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Egyik 19

Magyarországról, utódállami területekről, Európáról, Európai Unióról, további földrészekről, globalizációról, űrről ( a Covid-19 világjárványról is)

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2021. I. 8-15. Globalizáció. Vírusfertőzés és védőoltás adatok: Magyarország, Czechia, Germany, Italy, Norway, Russia, Ukraine, United Kingdom, European Commission - Európai Bizottság, European Union, European Parliament, Africa, China, India, Iran..

2021.01.09. 04:06 Eleve

 2021. I. 15 / 21 1 9

E vírus-fertőzés áldozatainak száma ('Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases')

/Forrás: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE)

at Johns Hopkins University (JHU)/:

https://tinyurl.com/uwns6z5

 

Bizonyítottan fertőzöttek száma
('Global cases')
93 630 022

Országonként:

Egyesült Államok * 23 478 669
India ** 10 527 683
Brazília *** 8 324 294
Oroszország **** 3 483 531
Egyesült Királyság ***** 3 325 636
Franciaország 2 931 350

...
Magyarország ****** 349 149

-----------------------------------------

Elhunytak száma
('Global Deaths')
2 004 458

Országonként:

Egyesült Államok 391 279
Brazília 207 095
India 151 918
Mexikó 137 916
Egyesült Királyság 87 448
Olaszország ******* 81 325

...
Magyarország 11 177

-----------------------------------------

Gyógyultak' száma ********
('Global Recovered ')
51 580 007

Országonként:

India 10 162 738
Brazília 7 416 401
Oroszország 2 879 082
Törökország 2 246 047
Olaszország 1 713 030
Kolumbia 1 683 835

...
Magyarország 255 021

******** az Egyesült Államokra vonatkozó összesített adatot nem közöl

A fenti adatok a honlap ekkori frisíítésekor voltak érvényesek:
'Last updated: 1/15/2021 11:22 p.m."

Előzmény / Previously:

A 2020. december 28. - 2021. január 7-i előzmény itt érhető el:/ About the period of 28 December 2020 - 7 January 2021):

https://tinyurl.com/y3a5f76m

------------------------------------------------

Magyarország ******
2021. 01. 15.  A 60 év feletti, krónikus betegekkel
folytatódik az oltási terv. Erről is a Kossuth Rádióban beszélt a miniszterelnök. Az ő beoltásukkal szinte azonnal lehetne végezni, amint a magyar gyógyszerészeti hatóságok engedélyezik a kínai és az orosz vakcinák magyarországi alkalmazását. Mint mondta, erre jó esély is van, és ha ez megtörténik, akkor például Kínából azonnal milliós mennyiségben érkezhet védőoltás Magyarországra. „Olyan gyorsan tudunk oltani, hogy a nyár előtt is, talán jóval a nyár előtt is visszakaphatjuk a régi életünket, de ez attól függ, hogy mennyi vakcinát tudunk szerezni, a hatóságaink milyen gyorsan futnak végig kellő körültekintéssel az előírt biztonsági protokollokon” – tette hozzá. "A magyar emberek, én magam is, mindenki ettől fél, hogy hátha kapunk egy olyan ismeretlen oltást amiből nagyobb baj lesz, mint az a betegség - mint amit az a betegség okozott - amit egyébként a vakcinával el akartunk kerülni. Az Operatív Törzsön ma egyértelműen az hangzott el, hogy nincs ilyen kockázat. Ami annál is inkább logikus, hiszen tízmilliószám oltják már a saját népüket a kínaiak is meg az oroszok is.' - mondta. (Forrás: M1 / Híradó)

2021. 01. 15. Galgóczi, a Nemzeti Népegészségügyi Központ (NNK) osztályvezetője elmondta, hogy jelenleg 130 ezer adag Covid-vakcina áll rendelkezésre hazánkban, amelyek nagy részét – közel 106 ezer adagot – már eloltottak a szakemberek. Beszámolt arról, hogy december végén háromezer adag érkezett az orosz fejlesztésű Szputnyik-V nevű oltóanyagból, amelyet azóta vizsgálnak. Felhívta a figyelmet, hogy jelenleg két oltóanyag, a Pfizer és a Moderna vakcinái rendelkeznek engedéllyel hazánkban. Beszámolt arról, hogy jövő kedden érkezik a következő adag oltóanyag, addigra várhatóan felhasználják a megmaradt készleteket. Az oltás ütemét a beérkezés szerint lehet meghatározni. Hozzátette: ezen a hétvégén a Moderna vakcinájából folytatódik az oltás. Elmondta, hogy az elmúlt napon további 1 513 magyar állampolgárnál mutatták ki az új koronavírus-fertőzést (COVID-19), ezzel 349 149 főre nőtt a hazánkban beazonosított fertőzöttek száma. Elhunyt 111 beteg, az elhunytak száma 11 177 főre emelkedett. A gyógyultak száma jelenleg 225 021, az aktív fertőzötteké 112 951. 4 600 koronavírusos beteget ápolnak kórházban, közülük  337-en vannak lélegeztetőgépen. Eddig 3400 fő jelezte előre oltási igényét a vakcinainfo.gov.hu weboldalon. (Forrás: Híradó / MTI)

