World vaccine news: US new vaccine coverage target, AstraZeneca dose efficacy & others

AstraZeneca vaccine is currently in use in India and is being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII) as part of its deal with AstraZeneca.

Even as the ever increasing demand for Covid-19 vaccine shoots up in various parts of the country, several developments on different Coronavirus vaccines are taking place around the world. Let’s look at the top developments related to the Covid-19 vaccines in different parts of the world.

US Regulator set to approve Pfizer vaccine for 12-15 age group
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to approve the use of Pfizer Coronavirus vaccine for adolescents between the age of 12 and 15 years. The vaccine shot which is already being given to adults above 16 years of age was found to be effective even in the lower age group last month, the Indian Express reported. The decision from the FDA is expected to be announced as early as next week.

UK plans 3rd vaccine shot for adults above 50
In a bid to completely eliminate the threat from the Coronavirus pandemic, the United Kingdom is contemplating providing the third dose of Covid-19 vaccine to all adults above the age of 50. The third shot of the vaccine is expected to be provided after the autumn kicks in so that the country can eliminate the pandemic completely before this year’s Christmas.

US aims at 70 percent vaccine coverage before July 4
US President Joe Biden has said that his administration is aiming at vaccinating as much as 70 percent of the country’s population before July 4 when the country commemorates its Independence Day. Biden in his statement was quoted as saying that the country had sufficient vaccine supplies for everybody and encouraged people to come forward and get their vaccine dose.

Covid-19 next gen vaccine could be tablets, nasal sprays
Even as the shortage of Coronavirus vaccine wreaks havoc in low, mid-income countries including India, the pharmaceutical companies are aiming at developing Covid-19 vaccines in the form of tablets and nasal sprays. US pharma companies and laboratories including Sanofi SA, Altimmune Inc and Gritstone Oncology Inc are reported to be involved in the development of such next generation Covid-19 vaccines. As per health experts, such vaccines will be easy to store and administration cost and efforts at vaccination will drastically come down.

Single dose of AstraZeneca, Pfizer vaccine effective upto 89 %: South Korean Study
A study in South Korea has found that even a single dose of AstraZeneca and Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines are effective in preventing infections among senior citizens above 60 years of age. The data released by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) found that the Pfizer vaccine was effective upto 89 percent while the AstraZeneca vaccine was effective upto 86 %. Both vaccines were found to be effective two weeks after they have been administered. AstraZeneca vaccine is currently in use in India and is being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII) as part of its deal with AstraZeneca.

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