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The Covid-19 vaccine has become a political matter, having figured in the fi rst US presidential debate on Tuesday and President Donald Trump pushing companies to roll out a vaccine before the election on November 3. This week, vaccine makers in India and abroad expanded their manufacturing contracts, some got ready for approvals, and others gave a realistic timeline for launch. Divya Rajagopal reports:
ICMR Ties Up With Biological E
The Indian Council of Medical Research and Hyderabad-based Biological E Limited announced that they have developed purifi ed antisera (raised in animals) for prophylaxis and treatment of Covid-19. ICMR said that although plasma recovered from patients experiencing Covid-19 could serve a similar purpose, the profi le of antibodies, their effi cacy and concentration keep varying from one patient to another and, therefore, makes it an unreliable clinical tool for patient management. Hence equine sera treatment is a viable alternative, the country’s leading medical research institute said.
AstraZeneca Vaccine Drags in the US
The US drug regulators are not yet convinced with the safety profi le of the Covid-19 vaccine candidate of AstraZeneca and Oxford University. The US Food and Drug Administrator has asked for further details about the safety profi le of the proposed vaccine, Reuters reported. The European Medicine Agency has started a review of the vaccine sample manufactured by AstraZeneca while its trials have restarted in countries including Japan, the UK, Brazil and India.
SII’s Expanded Deal With Gavi
Serum Institute of India this week said it will extend its ongoing association with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance to make Covid-19 vaccine for poorer nations. Under the new agreement, SII will manufacture additional 100 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine for India and low- and middle-income countries in 2021, taking the total to 200 million doses overall, if the vaccines are successful. The agreement covers vaccines being developed by AstraZeneca and Novavax.

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