2021. 01. 14, csütörtök. A Pfizer–BioNTech készítményéből Magyarországra legutóbb, kedden érkezett szállítmány volt a negyedik. 47 ezer ember beoltására elegendő oltóanyagot küldtek. Megjelent egy kormányhatározat, amely szerint a külügyminiszter feladata, hogy megtegye a szükséges lépéseket további oltóanyagok beszerzésére.  'Az Európai Unióból egyébként eddig csaknem 130 ezer ember beoltására elegendő oltóanyag érkezett Magyarországra, amely töredéke annak, amit várunk. Hazánk ugyanis mintegy 20 millió adag nyugati vakcinát kötött le különböző gyártóknál. Emiatt is folyamatosak a tárgyalások Oroszországgal és Kínával is. A kínai Sinopharmmal * pedig már meg is állapodott a kormány. Az első adag akár egymillió is lehet. Szállításának időpontja attól függ, hogy mikor engedélyezi a használatát a magyar gyógyszerészeti hatóság." (Forrás: Híradó / M1)
* Pro Domo: A Sinofarm CoronaVac elnevezésű oltóanyagáról van szó. Van-e adat arról, hogy szakhatósági vizsgálatra érkezett ebből az oltóanyagból Magyarországra eddig több ezer adag? Úgy tűnik, nincsen.     A CoronaVac 3 kutatási szakaszban lévő, Kínában és Indonéziában korlátozott felhasználás alá került, inaktivált koronavírusokból készült oltóanyag. Az oltás alapjául kínai koronavírus minta szolgál. A kínai kutatók majomi vese-sejtekben tenyésztettek nagy mennyiségű koronavírus-állományt, majd béta-propiolakton vegyi anyaggal hatástalanították azokat, végül az elhalt vírusokat alumínium-alapú vegyülettel keverték össze; az így létrehozott kínai oltóanyag arra serkenti az emberi szervezet immunrendszerét, hogy ellenanyagot állítson elő a SARS-CoV-2 koronavírus ellen - a szervezetben az antitestek a vírus-fehérjékhez kötődnek, az élő koronavírusok fertőzésére reagálva. Nem tudni, hogy a létrejövő védelem meddig tart, az antitestek szintje hónapok alatt csökken-e.     A Sinofarm CoronaVac oltóanyaga Kínában 79,! %-os hatékonyságúnak nyilvánított, feltételes forgalmazási engedélyt 2020. december 31-én kapott. Kína engedélyezte az oltást anélkül, hogy megvárta volna a kísérletek 3. vizsgálati szakaszának eredményeit, s ez szakértők szerint komoly kockázatokkal jár.     2020. júliusában kezdte meg a Sinovac a CoronaVac-kísérlet 3. szakaszát Brazíliában, majd Indonéziában és Törökországban. Ugyanabban a hónapban a kínai kormány sürgősségi jóváhagyást adott a CoronaVac korlátozott használatára. Három hete, múlt év december 23-án a brazil kutatók bejelentették, hogy a CoronaVac hatékonysága meghaladja az 50%-ot. A 3. vizsgálati szakasz eredményei nem jelentek meg orvosi folyóiratban.  December 25-én a CoronaVac-kísérleteket lebonyolító török szakértők bejelentették, hogy az oltóanyag hatékonysága 91%-os. Az eredmények ténylegesen kisszámú önkéntes jelentkezőn - mintegy 1 500-on -  véghezvitt kísérleten alapultak, az oltóanyag hatékonyság így kevésbé megbecsülhető. A török szakértők sem osztották meg írásban az eredményeket. Egy hete, január 7-én bejelentették a brazil kutatók, hogy a CoronaVac hatékonysága 78% - majd január 13-án azt, hogy a CoronaVac hatékonysága alig haladja meg az 50%-ot. (Politikai nyomások nyilvánulnak ily nagymérvű ingadozásban).     Az oltóanyagot ottani szakhatóságok jóváhagyták az Egyesült Arab Emírségekben és Bahreinben. Sürgősségi használatba került Egyiptomban. Indonézia január 11-én sürgősségi engedélyt adott a CoronaVac felhasználására, Törökország pedig január 13-án engedélyezte az oltás sürgősségi felhasználását.     A Sinovac arra készül, hogy világméretű terjesztésre állítsa elő az oltóanyagot. Augusztusban megállapodtak Indonéziával arról, hogy legalább 40 millió adagot szállítanak, ami utóbb meg is valósult. Megállapodásuk Ukrajnával 1,8 millió adagról szól. A Sinovac decemberben azt közölte, hogy 2020-ban 300 millió dózis gyártására számít, és kapacitásukat évi 600 millió dózisra növeli.     J.    

2021. 01. 13., szerda. Három beteg Covid-mintájában azonosították az angliai vírusként ismert vírustörzset. Holnap az országba érkezett első Moderna oltóanyaggal - amely további 3600 ember beoltását teszi lehetővé - folytatják az idősotthonokban az oltást. Tömeges tesztelésre kerül sor a gyerekvédelemben: közel 47 ezer területi dolgozó számára hétvégi, ingyenes Covid-tesztelést biztosítanak. 1358 magyar állampolgárnál mutatták ki legújabban az új koronavírus-fertőzést, ezzel 345 710-re nőtt a hazánkban beazonosított fertőzöttek száma. Elhunyt 95 beteg. Az elhunytak száma 10 948-ra növekedett. 'Gyógyult' 215 453 fő. Az aktív fertőzöttek száma 119 309-re csökkent. 4870 koronavírusos beteget ápolnak kórházakban, közülük 339-en vannak lélegeztetőgépen. Ma estig 86 929-en részesültek védőoltásban, ezzel az orvosok felhasználták az összes rendelkezésre álló oltóanyagot. Egyelőre az Európai Uniós kvóta okán kevés vakcina jut minden uniós országnak, így Magyarországnak is. (Forrás: M1 / Híradó)

2021. 01. 12  A Pfizer–BioNTech oltóanyagból ma 81 tálcányi érkezik, amely 47 385 ember oltását teszi lehetővé. Megérkezett Magyarországra az első, 3600 ember oltására elegendő Moderna oltóanyag-szállítmány is. Hűtőkamrában tárolják -25 Celsius-fokon addig, amíg eljut az oltóhelyekre. Az érkező oltóanyagokkal az egészségügyi dolgozóknak és az idősotthonok lakóinak, dolgozóinak védőoltása folytatódik; az egészségügyieket  a kórházi oltópontokon oltják, az idősotthonokba oltócsoportok érkeznek. A második oltáshoz szükséges adagokat tárolják az oltóközpontok. Magyarország eddig felhasznált az országba érkezett minden oltóanyagot. Az oltás ütemét, gyorsaságát az oltóanyagok érkezése határozza meg - közölte a Koronavírus Sajtóközpont. A közlemény szerint Magyarország eddig 19,7 millió adag oltóanyagot kötött le a Pfizer–BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Janssen, Curevac gyártóknál. A kormány ezeken túl izraeli, kínai és orosz vakcinafejlesztőkkel is tárgyal. (Forrás: MTI / Híradó)

2021. 01. 11. 71 ezren kapták meg a védőoltást Magyarországon. Az idősotthonokban és az egészségügyben oltanak. Minden 150 főnél nagyobb szociális intézmény dolgozója és lakója kérheti az oltóanyag beadását.  Komolyabb negatív oltási reakciót eddig még senkinél nem tapasztaltak. Erről a Dél-pesti Centrumkórház infektológus főorvosa beszélt az M1-en. Szlávik közölte: a koronavírus elleni védőoltás biztonságos és hatékony. „Magának az oltásnak az oltási reakciói és a mellékhatásai jóval alacsonyabb számban fordulnak elő, mint a korábbi védőoltásokkal kapcsolatban. Tehát azt tudom mondani, hogy átmeneti izomlázat, zsibbadást, bepirosodást leszámítva még egyetlen komolyabb mellékhatást nem észleltünk” – hangsúlyozta. Magyarország oltási tervet készített és az alapján halad. Az egészségügyi és szociális ágazat után a 60 évnél idősebb krónikus betegek, majd a rendvédelmi dolgozók következnek. Aki szeretné megkapni a koronavírus elleni védőoltást, annak nyilvántartásba kell vétetnie magát ('regisztrálnia' kell). Az összes megyei és nagyobb városi kórházban van oltópont, ezek napi 12 órában működnek, elérhetőségük megtalálható a Nemzeti Népegészségügyi Központ honlapján. Holnap a Moderna első szállítmánya is befut az országba és újabb 39 ezer ember oltására alkalmas mennyiségű Pfizer vakcina érkezik. Ebből Magyarország összesen 4,4 millió adagot kap. 'De a kormány más gyártókkal is kapcsolatban áll, már több mint 19 millió vakcinát kötött le'. (Forrás Híradó / M1)

