La Jornada – EU ready to purchase second-generation anti-Covid vaccines

Brussels. The EU is preparing to start negotiations for the purchase of 1.8 billion doses of second-generation vaccines against Covid-19 in order to face future variants of the coronavirus, a source from the European Commission told AFP.

The additional doses, which according to the Commission would come from “a single supplier”, would be delivered from 2021 and the following two years, and would be in addition to the 2.6 billion doses that the EU has already secured for this year and the next.

It is about the European Commission’s preparedness plan to handle “the next stages” of the pandemic, said the source, familiar with the approach taken by the head of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.

The source did not explain which “sole supplier” he was referring to, although he did not object when asked if it was BioNTech / Pfizer, a laboratory that has already agreed to advance deliveries to the EU of its first generation vaccine.

“We want a large volume” of doses, and “we want a firm contract for 900 million doses and an option for another 900 million,” he added.

With these second-generation doses, the EU would face growing concerns around the world that current vaccines may see their effects attenuated by some variants, as it already seems to be the case of the varieties detected for the first time in South Africa and Brazil.

The next-generation vaccine that the Commission is looking to buy “has to cover all the variants that may arise”, and “with production within Europe and a priority for Europe,” the source explained.

“Given the variants that are coming, we must prepare to offer people new doses of vaccines, probably this year and in the next two years,” said the European source.

The order also aims to anticipate the mass vaccination of children and adolescents throughout the EU.

In the new contract “it will be necessary for the doses delivered to be able to cover all the new variants that may arrive: instead of accumulating stocks of the same vaccine, it will be necessary that the production can be adapted, “he added.

The EU seeks to order vaccines based on messenger RNA technology, with the additional criteria that they be produced in Europe.

These requirements actually favor the BioNTech / Pfizer vaccine. The EU authorized two vaccines of these characteristics: that of Pfizer / BioNTech and that of Moderna, although the production capacity of the latter is significantly lower than the former.


Russian corona vaccine, limited to South African type, effective for British type | Reuters

Scientists who led the development of the new Russian coronavirus vaccine “Sputnik V” revealed on the 9th that the effect on the mutant strain found in South Africa was low, but it was higher than other vaccines. Vaccine shipped to Libya, taken on the 4th. (2021 Reuters / Hazem Ahmed)

[Moscow 9th Reuters]— Alexander Gintsburg, a scientist who led the development of the new Russian coronavirus vaccine “Sputnik V”, said on the 9th that it is less effective against the mutant strain found in South Africa, but compared to other vaccines. It was revealed that the effect was high.

“As with other vaccines, antibodies made with’Sputnik V’are less effective against South African types,” he said in an interview with Interfax.

He said the effects of “Sputnik V” were tested at a US laboratory on British and South African mutants and the first strain found in Wuhan, China. He emphasized that Russian scientists did not participate in the verification.

As a result of the experiment, the effect on the strain found in Wuhan confirmed the result of the Moscow laboratory. In addition, “Sputnik V” was the most effective vaccine currently in use for the British type.

Although the antibody response to South African type was not so strong, the decrease was considerably smaller than that of other vaccines.


UK Pfizer Vaccine Adverse Reaction Post Misleading

On Facebook, a March 18, 2021 post published a list of “adverse reactions” to the vaccine of Pfizer-BioNTech. Among the effects are disorders, deaths, neoplasms and others.


Link between AstraZeneca vaccine and blood clots puts global vaccination campaign in check – El Financiero

Growing concerns that AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine is causing unusual blood clots could hamper vaccination campaigns around the world, from London to Seoul.

The reviews by UK and European Union regulators – who said clots are very rare events – are another blow to the vaccine, a cheaper and easier to apply product that many nations are counting on in their bid to put end the pandemic.

Safety concerns arising from growing reports of clots in people who received the first dose could undermine confidence in it, although regulators have agreed that the benefits outweigh the risks. Despite that, many regions are turning their attention to Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, and developers in China, Russia and elsewhere are in a difficult position with demand for doses far outstripping supply.

“Better Astra than nothing,” said Michael Kinch, a drug development expert and associate vice chancellor at Washington University in St. Louis. “In a country with little vaccination, I think there is no choice but to take it.”

Scrutiny of the vaccine, developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, has been particularly intense in Europe, where skepticism about vaccines was already increasing in places like France and Poland. The UK recommended on Wednesday that people under 30 be offered alternatives to the Astra vaccine, and EU countries have also imposed age restrictions.

High stakes

Governments and regulators elsewhere are also watching closely and, in some cases, taking action. The stakes are high, with AstraZeneca’s vaccine accounting for nearly a quarter of the total deals signed by 2021, according to Airfinity, a London-based research firm.

