Covid-19 Vaccine

Health
Fauci: Covid-19 vaccine won't eliminate need for masks and social distancing
Fauci: Covid-19 vaccine won't eliminate need for masks and social distancing
Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:White_House_Press_Briefing_(49668784568).jpg

Masks, social distancing and hygienic measures will have to be maintained even after a Covid-19 vaccine is available, so Dr Anthony Fauci on Thursday. The Covid-19 vaccine won't likely be 100% effective and taken by 100% of the population, therefore given the virus room to spread further. Fauci said that it would be a good accomplishment if 75 to 80% of the population got vaccinated, but this won't "eliminate the need to be prudent and careful with our public health measures."

Health
A new study suggests that dengue may provide immunity against Covid-19
Miguel Nicolelis
Miguel Nicolelis Credit: Fronteiras do Pensamento (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The not yet published study led by Miguel Nicolelis, a professor at Duke University, suggests the possibility that vaccines approved or under development for dengue may result in some form of protection against the new coronavirus.

The study points out that places where a large part of the population contracted dengue last year and earlier this year took longer to have exponential community transmission of Covid-19 and recorded fewer numbers of cases and deaths caused by the new coronavirus, indicating a possible immunological interaction between the two viruses.

To validate the observation made in Brazil, Nicolelis expanded the analysis of the correlation between dengue and Covid-19 to 15 other countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia, and the behaviour was repeated, according to him.

Politics • American • US
Trump claims there will be a Covid-19 vaccine for "every American" by April
Woman getting vaccine
Woman getting vaccine Credit: CDC

President Trump has claimed that a Covid-19 vaccine will be available to "every American by April" in a press conference on Friday.

"As soon as a vaccine is approved the administration will deliver it to the American people immediately. The distribution will begin with 24 hours after notice," so Trump, adding the U.S. will "have manufactured at least 100 million vaccine doses before the end of the year, and likely much more than that," and that with "millions of doses" available every month, he expects "to have enough vaccines for every American by April."

Politics • American • US
Trump contradicted CDC on vaccine timeline and importance of mask-wearing
Dr. Robert R. Redfield addresses a briefing on the latest information about the Coronavirus.
Dr. Robert R. Redfield addresses a briefing on the latest information about the Coronavirus. Credit: The White House (Public Domain)

President Donald Trump claimed Dr Robert Redfield was "confused" when he stated masks may be effective Covid-19 protection and that results from coronavirus vaccination would be visible on the second or third quarter of 2021.

Redfield, the head of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), made both claims during a session of the Senate Appropriations Committee Wednesday.

Trump, answering reporters, said: "I think he made a mistake when he said that. It's just incorrect information."

"I might even go so far as to say that this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against Covid than when I take a Covid vaccine, because the immunogenicity may be 70%. And if I don't get an immune response, the vaccine is not going to protect me. This face mask will," the director of the CDC told lawmakers in the Senate.

Health
World's biggest vaccine producer states that enough Covid-19 vaccine will only be available in 2024
World's biggest vaccine producer states that enough Covid-19 vaccine will only be available in 2024
Credit: Serum Institute

Adar Poonawalla, chief executive of the world's biggest vaccine manufacturer Serum Institute, has stated that the production capacity for vaccines is not increasing quickly enough.

He said that "it’s going to take four to five years until everyone gets the vaccine on this planet" estimating that with a two-dose vaccine 15 billion doses will be needed.

Health
AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine trial resumes after pausing over safety concerns
AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine trial resumes after pausing over safety concerns
Credit: AstraZeneca

Clinical trials for the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine have resumed in the UK following confirmation by the Medicines Health Regulatory Authority (MHRA) that it was safe to do so.

The company paused trials earlier this week after a possible adverse severe reaction in one participant.

In a statement, the company said it "will continue to work with health authorities across the world and be guided as to when other clinical trials can resume to provide the vaccine broadly, equitably and at no profit during this pandemic."