Vasárnap, 2020. I. 10. December 26-tól zajlik az egészségügyi dolgozók oltása. A hétvégén a 150 főnél többet ellátó idősotthonokban csaknem nyolcezer embert oltanak be a koronavírus ellen. Egész hétvégén oltják az egészségügyben dolgozókat is.  "Eddig három szállítmány Pfizer-vakcina érkezett, amely összesen 79 ezer ember oltását teszi lehetővé'. Január 12-én újabb 39 ezer  ember számára várható oltóanyag szállítmány. (Forrás: Híradó / M1)

2020. I.  8.  Az Európai Gyógyszerügynökség engedélyezte a Moderna oltást. Az Európai Unió 80 millió adagot kötött le. A tervek szerint jövő héten megérkezhet a Moderna oltóanyaga, melyből Magyarország közel egymillió-ötszázezer adagot kap – közölte a tiszti főorvos. Tömeges oltás szakaszában minden háziorvosi rendelőre számítanak majd, mint oltópontra, a rendelők alkalmasak az oltás beadására, rendelkeznek minden szükséges orvostechnikai eszközzel - mondta Müller. Elmondta: a magyar fejlesztésű vakcina elölt koronavírust tartalmaz. Elegendő vírust tudtak kitenyészteni, jelenleg ezeknek az inaktiválása zajlik. Teljesen életképtelenné teszik a vírust, így az nem fog semmilyen tünetet okozni. (Forrás: Híradó / M1)

Czechia
January 8, 2020 One of the worst-hit countries in Europe.
The Czech Republic’s biggest crematorium, in the northeastern city of Ostrava, has been overwhelmed by mounting numbers of pandemic victims. All three cremation chambers are operating on a 24-hour basis. The crematorium has built an overflow cold storage container to double its storage capacity by 60 coffins, and further boosted it by adding a couple of movable freezers for another 100. Now bodies are being transported to different crematoria, but there are fears that they too are close to full. These days, the crematorium receives more than 100 coffins daily, about double its maximum cremation capacity. They have been working non-stop with no pause for maintenance. Authorities in Ostrava have been speeding up plans to build a fourth furnace. Up to 1,000 bodies a month were cremated in Ostrava before the pandemic struck. The number rose to 1,550 in November and 1,570 in December after a surge at the end of October. The Czech Republic, with a population of 10.7 million, has registered 794,740 cases of Covid since the pandemic began, and 12,621 deaths. November was the deadliest month with 4,937 deceased. (Source: TheIndependent)

Germany
11.01.2021  The first consignment of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine will arrive in Germany today, Health Minister Spahn announced. Moderna would deliver 2 million doses until the end of March and nearly 50 million doses during the course of 2021. Spahn said German health authorities would use both Moderna and BioNTech/Pfizer vaccines in the coming days, but citizens would not be able choose which specific brand of COVID-19 vaccine they want to receive. Germany began administering the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine on Dec. 26. As of yesterday, nearly 533,000 doses were administered in Germany - compared to more than 9 million in China, 8 million in the US, 2 million in the UK and 1.8 million vaccinations in Israel. Germany's national total stands at over1.92 million infection cases with at least 40,686 deaths. (Source: anadoluagency)

January 10, 2020   40,343 people have died of COVID-19 in Germany. Today the country’s disease control center reported 465 new deaths. Since October both new infections and deaths have been creeping up steadily. Today Germany recorded 16,946 new infections. The country entered a second hard lockdown last month, which was recently extended until the end of January.  Schools and most stores are closed, hospitals in the country are on edge and some morgues don’t have enough space to cool the relentless flow of incoming bodies. “A few hundred thousand have been vaccinated and it will become more every day. The speed will pick up,” Merkel said in her weekly podcast. (Source: AP)

Italy *******
14 January 2021  Italian police seized documents from the health ministry in Rome today as part of an investigation into the handling of the initial phase of its coronavirus epidemic. The tax police also went to the offices of the national health institute in Rome and the Milan headquarters of the regional government of Lombardy. In the spring, prosecutors in the northern city of Bergamo - the worst hit in Italy during March and April - began looking into possible criminal responsibility for the outbreak. Originally, the inquiry centred on why the Bergamo area was not cordoned off as a so-called "red zone", and why a hospital where the outbreak began was not quickly closed. It has since been broadened to look into whether Italy's 15-year-old national plan of action in case of a pandemic had been updated prior to the outbreak, and whether it was implemented properly. Separately, the Bergamo prosecutors also recently questioned officials at the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding a critical report on Italy's coronavirus response which was published on the WHO's website and then immediately removed. WHO official Zambon, who co-authored the report, said last week that he was "shocked" to discover Italy's pandemic plan had not been updated, but that many other countries were in a similar position despite repeated WHO guidelines urging states to review these national plans and overhaul them if necessary. (Source: Reuters)

Norway
January 15, 2021  More than 30,000 Norwegians have received the first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine since late last month. 23 people died within days of receiving their first dose of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine. Thirteen of the 23 deaths, all nursing home patients, were a direct result of side effects from the shot, officials say. “The reports suggest that common adverse reactions to mRNA vaccines, such as fever and nausea, may have contributed to a fatal outcome in some frail patients,” Hortemo, chief physician at the Norwegian Medicines Agency, said. In addition to those who died, nine other Norwegians reportedly suffered serious side effects from the vaccine, including allergic reactions, strong discomfort, and severe fever. “We are not alarmed by this, ”Madsen, medical director at Norwegian Medicines Agency, said. “It is quite clear that these vaccines have very little risk, with a small exception for the frailest patients.” “Doctors must now carefully consider who should be vaccinated,” he added. “Those who are very frail and at the very end of life can be vaccinated after an individual assessment.” (Source: WashingtonExaminer)

