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COVAXIN Clinical Trials on Children Aged 2 to 18 Approved, Gap Between COVISHIELD Doses Now 12-16 weeks

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vaccination of children approved

New Delhi: Faced with a shortage of vaccine, the Union government yesterday announced the extension of the gap between the first and second doses of COVISHIELD vaccine to 12-16 weeks. The present gap between the two doses of the COVISHIELD vaccine is 6-8 weeks. No change in the interval of COVAXIN vaccine doses was recommended.

The only logic behind this decision seems to cover more people for the first dose so that the fatality rate could be reduced. Further, it might take some pressure off India’s already overwhelmed healthcare services. Also, the Union government is under fire for the delay in supplying sufficient vaccine to the states to start covering the 18-44 age group. Several state including Himachal Pradesh had earlier opened the registration on April 28, but the delivery of vaccine was delayed. 

Further, Drugs Controller General of India, India’s drug regulator, on Wednesday granted permission to Bharat Biotech Ltd to conduct the Phase II/III clinical trial of Covaxin in the age group of 2 to 18 years, said the Union Health Ministry.

The Ministry said the trial will be conducted on 525 healthy volunteers who will be administered two doses of the vaccine at a gap of 28 days through intramuscular shots.

Also Read: Himachal Reports 634 Covid-19 Deaths and Over 51,000 Cases in 13 Days

Bharat Biotech had proposed to carry out a Phase- II/III clinical trial of Covaxin in the age group of 2 to 18 years, the ministry said.

“As a rapid regulatory response, the proposal was deliberated in Subject Expert Committee (SEC) (COVID-19) on May 11, 2021. The Committee after detailed deliberation recommended for grant of permission to conduct proposed Phase II/III clinical trial to certain conditions” it added.

Covaxin is India’s first domestically-developed Covid-19 vaccine. It is a two-dose jab that uses an inactivated or “dead” form of the virus. It was the first Covid-19 vaccine in the world to begin testing on children as young as 12 years of age in Phase II trials in September 2020.

Covaxin is being administered on adults (18 and above) in the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination drive in the country.

According to government statistics, the cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country stood at 17,91,77,029 on Thursday.

The government says that 4,37,192 beneficiaries of the age group 18-44 years received their first dose of COVID vaccine on Thursday and cumulatively 39,14,688 across 32 States/UTs since the start of Phase-3 of the vaccination drive.

Himachal Pradesh Government has announced that vaccination drive would open for the 18-44 years age group from May 17, 2021.

Image by v-3-5-N-a from Pixabay

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Despite Inauguration of Oxygen Plant in Hamirpur, No Ventilator Support for Patients

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oxygen plant in hamirpur medical college

Shimla-Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur had inaugurated two Pressure Swing Absorption (PSA) Oxygen Plant at Dr. Radhakrishnan Government Medical College, Hamirpur, and Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru Medical College, Chamba on Sunday. The government had ensured to provide uninterrupted oxygen supply to the patients admitted in both these medical colleges.

But now allegations are being labelled that he inaugurated the plant in Hamirpur in haste while the patients are still not receiving ventilator support.

According to a report published in a daily, the PSA plant in Dr. RKGMC established at the cost of Rs 1 crore couldn’t provide any relief to the patients. Despite the inauguration, the patients are being referred to Dr. Rajendra Prasad Government Medical College, Tanda and Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Government Hospital, Ner Chowk

The report said that critically ill covid patients are being referred to nearby hospitals even after the inauguration of the plant and the timely availability of ambulances is also another inconvenience that the patients are facing. A covid positive police officer in critical condition was shifted to Ner Chowk on Tuesday. Last week a  BJP member in Hamirpur succumbed to corona due to the unavailability of a ventilator in the hospital, the report said.  

The PSA Oxygen plant at Hamirpur has a capacity of 300PLM. The plant was supposed to supply oxygen to a 30-bedded fully dedicated covid ward.

Senior officials from Dr. RKGMC, responding to the query, said that the oxygen plant is running, but the ward with ventilator facility is not ready yet. They said that covid patients can’t be shifted to the ward until the work concludes. The officials assured that the ward will be made functional soon.

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Himachal Reports 634 Covid-19 Deaths and Over 51,000 Cases in 13 Days

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Hp Govt covid-19 data may 13

Shimla-With 4,937 new cases of coronavirus reported in the last 24-hours, the total number of cases in the state reached 1,50,673 on Thursday.  According to official data released by the state government, 63 patients died due to the infection in the last 24-hours.

In the thirteen days of the May month, Himachal Pradesh has lost 640 lives to Covid-19 and reported 51,386 cases, creating concerns over the fatality ratio. The total number of active cases in the state has also jumped to 40008.

Una district reported the highest 16 deaths. Kangra district reported 15 casualties and the highest 3001 new cases. In the state capital Shimla, 12 patients succumbed to severe coronavirus symptoms. Out of 63 patients who died in the last 24-hours, 16 were under the age of 50, while 45 patients had no comorbidities. On Thursday, 17404 people across the state were sampled for coronavirus, out of which results of 3,129 samples remain pending.

View the District-wise Details of all COVID-19 Cases for May 13, 2021 (Till 7 pm) Below:

Covid-19 cases in Himachal Pradesh on May 13, 2021

The state government is currently administering the vaccine dose for people above the age of 45. Today 13,308 people received the first dose of the Covid vaccine taking the total number of people with the first jab to 16,89,496. Meanwhile, 4,19,361 people have received both doses of the Covid vaccine till now.

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur announced that all the sanitation workers in Himachal Pradesh would be provided with an incentive of Rs2,000, considering the vital services they are rendering amidst the pandemic. The Covid duty incentives will be given for April, May, and June. Sanitation workers employed by the Urban Local Bodies like Municipal Corporations, Municipal Councils, Nagar Parishads, and Nagar Panchayats are eligible for the incentive.

Meanwhile, the Himachal Medical Officers Association (HMOA) criticized the state government after it scrapped the quarantine period for the medical staff who have received both the doses of Covid vaccine. General Secretary of HMOA Pushpinder Verma said that even after receiving the complete dosage of vaccination, people are vulnerable to coronavirus and have even died. The association has given three days to the state government to retract the notification, after which the medical staff will wear a black ribbon on their arms as a mark of protest.

Also Read: Himachal’s Medical Fraternity Comes Down Heavily on State Govt Over Mindless Adoption of AIIMs Model to End Quarantine Period for Health Workers

 

View the District-wise Details of all COVID-19 Deaths for May 13, 2021 (Till 7 pm) Below:

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