18 Feb

Moderna finds a way to accelerate the current supply of COVID-19 vaccine

Moderna says it is waiting for regulatory approval to increase the dose of vaccine in each vial by 50 percent , speeding up supplies.

According to AFP, company biotechnology Moderna of America today 12.2 said they are seeking the approval of the management agencies worldwide to increase by 50% of the vaccine contained in each vial, as a way to rapidly increase the current supply.

The statement comes after The New York Times first reported that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had agreed to increase the dosage level by 40%.

“To maximize resources and maximize the opportunity to deliver more doses of vaccine more quickly to markets, Moderna proposed to add more jars,” said Moderna spokesman. vaccine to maximum 15 doses compared to the previous 10 doses. ”

The spokesperson added that the company is engaged in discussions with FDA and authorities in other countries, and increasing dosage levels will not require changing the jars currently in use. .

“Any changes will have to be approved by final approval from various regulators. Implementing any such changes will take anywhere from two to three months,” Moderna said.

Citing sources familiar with the matter, the Times reported that the FDA approved Moderna to increase it to 14 doses per vial, compared with the previous 10 doses.

This will require a refurbishment of the production line, which takes less than ten weeks, or before the end of April, the paper said.

“It will be a long step. I think it has an impact in the short term,” Moncef Slaoui, who served as chief scientific advisor to the federal vaccine development program under former President Donald Trump, told the newspaper. Times.

About 10% of Americans have so far received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, of which Moderna accounts for less than half of the total population, with the remainder made up by Pfizer.

The Biden administration on Feb. 11 announced it had reached an agreement with both Moderna and Pfizer to supply a total of 600 million doses of vaccine by June, enough to inject 90% of the US population.

18 Feb

Japan officially approved the COVID-19 Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine

Japan has officially approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

Japan has officially approved the vaccine of Pfizer-BioNTech – the COVID-19 vaccine approved in the country for the first time in an effort to strengthen control, Reuters citing sources from Japan’s Ministry of Health on February 14. a third wave of infections ahead of the 2021 Summer Olympics.

The move has been expected by many after a government panel on February 12 recommended the approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Also at that time, Health Minister Norihisa Tamura affirmed that Japan would conduct approval as soon as possible.

According to Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, the COVID-19 vaccine vaccination will start from the middle of next week, starting with about 10,000 health workers. The government hopes to ensure adequate supplies of vaccines for the entire population of the country with about 126 million people by mid-2021.

Much of Japan is still in a state of emergency after the third deadly COVID-19 pandemic wave in the country, which began to emerge in late 2020. Over the past few weeks, cases and Nationwide, COVID-19 deaths tended to decrease, while Tokyo’s capital city recorded less than 400 cases on February 14.

Japan has so far recorded a total of about 410,000 COVID-19 cases and 6,772 deaths. The Tokyo Olympic Games will kick off on July 23.

18 Feb

Japan begins to inject Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine

Japan started giving COVID-19 vaccine to health workers on Wednesday (February 17), two months later than the UK and the US.

The Ministry of Health of Japan approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on February 14 for use in people aged 16 and over, with 2 doses given 3 weeks apart.

Japan’s vaccination campaign begins with doctors, nurses and other staff at 100 selected hospitals, Nikkei on February 16 quoted a senior government official disclosed a day earlier. The first batch of vaccine COVID-19 in Japan is scheduled to give “almost 20,000 people”.

The vaccination sets a test of Japan’s ability to administer the national health program, which requires digital storage of data on both vaccines and vaccinated people, according to the Japanese newspaper.

The United Kingdom, the United States has approved Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine and started using it in December. In Asia, Japan lags behind China, India, Indonesia, Singapore and others in getting started. vaccinations.

Japan aims to start vaccinating people 65 and older by April. However, delayed inception of vaccination for healthcare workers could affect this schedule.

18 Feb

“Comparing” vaccine COVID-19 AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech

AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine was recently included in the emergency use list by WHO with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine approved since December. So what do these two vaccines stand out when compared?

Effective in preventing COVID-19

According to the latest research data, the AstraZeneca -Oxford vaccine is up to 76% effective in preventing COVID-19 within 22 to 90 days after a single dose is given. Before that, interim data showed that the effectiveness of this vaccine was 70.4%.

Compared to the 95% efficacy of a two-dose vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech, the AstraZeneca vaccine is somewhat more modest.

South Africa announced a moratorium on the AstraZeneca vaccine in its vaccination program on July 7 after a study announced it did not provide a significant effect against the risk of mild or moderate COVID-19. caused by the South African variant, symbol 501Y.V2. However, global health officials have advocated for AstraZeneca’s vaccine, saying it is too soon to conclude anything and that the vaccine will contribute to averting the COVID-19 pandemic.

The AstraZeneca vaccine has been approved for emergency use in many countries, most recently, on February 15, WHO said it has included the AstraZeneca vaccine on the global emergency list, the second being approved after Pfizer-BioNTech. in December 2020.

Differences in technology, price and storage

AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine was developed based on a “virus vector” technology , in which a weakened chimpanzee common cold virus gives genetic instructions to cells. human cells, which help fight the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Meanwhile the vaccine Pfizer-BioNTech uses new technology mRNA to prevent viruses.

On the price front, AstraZeneca promises its vaccine will be sold non-profit for just a few dollars a dose, while the Pfizer vaccine costs between 18.40 and 19.50 dollars per dose.

