Vaccines

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.

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.

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".

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".

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.

Health
Study: Oxford Covid-19 vaccine triggers immune response

Researchers from Oxford have published new results from their ongoing trails of a possible Covid-19 vaccine. During the last trial that involved 1,077 people, it showed that the experimental vaccine not only leads the patients to develop antibodies but also T-cells that are able to fight the virus.

The United Kingdom has already ordered 100 million doses of the vaccine. Further trials are still underway to determine if patients develop a long term immunitiy.

Health
Second Ebola vaccine receives approval by European Commission
Second Ebola vaccine receives approval by European Commission
Credit: Government of Prince Edward Island (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The medical and pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson has received approval for their Ebola vaccine by the European Commission.

Both components of the two-dose vaccine for the prevention of the virus have been approved and the company hopes that this will lead to "accelerated registration" in African countries. J&J is the second company to receive approval for an Ebola vaccine after Merck.

Health
U.S. sees a decrease in child vaccinations amid pandemic, C.D.C. reports
U.S. sees a decrease in child vaccinations amid pandemic, C.D.C. reports
Credit: unsplash.com/CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting a significant decrease in childhood vaccination rates since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak in March. The study shows a decline in vaccination rates of around 17% in 5-month-year-old children in May 2020, resulting in only approx. 50% of children being vaccinated. "The avoidable suffering and death caused by children missing out on routine immunisations could be far greater than Covid-19 itself," warns Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO’s director-general.

"With lower than normal vaccination coverage among all age groups, children may be at higher risk for vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles, whooping cough, chickenpox, and more," said CEO of Magnolia Health Aaron Sisk, adding that "even during these uncertain times, it’s important that we continue to encourage everyone to protect themselves, including getting immunizations to protect children from preventable health complications."

Health
Immune response induced by Moderna Covid-19 vaccine in first phase
Immune response induced by Moderna Covid-19 vaccine in first phase
Credit: Moderna

In a first phase study, a possible Covid-19 vaccine developed by the biotech company Moderna together with the National Institutes of Health has induced immune responses in all of the patients. While the vaccine had mild side effects such as chills, headache or muscle pain, it is the first vaccine candidate from the United States to be published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

A large phase three trial will be started this month after which, depending on the results, regulators will decide of it'll made available to the public.

Health
Oxford researchers claim that their Covid-19 vaccine could give long term immunity
Oxford researchers claim that their Covid-19 vaccine could give long term immunity
Credit: unsplash.com / National Cancer Institute

Professor Sarah Gilbert has announced that the Covid-19 vaccine that is currently in trials at Oxford could provide long term immunity and has been found to generate three times higher levels of antibodies than in patients who recovered from Covid-19. Similar vaccines that use the same type of technology have shown that people show strong immune responses even after a longer time. Gilbert has said that they are optimistic as earlier studies have shown promising results.

Politics • Asian • China
China approves Covid-19 vaccine for usage in its military
China approves Covid-19 vaccine for usage in its military
Credit: Bicanski

The Chinese military has developed a Covid-19 vaccine in its research unit together with the biotech firm CanSino Biologics. The vaccine has now been approved for military use as it shows a "good safety profile". Currently, the approval has been granted for one year as the studies are not fully conclusive and the vaccine only shows the potential to prevent symptoms from the Covid-19 infections. CanSino Biologics has also stated that it can't guarantee public access to the vaccine.

Science • Medicine
University of Oxford Plans to Roll Out Covid-19 Vaccine by September if Trials Successfull
University of Oxford
University of Oxford Credit: unsplash.com/Tetiana SHYSHKINA

In his Sunday briefing, Business Secretary Alok Sharma said clinical trials for the Covid-19 vaccine by the University of Oxford were progressing well. The trial is currently in phase one and all participants have received their doses. Oxford has received over £47 million by the government so far and Sharma announced another £84 million in new funding.

Sharma added: "This means that if the vaccine is successful AstraZeneca (a British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical company) will work to make 30 million doses available by September for the UK as part of an agreement for over 100 million doses in total."

Health
Scientists conduct llama antibody research to fight Covid-19

Since 2016 researchers have used over 130 llamas from a research farm in Belgium for antibody research against the MERS and SARS viruses, which are similar to Covid-19. The researchers found that llamas produce a special type of antibodies called nanobodies which are effective against MERS and SARS and suggest that a possible treatment of Covid-19 could also be possible. The researchers from the US and Belgium are currently conducting further research.

Health
Second potential Covid-19 vaccine has been cleared for human trials in the US

The United States Food and Drug Administration has cleared the INO-4800 DNA vaccine candidate by the company Inovio Pharmaceuticals for human testing. The company has gotten funding from different nonprofits and organizations, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Currently, the company is preparing to inject the first test subject with the potential vaccine.