COVID-19: We Need More Safety And Efficacy Data, Said WHO’s Soumya Swaminathan On Vaccine Trial Results

COVID-19: We Need More Safety And Efficacy Data, Said WHO’s Soumya Swaminathan On Vaccine Trial Results

In a conversation with NDTV, Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist at WHO said that while vaccine candidates showing efficacy results in the range of 90 per cent is encouraging, these are based on the interim studies and there is a need to explore much more data
COVID-19: We Need More Safety And Efficacy Data, Said WHO's Soumya Swaminathan On Vaccine Trial ResultsSputnik V has also joined the league of vaccines with efficacy results in the range of 90% along with the candidates from Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca. But are these vaccines safe to use now? WHO's Soumya Swaminathan answers
Highlights
  • Currently, four COVID-19 vaccines worldwide have 90% above efficacy
  • We have made a lot of progress on the vaccine front: Dr. Swaminathan
  • WHO awaits more efficacy and safety data on vaccines: Dr. Swaminathan

New Delhi: Scientists and pharmaceutical companies are working at a breakneck speed to develop a safe and efficient vaccine against coronavirus to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. In this mission, over 200 vaccines are being developed around the world by dozens of companies. Of these, four vaccines- Oxford-AstraZeneca’s AZD1222, Pfizer-BioNTech’s mRNA-BNT162, Moderna’s mRNA-1273 and Gamaleya Institute’s Sputnik V have exhibited efficacy in the rage of 90 per cent. This means that these vaccines are able to reduce the disease by over 90 per cent in a vaccinated group of people. While many are waiting to be injected soon, others are worried about putting something unknown in their bodies. To know if the vaccines that are ahead in the race of development, with a trial run on at least 20,000 people each, are safe to use, NDTV spoke to Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist at World Health Organisation (WHO).

Also Read: As The Prospects Of COVID-19 Vaccines Get Closer To Reality, Is India Equipped To Import, Distribute, Administer Millions Of Doses?

According to Dr. Swaminathan, while vaccine candidates showing more than 90 per cent efficacy is encouraging, these are based on the interim studies and there is a need to explore much more data. She said,

What we know about these vaccines is based on the interim data of the trials that these companies have performed and have released to the public. The complete data set will be submitted to the regulatory authorities as well as WHO for pre-qualification and that’s when we get to see all the data, including the safety data.

She further said that so far, there have been no major safety signals, in any of the trials the results have been presented from. However, she added,

But on the other hand, we have to remember that follow-up is really short. The clinical trials began July-August onwards, so, by the time participants were enrolled and received two doses of vaccine, they had a follow-up of only 1-2 months which is really not enough and the numbers are also relatively small. So, we need further follow-up and more data for both efficacy and safety. Currently, what we have is just the tip of an ice-berg. There is a lot that needs to be explored.

Dr. Swaminathan also commented on the unusual finding from Oxford-AstraZeneca’s vaccine trials where half dosage given as the first dose followed by a full second dose gives 90 per cent efficacy result whereas two full doses shows 62 per cent efficacy. She said,

The AstreZeneca data was released based on a very small number. It was from two different trials. It is quite unconventional to combine two different trials and come up with one efficacy estimate. That’s not the way it is usually done. The trial where they administer a half plus full dose had less than 3,000 participants and the total number of infections in that group was relatively limited. It is difficult to compare this small number of people with about 8,000 people in the other group where the participants were given two full doses. These are a really small number. So, I will say again that we need more data and that on a larger group of people. Because the variation in the data in the two kinds of dosage regime in two different trials can happen by chance as well.

Also Read: Government Will Get COVID-19 Vaccine At Rs.250; 100 Million Doses By January, Serum Institute’s Adar Poonawalla On Oxford Vaccine

However, Dr. Swaminathan highlighted that if the results of Oxford trials are true, then this would mean that maybe the half dose administered first act as a priming to the immune system and activates the T-Cells and then a bigger dose is given to the person which will give a strong immune response.