Russia ****
January 13, 2021  Russia will begin the process of certifying its Sputnik V vaccine for use in Europe when scientific review of Sputnik V will begin in Germany on January 19.  No serious problems have come to light during the large-scale phase III trials so far. And production is in full swing. The Kremlin launched a mass inoculation roll out in December, offering the vaccine to all Russian citizens for free. It claims to have already inoculated 1.5mn people. On the flip side Germany, where much of the scientific research was done to identify the virus, produce an effective test for it and develop of one of the working vaccines, has found itself short of supplies, thanks to a procurement screw-up: Germany had counted on several candidate vaccines being certified, whereas fewer actually were, so it didn't order enough doses from the available pool. Germany will be in the baggage train in terms of actually rolling out a mass inoculation campaign. An application for an emergency use authorisation (EUA) for the Sputnik V vaccine was submitted to the German authorities on December 22. The process of registration of the Russian vaccine with the European Medicines Agency (EMA) was also submitted at the end of October. So far, EMA has registered only two vaccines: the joint production of Pfizer (USA) and BioNTech (Germany), as well as that from Moderna (USA). Sputnik V has already generated the fourth most orders in the global coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine market. The Kremlin has also been using the vaccine as a political tool to promote its soft power relations with its allies, by offering discounted versions of the vaccine or joint production deals to its friends. Joint production of Sputnik V is due to be set up in Kazakhstan and Turkey, whereas Belarus is due to receive its first shipment in February. All-in-all Russia has done deals with some 50 countries. In Ukraine a pharmaceutical firm linked to Medvedchuk, the head of the pro-Russia Political Council of the Opposition Platform, the For Life Party, and a personal friend of Russian President Putin, applied for a joint production licence for Sputnik V. Ukrainian President Zelenskiy has also hinted that Kyiv might be open to buying the vaccine from Russia, as his country is struggling to source dose from the West. “In some Western countries there was initially a prejudice against our vaccine caused by unfair competition, but even in these countries they now understand the advantages of Sputnik V, such as more than 90% efficacy, a proven and safe platform for the human adenovirus vector, the absence of severe allergic reactions and ease of storage (at a temperature of two to eight degrees)," Dmitriev, director of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) that funded the development of the medicine, said. According to him, Sputnik V is already registered in seven countries, and will add another ten in the near future. Overall the Sputnik V vaccine is about a third of the price of its western counterparts. "The vaccine is already being produced in Korea and India,” Dmitriev said. “Production in Brazil will begin on January 15 and production in China is planned. (Source: intellinews)

Ukraine
January 10, 2020  The foyer of the medical college which has been transformed into a temporary hospital in the city of Lviv holds 50 beds for COVID-19 patients, and 300 more are placed in lecture halls and auditoriums to accommodate the overflow of people seeking care at a packed emergency hospital nearby. The college space has doubled treatment capacity. Many medical workers have criticized the government for ordering the lockdown only after the Christmas and New Year’s holidays rather than risk angering the public. “We saw large-scale New Year’s festivities almost in every city,” Ribun, chief of the regional pathology bureau in Lviv, said. “I think there will be consequences. We shall see them in a week or two.” (Source: AP)

United Kingdom *****
January 2021  The Covid-19 misinformation challenge. Achieving herd immunity is complicated by increasing rates of vaccine hesitancy. An unprecedented amount of misinformation is spreading across social media platforms as a result of heightened fear, uncertainty and a lack of knowledge surrounding the novel virus. Conspiracy mentality and exposure to conspiracies are associated with decreased vaccine trust and compliance. Poland and France are among the most sceptical of a potential COVID-19 vaccine, with 56% and 59% respectively stating that they would take the vaccine, while around 79% of Australians and Brits were willing to take the vaccine. The UK public are much more likely to think conspiracy theories about a COVID-19 vaccine are false. But a notable minority say they believe them, and social media users and younger people are particularly inclined to think such claims are true. One in seven (14%) believe the real purpose of a mass vaccination programme against coronavirus is simply to track and control the population. This rises to a quarter (27%) of 16- to 24-year-olds. People who get a great amount of information on COVID-19 from WhatsApp (42%) and YouTube (39%) are around three times as likely to believe this. People engaging with COVID-19 information primarily from platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and WhatsApp are more likely to have more positive perception of people who discourage others from getting a vaccination. And one in five (19%) Facebook and YouTube users say they respect people who would refuse a vaccine – compared with one in eight (13%) among the population. Preliminary estimates for COVID-19 suggest herd immunity may be achieved when around 67% of the population have immunity, although this is dependent on the infectiousness of the disease, location and population density. However this takes time, the World Health Organisation has already stated that it will not be possible to achieve herd immunity in 2021. (Source: encompass)

13th January 2021   New large-scale Covid treatment trial has begun in the UK hoped to prevent those with Covid from developing severe illness. The trial involves coronavirus patients inhaling a protein called interferon beta, which is something that the body produces when it gets a viral infection. The inhalation of this protein - via nebuliser - will then stimulate the immune system and prepare cells to fight off viruses. The treatment has been developed at Southampton University Hospital, and is being produced by the biotech company Synairgen, which is also based in Southampton. The first patient received the treatment in January 12. The second trial came to an end last year. The results suggested that the treatment cut the odds of a hospitalised Covid patient developing severe disease - such as requiring ventilation - by almost 80 per cent. For those receiving the new drug, the average time patients spent in hospital was also said to have been reduced by a third. Previous clinical trials of the drug - which costs around £2,000 for a course of treatment - also showed that patients with asthma and other chronic lung conditions can tolerate it comfortably. The new phase of the trial will involve more than 600 patients in 20 countries. The team conducting the trial hope it will be completed by early summer this year. If the results are as hoped, they expect the drug to be authorised for use in both the UK and other countries shortly follow. (Source: TheScotsman)

