Tag Archives: Efficacy

All about the functions, costs, efficacy of the Electronic Voting Machine | Instant News

LAHORE: When Prime Minister Imran Khan considers using Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) for transparent elections without criminal fraud and ballot tampering, research shows that this phenomenon appears to have worked well in more than 20 countries, including India, where April -The May 2019 general election saw 67 percent of the 911 million eligible voters cast their votes via this mode in 542 constituencies.

This machine has been used in all elections and state assemblies in India since 2014, when more than one million EVMs were used in all constituencies in the country.

EVM is an electronic device for recording sound. The Electronic Voting Machine consists of two Units – the Control Unit and the Voting Unit – connected by a five meter long cable. The EVM control unit is housed together with polling officers and the voting unit is stored inside the voting compartment. They don’t need electricity. Research conducted by “Jang Group and Geo Television Network” further shows that to date, EVM has been used in India’s 113 state assembly elections and three Lok Sabha elections since 2000. According to the “Times of India,” the largest in the world democracy has spent over Rs54 billion Indian Rupees (Pakistani equivalent of Rs116.39 billion) on EVM for the 2019 ballot.

Citing India’s Election Commission ahead of the 2019 ballot, “Business Standard”, a renowned Indian English language daily newspaper, has stated: “About 2.2 million ballot units, 1.63 million control units and nearly 1.73 million Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) will be used for the upcoming elections in 2019. “He added:” India’s elections have been marked by criminal fraud and ballot tampering since the 1950s. The first major elections with large-scale organized booth arrests observed in 1957. “

According to various media in India, electronic voting requires a capital outlay every few years for updating equipment, as well as annual expenses on maintenance, security and supplies. If it functions properly, the speed can be an advantage where there is a lot of scramble for votes on each ballot. With the EVM, instead of issuing ballot papers, polling officers will press the Vote Button which allows voters to cast their votes.

India, Australia, United Kingdom, Belgium, Brazil, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Namibia, Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Switzerland, Venezuela and the Philippines, etc., using EVM.

In 2019, “India Today” has leaked: “The M2 EVM cost (produced between 2006-10) is India Rs 8,670 (equivalent to 18,687 Pakistani Rupees) per EVM (Voting Unit and Control Unit). Cost of M3 EVM is temporarily fixed. around Rs 17,000 Indian (equivalent to 36,642 Pakistani Rupees) per unit. “

The Brookings Institite in the United States states: “For a democracy of this magnitude with a complex multi-party system, election fraud is naturally a major concern. But the use of EVM in India’s electoral procedures over the years has given voters confidence that their vote is makes a meaningful difference to election results and democratic governance.Under a ballot system, polling stations are often picked up and ballot boxes filled, resulting in very high turnout. EVM helps address this risk by including an important feature – registering only five votes per minute. Committing election rigging will require an arrest at the polling station for a longer time. “

It states: “In 2013, India’s Election Commission officially incorporated the Voter Verified Paper Audit Trace machine in the electoral system. VVPAT – leaving a given ballot trail – acts as an additional layer to be verified and guaranteed in the electoral process. A paper record ensures that voting votes have actually been cast to the intended candidate and recorded as such. “

“Brookings Institute” said further: “As per the decision of the Supreme Court of India in 2019, random matching of VVPAT slips with EVM took place at five polling stations per assembly segment. Of the 1.73 million VVPAT deployed, slips of 20,625 VVPAT were physically counted. . The physical audit did not find a single case of a discrepancy between the VVPAT slip and the number of EVMs. “

According to the Election Commission of India, Brookings Institute, and India Today etc, EVM was first used in 1982 at 50 polling stations in Kerala state with a by-election. However, the absence of a specific law regulating its use caused the Supreme Court to cancel the election.

First created in 1977 at the Electoral Commission, India Electronics Company Ltd, Hyderabad, was given the task of designing and developing it. In 1998, this EVM was used in 25 Legislative Council constituencies spread across the three states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi.

