Moderna has been the first to start human testing of a vaccine for the novel coronavirus on March 16, 66 days after the genetic sequence of the virus was released. And if medical experts are to be believed the first and second stage trials of the vaccine has shown encouraging results.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, whose researchers developed Moderna’s vaccine candidate, called the results “good news,” noting that the study found no serious adverse events and the vaccine produced “reasonably high” levels of virus-killing or neutralizing antibodies.
“If your vaccine can induce a response comparable with natural infection, that’s a winner,” Fauci said in a telephone interview. “That’s why we’re very pleased by the results.”
No study volunteers experienced a serious side effect, but more than half reported mild or moderate reactions such as fatigue, headache, chills, muscle aches or pain at the injection site. These were more likely to occur after the second dose and in people who got the highest dose.
The US government is supporting Moderna’s vaccine with nearly half a billion dollars and has chosen it as one of the first to enter large-scale human trials. A successful vaccine could be a turning point for Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Moderna, which has never had a licensed product.
Moderna’s shot, mRNA-1273, uses ribonucleic acid (RNA) – a chemical messenger that contains instructions for making proteins. When injected into people, the vaccine instructs cells to make proteins that mimic the outer surface of the coronavirus, which the body recognises as a foreign invader, and mounts an immune response against it.
The results released on Tuesday involved three doses of the vaccine, tested in groups of 15 volunteers aged 18 to 55 who got two shots, 28 days apart. The groups tested 25, 100 or 250 micrograms of the vaccine.
Adverse events after the second dose occurred in seven of the 13 volunteers who got the 25-microgram dose, all 15 participants who received the 100 microgram dose and all 14 who got the 250 microgram dose. In the highest-dose group, three patients had severe reactions such as fever, chills, headache or nausea. One of these had a fever of 103.28 Fahrenheit (39.6 C).
“It’s a good first step,” said Dr William Schaffner, a vaccine expert at Vanderbilt University Medical Center who was not involved in the study. “There’s nothing here that would inhibit one from going ahead to the Phase 2/Phase 3 trials,” he said.
In April, Moderna expanded the Phase 1 trial to include adults over 55, who are more at risk of serious disease, with the aim of enrolling 120 volunteers. Moderna said it will follow study volunteers for a year to look for side effects and check how long immunity lasts. Moderna started its phase 2 trial in May and expects to start a phase 3 trial on July 27.
Phase 1 trials aim to ensure a treatment is safe and help determine an effective dose. Phase 2 trials test a treatment in a larger group and get an early read on effectiveness. Phase 3 trials are conducted in a large group of individuals to confirm efficacy and identify rare side effects. Moderna’s Phase 3 trial will be conducted in 30,000 volunteers.
Dust storm, light rain expected in Delhi-NCR today, heatwave conditions to abate
IMD claimed in a tweet that Thunderstorm dust with light to moderate intensity rain and gusty winds with speed of 30-50 km/hr would occur over and adjoining areas of many places of Delhi, North Delhi, North East Delhi, North west Delhi, West Delhi, Central Delhi, East delhi and NCR( Loni Dehat, Hindon AF station, Ghaziabad, Indrapuram, Chapraula) Sonipat, Rohtak, Kharkhoda (Haryana) Baraut, Bagpat, Meerut, Khekra, Modinagar, Kithor , Garhmukhteshwar, Pilakhua, Hapur ,Gulaoti ,Siyana ,Sikandrabad , Bulandshahr , Jahangirabad (UP)
On Wednesday, a dust storm with light to moderate rain is expected in numerous locations in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR). The India Meteorogical Department (IMD) stated the city’s maximum and minimum temperatures are predicted to be in the range of 40 and 25, respectively.