11 Jan 2021 "We should be managing public expectations far better than we’re doing." "As soon as you undermine public trust, people do not follow the advice of the government." The primary reason why the UK has struggled is because it has not learned the lessons of the first wave of the pandemic in 2020 and it has steadfastly refused to follow the science, despite claims that it is doing so. The lessons from the science have been that when there is a rise in infections, you need to clamp down immediately to suppress transmission to reduce the prevalence of infection in the community. But at every stage, the government has delayed and delayed and delayed locking down, with the result that the virus has got out of control. The result of that is increased hospitalisations and deaths. This has been entirely preventable if the government had acted with more decisiveness, and sooner. The Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been appeasing a small group of MPs, who are vehemently libertarian and anti-lockdown – a group of MPs who simply do not understand the impact of this pandemic on people’s lives. And it is the same strategy of appeasement that is used in dealing with Brexit that he’s now using to deal with this pandemic. It’s entirely political, said Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet, one of the oldest and most prestigious medical journals in the world. The United Kingdom registered 59,940 confirmed cases and 563 deaths on Sunday, yesterday, bringing the overall toll to more than 81,000. "If we start off with last year, the evidence that was presented by SAGE [the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies] to ministers, about the overwhelming threat of the pandemic was in early March, and yet it took till March 23 until a lockdown was announced. That period of two to three weeks allowed the pandemic to get completely out of control, with the result that there were tens of thousands of needless deaths. We’re now in exactly the same position, when it was clear in December, before we even understood about the new variants, that we were threatened with a resurgence in the pandemic. SAGE and Independent SAGE were both recommending urgent and decisive government actions. The government refused to act; indeed they planned to loosen restrictions over Christmas. And then just before the holiday, we have this new variant, but still, it took until the first week of January for the government to announce a lockdown. Again, we wasted at least three weeks when we should have had a much more active policy of suppressing community transmission of the virus. So again, we’ve lost time. And as a result, we’re going to go into January, with the National Health Service (NHS) under the real threat from overload," Horton told. It’s ridiculous what Johnson is saying about coming out of lockdown in mid-February, he said. "We would expect if this lockdown is implemented effectively and the public support it, that there will be a peak in the number of deaths towards the end of January this year, probably around January 22, and then there will be a gradual decline. It took until July 4 last year until pubs, restaurants, hairdressers, and so on, were opened and until households were allowed to mix. So that was March 23 to July 4. If you apply the same period from January 6 when [the most recent] lockdown was implemented, that takes us to April 14. So I would predict, despite the fact that we’re trying to immunise millions of people, that it’s going to take us beyond Easter before we’re going to be able to lift the lockdown restrictions," he said. People who are towards the bottom end of the social gradient, those people who are living in poor housing, are not earning very much money, depend upon the welfare system, they are particularly at risk of this virus. That includes Black, Asian, minority ethnic communities. Because the government does not prioritise inequality in its social policy, and still isn’t prioritising inequality, as far as I can see, that is leaving millions of people vulnerable to further waves of the pandemic. The legacy also extends to children. Children have missed so much school that they’re now at least six months behind where they should be in terms of schooling. And we’re now in a situation where they’re going to fall further behind – the digital divide across the country means that inequalities are being worsened by the pandemic for children. It’s a real existential crisis for a new generation, Horton said. "I think we should be very concerned about the mutations in the UK, the variant B117, which is surprisingly divergent from the original version of the virus. And it is a cause for concern with the vaccine because several of the mutations are occurring in that part of the virus which is extremely important for  protective immunity. The South Africa variant is potentially even more worrying. And so I think the government has been right to try and protect our borders more aggressively," he told. That’s a great start to have immunised well over a million people already, at the beginning of the year. The government has set February 15 as the goal to immunise over 14 million people in the top groups identified by JCVI [Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation]. It’s going to stress the system at a time when already the winter pressures on the NHS are massive. We must be very careful not to over promise and under deliver. Even if we were able to immunise 14 million people by February 15, those aren’t the only categories in the JCVI list. There are still an additional 16 million people, people over the age of 50, who need to be immunised. So the total number that JCVI is identifying is over 30 million people. We mustn’t underestimate the logistical challenges that we face here - Horton said. (Source: aljazeera)

10 January 2021 The new, more transmissible variant of this disease is spreading rapidly across the country and having tragic consequences. In 4 January the 4 UK Chief Medical Officers and the NHS Medical Director recommended raising the national alert level to the maximum of level 5 for the first time. This means that without further action there is a material risk of healthcare services being overwhelmed within 21 days. Since then the situation has deteriorated further. Hospitals are always busy in the winter but the NHS in some parts of the country  is currently facing the most dangerous situation anyone can remember. If the virus continues on its current trajectory many hospitals will be in real difficulties, very soon. This means that the time people wait for care will continue to increase to potentially unsafe levels, hospitals won’t have room to take redirected emergency cases in regional networks, staff to patient ratios which are already stretched will become unacceptable even in places likes intensive care. There will be avoidable deaths. NHS staff are doing their absolute best, but even they have limits. The public tired of restrictions needs to find the collective strength to save as many lives as it can. That means for now staying home and avoiding all unnecessary contacts. Vaccines and new treatments offer hope and way out. "We still have weeks to go before vaccines will start reducing COVID deaths and, some weeks later, the number of people being hospitalised", Chief Medical Officer, Professor Whitty writes in a press release statement. (Source: gov.uk)

January 8, 2020   Britain has authorized a coronavirus vaccine developed by Moderna, the third to be licensed for use in the country. It has ordered 10 million doses of the Moderna vaccine, although it is not expected to be delivered to the U.K. until spring. So far, Britain has inoculated 5 million people with two other vaccines. (Source: AP)

January 8, 2020  The University of Oxford/AstraZeneca will submit their jointly-produced coronavirus vaccine to the European Medicines Agency next week -  with a decision on approval for use across the bloc expected by the end of January. The EMA already has the drug-makers' phase 3 data as part of a rolling review, but the vaccine producers are yet to hand a formal submission for conditional marketing authorization from the EU regulator. The European Commission would need to rubber stamp a recommendation from the EMA. The U.K. regulator approved the vaccine on December 30 and has begun rolling it out. (Source: Politico)

European Commission    Európai Bizottság
15 January 2021 European Commission President
Ursula von der Leyen on Thursday (14 January) welcomed the Greek government’s initiative allowing vaccinated people to travel freely, and called for a mutually recognised vaccination certificate across European Union countries. She defended the EU’s joint purchase of vaccines, saying that by the end of the week, 10 million doses of the BioNTech-Pfizer and Moderna vaccines “will have been delivered” in all EU member states. “With these two vaccines, and with access to these two vaccines, we have enough doses to vaccinate 80% of the European population,” she explained. Asked about a temporary suspension of intellectual property rights of pharmaceutical firms to allow emerging countries to vaccinate their population, von der Leyen replied: “We have guaranteed 2.3 billion vaccines, which is more than enough for the European population and [our] neighbours because I think it is very important that we support low and middle-income countries”. In addition to vaccine donations, von der Leyen also pointed to the EU-backed COVAX initiative, which provides for the purchase of two billion vaccines for low- and middle-income countries by the end of 2021. “We are one of the largest donours, with €800 million donated, so once COVAX has access to vaccines, they can buy those doses,” she said. (Source: euractiv)

