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The dry swab-direct RT-PCR testing method is aimed at scaling up the testing by two to three fold (AP)
FILE PHOTO: A woman holds a small bottle labeled with a
FILE PHOTO: A woman holds a small bottle labeled with a "Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccine" sticker and a medical syringe in this illustration taken October 30, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo/File Photo (REUTERS)

Will COVID-19 vaccines protect us? Does efficacy equal effectiveness?

  • Pfizer-BioNtech and Moderna have each said their coronavirus vaccines have an efficacy rate of around 95%
  • Evidence so far suggests that COVID-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNtech, Moderna and AstraZeneca will help stop people developing the disease

CCMB researchers found that VTM can be totally avoided
Russia says requests for more than 1.2 billion doses of Sputnik V vaccine has come from over 50 countries (REUTERS)
Indian pharmaceutical company Hetero have agreed to produce over 100 million doses per year in India of the Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19,
Inactivated traditional vaccines use a virus germ that has been killed, while others use a weakened or 'attenuated' strain (Photo: AP)
Inactivated traditional vaccines use a virus germ that has been killed, while others use a weakened or 'attenuated' strain (Photo: AP)

Covid-19 vaccines finally at hand? But when will a jab be available?

Health authorities could give a green light for emergency use within weeks, which would mark the most rapid vaccine development for a pandemic in history -- but many questions remain

Astra shares rose 0.5% Thursday after slumping 6.2% earlier in the week. (Photo: Reuters)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel delivers a speech during a session at the lower house of parliament today
The moon is seen during a lunar eclipse. (REUTERS)
FILE - In this Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020 file photo, senior Clinical Research Nurse Ajithkumar Sukumaran prepares the COVID 19 vaccine to administer to a volunteer, at a clinic in London. The British government on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020 says it may take part in a study that tries to deliberately infect volunteers who have been given an experimental vaccine against the coronavirus in an effort to more quickly determine if the vaccine works. The approach, called a challenge study, is risky but proponents think it may produce results faster than typical studies, which wait to see if volunteers who have been given an experimental treatment or a dummy version get sick.  (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File) (AP)
FILE - In this Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020 file photo, senior Clinical Research Nurse Ajithkumar Sukumaran prepares the COVID 19 vaccine to administer to a volunteer, at a clinic in London. The British government on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020 says it may take part in a study that tries to deliberately infect volunteers who have been given an experimental vaccine against the coronavirus in an effort to more quickly determine if the vaccine works. The approach, called a challenge study, is risky but proponents think it may produce results faster than typical studies, which wait to see if volunteers who have been given an experimental treatment or a dummy version get sick. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File) (AP)

When and how will covid-19 vaccines become available?

If regulators approve any of the vaccines in coming weeks, the companies have said distribution could begin almost immediately with governments around the world to decide who gets them and in what order. The following is an outline of the process

FILE - In this Sept. 15, 2020, file photo, a Russian medical worker administers a shot of Russia's experimental Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine in Moscow, Russia. Developers of Sputnik V, Russia's COVID-19 vaccine, announced Wednesday that the jab appeared to be 92% effective in advanced trials, in a statement that comes just two days after a similar one from Pfizer Inc. and indicates Moscow's eagerness to get ahead in the worldwide race for a successful coronavirus vaccine. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr, File) (AP)
FILE - In this Sept. 15, 2020, file photo, a Russian medical worker administers a shot of Russia's experimental Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine in Moscow, Russia. Developers of Sputnik V, Russia's COVID-19 vaccine, announced Wednesday that the jab appeared to be 92% effective in advanced trials, in a statement that comes just two days after a similar one from Pfizer Inc. and indicates Moscow's eagerness to get ahead in the worldwide race for a successful coronavirus vaccine. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr, File) (AP)

Europe says first covid vaccinations possible by Christmas

A top European Union official said the first citizens in the bloc could be vaccinated against the coronavirus by Christmas, but she warned that member countries must urgently prepare their logistical chains for the rollout of hundreds of millions of doses of the vaccines

BioNTech is also working with US pharma giant Pfizer on the vaccine and the partners said last week they were hoping to win approval in the US and Europe this year (Photo: AP)
BioNTech is also working with US pharma giant Pfizer on the vaccine and the partners said last week they were hoping to win approval in the US and Europe this year (Photo: AP)

BioNTech, Fosun start Phase II trial of covid-19 vaccine in China

The vaccine, known as BNT162b2, will be tested on volunteers at the Jiangsu Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention to assess safety and immunogenicity, eyeing future approval in China

While Delhi recorded 38,501 active cases, Uttarakhand has 4638 active cases (Photo: Bloomberg)
Covid vaccine: CNBG has vaccine supply agreements with several developing countries
(FILES) This file photo shows a vial of Russia's new coronavirus vaccine  (AFP)
The chances of such direct contamination occurring is relatively low as cash is typically stored securely in tills or wallets, the study found
The chances of such direct contamination occurring is relatively low as cash is typically stored securely in tills or wallets, the study found

Covid-19 transmission risk from using banknotes is low: BoE study

BoE considered a plausible worst-case scenario of an infected person coughing or sneezing onto a note and found that the level of virus on the surface began to drop rapidly after an hour. After six hours, it had declined to 5% or less

Moderna COVID-19 vaccine (AFP)
Vir Biotechnology Inc.’s stock has lost some of its luster after quadrupling earlier this year as competition heats up for Covid-19 antibody therapies.
Slaoui revealed the placebo-arm data after Astra and Oxford said their vaccine prevented 70% of people from getting Covid-19 in large trials in the UK and Brazil (Photo: Mint)
Slaoui revealed the placebo-arm data after Astra and Oxford said their vaccine prevented 70% of people from getting Covid-19 in large trials in the UK and Brazil (Photo: Mint)

AstraZeneca data hint at halting severe covid, Moncef Slaoui Says

The leader of the US govt’s coronavirus vaccine program said AstraZeneca found that 16 participants who received a placebo in its clinical trial contracted severe Covid-19, a sign that the shot could block the worst cases of disease

India's testing infrastructure has seen a significant boost with 2,134 laboratories across the country currently
India's testing infrastructure has seen a significant boost with 2,134 laboratories across the country currently

Covid-19: Daily positivity rate dips below 4% in India

India registered less than 40,000 fresh coronavirus cases in a span of 24 hours after 6 days. Since Nov 8, the number of daily cases has been sustained below the 50,000-mark, health ministry said.

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