Its use was further expanded in 1999 to 45 Parliamentary Electoral Districts and then, in February 2000, to 45 Electoral Districts of the Haryana Council. According to a 2013 Hamburg University of Technology report, Nepal, Bhutan, Namibia and Kenya have purchased Indian-made EVMs. In 2013, Namibia had acquired 1,700 control units and 3,500 ballot units from Bharat Electronics Limited India.


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Worse problems with the SARS-CoV-2 variant may be occurring | Instant News

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes coronavirus disease (COVID-19), continues to spread globally.

With this spread, new variants and strains have emerged, posing a threat to the newly developed and distributed SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. efficacy.

Researchers at the Department of Integrative Biomedical Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa, found evidence of significant changes in the selective power acting on immunologically important SARS-CoV-2 genes, such as N and S. This likely coincided with their appearance. of the 501Y lineage.

In the study, published on a pre-print server medRxiv*, the team examined patterns of mutations that appeared in the SARS-CoV-2 genome during the pandemic.

SARS-CoV-2 mutation

Between December 2019 and October 2020, worldwide viral evolution involved new, highly vulnerable host populations. D614G (Asp614-to-Gly) mutation in viruses spike protein accelerate the spread of the virus.

From there, only a few mutations were epidemiologically significant without affecting the pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2. However, these mutations are characterized by a mutation pattern of slow and selectively neutral random genetic drift.

Since October 2020, SARS-CoV-2 has mutated several times. Currently, three variants are actively spreading – the British variant is called B.1.1.7 with multiple mutations in fall 2020, the South African variant is called B.1.351, and the Brazilian variant is called P.1.

SARS-CoV-2 genome map showing location and amino acid changes encoding of what we consider here to be the signature mutations of the V1, V2 and V3 sequences. Genes represented with light blue blocks encode non-structural proteins and genes in orange encode structural proteins: S encode spike protein, E envelope protein, M matrix protein, and N nucleocapsid protein. Within the S-gene, the receptor-binding domain (RBD) is shown in darker color and the site where the S protein is cleaved into two subunits during priming for receptor binding and cell entry is indicated by a dotted vertical line.

The British variant spreads faster and easier than the other variants. In January 2021, scientists said that the variant may be associated with an increased risk of death compared to other variants of the virus. It has spread to many countries around the world.

Variant B.1.351 is known to be resistant to the effects of vaccines and therapy against COVID-19. Meanwhile, the P.1 variant appeared on travelers from Brazil in early January. This variant contains an additional set of mutations that can affect their ability to be recognized by antibodies.

In the study, variants B.1.17 or 501Y.V1 were referred to as V1, B.1.351 or 501Y.V2 variants were V2, and variants P.1 or 501Y.V3 were referred to as V3.

To date, research has shown that antibodies produced by vaccination with approved vaccines recognize this variant, but further investigations are ongoing.

Amino acid locations encoded by codons evolved under positive selection and / or encoding convergent amino acid changes between lineages mapped to the 3D Spike structure (PDB 7DF4 structure; 47).  Human ACE2 receptors are shown in light blue color.  Signature mutations are not represented unless concluded to be under positive selection.  Site pairs detected coexisting in different lineages are connected by purple lines.

Amino acid locations encoded by codons evolved under positive selection and / or encoding convergent amino acid changes between lineages mapped to the 3D Spike structure (PDB 7DF4 structure; 47). Human ACE2 receptors are shown in light blue color. Signature mutations are not represented unless concluded to be under positive selection. Site pairs detected coexisting in different lineages are connected by purple lines.


This study aims to determine the evolutionary capacity of SARS-CoV-2 to adapt to increased population immunity and infection control measures such as social distancing and vaccinations.

The researchers examined the mutation patterns that appeared in the SARS-CoV-2 genome during the pandemic.

The team used a series of phylogenetic-based natural selection analysis techniques to examine positive selection patterns in the protein-coding sequences of the three lineages.

The study findings suggest the emergence of the 501Y lineage is consistent with substantial global changes in positive selection signals. This implies a general change in the selective environment in which SARS-CoV-2 thrives.