2021. 01. 13.  Az Európai Bizottság ez idáig a BioNTech–Pfizer vállalattal 600 millió adag, a Moderna-val 160 millió adag, az AstraZeneca-val 400 millió adag, a Sanofi-GSK-val 300 millió adag, a Johnson and Johnson-al 400 millió adag, és a CureVac-al 405 millió adag adag oltóanyag-beszerzésről szóló szerződéseket írt alá. Lezárta továbbá a Novavax (100 millió adag), valamint a Valneva (30 millió adag) gyógyszeripari vállalatokkal folytatott, a koronavírus elleni lehetséges oltóanyaguk beszerzéséről szóló megbeszéléseket. Bejelentette, hogy az amerikai Johnson and Johnson gyógyszeripari vállalat várhatóan februárban nyújt be jóváhagyási kérelmet saját fejlesztésű oltóanyagának uniós alkalmazására az Európai Gyógyszerügynökséghez (EMA). 'Európa' akár 2,5 milliárd adag hatékony és biztonságos oltóanyaghoz férhet hozzá - mondta sajtótájékoztatón Kiriakídisz, az egészségügyért és élelmiszer-biztonságért felelős biztos. Az Európai Unió tagállamai kötelezettséget vállaltak arra, hogy nem indítanak saját eljárásokat a koronavírus elleni oltóanyagok beszerzésére - emlékeztetett. (Forrás: Híradó / MTI)
Pro Domo: Az EU lakosság-száma közel 448 millió fő volt 2020. évi - a britekkel már nem számoló - statisztikai adatok szerint.

January 8, 2021  European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said a deal had been struck to reserve up to 300 million more doses of the BioNTech/Pfizer coronavirus vaccine. The Commission’s original contract with BioNTech/Pfizer secured 200 million doses of the vaccine with an option to buy another 100 million, which the Commission triggered in December. Many European countries have been slow to use the vaccines they already have. The Netherlands only began vaccinations this week, and France came under fire for only using around 500 of the first 500,000 BioNTech /Pfizer doses it received. (Source: Politico)

European Parliament
13 Jan 2021  'Teething' problems? 'EU chief Coronavirus vaccine coordinator Gallina, Commission Director-General of Health and Food Safety', who is leading the vaccine negotiations for the EU 'allays' concerns over perceived slow rollout. She revealed that a third vaccine, from Astrazeneca, may be approved by the EMA by the end of this month, bringing to three the number authorised for use by the EU. 'The Italian' also answered questions on the delivery and timing of the vaccine rollout. She told members, “The good news is that we now have two vaccines authorised and their efficacy is much higher than everyone expected. Quantities of these vaccines are now starting to be delivered although the schedule will be much better from April.” “There have been some teething problems, but the vaccines are now going to Member States who will be asked how many vaccines are being used.” “The EU and Member States have bought all that could be bought and it is now the Member States who are the ones who will have to master this.” Gallina agreed to a demand by MEPs for more transparency in the contracts with pharmaceutical firms, adding that the contract with one unnamed company will be made available for MEPs to study in Parliament from later this week. On the issue of parallel contracts, also raised by members, she said, “There have been many rumours about this, but I am not aware of any such contracts. They don’t exist from what I am told.” “We have good intelligence about this and parallel contracts are not possible. There is a pro rata scheme for the distribution and rollout of vaccines and Member States chose this method. In terms of quantities we have acted in a spirit of EU solidarity and unity.” Italian ID member Sardone told the meeting, “There have been shortcomings and EU citizens have been given far fewer vaccines than they should have. The Commission has handled this badly and approval for the Sanofi vaccine is taking too long. It seems it is a case of everyone for themselves and I want to know why the Commission is not taking a clear stance on this.” ECR member Vondra suggested the EU should consider infringement procedures against countries, including Germany, that had bilaterally ordered their own vaccines in violation of agreed EU practice. (Source: theparliamentmagazine)

European Union
15.01.2021  Pfizer,
BioNTech cut back vaccine deliveries to EU at 'short notice'. The EU temporarily will be getting fewer BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine doses than planned in the coming weeks, as Pfizer tries to amp up its production capacity. The delivery schedule would be impacted for the next three to four weeks as the US company is making changes to its production site in the Belgian town of Puurs. Six EU nations decried the situation as "unacceptable" "Not only does it impact the planned vaccination schedules, it also decreases the credibility of the vaccination process," said the health ministers of Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia in a letter sent to the EU Commission. EC head Ursula von der Leyen later commented on the news, citing Pfizer CEO. "He reassured me that all guaranteed doses of the first quarter will be delivered in the first quarter," she said of Bourla. The US pharma giant wants to upgrade its production capacity to 2 billion vaccine doses per year from 1.3 billion currently. The companies said the US market would not be affected. (Source: dw)

12 January 2021  Europe’s vaccine alliance is crumbling with potentially far-reaching consequences. The vaccine program was meant to demonstrate how Europe is more effective when it works together – but has ended up only proving the exact opposite. The trouble is, the EU didn’t buy nearly enough vaccines, and not the right ones, and it is going to be very hard for it to hold this line. With Covid-19 rampant across the world, the European Union's massive buying and regulatory power, coupled with its finely-tuned administrative machine, would make sure its 440 million people were protected from the virus before anyone else. But this week, countries have started to peel away from the programme. First Germany ordered another 30 million doses of the BioNTech-Pfizer jab. ‘Vaccinegate’, as it is known in Germany, is fast turning into a re-run of the euro crisis. Today the Cypriot president Anastasiades has started begging the super-efficient Israelis – with 20 per cent of its population already vaccinated – for some spare supplies. That is especially embarrassing because the health commissioner in charge of the program, Kyriakides, happens to be from Cyprus. Not really a vote of confidence in their woman in Brussels. The Finish prime minister Sanna Marin has already written to Von der Leyen demanding the Commission get its act together. In response, Von der Leyen has started telling all 27 members that they should not be snapping up their own supplies. 'We have all agreed, legally binding, that there will be no parallel negotiations, no parallel contracts,' she said. Is it seriously going to prosecute countries that buy in extra supplies of the vaccine from elsewhere simply to save lives? In fact, the EU has two big problems. First, back in the summer it used Covid-19 to hijack health care policy, an area where it has long harboured ambitions. But, as so often, it willed the ends, without putting the means to deliver it in place. And its regulatory ambitions means it has few friends among big business. It is hard to believe the likes of Pfizer, AstraZeneca, GSK and soon Johnson & Johnson (which will have a single dose vaccine shortly) are not quietly enjoying its discomfort. (Source: TheSpectator)

