Omicron’s XBB.1.5 is mild but effective at entering human cells: Experts, Health News, ET HealthWorld

Pune: Omicron‘s XBB.1.5, which has been triggering Covid spikes in parts of the US, is comparable to other XBB subvariants in severity, but is less virulent than the Delta and BA2.75 variants of SARS-CoV-2, a study from Pune has found. Experts from BJ Medical College, the National Institute of Virology and the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research teamed up to analyse seven XBB.1.5 patients from Maharashtra – six from Mumbai and one from Pune – and found that Covid in them was mild. All of them recovered at…

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FDA advisers back the same COVID vaccine for initial shots, boosters, Health News, ET HealthWorld

New Delhi: Advisers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday unanimously voted in favor of targeting the same coronavirus strain for initial COVID-19 vaccine doses and boosters going forward, but some expressed skepticism about whether all Americans need to receive the shots annually. The agency is trying to simplify its COVID-19 vaccine policy as it considers whether to recommend Americans get an annual booster shot for the virus. But several members of the expert advisory group asked for more robust data on the benefits of annual shots for…

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Roche launches new test to detect fast spreading Omicron sub-variant, Health News, ET HealthWorld

Zurich: Roche has launched a new PCR test to detect a fast-spreading sub-variant of the Omicron variant of Coronavirus, the Swiss drugmaker said on Thursday. The new test specifically targets the XBB.1.5 Omicron variant and will help researchers closely track the virus’s lineage and provide insights into the epidemiology and impact it has on public health, the company added. The XBB.1.5 variant is prevalent in the United States and is quickly spreading to other countries, Roche said. “Being able to differentiate emerging variants and understand their similarities and mutations provides…

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Covid Drug: New oral antiviral drug likely to get Centre’s approval for treating Covid, Health News, ET HealthWorld

Pune: The Union health ministry is likely to include an oral antiviral drug, nirmatrelvir-ritonavir combination, in the country’s upcoming Covid treatment protocol for patients with mild to moderate disease, who are at high risk of developing severe illness. The combination drug, popularly known by the brand name paxlovid, is currently in high demand in China and a few other nations battling the Covid surge. India’s upcoming Covid treatment protocol is expected to be released within a week. “The combination two-tablet oral drug therapy is likely to be recommended in India…

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India well-prepared to combat any future waves: SII CEO Adar Poonawalla amid Covid scare in China, Health News, ET HealthWorld

New Delhi: Even as China is grappling with a massive wave of Covid infections, Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla on Thursday said India does not have anything to worry about considering its high vaccine coverage, the efficacy of the doses and overall preparedness. Speaking to ET Now on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Poonawalla said that India is very well prepared even if another Covid wave hits the country. “Given our vaccine coverage of more than 90 per cent, given the fact that…

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COVID 19’s XBB.1.5 variant cases rise to 26 in India: INSACOG, Health News, ET HealthWorld

New Delhi: The number of cases of COVID-19’s XBB.1.5 variant, responsible for the rise in cases in the US, has gone up to 26 in India, according to INSACOG data on Monday. The cases of XBB.1.5 variant have been found across 11 states and Union territories till now, including Delhi, Maharashtra and West Bengal, the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) said. The XBB.1.5 strain is a relative of the Omicron XBB variant, which is a recombinant of the Omicron BA.2.10.1 and BA.2.75 subvariants. Combined, XBB and XBB.1.5 make up 44…

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Japan’s Daiichi Sankyo applies for approval of mRNA COVID vaccine, Health News, ET HealthWorld

Tokyo: Daiichi Sankyo Co said on Friday it submitted its mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine for regulatory approval in Japan. Approval would give Japan a home-grown mRNA vaccine of the type that has made up the bulk of its COVID inoculations so far. The vaccine known as DS-5670 is being proposed as a booster shot, Daiichi Sankyo said in a statement. In a trial of about 5,000 Japanese adults, those who received the vaccine developed levels of COVID antibodies that were as good as or better than those of people who got…

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Messenger RNA COVID-19 Vaccine: Researcher claims mRNA COVID-19 vaccines can increase serious adverse events; calls for it to be withdrawn from the market, Health News, ET HealthWorld

New Delhi: Joseph Fraiman, an emergency physician and a clinical scientist from Louisiana, claims that the messenger RNA COVID-19 vaccine can increase serious adverse events in people, including sudden cardiac deaths. In a video that surfaced online, Fraiman, who was a lead author of the peer reviewed research that re-analysed Pfizer & Moderna trials for mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, says, “We found the vaccine increases serious adverse events at a rate of one in 800. At the time of the publication, my co-authors and I did not believe our single study…

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‘India detected 300 Omicron sub-lineages, none settled’, Health News, ET HealthWorld

New Delhi: India has detected nearly 300 sub-lineages of Omicron variant in the past one year, Dr N K Arora, the co-chair of Indian SARS-CoV-2 genomics consortium (Insacog), said on Saturday. He said none of these variants were able to settle in the community, which indicates high immunity. “We conduct tests on sewage samples also and the trends so far are not suggestive of any increase in cases. I would therefore advise people to not panic. However, caution is key,” said the co-chair of Insacog. Dr Arora said these labs…

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Covid-19: Soaring Covid cases shine light on China’s healthcare gap, Health News, ET HealthWorld

Tangshan: Understaffed and underfunded clinics stand half-empty in parts of the Chinese countryside even as hospitals in major cities have under an unprecedented COVID wave an illustration of the stark disparities in the country’s healthcare system. Visits by AFP journalists in the past two weeks have revealed sharp differences in demand for urban and rural hospitals in parts of northern China as many in the countryside head to big cities for quality of care they simply can’t get closer to home. In one of the world’s most unequal economies, China’s…

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