest health system in New York, monitors the hospitals in the USA administering the first dosages of the vaccines.

As of now, the USA has a death toll of over 300,000. The news of the vaccine comes as a relief for everybody who has been suffering. The vaccine has been distributed to 636 locations till now.

The vaccine which is being distributed by FedEx and USP is a challenge to transport and distribute while storing it at -70 degree Celsius as it needs to be stored in ultra-cold freezers at near-arctic temperatures.

‘Senior citizens, health care workers and first responders will be the first to get the vaccine’ said President Donald Trump days after the media criticized that White House senior officials will get the vaccine within 10 days.

Food and drug administration of the USA have authorized the vaccine last Friday, and the shipments have been sent out to each state of the USA with their respective zip code. The governor decides the priority of the group to be administered first. US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has recommended the vaccine for those aged 16 years and older in the USA.

Essential and healthcare workers are at immediate risk, which is why they will be given priority in each state to get the vaccines.

The Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine is given as two shots within 21-day gaps, although the vaccine has proven to be effective from the first dosage itself.

Although the vaccine has come as a silver lining during these dark times, people are still advised to wear masks and maintain social distancing while they are in public places. It is still a long road to go before the vaccine is administered to a majority of the US population.


Covid-19 Vaccine is likely to be supplied to Centre at Rs. 250 by the Serum Institute of India

In a much-awaited move, the Serum Institute of India closes in on signing a supply contract for a covid-19 vaccine with the country’s central government. As per reports by the Business Standard, on the 8th of December, the institute, the world’s largest vaccine producer by volume, is likely to fix the vaccine’s price at 250 rupees (per dose).

On the 7th of December, the institute lodged the first formal application for emergency-use approval of AstraZeneca’s shot. With this, the government sees a mass supply by the institute. The vaccine was earlier quoted to be priced at 1,000 rupees per dose in India in the private markets. However, the deals signed with larger supplies by the government make the vaccine available at a lower cost. This development comes as India is accelerating its review of vaccines developed by Pfizer Inc and AstraZeneca to authorize for emergency use, as quoted by a senior official.

The Chief Executive Officer, Adar Poonawalla, said the institute’s priority would be to supply the vaccine to Indians, then distribute it to other countries. This step is much needed as India is the second most affected country in the world by Covid-19, after the United States, and currently records more than 9.7 million cases.

bihar Vaccine

Feluda: A faster way of testing Covid-19

There is a new test named ‘Feluda’ which has become the talk of the town in India and will soon flood the markets. Not only is it said to be more cost-effective, but has also been indigenously developed. It will soon be used in many metropolitan cities like Delhi, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Pune, Ahmedabad and Chennai. The name has been taken from a fictional character created by Satyajit Ray called ‘Feluda’. The acronym of the vaccine is based on FNCas9 Editor-Limited Uniform Detection Assay.
The most striking advantage of this paper strip test is that it gives results in less than an hour and is, therefore, a better option over other testing methods like gold standard RT-PCR tests. Pricing of this test has not been declared yet. The test will be launched by the TATA Company. It was approved by Drug Controller of India (DCGI) in September. Dr Harsh Vardhan stated that Feluda has shown 98 percent specificity in declaring the novel coronavirus. The test is based on CRISPR (Clustered regularly Interspace Short Palindromic Repeats) which is a genome editing technology.
According to reports, the test will soon be available in Apollo hospitals and TATA Medical and Diagnostics. This test has been a great development as it will make the testing process stringent, faster and is reliable to look forward to.