The Covax (Center for Global Access to COVID-19 Vaccines) initiative, designed to make access to vaccines more equal globally, relies heavily on the AstraZeneca vaccine, as the Pfizer and Moderna version is more expensive and more difficult to store.

Even before the results of the latest reviews in Europe, South Korea temporarily suspended AstraZeneca vaccines for people under the age of 60.

Meanwhile, Canadian authorities are reviewing the new guideline, as well as information submitted by AstraZeneca, to determine next steps, Federal Health Ministry spokeswoman Anna Maddison wrote in an email. Canada suspended plans in late March to administer the vaccine to people under the age of 55 due to clot concerns.

Regulators believe the vaccine is safe and effective, and are letting countries make their own decisions, according to Anthony Harnden, vice chair of the UK Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization. Many of those countries don’t have as many alternatives.

“This is important to everyone,” he said.

Countries in Africa, such as Namibia, Ivory Coast and Senegal, said they will go ahead with plans to administer the doses as they arrive, noting comments from regulators and the WHO backing the vaccine. Cameroon had previously stopped vaccinations with the Astra vaccine.

“For Namibia, this changes nothing,” said the country’s Health Minister Kalumbi Shangula. “It has not been conclusively proven in clinical settings, so we plan to administer the vaccine as soon as we receive it.”


How vaccinations are going in the world: China commands, EU countries are proceeding more slowly

Italy has 11 million administrations – Ansa /Courier TV

According to statistics updated to April 5 on the Our World in Data website, China is leading the vaccination race. Beijing administers over 4.5 million doses of the vaccine per day, followed by India and the US with over 3 million inoculations. The UK travels at a rate of 412,000 vaccinations per day (latest data as of April 4). Among the EU countries, Italy – in the first days of April – the average was 230-240 thousand people vaccinated every 24 hours. In France (the latest figure also on April 4) the doses administered are 278 thousand per day, in Germany (April 2) about 270 thousand. In the world there have been 677 million doses of vaccine administered, but in a very uneven manner. There have been countries that have immediately put the turbo by detaching others, such as Israel, and others that are still struggling. In absolute terms, the USA is the first, where 167 million doses have been administered. Followed by China (143 million), India (83 million) and the United Kingdom (37 million). In all, 81 million doses have been injected in the EU: Germany stands out (14 million), while Italy stands at 11 million. The most significant data for evaluating vaccination coverage, however, is the share of vaccinated in the population. This ranking is dominated by Israel which with its 10 million doses has given at least one to 61% of its citizens. The United Kingdom (46%), Chile (36%), the USA (32%) follow. The European Union is on average at 12.8%, the same share as Italy. Hungary stands out and has so far vaccinated 25% of the population. On the other hand, considering the total vaccinations, first and second doses, Israel (56%) is driving, followed by Chile (21%) and the USA (18%). The United Kingdom is at 8%, the European Union stops at 5.3% with Italy slightly above the average: at 5.8%.


++ Coronavirus Today ++ COVID-19 Deaths Increase Worldwide | The World | DW

Central European Time

11:00 | Asia currently has the highest number of infections in the world

The largest increases were in South Asia, which reported a 36% increase in the number of infections and a 46% increase in the number of deaths compared to the previous week, due to the large increase in positives in countries like India. All regions registered increases in the number of deaths except Africa, which, according to the organization’s data, decreased deaths by 20% compared to the previous week.

Meanwhile, the infection situation in Europe improved after 5 consecutive weeks of increases, registering 2% fewer cases than in the previous week, although it was the fourth consecutive week of increases in the number of deaths on the European continent.

The European countries that registered the most cases in the last week were Turkey, with 265,937, an increase of 43% compared to the previous week, and France, with 244,607, a slight decrease of 4% after the closure of schools and the tightening of preventive measures.

Globally, India registered the highest number of new cases in the last week (513,885, an increase of 38%), followed by Brazil (505,668 new cases, an increase of 5%) and the United States (with 444,756 in the last week , 5% more than the previous one).

The pandemic has failed to completely sadden the Indians who celebrate the Holi Festival, as here in Chennai on March 29, 2021.

12:00 | India’s slowdown on vaccine exports puts its production in a tight spot

The Serum Institute of India (SII), the world’s largest manufacturer of COVID vaccines, will need financial help from the Indian government due to its export restrictions, its CEO said. The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month halted exports of AstraZeneca vaccines made by SII as the country of 1.3 billion people experiences a new wave of infections.

The pressure has put the SII’s production capacity “under a lot of stress,” the company’s CEO Adar Poonawalla told NDTV late Tuesday. The company now needs additional funding of Rs 30 billion ($ 408 million) to increase its capacity and has requested financial assistance from the government, according to the CEO.

