Covid-19 Vaccine

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
UK supply of Covid-19 vaccine hit by India delivery delay
UK supply of Covid-19 vaccine hit by India delivery delay
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Ashley Winkler. (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

A spokesperson for the Serum Institute said: "Five million doses had been delivered a few weeks ago to the UK, and we will try to supply more later, based on the current situation and the requirement for the government immunisation programme in India."

The supply issues could affect infection rates but should not impact hospital admissions, as those who are most vulnerable to Covid-19 were being prioritised for the jab.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Spain will resume vaccinations with AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine on Wednesday
Spain will resume vaccinations with AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine on Wednesday
Credit: gencat cat, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Spain's Health Minister Carolina Darias announced Thursday that the country will resume administering the AstraZeneca vaccine next Wednesday after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) deemed it "safe and effective."

"The decision was taken unanimously as the benefits outweighed the risks, in line with the findings from the European Medicines Agency," so Darias.

Health
WHO says the benefits of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine outweigh its risks
WHO says the benefits of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine outweigh its risks
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The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday it was still reviewing safety concerns over the AstraZeneca vaccine. Still, it recommended the continuation of its use based on the current benefit-risk assessment.

The jab suspension and an already sluggish inoculation campaign across the EU pose a threat to plans announced by the European Commission on Wednesday to launch a "green digital certificate" to collate vaccine information.

Jutta Paulus, a licensed pharmacist and a member of the European Parliament for the Green Party, said the "benefits of taking the AstraZeneca vaccine do outweigh the risks."

Health
First baby born with Covid-19 antibodies after mother receives vaccine
Representative image
Representative image Credit: unsplash.com / Aditya Romansa

After her mother was vaccinated against Covid-19, a baby girl was born with antibodies that fight the coronavirus in Florida in the eastern United States.

The girl's mother was 36 weeks pregnant when she received the first dose of the antidote developed by the Moderna laboratory, to which she agreed because she was on the front line of the fight against the pandemic. The baby girl was born three weeks later, in late January.

"As far as we know, this is the world's first reported case of a baby born with covid-19 antibodies after her mother's vaccination," said Paul Gilbert, a pediatrician. Gilbert and Chad Rudnick, also a pediatrician, will publish a scientific paper on the matter, they said in an interview with Palm Beach television station WBPF.

Health
WHO meets to discuss AstraZeneca jab as more EU countries halt vaccination
WHO meets to discuss AstraZeneca jab as more EU countries halt vaccination
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The World Health Organization's vaccine safety experts were due to meet Tuesday to discuss the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, as more countries stopped vaccinations over blood clot concerns. WHO on Monday appealed to countries to keep vaccination campaigns going, saying there was no evidence the vaccine caused clotting issues.

But much of Europe has gone against that advice in recent days, temporarily halting AstraZeneca shots even as the continent confronts a third wave of the pandemic, spurred by variants of the virus, and faces criticism over sluggish vaccination campaigns.

In a statement on Sunday, the pharmaceutical giant said that of the 17 million people vaccinated in the European Union and the United Kingdom so far, blood clot incidents were "much lower than would be expected to occur naturally in a general population."

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Germany halts use of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine
Germany halts use of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Ashley Winkler. (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Germany on Monday halted the use of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, the Health Ministry announced in a statement. Italy, France and Spain follow suit later in the day.

"After new reports of thrombroses of the cerebral veins in connection with the vaccination in Germany and Europe, the PEI considers further investigations to be necessary," the Health Ministry announced.

The European Medicines Agency will decide "whether and how the new information will affect the authorization of the vaccine"

Science • Medicine
AstraZeneca finds "no evidence" of increased risk of blood clots
AstraZeneca finds "no evidence" of increased risk of blood clots
Credit: gencat cat, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

AstraZeneca has released a statement, saying its Covid-19 vaccine has shown no evidence of an increased risk of blood clots.

"Following a recent concern raised around thrombotic events, AstraZeneca would like to offer its reassurance on the safety of its COVID-19 vaccine based on clear scientific evidence. Safety is of paramount importance and the Company is continually monitoring the safety of its vaccine," the report said. "A careful review of all available safety data of more than 17 million people vaccinated in the European Union (EU) and UK with COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca has shown no evidence of an increased risk of pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or thrombocytopenia, in any defined age group, gender, batch or in any particular country."

