COVID Watch | 21st December 2020

CanSinoBIO vaccine candidate expected to begin registration as just 20% of volunteer pool remains, clinical trials of an Australian vaccine may begin in January of next year. For more updates on the second wave, keep scrolling.


Registration of CanSinoBIO vaccine on fast-track, another vaccine to begin trial soon

With 80% of all volunteers for the CanSinoBIO vaccine trials in Pakistan having received a dose, the trial is expected to conclude by December 2020, allowing preparations for immediate registration and market distribution. The vaccine reportedly allows for the proliferation of antibodies that make it difficult for the COVID-19 molecule’s ‘spikes’ from latching on and infecting the host.

In comparison to the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine which reportedly caused an adverse reaction in some candidates, the vaccine produced by a joint effort between Canada and China has reported no such side effects or health concerns. Following the conclusion of the CanSinoBIO trial, Pakistan will begin clinical trials of an Australian vaccine.

Punjab government hospitals barred from purchasing Remdesivir

Coronavirus Emergency Advisory Group (CEAG) has banned state-run hospitals in Punjab from purchasing Remdesivir, a COVID-19 drug, for being too costly and not as effective in treating the infectious disease. The drug retails for around Rs. 6,000 per dose and requires three to four injections per patient per a complete treatment plan. Although the CEAG has argued that it is not an effective drug, doctors state otherwise, nothing that Remdesivir has shown promising results for patients with poor oxygen saturation in the blood.

Sindh prison infections on the rise

Infections in Sindh prisons bloated to 295 as of Sunday, December 20, from just 31 reported at the start of the month. Of these, 207 active cases are reported from Karachi Central Jail, 78 from Malir District Jail, five from Ghotki District Jail, four from the Youth Offenders Industrial School and one from Shikarpur District Jail.

Jail authorities are utilizing every precaution to limit further spread of the virus, including shifting infected inmates to separate jail wards and giving them a special diet per doctors’ advice, as well as screening incoming prisoners and quarantining them for three days before moving them into the cells.