“This was never initially budgeted or planned, because we were supposed to export and get funding from countries, but now that that is not happening, we have to find other innovative ways to increase our capacity,” Poonawalla said. IBS, which produces more than two million daily doses of Covishield – the local name for AstraZeneca’s vaccine – supplies the vaccine at a subsidized price in India much lower than it charges for exports.

13:00 | European Commission allocates more money for research on variants of the coronavirus

The European Commission (EC) will allocate 123 million euros to support “urgent” research on new variants of coronavirus. The funds, which come from the Community science program Horizon Europe, are part of the Commission’s “global action” to prevent, mitigate and respond to the effects of variants, in accordance with the new European biodefense preparedness plan. , the HERA incubator “.

“We continue to mobilize all the means at our disposal to combat this pandemic and resolve the difficulties posed by the variants of the coronavirus,” the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, said in a statement.

In that sense, the European Commission has launched new calls “that complement previous efforts to develop treatments and vaccines, by organizing and conducting clinical trials to advance the development of promising treatments and vaccines against SARS-CoV -2 / COVID -19 “.

These will serve to drive large-scale Sars-CoV-2 groups and networks both regionally and “beyond the borders of Europe” that “should rapidly advance knowledge about SARS-CoV-2 and its emerging variants” .

In addition, Brussels intends to encourage the development of more therapeutic treatments or promising coronavirus vaccines, accelerate data sharing and provide rapid research support and expertise, to tackle SARS-CoV-2 variants and be prepared for future epidemics.

“These emergency calls will address the threat in the short and medium term and, simultaneously, prepare for the future,” added the European Commission, which is confident that these initiatives will contribute to the creation of the European Authority for Preparedness and Response to Health Emergencies. (HERA), which would allow the EU to better anticipate and address future pandemics.

Calls will open for submissions on April 13 and the deadline for submission is May 6, 2021.

13:30 | Africa has only received 11 million vaccines for its 1.3 billion people

Africa, which has about 1.3 billion inhabitants, has only administered 11 million vaccines against covid-19, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported today, warning of the existing “inequalities” in access to the drug.

“Of the 548 million doses of the covid-19 vaccine that have been administered worldwide, only 11 million doses, that is, 2% of distributed stocks, have been administered on the African continent, where Almost 17% of the world’s population lives, “said WHO Director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti.

In a message published on the occasion of World Health Day, which is celebrated this Wednesday, Moeti stressed that the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the “existing inequalities between countries.”

To date, the continent has registered about 4.3 million cases of the disease, of which just over 114,300 ended in deaths and about 3.8 million are discharged patients, according to the latest data published by the Centers for Africa Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).

14:00 | Merkel proposes a new closure for Germany, but short and unified throughout the country

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is in favor of a new closure of German public life, of short duration but with unitary standards of action for the entire country.

The statement by Merkel’s spokeswoman supposes support for the proposal of the leader of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Armin Laschet, in favor of a new closure of public life throughout the country and while progressing in the vaccination campaign.

Laschet proposed moving a meeting between Merkel and regional leaders to this week, an issue that, however, has not gone ahead. The next meeting between the Chancellor and the “Länder” is scheduled for next Monday, April 12. The measures to be adopted in the face of the pandemic, whose implementation until now corresponds to the “Länder”, should be addressed there.

Restoration, leisure and culture have been closed since November, closure to which non-essential shops joined in December. At the beginning of January, a relief of these restrictions was contemplated, with the reopening of museums and some stores, but then that process was stopped due to the new spike in infections.

As of April 7, in Germany there are 110.1 infections per 100,000 inhabitants

Germany reported 9,677 positives for coronavirus and 298 deaths on Wednesday, in addition to reducing the cumulative incidence, according to the day’s data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI).

On April 5, the last day with figures, at least one dose of a covid vaccine had been administered to 12.7% of the population (10.5 million people). 5.5% (4.5 million) have received the complete guideline.

jov (efe, dpa, oms, afp, ema, rki)


Brigades against COVID-19: how Turkey faces the challenges of vaccination

With a population of more than 83 million people, Turkey faces different challenges with vaccination: difficult access to remote villages, extreme weather, and skepticism of the elderly regarding covid vaccines. To mitigate these challenges, the government created the brigades against COVID-19 that seek to reach the most remote areas of the country. Until February 2021, Turkey had registered 2.5 million coronavirus infections and more than 27 thousand deaths.

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British Prime Minister to explain future overseas travel ban policy Vaccine spread supports | Reuters

British Prime Minister Johnson will announce the latest plan on the 5th regarding the gradual release of the lockdown (city blockade) against the new coronavirus. Photo taken at Heathrow Airport in February (2021 Reuters / Henry Nicholls)

[London, 5th Reuters]-British Prime Minister Johnson will announce the latest plan on the 5th regarding the gradual release of the lockdown (city blockade) against the new coronavirus. While corona vaccination is proceeding at a faster pace than in other countries, it is expected to explain the policy of advancing economic resumption and lifting the ban on overseas travel in the future.

