Health News Roundup: Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 shot 91% effective; Europe, under fire for fumbling its vaccine ad moreDevdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 02-04-2021 10:57 IST | Created: 02-04-2021 10:31 IST
Europe, under fire for fumbling its vaccine
roll-out and fighting a fresh wave of infections, is scrambling to speed up the pace of injections and avoid being left further behind by Britain and the United States. In Paris, the city's hallowed national soccer stadium is being transformed into a mass vaccination hub, while Italy - with 20,000 infections daily - has put the army and civil defense agency in charge, after new Prime Minister Mario Draghi fired the country's vaccine czar.
EU countries agree to share 'solidarity vaccines' with states in need
Most European Union member states on Thursday agreed to share part of their upcoming vaccine deliveries with the five EU countries they said need them most. The EU's vaccine doses are usually distributed between the bloc's 27 countries based on population size.
Exclusive: Fauci says U.S. may not need AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine
The United States may not need AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine, even if it wins U.S. regulatory approval, Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease doctor told Reuters on Thursday. The vaccine once hailed as another milestone in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic has been dogged by questions since late last year, even as it has been authorized for use by dozens of countries, not including the United States.
UK regulator found total of 30 cases of blood clot events after AstraZeneca vaccine use
British regulators on Thursday said they have identified 30 cases of rare blood clot events after the use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, 25 more than the agency previously reported. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency said it had received no such reports of clotting events following the use of the vaccine made by BioNTech SE and Pfizer Inc.
U.S. COVID-19 vaccine rollout analysis hampered by technology, state data reporting
(Reuters) - When a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine leaves a U.S. manufacturing plant, its path can be traced all the way to the hospital or clinic representative signing for the shipment at its destination. What happens next is not always clear. Federal agencies overseeing the rollout are relying on a tangled web of aging state vaccine registries complicated by state laws and practices.
Pandemic poised to surge again in California's Silicon Valley tech hub
A California community that has been a bellwether of the coronavirus pandemic's rampage across the United States warned on Thursday that the number of cases of more contagious COVID-19 variants is increasing to worrisome levels. "The region's progress in curbing the pandemic remains precarious," the health department in Santa Clara County, home to California's Silicon Valley, said.
Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 shot 91% effective in updated data, protective against South African variant
Pfizer Inc and BioNTech said on Thursday their vaccine is around 91% effective at preventing COVID-19, citing updated trial data that included participants inoculated for up to six months. The shot also showed early signs of preventing disease in a small subset of study volunteers in South Africa, where a concerning new variant called B.1.351 is circulating.
Moderna gets nod to speed up virus vaccine output with bigger vials
The U.S. drug regulator gave Moderna Inc clearance to speed up the output of its COVID-19 vaccine by letting it fill a single vial with up to 15 doses, with the United States banking on rapid immunization to stem the spread of the deadly virus. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also authorized vaccinators to extract a maximum of 11 doses from the current vials, instead of the ten previously permitted.
China Sinovac says it reached two billion doses annual capacity for COVID-19 vaccine
China's Sinovac Biotech said on Friday its third production plant for its COVID-19 vaccine was ready and had started manufacturing procedures for bulk vaccine ingredients, doubling its annual capacity to 2 billion doses. A Sinovac spokesman said the third facility, in Beijing, had started cultivating cells where the coronavirus would be grown, a procedure that could take a relatively long time.
German experts say under 60s should not get second AstraZeneca vaccine
Germany's vaccine commission, known as STIKO, recommended on Thursday that people under 60-years old who have had the first shot of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine should receive a different product for their second dose. Earlier in the week, Germany said only people aged 60 and over should be administered the AstraZeneca vaccine due to the rare but severe occurrence of thromboembolic side effects. It said it would make a separate recommendation later on younger people who had already received the first shot.
(With inputs from agencies.)