COVID Watch | 26th January 2021

DRAP approves Russia's Sputnik-V for emergency use, meanwhile provinces inform NCOC that staff at teaching hospitals, and district and tehsil headquarters hospitals are nearing completion of their COVID-19 vaccination training. Researchers at the Montreal Heart institute find that colchicine helps significantly reduce the risk of developing complications and dying from COVID-19. Moderna finds its vaccine can protect against the UK and South African coronavirus variants

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COVID Watch

COVID-19 vaccinators to complete training soon

The provinces have informed the National Command and Operations Center (NCOC) that staff at teaching hospitals, as well as district and tehsil headquarters hospitals are nearing completion of their COVID-19 vaccination training ahead of receiving the first batch of vaccines from China on January 31.

Meanwhile Russia’s Sputnik-V becomes the third vaccine after Chinese state-owned Sinopharm and the UK’s Oxford-AstraZeneca to be approved for emergency use by the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP).

Colchicine may reduce COVID-19 complications, study finds

Researchers at the Montreal Heart Institute in Canada found that colchicine, an anti-inflammatory drug that is used to treat gout and Behçet’s disease, significantly reduced the risk of complications and death in COVID-19 patients. In the “Colcorona” study which involved 4,488 coronavirus patients from March 2020 onwards saw reductions by 25 percent in hospitalisations, 50 percent in the need for ventilators and 44 percent in deaths.

Researchers understanded that many of the complications from the viral respiratory disease was due to an exaggerated inflammatory response that white blood cells often develop in reaction to a virus. Colchicine, an anti-inflammatory medication, reduces the chance of developing complications due to this specific reaction.

Moderna vaccine can protect against UK and South Africa variants, claims firm

Moderna’s vaccine can protect against the more viral COVID-19 variants that emerged in the UK and South Africa, according to the firm. Lab studies which replicated the two variants found that the vaccine responded to the UK’s B1.1.7 variant in much the same way as the traditional virus, however it was relatively less effective for the South African B.1.351 variant.

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