On the 12th of this month, he reiterated that he would allow all retail stores, outdoor restaurants and hair dressing shops in England to reopen, and explained in detail the “vaccine passport” indicating that he had been vaccinated with the new coronavirus vaccine and the policy regarding overseas travel. Expected to do.

The government intends to color-code overseas countries using a signal system according to the status of corona infection and vaccination. The aviation industry, which is in dire straits, is likely to find hope when it becomes possible to travel abroad to some countries and regions.

At the moment, the ban on overseas travel is expected to be lifted after May 17th. British newspaper the Financial Times (FT) is, Johnson Prime Minister reported that it expected to not mention the time specific prospect.

We will also increase the number of corona tests conducted to gradually ease behavioral restrictions. Allows rapid inspection twice a week for all English citizens.

“We are making good progress in our vaccination program, and with careful deregulation plans in progress, it is even more important to have regular and rapid tests to ensure that these efforts are not wasted,” Johnson said in a statement. It has become. “

A strict lockdown was laid in England earlier this year. Other Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have taken voluntary measures similar to England.

In the UK, more than half of adults have already been vaccinated with the coronavirus. School was reopened in March, but it has not led to the spread of the infection. However, the death toll from Corona in the country is close to 127,000, the fifth highest in the world.


The vaccine in the hive

Updated:04/05/2021 00:56h


Many aspects of the pandemic they are puzzling because they are not reasonable or logical. And this is because we are not perfectly rational and because, with 7 billion interconnected humans, an unprecedented number in the world. History, the human hive is a newcomer to bee management systems.

Let us consider two extreme cases, that of Chile and that of South Korea. The first is a successful vaccination. His government was visionary when it came to obtaining vaccines from various sources, but it has been unable to control the infections. Today, its health system is on the verge of collapse and confinement, the degree of monitoring of which was laughable, has had to be hardened and the April elections postponed. Result: a Government against the wall, waiting for the Armageddon of the beds FIA does not happen, and that, in a month, I hope it clears.

In South Korea the opposite happens. This country has controlled the infections well. Its discipline, experience with bird flu, the culture of the mask and the transfer of private data to its applications have allowed it to have had 1,740 deaths in a year. But Korea does not have enough vaccines. His government decided to join the Covax international system, which has suffered interruptions and postponements. The WHO He praised Korea “despite being a high-income country that could easily afford to buy vaccines through bilateral agreements,” waiting in line. Those who have not waited have been the Koreans, who have attacked the government. The matter has worsened with the announcement of India, one of the sources of the system Covax, that it will restrict its exports to favor internal vaccination.

Between the two is the European Union, which has made serious mistakes with vaccines that will weigh down our recovery. Brussels has launched accusations that it has not proven and lost authority in the face of a United Kingdom that made vaccination the way to legitimize the Brexi. The great European mistake has been not to share the risk with the laboratories, behaving like a distant client, instead of a faithful partner, as Trump and Johnson did. The question was not only about money, but about the involvement of the country’s leadership. EE. UU. It has an economic emergency law (Defense Production Act of 1950) that the EU does not have and that allows setting priorities for ordering production.

The error of vaccines is very serious. You have to look at the countries that are ahead. Chris Whitty, a medical adviser to the British government, said last week that lockdowns are a thing of the past and the coronavirus will be treated like the flu. That means more and new vaccines. The Israeli ruler Netanyahu announced that the vaccines have an expiration date and “we will need millions more doses within six months.” And here we are discussing the use of masks on the beach.

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Europe loses the vaccine race

Suspense. The European Union has failed to meet the vaccination targets set in the first quarter of 2021. It had planned to inoculate 80% of the population over 80 years of age and 80% of health personnel, but it has fallen far behind. The data of the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC) show that only 27% of those over 80 years of age have received the two doses of the vaccine necessary to acquire immunity and that less than 50% of health personnel have been vaccinated. The figures are worrying because the lives of Europeans and the way out of the health and economic crisis depend on the success or failure of the vaccination campaign. The credibility of national and European authorities is at stake.

The epidemic has heightened citizen discontent and sparked hilarious conspiracy theories. Politicians, apart from being ineffective, are accused of being intrusive and unnecessary due to their inability to show results. The feeling is growing that the burden of this crisis falls mainly on the citizen. Self-discipline in the use of the mask, isolation and compliance with security measures facilitate the control of the epidemic, but require that politicians do their part. Vaccine delivery and administration is your part.