What is driving the second wave in India? — Science Chronicle

Understanding the infectiousness of the double mutant variant becomes all the more important as noncompliance to COVID-19 appropriate behaviour is uniformly poor across India. Yet, the surge in cases is seen only in 19 States, and mainly in about a dozen States. In the absence of timely results of such studies, which will help policy […]

What is driving the second wave in India? — Science Chronicle

Just the use of the phrase “double mutant variant” sends chills up my spinal cord.

Indian scientists divided over restricted use approval for Covaxin — Science Chronicle

While some scientists have raised concerns about granting restricted use approval to Covaxin even in the absence of efficacy data, four-dozen scientists have in a statement slammed them saying “reprehensible utterances are causing huge credibility crisis for the Indian scientific community”. Apparently, questioning the approval process by the Indian regulator is seen as being anti-Indian […]

Indian scientists divided over restricted use approval for Covaxin — Science Chronicle

India’s drug regulator approved two COVID-19 vaccines on 3 January, a decision Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed on Twitter as “a decisive turning point to strengthen a spirited fight!” against the pandemic and a testament to the Indian scientific community’s self reliance. But some scientists and patient advocates are sharply critical of the move—in particular, the decision to greenlight Covaxin, a vaccine developed in India by Bharat Biotech, without awaiting the results of a phase III trial to determine efficacy and safety…

Efficacy data from a challenge study in rhesus macaques and immune responses in a human phase II trial suggested the vaccine was likely to be very effective.

The approval of a vaccine without phase III data is “unconscionable,” says Vineeta Bal, an immunologist at India’s National Institute of Immunology.

Scientists criticize ‘rushed’ approval of Indian COVID-19 vaccine without efficacy data — https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2021/01/scientists-criticize-rushed-approval-indian-covid-19-vaccine-without-efficacy-data

It worked in monkeys so let’s just skip the Phase III trial.

See my earlier post I would not take Covaxin without efficacy data: Gagandeep Kang — Science Chronicle

I would not take Covaxin without efficacy data: Gagandeep Kang — Science Chronicle

Serum’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin are examples of atmanirbhar (self-reliance) but have an element of non-Indian science — and at least to me that is fine, says Dr. Gagandeep Kang. Though Covaxin uses inactivated virus, neutralising antibodies against the spike protein are critical for reinfection. So if Covaxin is based on an old viral […]

I would not take Covaxin without efficacy data: Gagandeep Kang — Science Chronicle

Pune coronavirus sero survey results find 51.5% seroprevalence — Science Chronicle

The sero survey carried out in five zones in Pune has found 51.5% seroprevalence, with the spread ranging from 36.1% in the lower bound to 65.4% in higher bound. The spread of the virus was found across all types of dwellings. Those living in hutments (62%) and tenement (56.2%) had the highest seroprevalence, while those […]

“With the peak yet to reach, 51% seroprevalence is intriguing,” Dr Giridhara Babu, epidemiologist from Public Health Foundation of India, Bengaluru says in a tweet.

via Pune coronavirus sero survey results find 51.5% seroprevalence — Science Chronicle

Only a scientist would refer to 51% seroprevalence as “intriguing”.

I find the following more “intriguing”.

The role of shared toilets in increasing virus spread has once again become apparent in this study. While the seropositivity was 45.3% among people (1,045 adults) who have access to independent toilets, 619 adults who share toilets have a high 62.2% seroprevalence. “There is no difference between men (n=861, 52.8%) and women (n=803, 50.1%), while 171 persons of older age (above 66 years) have a lower prevalence (39.8%),” the report posted on the University website says. Those in the age group 51-65 years had the highest seroprevalence of 54.8%. Those in the age group 18-30 years and 31-50 had seroprevalence of 52.5% and 52.1%, respectively.

I’m headed down to Texas next weekend.  If I limit fluids prior to starting the trip maybe I won’t have to stop along the way…