Africa
14 January 2021  Africa as a whole will need 1.5 billion doses to immunize the target of 60 percent of its population. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Africa (Africa CDC) Director Nkengasong today announced that the African Union (AU) has reserved 270 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, 50 million of which will be provided by Pfizer and AstraZeneca and will be available between April and June. "Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have focused as a continent on collaboration and collective effort and have firmly maintained the principle of leaving no country behind," said South Africa's President Ramaphosa, who is also the current AU president. The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) will guarantee loans totaling up toUS$2 billion for AU countries to purchase the vaccines. These loans could be repaid once the doses have been delivered or within five years. This new vaccine package will complement the 600 million doses reserved for the region through the COVAX program, an international initiative led by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Vaccine Alliance (GAVI). Nkengasong was adding that the acquisition of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine is a possibility under analysis. (Source: telesur)

China
11-Jan-2021 An international expert panel from the World Health Organization (WHO) will arrive in China in January 14 to conduct joint scientific research with Chinese scientists on the origin of the novel coronavirus, according to China's National Health Commission. (Source: cgtn)

10 Jan 2021 Most Covid-19 survivors 'still suffer symptoms 6 months later' a new study published in The Lancet shows. The research looked at the long-term effects of Covid-19 on people. It included 1,733 Covid-19 patients, with a median age of 57, who were discharged from Jinyintan Hospital in Wuhan, China between January 7 and May 29 last year. Follow-up visits were done from June 16 to September 3, 2020, and the median follow-up time was 186 days. 76% of patients (1,265/1,655) reported at least one ongoing symptom. Patients who were severely ill in hospital more often had impaired lung function and abnormalities detected in chest imaging. They commonly had reduced lung function, with 56% (48/86) of those at severity scale five to six - who required ventilation - experiencing reduced flow of oxygen from the lungs to the bloodstream. For patients at severity scale four - who required oxygen therapy - and those at scale three (who did not require oxygen therapy) the figures were 29% (48/165) and 22% (18/83). Fatigue and muscle weakness are among the long term effects of coronavirus in 63% of patients. Patients with more severe disease performed worse in the six-minute walking test, with 29% of those at severity scale five to six walking less than the lower limit of the normal range. Some patients went on to develop kidney problems post-discharge. Tests revealed that 13% (107/822) of patients whose kidney function was normal while in hospital had reduced kidney function in follow-up. Patients also frequently experience sleep difficulties (26%), and anxiety or depression (23%). The study found that levels of neutralising antibodies fell by more than half (52.5%) after six months in 94 patients whose immune response was tested at the peak of the infection. This raises concerns about the possibility of being re-infected by the virus. The analysis highlights a need for post-discharge care, particularly for those who experience severe infections. Patients with mild Covid-19 symptoms who stayed in temporary Fangcang shelter hospitals were not included in the study. (Source: Mirror)

January 10, 2020  China does not include those who test positive but do not show symptoms in its official case count. 'More than 360 people have tested positive' in a growing coronavirus outbreak south of Beijing in neighboring Hebei province. China’s National Health Commission reported today that '69 new cases' had been confirmed, including 46 in Hebei. Almost all of the cases are in Shijuazhuang, the provincial capital, which is 260 kilometers southwest of Beijing. Travel between the capital and province has been restricted, with workers from Hebei having to show proof of employment in Beijing to enter. A handfulof cases have also been found in Xingtai. Both cities have conducted mass testing of millions of residents, suspended public transportation and restricted residents to their communities or villages for one week. (Source: AP)

India **
14 Jan, 2021  India’s Serum Institute is planning to launch Covid-19 vaccine every quarter. The group seeks to ramp up its production capacity by the end of the year. It is currently in the process of researching two more potential candidates for the coronavirus vaccine. Serum Institute has an annual capacity of 1.5 billion doses. The aim is to increase that figure within the next 12 months, to more than 2.5 billion doses per year. Serum Institute will be partnering with Novavax Inc to manufacture its vaccines in its native country of India, as well across the world. This follows the early announcement of a partnership between Serum Institute and GAVI and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to work on speeding up the production and distribution of vaccines. The nation has been hit hard by the virus, recording 10.5 million confirmed cases and 151,529 fatalities since the start of the pandemic, according to the World Health Organisation. (Source: RT)

Iran
January 9, 2021
Iran bans foreign companies from testing COVID-19 vaccines, Iranians President Rouhani said in televised remarks today, without naming the companies. Iran launched human trials of its first domestic COVID-19 vaccine candidate late last month, saying it could help the country defeat the pandemic despite U.S. sanctions that affect its ability to import vaccines. (Source: theglobeandmail)

Jan 8, 2021  The Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Khamenei delivered a speech today saying that coronavirus vaccines should not be supplied from the US and the UK as they are not trusted. Ghousian Moghaddam the spokesperson for the Red Crescent Society said that the Islamic Republic has canceled the import of 150,000 doses of coronavirus vaccine from the US. The purchase of one million doses of vaccine from other sources, including Russia, China and India, will be studied, he said. Source. mehrnews)

United States *
Jan. 15, 2021 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
says U.K. coronavirus variant could become predominant strain in U.S. by March. So far, only 76 cases of the variant, called B.1.1.7 have been detected in the U.S., but models project "rapid growth" in coming months. The CDC is working to increase efforts to do more testing for such variants in the U.S. The CDC report comes as the U.S. continues to see cases surpass 200,000 each day. Yesterday was the third consecutive day that more than 3,000 people died of Covid-19 in the United States, with a daily total of 3,957. Hospital systems across the country are overwhelmed with Covid-19 patients. A faster spread is sure to lead to more cases overall, and resulting in more deaths. (Source: nbcnews)

January 14, 2021  CDC forecast: 92,000 Americans could die of COVID-19 in next 3 weeks. Currently, more than 130,300 people are hospitalized with the virus. Hundreds of thousands of infections are added to the country’s tally every single day, with the US adding more than three million new reported infections since the start of the month. So far, more than 29.3 million Covid-19 vaccine doses have been distributed nationwide and more than 10.2 million Americans have received their first dose. (Source: wtopnews)

Jan 13 2021 The Ohio State University researchers said today that they’ve discovered two new variants of the coronavirus, that likely originated in the U.S. One of them quickly became the dominant strain in Columbus, Ohio, over a three-week period in late December and early January. The “Columbus strain,” which the researchers said has become dominant in the city, includes “three other gene mutations not previously seen together in SARS-CoV2.” The new, U.S. mutations appear to make Covid-19 more contagious the researchers said. “This new Columbus strain has the same genetic backbone as earlier cases we’ve studied, but these three mutations represent a significant evolution,” Dr. Jones, vice chair of the division of molecular pathology at Ohio State and lead author of the study said. Mohler, chief scientific officer at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center and co-author of the forthcoming study, said they hope to publish data in the coming weeks, and that they are exploring whether Covid-19 molecular tests accurately diagnose the new variants. The White House Coronavirus Task Force warned states earlier this month that there may be a “USA variant” circulating. The hypothesis pushed by task force coordinator Dr. Birx, was based on how severe the U.S. outbreak has become in recent months. The CDC said in a statement last week that it has not yet detected a new variant in the U.S. (Source: CNBC)