The IMD tweeted an advisory that thunderstorms, dust with light to moderate intensity rain and gusty winds with speed of 30-50 km/hr would occur over and adjoining areas of many places of Delhi, North Delhi, North East Delhi, North West Delhi, West Delhi, Central Delhi, East Delhi and NCR (Loni Dehat, Hindon AF station, Ghaziabad, Indirapuram, Chapraula) Sonipat, Rohtak, Kharkhoda (Haryana), Baraut, Bagpat, Meerut, Khekra, Modinagar, Kithor, Garhmukhteshwar, Pilakhua, Hapur, Gulaoti, Siyana, Sikandrabad, Bulandshahr, Jahangirabad (UP).
For the next two hours, light to moderate intermittent rain is expected over and near Adampur, Hissar, Hansi, and Meham (Haryana).
On Thursday, May 18, light rain is predicted for in Delhi based on the seven-day prediction for the city. The sky will mainly be cloudy, with the potential of a light rain or drizzle, according to the weather office.
The air quality will continue to be deteriorated in the city after strong winds with dust swept across the Delhi-NCR on Tuesday. Following this, visibility had reduced to 1000 metres. Kuldeep Srivastava, the head of regional forecasting centre, said the dry atmosphere is one of the reasons for the dust storms.
Following Tuesday’s severe winds and dust storm that blasted across the Delhi-NCR, the city’s air quality had taken an alarming dip.
The monsoons, which are awaited across India, are likely to make landfall in Kerala on June 4. Usually, the monsoon arrives on May 31 or June 1 but the delay will be made up as the phenomenon progresses on its south-west to north-east arc. With extreme temperatures right from a cold sytart to May to dust-laden winds in mid-May, the weather in the country is paying the price for accelerating climate change.
Security lapse at Navjot Singh Sidhu’s Patiala home, says it will not deter him from raising his voice against Punjab
After his release from jail, he slammed the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government for its law and order in the state.
Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu has filed a complaint with the Punjab Police after he spotted a suspicious person wrapped in a grey blanket on his terrace. He alleged a security lapse at his Patiala home. He couldn’t catch him as he fled after his servant raised an alarm.
Taking to Twitter, Sidhu said, Today on the terrace of his residence an unknown suspicious character wrapped in a grey blanket was noticed around 7:00 pm, the moment his servant went out raised the alarm, and called for help, he immediately ran and escaped.
The 59-year-old further said that he has spoken to DGP Punjab Police and has also informed SSP Patiala. He said the security lapse will not deter him from raising his voice for Punjab.
Punjab Police registered a case in this matter. According to the reports, the Patiala Senior Superintendent of Police Varun Sharma visited his residence after the complaint and is currently investigating the matter. The CCTV footage of the area is also being scanned, reports state.
Cricketer-turned-politician came out of the Patiala Central Jail on April 1 after serving nearly 10 months in a 1988 road rage case. After his release from jail, he slammed the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government for its law and order in the state.
He said Democracy is in chains. Punjab is the shield of this country. When dictatorship came in this country, a revolution also came, led by Rahul Gandhi.
Sidhu also slammed the Mann government over the pruning of security of slain singer Sidhu Moosewala and also making it public.
Air India Delhi-San Francisco flight suffers tech glitch before take-off, returns to stand
The airline has not given any official statement in this matter.
Air India flight which was en route to San Francisco from Delhi on Monday had to be returned to the stand because of a technical glitch. The San Francisco-bound flight suffered a tech issue before take off.
According to the reports, the aircraft which was carrying over 200 passengers from Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI) had to be replaced with another aircraft. Later, the passengers were accommodated in another aircraft.
The airline has not given any official statement in this matter.
Earlier today, another Air India incident occurred where a London-bound flight returned to Delhi’s IGI airport after a mid-air brawl between an unruly passenger and the flight’s cabin crew.
A brawl ensued between a passenger and the crew members shortly after it departed from the airport at around 6:35 am. The onboard ruckus forced the plane to turn around and return to Delhi again where the raucous passenger was deboarded and handed over to the police at the airport.
Air India apologized to the passengers on the affected Delhi-London flight for the delay and inconvenience caused to them due to the incident and assured them that efforts will be made to ensure such incidents do not occur in the future.