The Viral Bulletin

The Hot Wire for Covid-19 vaccine updates

 

The world is still in the midst of a pandemic. Yes, it’s been 194 days since the lockdown started on 17th March 2020. We all can agree that these have been one of the most hectic 6 months.

So, let’s pick up from where we left off the last time and talk about new vaccine updates in this month’s viral bulletin. We are blessed to have some brilliant minds around us working on whipping up a vaccine that will send coronavirus packing.

India is not far behind in the race against coronavirus! Feluda Covid-19 test recently became the talk of the town. Named after the fictional private detective character, Feluda, created by the famous Indian writer Satyajit Ray, Feluda Covid-19 test is a cost and time-effective paper-based strip test that provides accurate results of detecting and confirming the symptoms of coronavirus. Developed at the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Tata Group, the research team was led by Debojyoti Chakraborty and Souvik Maiti.

Feluda is an acronym for FNCAS9 Editor Linked Uniform Detection Assay functions on the principle of CRISPR gene-editing technology that helps to identify and target the genetic material of SARS-CoV2. The test is similar to that of a pregnancy test. Cas9 protein is allowed to interact with the SARS-CoV2 sequence present in an individual’s genetic material. A Cas9-SARS-CoV2 complex is subsequently formed which is then tested on the paper strip. It is a simple pathological test which is set to be as accurate as of the widely accepted RT-PCR test.

Bharat Biotech’s COVAXIN has successfully aced their clinical trials on non-human primates. The vaccine has demonstrated protective efficacy and immunogenicity on 20 rhesus macaques that were put under clinical trial.

Meanwhile, the Gam-COVID-Vac, or famously called Sputnik-V has hit the headlines yet again. The vaccine was released for public distribution in Russia on 7th September 2020. They started by registering it to the most ‘at-risk’ group of individuals, that is with medics and teachers. Still not having passed the phase III of trials, Sputnik-V has not yet been approved by the World Health Organization.

Kirill Dmitriev, the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) confirmed that the phase III trials will begin in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Philippines, India, and Brazil in September 2020, and will put 40,000 participants under trial.

 

Author :

 

Urja Kuber

Co-Founder at The Science Paradox

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