January 11, 2021  Between May 15, 2020, and November 15, 2020 a total of 301 102 COVID-19 hospitalizations and 5364 pediatric COVID-19 hospitalizations were in 22 states. At the beginning of the study, the average cumulative hospitalization rate per 100 000 children was 2.0, increasing to 17.2 by the end of the study with large variations across states. (Source: JAMANetwork)

January 8, 2020  The U.S. registered more COVID-19 deaths in a single day than ever before - nearly 3,900. The virus is surging in several states, with California hit particularly hard, reporting yesterday a record two-day total of 1,042 coronavirus deaths. Skyrocketing caseloads there are threatening to force hospitals to ration care and essentially decide who lives and who dies. “I’m begging everyone to help us out because we aren’t the front line. We’re the last line,” Dr. Chien, an emergency room physician at Santa Clara Valley Regional Medical Center said Urging people to do their part to help slow the spread. Los Angeles County, the nation’s most populous with 10 million residents, and nearly two dozen other counties have essentially run out of intensive care unit beds for COVID-19 patients. Guidelines posted on the website for Methodist Hospital of Southern California warned: “If a patient becomes extremely ill and very unlikely to survive their illness (even with life-saving treatment), then certain resources ... may be allocated to another patient who is more likely to survive.” The number of Americans who have gotten their first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine climbed to at least 5.9 million yestday, a one-day gain of about 600,000, according to the Centers for Disease Controlnand Prevention. Health experts are warning that January could be more terrible still because of family gatherings and travel over the holidays. In the United States 21,419,800 doses were distributed. (Source: AP)

January 8, 2020  In the U.S. surprising numbers of health care workers who have seen firsthand the death and misery inflicted by COVID-19 are refusing shots. It is happening in nursing homes and, to a lesser degree, in hospitals, with employees expressing what experts say are unfounded fears of side effects from vaccines that were developed at record speed. More than three weeks into the campaign, some places are seeing as much as 80% of the staff holding back. PruittHealth runs about 100 long-term care homes in the South - there fewer than 3 in 10  workers offered the vaccine so far have accepted it. (Source: AP)

Brazil ***
Jan 15 2021  A new strain of the deadly virus has been detected in Japan after four travellers returned from Brazil on January 4. The variant is thought to have emerged in the northern jungle state of Amazonas where the R value was now 1.3. It has several mutations, including one called E484K, which is also found in the South African variant which has been shown to reduce antibody recognition. A mutation, known as B.1.1.248 or P.1, is heading for the UK - there are two different types of Brazilian variants, one of them has been detected. Brazil has seen a horrificspike since Christmas as daily cases have almost tripled. Deaths have surged in the last three weeks. Covid deaths double. Brazil has recorded the second highest death tally in the world with 205,000. Refrigerator trucks are wheeled in to store bodies. Hospitals run out of oxygen, are being overwhelmed. A single human being is only capable of performing manual ventilation for about 20 minutes, so if you want to save one life without oxygen you are going to need at least three or four people per patient. (Source: TheU.S.Sun)

Jan. 12, 2021  From the very beginning, China has raised people’s expectations about the effectiveness of China-made vaccines. China’s effort to boost its image by providing Covid-19 vaccines to the developing world suffered a setback after one of its leading inoculation candidates turned out to be 50% effective in late-stage trials in Brazil. In November, Mr. Bolsonaro warned his followers that the CoronaVac vaccine could kill or disable them, without offering any evidence. Brazil’s Butantan Institute, a São Paulo-based public institute that is the first to  complete late-stage trials of the CoronaVac vaccine, has found itself caught in a political battle. The 120-year-old institution. Butantan produces the majority of vaccines used in the country and is in talks to distribute CoronaVac throughout South America. Its Chinese partners imposed strict controls on what information could be publicly shared. The lack of transparency about the data risks damaging the credibility. Sinovac and Butantan had initially scheduled to reveal the efficacy rate by Dec. 15, but delayed it a week, citing a decision to collect additional data. A week later, the announcement was delayed again. The Butantan had said last week that it was shown to be 78% effective and offer total protection against severe cases of the disease. Brazil has agreed to buy up to 100 million doses. But Butantan said in January 12 those rates only included volunteers who suffered mild to severe cases of Covid-19. When data from all volunteers was considered - including those who contracted “very mild” cases of Covid-19 and required no medical assistance - the total efficacy rate fell to 50.4%, Butantan said. CoronaVac’s relatively low efficacy rate means more people will need to take the vaccine to achieve herd immunity. The lower  success rate could push governments toward prioritizing purchases from drugmakers whose vaccines have higher efficacy rates. But if we have a society that doesn’t have the means to acquire all of the vaccines it needs, you can see a scenario where authorities would say, ‘Fifty percent protection is still better than nothing.’ (Source: TheWallStreetJournal)

WHO
January 8, 2020  A “pragmatic approach” as a response to “exceptional epidemiological circumstances.” On the basis of currently available clinical trial data, the interval between administration of two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against the coronavirus can be extended to up to six weeks, WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on immunization, known as SAGE, formally published as its advice. After a full review of that vaccine, which is the first to get emergency approval from the health agency to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, it  said that an interval of 21 to 28 days between the doses is recommended. Hard-hit Britain, has decided to delay for as much as 12 weeks. WHO also said that symptomatic reinfection by the coronavirus within six months of a first infection is “rare,” so people who have had the illness within the previous six months “may delay vaccination until near the end of this period.” It also cited a lack of evidence about whether vaccination reduces the risk of transmission of the virus to other people. (Source: AP)

Globalization
8 January 2020  This is good news, mainly because it is not bad news. BioNTech company from Germany said today a preliminary study shows that its vaccine works against a key mutation. BioNTech said the research carried out by Pfizer and the University of Texas Medical Branch “indicates that the key N501Y mutation, which is found in the emerging UK and South Africa variants, does not create resistance to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine induced immune responses”. Authors of the study itself said however the findings were limited as the mutated variant tested “does not include the full set of spike mutations found on the rapidly spreading strains in the UK or South Africa.” Experts  expressed cautious optimism at the findings. Pfizer/BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine is being rolled out around the world. Last month German developer BioNTech said it had the technology to produce a new vaccine against new mutated Sars-CoV-2 strains in as little as six weeks. (Source: France24)

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