Health
AstraZeneca puts on hold Covid-19 vaccine trial after possible serious adverse reaction in participant
AstraZeneca Researcher
AstraZeneca Researcher Credit: AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca announced the Phase 3 trials of its Covid-19 vaccine had been put on hold due to a possible adverse reaction in a participant. The pharmaceutical manufacturer stated pausing tests were common during vaccine development and an independent committee is to review the safety data related to the adverse reaction.

"This is a routine action which has to happen whenever there is a potentially unexplained illness in one of the trials, while it is investigated, ensuring we maintain the integrity of the trials."

There are currently nine vaccine candidates in Phase 3 trials. AstraZeneca's is the first Phase 3 Covid-19 vaccine trial known to have been put on hold ,and it’s unclear how long the hold might last.

Business • Health Care
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.

Business • Health Care
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.

Politics • American • US
Trump suggests a Covid-19 vaccine could be ready "before a very special date"
Trump suggests a Covid-19 vaccine could be ready "before a very special date"
Credit: The White House from Washington, DC / Public domain

During a White House press conference, President Trump suggested that a Covid-19 vaccine could be ready "before a very special date". While Trump did not mention a specific date, he previously claimed a vaccine could be available before the US election day.

"We're going to have a vaccine very soon, maybe even before a very special date. You know what date I'm talking about, " so Trump, who had asked journalists to take off their masks when addressing him.

Politics • American • US
US Surgeon General calls for preparation for Covid-19 vaccine by Nov 1, "just in case"

US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said the country should prepare for a Covid-19 vaccine distribution by November 1, "just in case" one is ready.

"We've always said that we are hopeful for a vaccine by the end of this year or beginning of next year," Adams told ABC News. "That said, it's not just about having a vaccine that is safe and effective. It's about being ready to distribute it."

Health
Sputnik-V Covid-19 vaccine trial shows 'encouraging' results
Sputnik-V Covid-19 vaccine trial shows 'encouraging' results
Credit: SputnikVaccine.com

The "Sputnik-V" Covid-19 vaccine produced a neutralising antibody response in all 76 participants, according to data published Friday in the medical journal The Lancet. The vaccine often caused mild side effects such as fever.

Experts have claimed the sample size of the Russian study was small and urged for more research on the elderly.

The Brazilian institute Tecpar announced plans to conduct the phase III trials on 10,000 volunteers at the start of next year.

Politics • American • US
CDC says states should prepare for possible vaccine distribution by late October
CDC says states should prepare for possible vaccine distribution by late October
Credit: Twitter (Reproduction) (Public Domain)

The CDC has told health officials to be ready to distribute a Covid-19 vaccine by late October or early November. Officials from all 50 states and five large cities were told to prepare the distribution of the vaccine to health care workers and other high-risk groups by that time.

The possibility of a rollout in the proposed timeline has heightened concerns that the Trump administration is seeking to rush the distribution of a vaccine — or suggest that one is near — before Election Day on November 3.

Health
Tesla and Curevac have developed a vaccine printer
Tesla and Curevac have developed a vaccine printer
Credit: Screenshot via Twitter

Already in June 2019 the German biotech company Curevac and Tesla subsidiary Grohmann have applied for a patent for a newly developed vaccination printer.

A newly developed mobile "RNA Printer" is able to produce over a hundred thousand vaccination dosages in a few weeks. Originally developed to combat diseases like rabies and yellow fever it could potentially be used to produce a future Covid-19 vaccine given the approval for medical use of the printer and a vaccine.

Politics • European • Germany
Russian Covid-19 vaccine possibly "dangerous" according to German Health Minister
Jens Spahn
Jens Spahn Credit: Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

In a radio interview with Deutschlandfunk, the German Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn has stated: "it is not about being first somehow, but about having an effective, a tested and therefore safe vaccine, which - and this is the important part - will vaccinate 100 million, if not billions of people".

According to his judgment, Russia has not been transparent enough about the studies, trials and science behind the Covid-19 vaccine that has already been approved.

