UK engaged on immediate antibody drug

Tribune News Service & PTI

London/New Delhi, December 26

Scientists in the UK have begun trials of innovative antibody drug treatment they hope could provide instant protection against Covid-19.

The University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH) says researchers believe a long acting antibody (LAAB) known as AZD7442, developed by AstraZeneca, may offer immediate and long-term protection to people who have been recently exposed to SARS-CoV-2 and prevent them from developing Covid-19.

“We know that this antibody combination can neutralise the virus, so we hope to find that giving this treatment via injection can lead to immediate protection against Covid-19 to people who have been exposed when it would be too late to offer a vaccine,” said virologist Dr Catherine Houlihan.

Meanwhile, preparations are underway in India for a possible vaccine rollout in January. Phase 3 trials of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin are still underway, while Pfizer is yet to make a presentation. “Going by this, Oxford’s Covishield is likely to be the first to be rolled out in India,” a source said.

Daily deaths fell below 300 after more than six months. There were 251 deaths over 24 hours and 22,273 new infections. Daily new infections have remained below 30,000 for the 13th day today.

Meanwhile, whole genome sequencing of swab samples of 5 per cent Covid positive persons in each state and UT will be conducted over the coming days to rule out any potential mutation of the virus as reported by the UK.

Shanta, family test positive

Palampur: Veteran BJP leader Shanta Kumar, his wife Santosh Shelja, two granddaughters, private secretary and his PSO tested Covid positive on Saturday. Shanta Kumar & his wife were shifted to Tanda medical college. OC

51 UK returnees in HP

Solan: The HP Government has issued an alert and asked 51 UK returnees to contact the local administrations and get themselves tested for Covid. As many as 51 persons had come to the state from the UK between November 25 and December 21. TNS

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