Oxford's COVID-19 vaccine may get 'emergency approval'

The government is considering ways to authorize the vaccine's emergency use in the midst of the Phase III clinical trial of the anti-Kovid-19 vaccine and pending its regular license.

These developments assume significance against the backdrop of Pfizer seeking emergency use authorisation of its COVID-19 vaccine from the USA regulators.

However, experts have warned against the vaccine due to a lack of standard control from any clinical trial group.

The Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine candidate had been among the front-runners in global efforts to develop shots to protect against coronavirus infection.

"We expect emergency authorisation for Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine to be sought in the UK". Another US biotechnology company, Moderna, said it too would apply for the right to emergency use to the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) in the coming weeks. "We and it's not a competition with the other developers", Oxford's Professor Pollard said, adding that AstraZeneca would release headline efficacy data before it was published in an academic journal.

According to the source, an urgent meeting of the vaccine task force (VTF) with experts will be convened to review the scientific status of vaccines globally and whether, if so how and when should the decision on emergency authorisation of vaccines be taken.

In Sao Paulo, Brazil's largest state, local authorities have signed a deal with China's Sinovac Biotech Ltd to test and produce a vaccine locally.

WATCH | How well will COVID-19 vaccines work in the real world? It is also generating a good antibody response. Towards advance market commitment, NEGVAC should lay down principles for procurement and price negotiations. It was also decided at the meeting that a NEGVAC group should be proactively reaching out to each company as their results from phase three are announced, a source said.

But rival drugmakers Pfizer Inc, BioNTech and Moderna Inc. have in the past 10 days edged ahead, releasing data from late-stage COVID-19 vaccine trials that shows more than 90 per cent efficacy.

The current findings concluded that "ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 appears to be better tolerated in older adults than in younger adults and has similar immunogenicity across all age groups after a booster dose".

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