He stated that "at least we now know that there have been no phase 3 studies" adding that it could be "dangerous to start vaccinating millions". Possible negative effects could "be quite fatal to the acceptance of vaccination if it goes wrong" as the approved Vaccine "has not been sufficiently tested here".

Politics • American
Argentina, Mexico to produce AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine
Ginés González García and Alberto Fernández
Ginés González García and Alberto Fernández Credit: Argentina.gob.ar (Public Domain)

Argentinean President Alberto Fernández announced Wednesday that the private laboratory AstraZeneca would begin to produce in Argentina and Mexico a vaccine against the coronavirus that is developed in conjunction with the University of Oxford.

The president explained the goal is "to produce between 150 and 250 million vaccines for all of Latin America -except for Brazil- that will be available by the first half of 2021."

Fernández stated, "Latin American production will be in charge of Argentina and Mexico, and that will allow timely and sufficient access to potential vaccine for all countries in the region."

Politics • American • Brazil
Brazilian state in talks with Russia to produce Covid-19 vaccine
Brazilian state in talks with Russia to produce Covid-19 vaccine
Credit: Tecpar (Public Domain)

Brazil’s Parana state announced the intention to locally produce the Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine. The Parana Technology Institute (Tecpar) would be responsible for tests and later the production of the Russian vaccine.

An agreement should be signed by the governor of Paraná, Ratinho Júnior, and by the Russian ambassador, Sergey Akopov, this Wednesday.

Tecpar’s spokesman João Pedro Schonarth stated earlier Tuesday, "This signature of the Government of Paraná and Russia is important for the exchange to be made possible. Each step at its proper time. We cannot skip steps. We cannot make leaps when dealing with an extremely serious matter"

The announcement took Brazil’s regulators and health experts by surprise, with some raising doubts about the institute’s capacity to produce large volumes of a new vaccine from scratch.

Health
Russia approves Covid-19 vaccine without completing phase three clinical trials
Russia approves Covid-19 vaccine without completing phase three clinical trials
Credit: Screenshot of the website for the Russian Covid-19 vaccine

According to an announcement from Russian President Vladimir Putin, the country has registered and approved the world's first Covid-19 vaccine.

Multiple experts have stated that it is still unclear if the vaccine is safe, as phase three clinical trials are still underway. These phase three trials have the goal of determining if the vaccine is safe and works in the general population.

Multiple experts from around the world have voice their concerns and criticism of this rushed approval process including the executive director of the Russian nonprofit Association of Clinical Trials Organizations, Svetlana Zavidova. She has asked "why are all corporations following the rules, but Russian ones aren’t? The rules for conducting clinical trials are written in blood. They can’t be violated" and added that "this is a Pandora’s Box and we don’t know what will happen to people injected with an unproven vaccine".

Politics • Asian • Russia
Russia approves world's first coronavirus vaccine
Russia approves world's first coronavirus vaccine
Credit: Kremlin (Public Domain)

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Tuesday the approval of a coronavirus vaccine developed by the Moscow-based Gamaleya Institute. The vaccine is named Sputnik-V, and it has yet to go through Phase 3 trials.

Putin said, "A vaccine against coronavirus has been registered for the first time in the world this morning, I know that it works quite effectively, it forms a stable immunity."

The announcement came despite a caution last week from the World Health Organization(WHO) that Russia should not stray from the usual methods of testing a vaccine for safety and effectiveness.

Health
World's largest vaccine manufacturer sets $3 ceiling price per dose of Covid-19 vaccine
World's largest vaccine manufacturer sets $3 ceiling price per dose of Covid-19 vaccine
Credit: Serum Institute

The Indian company Serum Institute has announced that its Covid-19 vaccine once developed and approved will have a ceiling price of $3 per dose for India and low-and-middle-income countries. Serum is the world's largest manufacturer of vaccines by volume and has now received at-risk funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation. The money will be used to produce possible candidates for vaccines.