When asked about the safety concerns related to the four vaccines for children, she said,

Most of these vaccines have not been tested in children. They started with 18+ candidates because trials are always done in adults first. Some of the companies, however, have started going for trials among children in the age group 12-18 year and then they would further down to the younger children. So as of now, we don’t really have an answer about the safety of these vaccines as far as children as concerned.

On the distribution of vaccines and required infrastructure, Dr. Swaminathan said that candidates being developed by Pfizer and Moderna are based on a new technology which allows quick manufacturing of the vaccine but the disadvantage of such vaccines is that these need to be stored in extremely cold temperature because of the instability of these vaccines. While the Pfizer vaccine needs to be stored at -70 degree Celsius, Moderna’s vaccine needs -20 degree Celsius. So, this creates some logistical difficulties for many countries including high-income nations, she said. Dr. Swaminathan added,

Some companies are coming out with innovative solutions to maintain the temperature required for storing vaccines. For example, some are using dry-ice storage containers. But even that would be difficult because you need to ensure that you have enough dry-ice replacement capacity to keep cool enough. It lasts for about five days and then it needs to be replaced. So, I would say that it would be possible to use these vaccines, perhaps, in big cities and metros where the required facilities exist and can be used to vaccinate very high-risk groups like healthcare workers, frontline essential workers among others. But it will be very challenging to go beyond that and take it down to the district and below levels.

Dr. Swaminathan signed off saying that it is a big achievement for the scientific community to come up with technological breakthroughs and develop vaccines in a matter of 11 months since the novel coronavirus was discovered. It shows the power of science and technology today but there is a need to be extremely cautious and explore more data before the vaccines are rolled out, she said.

Also Read: India Has Put To Use Significant Scientific Calibre In Response To COVID-19 Pandemic: Union Minister Harsh Vardhan

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

9,44,80,918Cases
4,04,55,265Active
5,20,03,739Recovered
20,21,914Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 191 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 9,44,80,918 and 20,21,914 have died; 4,04,55,265 are active cases and 5,20,03,739 have recovered as on January 17, 2021 at 4:06 am.

India

1,05,57,985 15144Cases
2,08,826 -2207Active
1,01,96,885 17170Recovered
1,52,274 181Deaths
In India, there are 1,05,57,985 confirmed cases including 1,52,274 deaths. The number of active cases is 2,08,826 and 1,01,96,885 have recovered as on January 17, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State & District Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
DistrictCases
Mumbai45,478
Thane13,660
Pune9,920
Mumbai Suburban5,363
Aurangabad1,974
Nashik1,575
Raigad1,462
Palghar1,421
Solapur1,291
Jalgaon1,039
Akola757
Nagpur692
Kolhapur646
Satara629
Ratnagiri350
Amravati291
Dhule228
Hingoli208
Jalna201
Ahmednagar190
Nanded176
Yavatmal150
Sangli145
Latur139
Osmanabad125
Sindhudurg114
Buldhana88
Parbhani78
gondia69
Beed54
Nandurbar42
Gadchiroli42
Bhandara41
Chandrapur32
Washim13
Wardha11

19,87,678 2,910

53,163 181

18,84,127 3,039

50,388 52

DistrictCases
Udupi1,176
Kalaburagi669
Yadgir538
Bengaluru Urban529
Raichur369
Mandya346
Belagavi337
Bidar219
Hassan205
Davangere204
Vijayapura201
Dakshina Kannada179
Chikkaballapura149
Mysuru107
Bagalkote103
Uttara Kannada95
Shivamogga67
Dharwad61
Ballari60
Gadag45
Bengaluru Rural40
Tumakuru36
Kolar29
Haveri24
Chikkamagaluru19
Chitradurga14
Koppal5
Kodagu4
Ramanagara3
Chamarajanagara0