They also found significant changes in the selective power acting on the SARS-CoV-2 gene. Furthermore, the team revealed that the adaptive evolution of the 501Y lineage unites between lineages. This study highlights the essence of surveillance on how members of the 501Y lineage develop similar stages to ensure their survival and persistence.

The sudden appearance of the 501Y lineage

The team explained that in the first months of the pandemic no mutations had appeared. This is the sluggish pace of virus evolution. The start of the pandemic was like the pinnacle of a virus’ fitness in its ability to infect and transmit between people.

However, since October 2020, the sudden appearance of the 501Y lineage has caused cases to skyrocket around the world. V1, V2, and V3 caused faster virus transmission, which has now reached 192 countries and regions.

“Given the number of infections that occurred in October, all of these individual mutations, and even all pairs of mutations that could potentially interact epistatically, would have emerged independently,” the investigators explain.

To date, the number of cases has reached more than 117 million and 2.59 million deaths. The United States reports the highest number of infections, exceeding 29 million. Other countries whose cases have skyrocketed include India with 11.22 million cases; Brazil 11 million cases, Russia 4.28 million cases, and Britain 4.23 million cases.

* Important Notice

medRxiv publishes preliminary scientific reports that are not peer reviewed and, therefore, should not be construed as conclusions, guidelines for health-related clinical / behavioral practice, or are treated as defined information.


Journal reference:


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South African and Brazilian SARS-CoV-2 variants showed resistance to therapeutic antibodies | Instant News

A team of scientists from Germany has decided efficacy therapies currently used in treating a new variant of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), including variants B.1.1.7 (UK), B.1.351 (South Africa) and B.1.1.248 (Brazil) ). Their findings reveal that variants B.1.351 and B.1.1.248 can escape a humoral immune response induced by therapeutic antibodies, vaccinations, or natural SARS-CoV-2 infection. Studies are currently available at bioRxiv* preprint server.


Since its emergence in December 2019, the highly contagious and deadly SARS-CoV-2, the pathogen that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has infected more than 108 million people and claimed more than 2.3 million lives globally. In the global effort to control the spread of the virus, a lot of research has been done to find effective therapeutic strategies against COVID-19. Currently, several antiviral drugs and reused therapeutic antibodies are used to treat critical COVID-19 patients. As a protective measure, several potential vaccines targeting the viral spike protein have received emergency use approval from the relevant authorities.

In the next phase of the pandemic, several new variants of SARS-CoV-2 have emerged, including variants B.1.1.7 (UK), B.1.351 (South Africa), and B.1.1.248 (Brazil). Several mutations found in these variant spike proteins have been found to significantly increase their infectivity. Additionally, there are preliminary studies suggesting that this variant may be more virulent and is likely to increase the mortality rate related to COVID-19. Since most of the antibodies and therapeutic vaccines currently available primarily target the SARS-CoV-2 protein spike, potential concern is increasing about the effectiveness of current therapeutic interventions in preventing the spread and death of the emerging variant.

In the current study, scientists have evaluated the effectiveness of viral entry inhibitors, monoclonal antibodies, and vaccines in preventing infection by British, South African, and Brazilian SARS-CoV-2 variants.

Study design

Scientists use human and animal cell lines to do this in vitro trial. To analyze the effectiveness of virus entry inhibitors against the SARS-CoV-2 variant, they used angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), cellular protease inhibitors (TMPRSS2), and membrane fusion inhibitors (EK1 and EK1C4). To determine whether this variant is resistant to the humoral immune response, scientists thoroughly analyzed the efficacy of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies obtained from three types of sources: 1) therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (Casirivimab, Imdevimab, and Bamlanivimab); 2) plasma samples collected from critically ill COVID-19 patients; and 3) serum samples collected from people vaccinated with the BioNTech / Pfizer vaccine (BNT162b2).

An important observation

Although there is evidence to suggest increased transmission of the emerging SARS-CoV-2 variant, current research scientists have not observed any significant differences in host cell entry dynamics between wildtype viruses and British, South African, and Brazilian variants. In particular, the wildtype spike protein and all tested variants of SARS-CoV-2 showed comparable efficiency in entering host cells.