Storage conditions are also one of the outstanding advantages of the AstraZeneca vaccine when it only needs to be stored in a conventional refrigerator, without the need for deep refrigeration at minus 70 degrees C like COVID-19 mRNA vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech.

With the advantages of low cost, easy storage and transportation, AstraZeneca vaccine is better rated for its suitability in poor and underdeveloped countries. While storing and transporting vaccine Pfizer-BioNTech is a big challenge for many countries, including developed ones.

Which vaccine is ordered by more countries?

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is one of the leading vaccines approved for emergency use and ordered by many countries. Countries that already pre-ordered this vaccine include: Bahrain, Canada, Chile, Dubai, Ecuador, EU, Germany, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Panama, Peru, Spain, Switzerland Si, British, American …

AstraZeneca-Oxford’s low-cost vaccine is equally as expensive with a series of countries signing a buying agreement: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, COVAX, Ecuador, EU, France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia , Morocco, Netherlands, Panama, Philippines, Korea, Spain, Switzerland, UK, USA, Vietnam …

Notably, AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine also accounts for a large proportion of doses in the global COVAX vaccine-sharing program, with more than 330 million doses to be deployed to poor countries from the end of February.

Immunization subjects

Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is for use in people aged 16 and over. While vaccine AstraZeneca can be used with subjects over 18 years old.

However, many countries such as Switzerland, Australia, South Korea … say they are cautious in recommending the use of AstraZeneca vaccine for people over 65 years old because of insufficient data on efficacy in the elderly. .

In this regard, WHO experts have recommended that the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine be used for people over 65 years of age, and also where SARS-CoV-2 variants are of concern. current.


18 Feb

Much optimism about the prevention of the global COVID-19 pandemic

The global number of new COVID-19 infections has decreased for several consecutive weeks since early January. Immunization has been implemented in at least 70 countries. The COVAX vaccine program is expected to deliver to more poorer countries the first doses of the vaccine in the coming weeks …

The number of new COVID-19 cases decreased for several consecutive weeks

The World Health Organization (WHO) said that the number of new COVID-19 cases worldwide fell 16% last week to 2.7 million cases. Accordingly, on February 16, information in the weekly epidemiological update, using data as of 14.2, WHO said that the number of new deaths also decreased by 10% compared to the previous week, to 81,000.

Five out of six WHO regions in the world have recorded a 2-digit increase in COVID-19 cases, only the Eastern Mediterranean region where the number of COVID-19 cases increased 7%. In particular, last week, the number of new cases decreased by 20% in Africa and the Western Pacific, 18% in Europe, 16% in the Americas and 13% in Southeast Asia.

Earlier this week, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the number of new COVID-19 cases fell for the fifth week in a row, down by nearly half, from more than 5 million cases in the week that started April 4.

‚ÄúThis shows that simple public health measures work, even when there are variations. What is important now is how we respond to this trend. The flame is not out yet, but we have reduced its size. If we stop fighting on any of the fronts, it will flare up again, “- he said.

The WHO epidemiological update also revealed that the SARS-CoV-2 variant detected for the first time in the UK was recorded in 94 countries, an increase of eight. Local transmission of variant, not variant infection, has been recorded in at least 47 countries.

Variants SARS-CoV-2 detected in South Africa was recorded in 46 countries, up 2 countries, with local transmission recorded in at least 12 countries.

Meanwhile, the Brazilian variant was detected in 21 countries, up 6 countries, with the local transmission noted in at least 2 countries.

The immunization program runs in at least 70 countries

On February 17, Japan started the COVID-19 vaccination program developed by American pharmaceutical company Pfizer and German pharmaceutical company BioNTech. The program kicked off with 40,000 health workers with the first doses of COVID-19 vaccines administered at a government-run hospital in Tokyo. Over the next week, the vaccination will roll out in about 100 medical facilities across Japan.

In the first group of health workers vaccinated, 20,000 people will participate in a study to track the potential side effects the vaccine can cause and how often they occur. Participants in the trial will be asked to retain data daily for 7 weeks from the first shot of the vaccine.

Following this group of health workers, more than 3.7 million Japanese frontline health workers will begin receiving vaccinations in March, followed by 36 million people aged 65 and over to begin vaccination. April. After that, people with underlying diseases such as diabetes or heart disease and those working in aged care facilities will be vaccinated, and finally the general population of Japan to be vaccinated. .

Medical facilities in Japan are fully equipped with ultra-cold freezers to store vaccines at a temperature of about -75 degrees Celsius. After taking out of the freezer, vaccines should be stored in the refrigerator and used. use within 5 days.

Meanwhile, the COVAX program, which attempts to buy and distribute COVID-19 worldwide vaccine to ensure poorer countries also have access to the vaccine, said the final list of vaccine batches for the first deliveries. to be announced next week, after WHO has licensed AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use.

On February 15, WHO approved emergency use of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine produced at factories in India and South Korea. With this decision, the company’s vaccine could now be shipped via COVAX, giving many countries the first doses of the vaccine. “COVAX forecasts most of the first deliveries will take place in March, with some early shipments taking place by the end of February” – WHO, the organization co-leads the program, stated in the statement.

The Provisional Distribution List, published on February 3, has 337.2 million initial doses of the program’s vaccine, with 1.2 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the rest being the AstraZeneca vaccine. Both of these vaccines have been approved by WHO for emergency use.

About 145 economies participating in the COVAX program will receive enough doses to vaccinate 3.3% of the population by mid-2021. “Deliveries for the first round of allocation will take place on a rotational and incremental basis. batch “- noted