INSACOG (Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium), said Covovax has greater efficacy as a booster dose than Covishield, however, further clinical studies are required on how much resistance Novovax provides against the Omicron variant.
In the past 24 hours, India reported 7,415 Covid-19 cases. Amid travel restrictions and stringent testing, the heavily mutated Omicron variant continues to spread like fire. On Friday, Italy, New York, and the UK reported the biggest one-day increase on record- 28,632; 21,027 and 93,045 fresh coronavirus cases, respectively. Passengers in France rushed to beat a midnight deadline for travel to and from Britain and France before the country bans non-essential travel between both countries to contain rampant Omicron infections.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex says the Omicron variant will be the dominant strain of coronavirus in France from the start of 2022, comparing its spread in Europe to “lightning”.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation on Friday issued an emergency use listing for anti-COVID vaccine Covovax produced by Serum Institute of India under licence from Novavax, expanding the basket of jabs validated by the global health body against the viral disease. Adar Poonawalla, the CEO of Serum Institute of India (SII), hailed WHO’s decision as “yet another milestone” in the fight against COVID-19.
“WHO issued an emergency use listing for Covovax, expanding the basket of WHO-validated vaccines against COVID-19. The vaccine is produced by the Serum Institute of India under licence from Novavax,” the world health body said in a tweet on Friday.
Underlining that India faces a stage of “worry” with the onset of winters, officials told The Times of India that if daily cases in the United Kingdom and France are extrapolated in the context of India’s population, they would mean 14-15 lakh cases a day. “As Omicron is spreading very fast across Europe and most parts of the world, there is a need to avoid non-essential travel and mass gatherings. New Year celebrations have to be low-key,” ICMR director-general Dr Balram Bhargava told TOI.
So far, in India, the Omicron cases are- Maharashtra (32), Delhi (22) and Rajasthan (17) have reported maximum number of cases, Karnataka and Telangana have recorded eight each, Gujarat and Kerala five each, and Andhra Pradesh, Chandigarh, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal one each till 4pm on Friday.
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