Interestingly, the entry of wildtype variants and mutations into host cells was significantly blocked by dissolved ACE2, TMPRSS2 inhibitors, and inhibitors of membrane fusion. Compared with the wildtype virus, the variant shows a higher susceptibility to soluble ACE2-mediated inhibition. Likewise, the Brazilian variant showed a higher susceptibility to membrane fusion inhibitors. These observations suggest that virus entry inhibitors may potentially be used to prevent infection mediated by the mutated variant of SARS-CoV-2.

Although showing comparable cell-virus interaction dynamics, significant differences in antibody-mediated neutralization were observed between wildtype viruses and mutated variants. Among the monoclonal antibodies tested, Imdevimab demonstrated comparable efficacy in inhibiting entry of host cells by all viral variants. In contrast, the South African and Brazilian variants exhibited partial and complete resistance to Casirivimab and Bamlanivimab. However, all the antibodies tested showed high potency in inhibiting the British variant.

Neutralizing antibodies generated in response to SARS-CoV-2 infection is expected to provide protection against reinfection. To determine efficacy recovery plasma For the treatment of viral variants, COVID-19 plasma samples obtained by patients with high neutralizing properties of the wild-type spike protein were tested against all virus variants. The findings revealed that entry of host cells via spike proteins from the South African and Brazilian variants was less efficiently inhibited by the majority of the plasma samples tested. This suggests that people previously infected with the wildtype SARS-CoV-2 were only partially protected from the South African and Brazilian variants.

Regarding vaccine-mediated protection, the findings reveal that a large proportion of serum samples obtained from BNT162b2 vaccinated individuals had a lower efficiency in inhibiting surge-driven entry of host cells compared to that observed for wild and variant SARS-CoV-2 strains and variants. English.

Learn significance

The study revealed that current therapeutic interventions are less effective in inhibiting the SARS-CoV-2 variants of South Africa and Brazil, and thus, rigorous implementation of non-pharmaceutical control measures is needed to contain transmission.

* Important Notice

bioRxiv publishes preliminary scientific reports that are not peer reviewed and, therefore, should not be considered a convincing guide, guide health-related clinical / behavioral practice, or be treated as defined information.


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Novavax And Johnson & Johnson Vaccines Are Less Effective Against British And South African Variants | Instant News

After an estimated 98 million dose of the Covid-19 vaccine that has been administered in 62 countries, two more vaccine candidates will join the battle. Novavax and Johnson & Johnson (J&J) have released preliminary efficacy data from their large-scale phase 3 trial. These two vaccines are of particular interest because they both remember and track efficacy against the SARS-CoV-2 variant that emerged from the UK (B.1.1.7) and South Africa (B.1.351). Estimates of its efficacy provide critical insights for the potential immune resistance of this variant.

Vaccines are, first and foremost, effective in protecting against the most widely circulating strains. From the UK phase 3 trial, the two-dose Novavax vaccine recorded 95.6% efficacy in preventing Covid-19 symptoms in cases with the original UK virus. For J&J, their vaccine efficacy is lower for the most widely circulating strains but is still quite effective at around 70%. We need as many effective vaccines as possible; adding two more is a positive development.

The J&J one-dose vaccine of approximately 70% can speak as a single dose or only for testing in a different population at a different time than the strain circulating in the test population. It is difficult to compare trials conducted with so many different variables. The J&J vaccine may have performed better a few months ago in a different test population, but we will never know.

This vaccine also provides different advantages over previous vaccines such as Moderna, Pfizer, and Oxford. Neither one requires cold chain storage like the others. Supercooling storage containers are inaccessible in many parts of the world, and not requiring them indicates the stability of this vaccine. J&J also serves only one dose, which cuts logistics costs in half and makes vaccinations much more accessible to low-income countries.

Speaking of the new variants being tested in this new trial, B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 were just starting to gain fame when Moderna, Pfizer and others announced their 90 +% efficacy rates late last year. Novavax and J&J were able to carry out studies in the UK and South Africa considering new variants; they are explicitly tested to determine variant efficacy.

