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WHO looking forward to second generation nasal, oral COVID vaccines

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The World Health Organization’s chief scientist said Tuesday she was looking forward to the “second generation” of COVID-19 vaccines, which could include nasal sprays and oral versions.

Soumya Swaminathan said such vaccines could have advantages over the current crop as they would be easier to deliver than injections and could even be self-administered.

Swaminathan said there were 129 different candidate vaccines that have got as far as clinical trials — being tested on humans — while a further 194 are not yet that advanced in their development and are still being worked on in laboratories.

“This covers the entire range of technologies,” she told a live interaction on WHO social media channels.

“They’re still in development. I’m sure some of them will prove to be very safe and efficacious and others may not.

“There could be advantages to some of the second generation vaccines… clearly if you have an oral vaccine or an intra-nasal vaccine this is easier to deliver than an injectable.

“Ultimately we’ll be able to choose the ones that are most appropriate.

“If not for COVID-19, we’re going to use these platforms for other infections in the future.”

Swaminathan explained the advantages of a vaccine being sprayed into the nose, as happens in some countries with influenza vaccines.

“If there’s a local immune response then it will take care of the virus before it even goes and establishes itself in the lungs and starts causing a problem,” she said.

The WHO has only given emergency use authorisation to seven COVID-19 vaccines: those created by Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Sinopharm, Sinovac and last week Bharat Biotech.

“None of the vaccines are 100%. Nobody has ever claimed that the vaccines are going to be 100% protective. But 90% is a wonderful amount of protection to have, compared to zero,” Swaminathan said.

“Till now, with the vaccines that we have approved, there has not been any signal which has been so worrying that we need to say, well, we need to re-think this vaccine.”

More than 7.25 billion vaccine doses have been administered around the world, according to an AFP count.

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Afghanistan may fall into civil war if inclusive govt not formed: PM Imran

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Prime Minister Imran Khan warned that Afghanistan might see a civil war if all factions were not included in an inclusive government.

In an interview with the BBC, the prime minister said “If they do not include all the factions, sooner or later they will gradually descend into a civil war,” adding that it would again impact Pakistan.

“That would mean an unstable, a chaotic Afghanistan and an ideal place for terrorists. That is a worry,” he observed.

The prime minister further said that in case, there had been a fighting on Afghan soil, it would lead to a humanitarian crises and refugees issue for Pakistan.

To a question, he replied after twenty years of civil war, Taliban have come into power. It had been few months, since they had been in power.

He, however, expressing his optimism said that Taliban leadership’s statements after coming into power had been very encouraging.

Responding to another query by the British broadcast host John Simpson regarding Afghan women’s rights, Prime Minister Khan said Afghan women were very strong, ‘give them some time and they will assert their rights.”

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PTI Leader Haleem Adil Sheikh Talk To Media in Karachi

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PTI leader talk to media in Karachi on the issue of education. He mentioned, that 69 lac students are out of school in Sindh.

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