The daily dose: September 17, 2021

| Updated on September 17, 2021

# Covid-19 vaccine and more : Biocon Biologics and Serum Institute Life Sciences are coming together on vaccines, including those against Covid-19 and other biological products. More details are expected today, as the heads of both companies outline the rationale behind the deal that gives BB access to 100 million doses of vaccines per annum for 15 years in return for an equity stake to SILS and a board seat for the Serum chief.

Biocon Biologics to offer 15% stake to Serum Institute Life Sciences at valuation of $4.9 bn

# Avert a SA-like situation: Civil society groups have written to the Indian government and Johnson and Johnson on the supply of Covid-19 vaccines, and to prevent, as they apprehend, a South Africa-like situation from emerging in India.

Civil society groups write to govt, Johnson and Johnson on vax supply

# “Piecemeal studies”: Recent studies that showed a decrease in antibodies after two doses are but piecemeal, said Balram Bhargava, Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), adding that a full course of vaccination was the government’s priority.

Full vaccination remains top priority: ICMR

# Tailored or attention-seeking? : The Congress has demanded a judicial probe against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former Union Health Minister Harsha Vardhan and senior officials of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), based on a recent report that appeared in New York Times that said a section of scientists “tailored the Covid data” to suit the political narrative of the Centre.

The report had also said the Centre and ICMR suppressed views and findings of scientists who warned against the second wave. The ICMR has denied this and said the attempt was “attention-seeking”.

NYT report on ICMR data: Cong demands probe

# Reopen schools: The United Nations children’s agency UNICEF has urged education authorities to reopen schools as soon as possible in countries where millions of students are still not allowed to return to classrooms 18 months into the Covid-19 pandemic.

Schools in 17 countries remain fully closed, while those in 39 countries remain partially closed, according to a report released by UNICEF on Thursday.

UNICEF calls for schools to reopen in pandemic-hit nations

# Distance not enough: Physical distancing of two metres – about six and a half feet – may not be enough to sufficiently prevent transmission of virus-carrying airborne aerosols indoors, according to a study. The results, published in the journal Sustainable Cities and Society, suggest that physical distance alone is not enough to prevent human exposure to exhaled aerosols and should be implemented with other control strategies such as masking and adequate ventilation.

6 feet distance may not be enough to prevent viral transmission indoors: Study

Published on September 17, 2021

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