Regional News • Europe • European Union
EU Commission admits mistakes in Covid-19 vaccine procurement
EU Commission admits mistakes in Covid-19 vaccine procurement
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Ashley Winkler.

Ursula von der Leyen's Deputy Commission Head Frans Timmermans has stated that "It is true that mistakes were made in ordering the vaccines both in Brussels and in the member states,". He added that he is "ready to take stock at the end of the pandemic. Then we can see what we did wrong and what we did right."

In the current situation, however, the first priority is "to ensure that all of Europe receives vaccine," Timmermans continued. He defended the joint procurement, saying that a European approach was "also in the interest of the richer countries" such as Germany.

Regional News • Europe
Ireland halts use of AstraZeneca vaccine following blood clot reports in Norway
Ireland halts use of AstraZeneca vaccine following blood clot reports in Norway
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Ashley Winkler. (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Ireland temporarily suspended the use of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine. The move follows a report from Norway of patients developing blood clots post-inoculation.

The Norwegian Medicines Agency said there were four new cases of serious blood clotting in adults.

The Irish National Immunization Advisory Committee (NIAC) made the directive as a precaution.

Regional News • Europe • European Union
Austria's chancellor Kurz alleges unfair distribution of Covid-19 vaccine between EU states
Austria's chancellor Kurz alleges unfair distribution of Covid-19 vaccine between EU states
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Ashley Winkler.

Austria's Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has sharply criticized the distribution of vaccines against the coronavirus in the European Union. The distribution of the medicines among the EU member states is unfair, contrary to the declared objective of fair participation, he said. Since there were striking differences in the progress of vaccination between the member states, he and other heads of government had compared the national supply data. The result was that deliveries were not made according to population keys: Deliveries were not being made according to population keys. "When I shared this information with some heads of state and government yesterday, many could not believe their eyes and ears," Kurz said.

Science • Medicine
Novavax vaccine up to 96% effective in UK trial
Novavax vaccine up to 96% effective in UK trial
Credit: Novavax

American vaccine development company Novavax said its Covid-19 vaccine has shown a 96% efficacy against the original Coronavirus strain and a 86% efficacy against the more potent UK strain B117 in Phase 3 clinical trials in the United Kingdom. The vaccine has also shown to be 100% effective against severe Covid-19 infections.

Trials are still running in the United States, and the company will apply for US emergency use authorization as soon as those trials are complete.

Stanley Erck, Novavax's president and CEO, said that the company was "very encouraged by the data".

“We are very encouraged by the data showing that NVX-CoV2373 not only provided complete protection against the most severe forms of disease, but also dramatically reduced mild and moderate disease across both trials. Importantly, both studies confirmed efficacy against the variant strains,” so Erck. “Today marks one year since the WHO officially declared the COVID-19 pandemic, and with this data in hand, we are even more motivated to advance our vaccine as a potential weapon in the fight to end the suffering caused by COVID-19.”

Regional News • Americas • Brazil
Brazil signs contract to receive 10 million doses of Sputnik V vaccine
Brazil signs contract to receive 10 million doses of Sputnik V vaccine
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Ashley Winkler.

The Brazilian Ministry of Health signed on Friday a contract to receive 10 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine, developed by Russia's Gamaleya Institute.

According to a federal law sanctioned at the beginning of the pandemic last year, Anvisa has 72 hours to decide whether or not to validate the registration of a Covid-19 vaccine granted by one of the national health agencies of the United States, the European Union, Japan and China - Sputnik was approved in Russia and also in Argentina.

Regional News • Europe • European Union
AstraZeneca reduces delivery volume for EU even further
AstraZeneca reduces delivery volume for EU even further
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The Swedish-British vaccine manufacturer AstraZeneca has again revised the announced delivery quantity downwards. According to this, the member states of the European Union will probably only receive 30 million doses of Corona vaccine by the end of the month - ten million less than last announced. This was already a reduced quantity: originally, AstraZeneca had contractually promised to deliver 90 million doses.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Biden says all US adults eligible to be vaccinated by May 1
Biden says all US adults eligible to be vaccinated by May 1
Credit: The White House, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

In his first primetime address to the nation, President Joe Biden announced that he has directed all states, tribes and territories to make all adults eligible for Covid-19 vaccines by May 1.

