Coronavirus Updates


Dr Veena Aggarwal, Consultant Womens’ Health, CMD and Editor-in-Chief, IJCP Group & Medtalks Trustee, Dr KK’s Heart Care Foundation of India    28 January 2023

With inputs from Dr Monica Vasudev


India launches the world’s first intranasal Covid vaccine on its Republic Day


iNCOVACC, the world’s first intranasal Covid vaccine was officially launched on 26th January by the Union Health Minister. The vaccine will be first available for administration in private hospitals. The cost in the private sector is Rs 800 and Rs 325 in the government hospitals. The vaccine is approved for both primary vaccination (two doses) and heterologous booster dose for adults. iNCOVACC has been developed by Bharat Biotech, in collaboration with the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), under the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology …(Source: PTI, Jan. 26, 2023).


India shows slight uptick in new Covid cases


India recorded 132 new Covid cases on Thursday, up from 102 new cases reported on Wednesday, according to data from the Union Health Ministry. The active cases have declined from 1922 on Wednesday to 1906 accounting for 0.01% of the total infections in the country. The total number of cases are nearly 4.5 Cr…(Source: Mint, Jan. 26, 2023).


Process of Covid-19 vaccines may soon be similar to the flu vaccine


On Thursday, the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) met to simplify the process for Covid-19 vaccines. It is aiming to make the process somewhat similar to the flu vaccine with annual evaluation of the circulating strains. Only one dose of the updated Covid vaccine may be required for the majority. The elderly, the immunocompromised and the very young including those who have not been exposed to the virus may need two doses… (Source: CNN, Jan. 23, 2023).


A new test to detect the XBB.1.5 subvariant


A new RT PCR test to detect the XBB.1.5 has been launched by Roche, the Swiss pharmaceutical company. XBB.1.5 is a highly transmissible sublineage of the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2. The XBB.1.5 variant is prevalent in the United States and is spreading rapidly to other countries. According to Roche, the new test will help understand the new strain, its differences from other circulating strains and also its impact on public health…(Source: ET Healthworld, Jan. 26, 2023).


FDA amends EUA for Evusheld in the US


Following revision of the emergency use authorization (EUA), the monoclonal antibody Evusheld (tixagevimab + cilgavimab) can now be used in the United States only when the strains susceptible to it account for at least 9% of COVID-19 cases. It is not active against the XBB.1.5, BA.1.1 and BQ.1 subvariants. Paxlovid, remdesivir and molnupiravir are effective treatment options for symptomatic patients since they have activity against the currently circulating variants, says the US FDA…(Source: FDA, Jan. 26, 2023). 

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