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Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Harsh Vardhan said that the country will have a vaccine against the deadly coronavirus by the end of the year. Wikimedia Commons

Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Harsh Vardhan said on Saturday that the country will have a vaccine against the deadly coronavirus by the end of the year.

Speaking to reporters here, he said that a Covid-19 vaccine is likely in the next 4-5 months.


“I hope that if everything goes well, India will have access to a coronavirus vaccine by the end of 2020,” the minister tweeted later.

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The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said that one of the three Covid-19 vaccine candidates has entered the third phase of the pre-clinical human trial.


The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said that one of the three Covid-19 vaccine candidates has entered the third phase of the pre-clinical human trial. Unsplash

According to V.K. Paul, head of the national task force on Covid-19, the vaccine candidate entering the third phase has yielded encouraging results in the initial phases of its trial.

Paul said that the other two vaccines are currently in Phase-I or II of their pre-clinical trials.

However, they did not reveal the names of the vaccines while sharing the status of their testing phase.

While the officials did not reveal the names of the vaccine candidates while speaking about their testing phase, it could be gathered that the vaccine entering the third phase is Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, jointly developed with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

India currently has three vaccine candidates for Covid-19 — ChAdOx1, developed by Oxford University and manufactured jointly by the Serum Institute of India (SII), Pune, and AstraZeneca; Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, jointly developed with the Indian Council of Medical Research; and the third is ZycovD by Zydus Cadila.

The SII had earlier said of starting the Phase 2 trial of its Covid-19 vaccine this week.

It added that it has shortlisted 10 centres across India to host Phase 2 and 3 human clinical trials.

Meanwhile, Zydus Cadila administered the second dose of its Covid-19 vaccine a few days ago.


The SII had earlier said of starting the Phase 2 trial of its Covid-19 vaccine this week. Unsplash

The developments on the vaccine came a day after the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration met five domestic vacine manufacturers to review the clinical trial stages of these candidates. The manufacturers included two whose products are not yet in the clinical trial stage in India.

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Zydus Cadila had stated in the review meeting that it may be able to launch the vacccine by next year.

According to the Health Ministry, the country recorded 69,878 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, taking the total tally to 29,75,701 on Saturday morning.

During this period, 945 people lost their lives due to Covid-19 infection, taking the death toll to 55,794. (IANS)


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Surgeons attached a pig kidney to a pair of large blood vessels outside the body of a deceased recipient so they could observe it for two days, and the kidney did what it was supposed to do.

Scientists temporarily attached a pig's kidney to a human body and watched it begin to work, a small step in the decades-long quest to one day use animal organs for lifesaving transplants.

Pigs have been the most recent research focus to address the organ shortage, but among the hurdles: A sugar in pig cells, foreign to the human body, causes immediate organ rejection. The kidney for this experiment came from a gene-edited animal, engineered to eliminate that sugar and avoid an immune system attack.

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Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Killer Smog in Delhi.

Developed by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, a Decision Support System (DSS) that extends the ability of the existing air quality early warning system (AQEWS) to have decision-making capability for air quality management in Delhi-NCR was launched on Tuesday.

The website for the DSS (https://ews.tropmet.res.in/dss/) is designed to help the Commission for Air Quality Management for NCR and Adjoining Areas (CAQM) by delivering quantitative information about the contribution of emissions from Delhi and its 19 surrounding districts; the contribution of emissions from eight different sectors in Delhi; and the contribution from biomass-burning activities in the neighbouring states.

These information would assist in managing the air quality in a timely manner, a release from the Ministry of Earth Sciences said.

The need was stated by the CAQM, which was formed by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, during a meeting held in January 2021.

Recently, the Commission reviewed the progress made by IITM and had in principle approved the current version of DSS for air quality management in the Delhi-NCR. The IITM has also developed a new website for DSS with the entire system made operational, the release said.

Union Minister of State for Earth Sciences, Jitendra Singh, while launching the website for AQEWS on the occasion of 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' week organised by the Ministry of Earth Sciences, said, "DSS is a significant contribution to 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' on behalf of MoES and IITM and suggestions are invited on this issue."

The website also has a feature whereby the users can create their own emission reduction scenarios (from 20 different districts, including Delhi) so as to examine the possible projected improvement in air quality in Delhi for the next five days.

"This information would explicitly highlight the most important emission sources responsible for the degradation of air quality in Delhi and suggest possible solutions to ameliorate the same. With a plethora of quantitative data, the AQEWS integrated with DSS could become a user-friendly tool for air-quality management in and around Delhi," the release said. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: Delhi, India, Pollution, IITM, Ministry of Earth Sciences


Photo by GOI.

On the first day of the two-day meeting of BJP and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leaders on Tuesday, discussions were held on important issues related to education and the National Education Policy-2020

On the first day of the two-day meeting of BJP and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leaders on Tuesday, discussions were held on important issues related to education and the National Education Policy-2020. Apart from senior RSS leader Suresh Soni, representatives of various organisations associated with the Sangh Parivar -- working in the field of education -- were present in the meeting in New Delhi.

According to sources, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who attended the meeting on behalf of the government, shared information related to the National Education Policy-2020 and the government's policy on important issues related to the education sector. Pradhan also shared details of the efforts being made by the government in the field of education.

Discussions were also held regarding the impact of the situation arising out of Corona and how much it has affected the education sector. In the meeting, the RSS leaders asked several questions and provided suggestions to the Union Minister regarding the education policy of the government.

According to the sources, RSS wants the policy to be implemented expeditiously. All aspects related to the policy were discussed in Tuesday's meeting. On the second and the last day of the meeting on Wednesday, special issues related to education will be discussed in which representatives of various organisations of the Sangh, Union Ministers and several BJP leaders will be take part.

Meanwhile, in order to convey its point of view to the government on various issues, the Sangh keeps on calling such coordination meetings related to specific issues, in which RSS representatives -- working in that particular area -- provide feedback to the government. (IANS/JB)


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