Health Care

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Nine biopharmaceutical companies sign safety pledge for Covid-19 vaccine
Nine biopharmaceutical companies sign safety pledge for Covid-19 vaccine
Credit: unsplash.com/CDC

Nine biopharmaceutical companies have signed a safety pledge, committing to "developing and testing potential vaccines for COVID-19 in accordance with high ethical standards and sound scientific principles."

AstraZeneca, BioNTech, Moderna, Pfizer, Novavax, Sanofi, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson and Merck have signed the pledge just a week after the CDC's vaccine distribution plans surfaced, suggesting a vaccine would be available by as early as late October.

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Pfizer and BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine gets approved for second trial

Pfizer and BioNTech's Covid-19 vaccine BNT162b2 has been approved for its Phase II/III clinical trial by German Paul-Ehrlich-Institut. If the trials prove successful, Pfizer and BioNTech will try to seek regulatory approval as early as October.

"A large, controlled Phase III study is a crucial prerequisite to prove the safety and efficacy of a vaccine. The integration of sites in Europe, and now especially in Germany, is aimed at supporting an approval in Europe," so BioNTech CEO and co-founder Ugur Sahin.

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F.D.A. issues emergency authorization for convalescent plasma as Covid-19 treatment
F.D.A. issues emergency authorization for convalescent plasma as Covid-19 treatment
Credit: Mehr News Agency / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0)

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of convalescent plasma as Covid-19 treatment as the "known and potential benefits of the product outweigh the known and potential risks of the product." Even before the approval, around 70,000 people had been treated with convalescent plasma.

President Trump, after harshly criticising the speed of approval of treatments and vaccines, was pleased with the fast decision. "Today I am pleased to make a truly historic announcement in our battle against the China virus that will save countless lives. Today's action will dramatically increase access to this treatment," so the President.

Business • Health Care
EU secures 30,000 doses of Covid-19 drug
Remdesivir
Remdesivir Credit: Dimitri Karastelev

Despite uncertainties in the effectiveness of treatment with Remdesivir, the European Commission has secured from US-based Gilead 30,000 doses on a 63 million contract.
Remdesivir is the first drug to be approved in the European Union for the treatment of Covid-19.

Business • Health Care
France: Health care workers get pay rises worth €8 billion
France: Health care workers get pay rises worth €8 billion
Credit: unsplash.com/SJ Objio

France will spend €8 billion in pay rise to health care workers. This results in an average monthly pay increase of €183. The deal was signed by trade unions and both Prime Minister Jean Castex and Health Minister Olivier Véran. Castex called this deal a "historic moment for our health system".

Business • Health Care
5.4 million people in the U.S. lost health insurance, study finds
Unemployment map showing percentage of nonelderly adults who are currently uninsured
Unemployment map showing percentage of nonelderly adults who are currently uninsured Credit: Screenshot via Families U.S.A.

A recent study by the consumer advocacy group Families U.S.A. has found that "because of job losses between February and May of this year, 5.4 million laid-off workers became uninsured." This number is 39% higher than the previous highest increase, recording between 2008 and 2009, with 3.9 million uninsured adults.

"These record-breaking increases in the number of uninsured have taken place during the country’s worst public-health crisis in more than a century and the sharpest and deepest economic downturn since World War II," the study states. "Nevertheless, no federal COVID-19 legislation signed into law has attempted to restore or preserve comprehensive health insurance. Now is the time to fill that gap by including protections for comprehensive health insurance in the next COVID-19 bill."