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Day: 18 February 2021

Pfizer/BioNTech Vaccine ‘Neutralises’ S. African COVID-19 Strain

Pfizer/BioNTech Vaccine ‘Neutralises’ S. African COVID-19 Strain

NEWS
  The COVID-19 vaccine developed by German firm, BioNTech, in partnership with Pfizer, has been found to neutralise the South African variant of coronavirus, but with considerably fewer antibodies. An in vitro study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the neutralisation rate for the more infectious strain was weaker by approximately two thirds. Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch said it was unclear what effect that would have on the efficacy of the vaccine, since other factors were also key to the body’s immune response, such as the production of so-called T-cells. “There is no clinical evidence to date that the South African variant virus escapes vaccine-elicited protection from COVID-19 in vaccinated people,” Pfizer and BioN
NAFDAC Approves Covid19 Vaccine

NAFDAC Approves Covid19 Vaccine

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NATIONAL AGENCY FOR FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION AND CONTROL (NAFDAC) NAFDAC VACCINE COMMITTEE REVIEW OF ASTRAZENECA/OXFORD COVID-19 (COVISHIELD) VACCINE (SERUM INSTITUTE OF INDIA) RECOMMENDATION FOR EMERGENCY USE AUTHORIZATION PRESS BRIEFING FEBRUARY 18, 2021 1 INTRODUCTION The use of AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccine, a recombinant ChAdOx1 adenoviral vector encoding the structural surface glycoprotein (Spike protein) antigen of the SARS-CoV-2  was given an approval for Emergency Use Listing by WHO on Monday, February 15, 2021.  WHO’s Emergency Use Listing (EUL) assesses the quality, safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines and is a prerequisite for COVAX Facility vaccine supply. It also allows countries to expedite their own regulatory approval to import and
Air Pollution Caused 160,000 Deaths Last Year –Group

Air Pollution Caused 160,000 Deaths Last Year –Group

NEWS
  Serious pollution caused around 160,000 premature deaths in the world’s five most populous cities last year, even as air quality improved in some places due to coronavirus lockdowns, an environmental group said on Thursday. The worst-affected was New Delhi, the most polluted capital on Earth, where around 54,000 deaths are estimated to have occurred due to hazardous PM2.5 airborne particles, according to a report from Greenpeace Southeast Asia. In Tokyo, the figure was 40,000 with the rest spread across Shanghai, Sao Paulo and Mexico City, according to the report, which looked at the impact of microscopic PM2.5 matter produced by burning fossil fuels. “When governments choose coal, oil and gas over clean energy, it’s our health that pays the price,” said Avinash Chan
COVID-19: UN Urges G20 to Prepare ‘Global Vaccination Plan’

COVID-19: UN Urges G20 to Prepare ‘Global Vaccination Plan’

NEWS
  The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, on Wednesday proposed that the Group of 20 set up an emergency task force to prepare a ‘Global Vaccination Plan’ against COVID-19. He told an open debate of the Security Council on “ensuring the equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines in contexts affected by conflict and insecurity”. “We have come together to create the COVAX facility, the one global tool to procure and deliver vaccines for low- and middle-income countries. “COVAX requires to be fully funded. “But we must do even more; our efforts need to be comprehensive and well-coordinated everywhere,” said Guterres. “The world urgently needs a Global Vaccination Plan to bring together all those with the required power, scientific expertise as well as production and