9,31,252 584

8,713 96

9,10,377 676

12,162 4

DistrictCases
Kurnool795
Krishna557
Guntur511
Anantapur428
East Godavari356
Chittoor319
Sri Potti Sriramulu Nell*296
Y.S.R.205
West Godavari199
Srikakulam183
Prakasam104
Visakhapatnam103
Vizianagaram23

8,85,824 114

1,987 212

8,76,698 326

7,139

DistrictCases
Kannur357
Kasaragod333
Palakkad224
Malappuram119
Kollam118
Thrissur106
Thiruvananthapuram104
Pathanamthitta98
Kozhikode90
Alappuzha76
Kottayam73
Ernakulam60
Idukki40
Wayanad36

8,42,843 5,960

68,633 922

7,70,768 5,011

3,442 27

DistrictCases
Chennai23,324
Chengalpattu1,314
Thiruvallur774
Villupuram509
Kanchipuram503
Tiruvannamalai496
Cuddalore477
Ariyalur444
Tirunelveli433
Tuticorin333
Kallakurichi324
Madurai322
Salem258
Coimbatore188
Virudhunagar185
Dindigul175
Perambalur133
Ranipet133
Thanjavur130
Theni129
Tiruchirappalli119
Ramanathapuram119
Tiruppur116
Kanniyakumari110
Tenkasi103
Nagapattinam99
Karur88
Namakkal83
Erode75
Vellore71
Thiruvarur67
Pudukkottai53
Sivaganga46
Tirupathur45
Krishnagiri43
The Nilgiris17
Dharmapuri15

8,30,183 610

6,128 171

8,11,798 775

12,257 6

DistrictCases
North West5,463
Central4,817
West4,768
New Delhi3,405
North3,059
East2,472
South East2,446
South West2,391
South2,329
North East1,914
Shahdara1,580

6,32,183 299

2,691 104

6,18,754 397

10,738 6

DistrictCases
Gautam Buddha Nagar1,119
Agra933
Ghaziabad794
Meerut504
Lucknow386
Saharanpur298
Kanpur Nagar286
Moradabad252
Varanasi243
Hapur225
Aligarh215
Basti214
Amethi206
Rampur203
Jaunpur194
Firozabad190
Barabanki168
Gorakhpur166
Bulandshahr166
Siddharth Nagar159
Ghazipur159
Bijnor157
Deoria143
Azamgarh138
Sant Kabeer Nagar132
Mathura129
Ayodhya120
Muzaffarnagar117
Sambhal116
Sultanpur97
Ambedkar Nagar92
Maharajganj85
Amroha80
Rae Bareli78
Bahraich73
Kheri72
Kannauj69
Baghpat68
Kushi Nagar67
Bhadohi60
Ballia60
Gonda59
Etah52
Hardoi49
Balrampur49
Mau48
Mainpuri46
Etawah46
Hathras43
Unnao42
Jalaun41
Jhansi41
Shamli40
Chandauli38
Auraiya37
Farrukhabad36
Sitapur32
Prayagraj30
Banda27
Shahjahanpur25
Shravasti23
Budaun23
Mirzapur22
Bareilly17
Kasganj16
Pratapgarh15
Pilibhit15
Sonbhadra10
Kaushambi6
Kanpur Dehat4
Chitrakoot4
Lalitpur3
Hamirpur3
Mahoba3
Fatehpur3

5,96,137 523

9,162 419

5,78,405 930

8,570 12

DistrictCases
Kolkata2,777
Howrah1,435
24 Paraganas North1,031
Hooghly604
24 Paraganas South281
Maldah235
Dinajpur Uttar216
Coochbehar210
Birbhum206
Medinipur West159
Medinipur East153
Nadia139
Purba Bardhaman130
Murshidabad125
Bankura116
Darjeeling97
Jalpaiguri88
Paschim Bardhaman70
Purulia66
Dinajpur Dakshin50
Alipurduar39
Kalimpong18
Jhargram9