Because of this, the two vaccines have varying degrees of efficacy in different countries. While the variant in circulation definitely played a role in the efficacy variable between the UK, South Africa, US, and Mexico between the two trials, it is also possible that different demographics played a role in different levels of efficacy.

This population difference can be seen from the lower effectiveness of the two vaccines against B.1.1.7 and B.1.351. In the Novavax UK trial, 32 of 62 participants in the efficacy analysis were identified by genome sequence with strain B.1.1.7. Among those infected with B.1.1.7, the vaccine was 85.6% efficacious in preventing symptoms. For Novavax and J&J, the efficacy against B.1351 fell below 60% in their South African trial.

This B.1351 result carries a slight asterisk. In the Novavax trial, several patients were previously infected with the SARS-CoV-2 strain from the start of the pandemic, along with many HIV-positive participants. It is difficult to determine the exact effectiveness of the vaccine when there are participants who were previously infected with the potential antibody, as well as participants who are immunocompromised. Novavax claims 49.6% effectiveness for all subjects and 60% for HIV-negative subjects. The actual efficacy of this vaccine against variant strains is unknown because they tested a mixture of the original and the new variant.

J&J’s press release fell into the same trap, claiming 57% effectiveness in the South African trial regardless of those previously infected.

Finally, data from Novavax and J&J show moderate to strong efficacy against the widely circulating SARS-CoV-2 strain, as well as B.1.1.7. The less encouraging news is that B.1.351 appears to be reinfected, according to the Novavax and studies in the last few weeks. B.1.351 was also at least moderately resistant to immunity compared to B.1.1.7 and other significant strains of SARS-CoV-2, as shown by both trials. Our best hope is to vaccinate as much as possible, implement strict public health measures, and hope that the strains that are immune to immunity cannot wreak the havoc we know might.

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When a panel of experts recommended Covishield, health activists flagged the efficacy data | Instant News

A panel of experts under the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) has recommended the Covishield Serum Institute, paving the way for the launch of India’s first COVID-19 vaccine, THE WEEK has learned. The recommendation for the vaccine is for two full doses, given 28 days apart.

Further details on the expert panel’s views on vaccines by Bharat Biotech and Pfizer are awaiting.

Recommendations from a panel of subject matter experts will now be forwarded to the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) who will provide final approval. DCGI approval is expected soon. Following the agreement, the actual vaccine rollout will take another 6-7 days, said a government source. Vaccine trials will be carried out in the country tomorrow.

In addition to expert committee deliberations, health activists have raised concerns about vaccine efficacy data. Experts have reviewed the efficacy data from the British and Brazilian trials, along with safety and immunogenicity data from the Indian trial.

In a letter addressed to Dr VK Paul, chairman of the national expert group for vaccine administration, the All India Drug Action Network has raised some concerns after comparing data from several trials.

The UK Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) assessed vaccine efficacy based on 131 incidents in 11,636 people (94 percent of whom were under 65 years of age) combining data across two trials from the UK and Brazil. In these data, there were wide variations in the length of the interval between doses (ranging from 4 weeks to 26 weeks) as well as differences in the strength of vaccine doses. There were also differences in the design of the British and Brazilian trials, health activists pointed out.

“There are important differences between the SII trials in India and the foreign trials of the AstraZeneca / Oxford vaccine. We are not clear whether SII has submitted provisional safety and immunogenicity data for all participants which are critical for the assessment of vaccine candidates in the Indian population and the purpose of the liaison study, “the group said in the letter. For two full doses administered at an interval of 28 days, “no corresponding efficacy analysis” was reported for such a dosing regimen in published data from UK and Brazilian trials for the AstraZeneca / Oxford vaccine, they said.

Efficacy analysis two standard doses at intervals of less than 6 weeks showed an efficacy of 53.4 percent, based on an analysis of 28 cases (in 3,400 people aged 18–55 years) in trials in the UK and Brazil. Due to the small sample size, this estimate of efficacy may not be very strong. “But, it still fails to meet the criteria set by WHO for the evaluation of the COVID-19 vaccine either for prequalification or for the Emergency Use List and the draft CDSCO guidelines,” AIDAN said.


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