"I will not relent until we beat this virus. But I need you, the American people. I need you, I need every American, to do their part," Biden said. "I need you to get vaccinated when it's your turn and when you can find an opportunity. And to help your family, your friends, your neighbors get vaccinated as well. Because here's the point, if we do all this, if we do our part, if we do this together -- by July the Fourth, there's a good chance you, your family and friends will be able to get together in your backyard or your neighborhood and have a cookout and a barbecue and celebrate Independence Day. ... After this long hard year, that will make this Independence Day something truly special."

Health
Sanofi announced the launch of human trials of its second Covid-19 vaccine
Sanofi logo
Sanofi logo Credit: Sanofi

French pharmaceutical firm Sanofi announced Friday the launch of human trials of its second Covid-19 vaccine. Sanofi and the US-based company Translate Bio are developing the vaccine based on messenger RNA (mRNA) technology.

Sanofi's Chief Executive Paul Hudson told French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche last month that the vaccine "will not be ready this year."

The company's first vaccine, developed with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), is still in the testing phase. Both companies are attempting to revive their development after earlier tests showed in December, a low immune response in older adults.

Health
European Medicines Agency says 'no indication' of a link between Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and blood clots
European Medicines Agency says 'no indication' of a link between Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and blood clots
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Ashley Winkler. (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

There is no indication that the Covid-19 vaccine is linked to an increased risk of blood clots, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) says. It said the number of cases in vaccinated people was no higher than in the general population.

Some countries, including Denmark and Norway, suspended the jab's use after reports that a small number of people had developed clots after receiving the jab.

Regional News • Americas • United States
US to order 100m additional Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine doses
US to order 100m additional Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine doses
Credit: The White House, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The United States Department of Health and Human Services is going to purchase 100 million additional doses of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine, so President Joe Biden on Wednesday. It's yet unclear when those doses will be available.

"There is light at the end of this dark tunnel of this past year, but we cannot let our guard down now or assume victory is inevitable. Together we're going to get through this pandemic and usher in a healthier and more hopeful future," Biden said.

Regional News • Americas • South America
The first batch of Pfizer/Biontech vaccines arrived in Uruguay
The first batch of Pfizer/Biontech vaccines arrived in Uruguay
Credit: Ashles Winkler for Pendect

On Wednesday the first batch of 50.000 Pfizer/Biontech vaccines arrived in Uruguay. The jabs will be applied first to health workers.

50.000 more doses are expected to arrive in the next week, plus 60.000/week later until complete the order of 460.000.

Regional News • Europe • European Union
EMA recommends COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen for authorization in the EU
EMA recommends COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen for authorization in the EU
Credit: Ashley Winkler for Pendect

The European Medicines Agency has announced, that their human medicines committee (CHMP) concluded by consensus that the data on the Covid-19 vaccine Janssen were robust and met the criteria for efficacy, safety and quality.

"With this latest positive opinion, authorities across the European Union will have another option to combat the pandemic and protect the lives and health of their citizens," said Emer Cooke, EMA's Executive Director, adding, "this is the first vaccine which can be used as a single dose". These measures will allow regulators to swiftly assess data emerging from a range of different sources and take any necessary regulatory action to protect public health.

Health
Denmark and Austria suspend AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccination
Denmark and Austria suspend AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccination
Credit: Ashley Winkler for Pendect

This is due to reports of possible side effects with blood clots after vaccinations, the Danish health administration announced. According to the Danish health authority in Copenhagen, it has received reports of "severe cases of blood clots" in vaccinated persons. Government chief Mette Frederiksen confirmed to reporters outside a hospital in Herlev, Denmark, that the administration of the AstraZeneca vaccine would be paused.

"Currently, there is no indication of a causal connection with the vaccination," Austrian media ORF quotes BASG as saying. However, to be on the safe side, the affected vaccine batch would no longer be issued or vaccinated. In Austria, vaccination appointments were canceled at short notice this Sunday. About 6,000 vaccine doses were withdrawn. Of the affected batch, 37,000 doses have been vaccinated.