5,64,707 609

7,151 72

5,47,515 666

10,041 15

DistrictCases
Ganjam581
Jajapur322
Khordha238
Baleshwar190
Kendrapara164
Cuttack155
Bhadrak137
Balangir129
Puri103
Sundargarh102
Jagatsinghapur91
Nayagarh86
Mayurbhanj73
Nuapada69
Gajapati61
Dhenkanal36
Boudh34
Kendujhar34
Deogarh33
Kalahandi33
Sonepur29
Kandhamal28
Anugul26
Malkangiri20
Bargarh16
Koraput16
Sambalpur16
Jharsuguda8
Nabarangpur2
Rayagada2

3,33,127 178

1,910 53

3,29,318 230

1,899 1

DistrictCases
Jaipur2,177
Jodhpur1,748
Udaipur724
Bharatpur563
Kota503
Nagaur500
Ajmer379
Dungarpur374
Pali352
Jhalawar329
Bhilwara250
Sikar231
Chittorgarh188
Tonk171
Jalore164
Rajsamand140
Sirohi130
Bikaner112
Banswara91
Alwar90
Churu81
Jhunjhunu64
Dausa61
Dholpur60
Baran59
Jaisalmer53
Barmer34
Hanumangarh31
SawaiMadhopur26
Karauli17
Pratapgarh14
Ganganagar8
Bundi5

3,14,920 238

5,286 322

3,06,888 558

2,746 2

DistrictCases
Bilaspur100
Korba100
Mungeli87
Baloda Bazar85
Jashpur77
Janjgir-Champa56
Mahasamund54
Rajnandgaon52
Kabirdham52
Raigarh47
Raipur46
Balod41
Korea39
Durg31
Bemetara21
Kanker19
Balrampur17
Surguja14
Gariyaband10
Surajpur9
Dhamtari6
Bijapur2
Bastar2
Dantewada0
Kondagaon0
Narayanpur0
Sukma0

2,93,178 566

6,867 56

2,82,760 615

3,551 7

DistrictCases
Hyderabad2,475
Ranga Reddy183
Suryapet87
Jagitial77
Nizamabad76
MedchalMalkajgiri75
Mancherial43
YadadriBhuvanagiri40
Jogulamba Gadwal40
Vikarabad40
Nalgonda33
Warangal Urban32
Mahabubnagar30
Sangareddy26
Khammam26
Adilabad22
Nirmal21
Karimnagar17
RajannaSircilla16
Medak11
Kamareddy11
Mahabubabad10
Jayashankar Bhupalapally9
Nagarkurnool8
Kumuram Bheem Asifabad8
Jangoan8
Siddipet7
Peddapalli5
Bhadradri Kothagudem5
Warangal Rural4
Mulugu3
Narayanpet3
Wanaparthy1

2,91,666 299

4,191 82

2,85,898 379

1,577 2

DistrictCases
Gurugram2,950
Faridabad867
Sonipat404
Rohtak145
Palwal120
Jhajjar114
Karnal104
Hisar98
Ambala93
Panipat78
Nuh68
Bhiwani60
Rewari56
Kurukshetra55
Sirsa50
Kaithal48
Mahendragarh47
CharkiDadri43
Panchkula39
Fatehabad38
Jind38
Yamunanagar19

2,66,131 167

2,129 55

2,61,019 218

2,983 4

DistrictCases
Patna279
Bhagalpur266
Rohtas256
Khagaria253
Begusarai243
Madhubani199
Munger188
Jehanabad178
Katihar175
Darbhanga143
Samastipur139
Siwan139
PurbiChamparan138
Purnia135
Banka134
Buxar134
Nalanda123
Gopalganj123
Nawada122
Sheikhpura118
Gaya115
Kaimur (bhabua)105
Bhojpur103
Saran101
Muzaffarpur96
Saharsa88
Supaul87
Vaishali87
Madhepura82
Kishanganj75
Aurangabad75
Sitamarhi73
Lakhisarai72
Araria68
Pashchim Champaran57
Arwal52
Jamui47
Sheohar20

2,57,474 281

4,046 66

2,51,975 343

1,453 4

DistrictCases
Ahmadabad17,125
Surat2,311
Vadodara1,555
Gandhinagar410
Mahesana159
Banas Kantha147
Bhavnagar146
Rajkot135
Arvalli134
Mahisagar125
Anand107
PanchMahals107
Patan105
SabarKantha101
Kachchh99
Kheda98
Jamnagar63
Bharuch56
Botad55
Surendranagar55
Valsad47
GirSomnath45
Dohad43
Chhotaudepur37
Naysari35
Junagadh31
Narmada25
DevbhumiDwarka22
Amreli16
Porbandar11
Tapi6
Dang5
Morbi4

2,55,354 505

6,588 262

2,44,403 764

4,363 3

DistrictCases
Indore3,839
Bhopal1,880
Ujjain799
Burhanpur351
Neemuch319
Jabalpur276
East Nimar266
Sagar228
Gwalior211
Khargone196
Dewas140
Dhar132
Mandsaur112
Morena109
Bhind87
Raisen71
Barwani60
Ratlam51
Rewa39
Shajapur39
Hoshangabad37
Vidisha37
Chhatarpur35
Betul35
Rajgarh31
Dindori29
Sheopur26
Damoh26
Satna24
Anuppur22
Panna20
Tikamgarh18
Sidhi17
Narsinghpur17
Chhindwara16
Agar Malwa15
Mandla15
Shivpuri15
Jhabua14
Shandol14
Singrauli13
Ashoknagar13
Datia12
Sehore12
Umaria10
Balaghat9
Guna8
Harda4
Alirajpur3
Katni3
Seoni2
Niwari0

2,51,223 365

6,524 433

2,40,948 793

3,751 5

DistrictCases
Kamrup Metro276
Golaghat203
Nagaon143
Hojai89
Dima Hasao86
Karimganj85
Tinsukia84
Cachar80
Dibrugarh61
Hailakandi57
Lakhimpur57
Marigaon50
Dhemaji47
Kamrup42
Kokrajhar37
Dhubri30
Charaideo29
Barpeta28
Udalguri28
Sonitpur27
Jorhat24
Nalbari23
Darrang20
Sivasagar20
Goalpara19
Biswanath16
Baksa14
KarbiAnglong13
Bongaigaon12
Chirang6
West KarbiAnglong5
South SalmaraMancachar4
Majuli2

2,16,809 32

2,930 33

2,12,809 61

1,070 4

DistrictCases
Amritsar485
Jalandhar297
Ludhiana293
Tarn Taran163
Gurdaspur154
Hoshiarpur140
S.A.S Nagar137
Patiala132
Sangrur107
Shahid Bhagat Singh Nagar (Nawanshahr)99
Pathankot86
Rupnagar (Ropar)74
Faridkot74
Sri Muktsar Sahib71
Moga65
Bathinda60
Fatehgarh Sahib57
Fazilka53
Firozepur50
Kapurthala44
Mansa31
Barnala25

1,70,366 175

2,578 161

1,62,289 322

5,499 14

DistrictCases
Anantnag395
Srinagar300
Kulgam295
Baramulla271
Shopian255
Kupwara231
Bandipora175
Udhampur155
Ramban151
Jammu138
Budgam110
Pulwama108
Kathua53
Rajouri39
Ganderbal37
Poonch35
Doda27
Reasi26
Samba25
Kishtwar10
Mirpur0
Muzaffarabad0

1,23,217 109

1,280 148

1,20,016 256

1,921 1

DistrictCases
East Singhbum170
Ranchi148
Hazaribagh110
Garhwa80
Ramgarh75
Koderma58
Simdega48
Dhanbad32
Gumla28
Palamu27
West Singhbhum21
SaraikelaKharsawan20
Giridih19
Bokaro16
Latehar14
Khunti10
Lohardaga8
Deoghar5
Dumka5
Pakur4
Jamtara2
Godda2
Chatra1
Sahebganj0

1,17,599 119

1,249 40

1,15,300 158

1,050 1

DistrictCases
Dehradun370
Nainital323
Tehri Garhwal110
Haridwar94
Udam Singh Nagar83
Almora71
Champawat45
Pithoragarh43
Chamoli36
PauriGarhwal36
Bageshwar31
Rudraprayag30
Uttar Kashi24

94,691 226

2,349 57

90,736 279

1,606 4

DistrictCases
Hamirpur117
Kangra105
Una41
Solan32
Chamba29
Bilaspur21
Mandi21
Sirmaur11
Shimla10
Kullu4
Kinnaur2
Lahaul And Spiti0

56,873 71

755 12

55,154 82

964 1

DistrictCases
South Goa69
North Goa57

52,345 83

877 11

50,712 69

756 3

DistrictCases
Pondicherry111
Mahe4
Karaikal2
Yanam0

38,611 16

286 8

37,683 22

642 2

DistrictCases
Dhalai196
Sepahijala174
Gomati74
South Tripura53
Unakoti49
West Tripura45
Khowai24
North Tripura14

33,331 2

38 3

32,902 5

391

DistrictCases
Churachandpur32
Kangpokpi26
Imphal West21
Thoubal18
Imphal East10
Tengnoupal9
Bishnupur7
Senapati6
Chandel5
Kamjong5
Ukhrul4
Jiribam3
Pherzawl3
Kakching2
Tamenglong2
Noney1

28,835 24

380 56

28,089 79

366 1

DistrictCases
Chandigarh313

20,503 39

238 28

19,935 67

330

DistrictCases
Changlang31
Papum Pare8
Lohit3
Namsai2
West Siang1
East Siang1
Upper Siang1
Tawang1
PakkeKessang1
West Kameng0
Upper Subansiri0
Tirap0
Siang0
Shi Yomi0
Anjaw0
Lower Subansiri0
Lower Dibang Valley0
Longding0
Leparada0
KurungKumey0
KraDaadi0
Kamle0
East Kameng0
Dibang Valley0
Lower Siang0

16,808 6

62 2

16,690 8

56

DistrictCases
East Khasi Hills22
West Garo Hills5
South West Garo Hills4
North Garo Hills1
West Jaintia Hills1
West Khasi Hills1
East Garo Hills0
East Jaintia Hills0
Ribhoi0
South Garo Hills0
South West Khasi Hills0

13,693 2

148 13

13,401 15

144

DistrictCases
Dimapur20
Mon8
Kohima7
Kiphire3
Tuensang3
Peren2
Phek1
Longleng0
Mokokchung0
Wokha0
Zunheboto0

12,054 15

117 13

11,849 2

88

DistrictCases
Kargil77
LehLadakh43

9,649 1

93 11

9,428 12

128

DistrictCases
East District3
South District3
North District0
West District0

6,029 5

158 5

5,741 10

130

DistrictCases
South Andamans33
Nicobars1
North And Middle Andaman1

4,982 3

25 3

4,895

62

DistrictCases
Kolasib11
Aizawl10
Mamit8
Lawngtlai2
Lunglei2
Saitual1
Champhai0
Hnahthial0
Khawzawl0
Saiha0
Serchhip0

4,322 8

85 5

4,228 3

9

DistrictCases
Dadra And Nagar Haveli20

3,388

9 0

3,377

2

DistrictCases
Lakshadweep District0

0

0 0

0

0

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Vaccine Will Work As ‘Sanjeevani’ Against COVID-19, Says Union Health Minister As Vaccination Gets Underway At AIIMS, Delhi

Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan joined doctors and potential vaccine beneficiaries at AIIMS hospital in Delhi and said the fight against COVID-19 is already on its road to victory