Tag Archives: Biotechnology & Medical Research (NEC) (TRBC level 5)

Italy could mass produce a vaccine in 4-6 months: service | Instant News


FILE PHOTO: A medical worker holds a COVID-19 vaccine bottle at a newly opened mass vaccination center at the Cecchignola military complex, in Rome, Italy, February 23, 2021. REUTERS / Remo Casilli

MILAN (Reuters) – Several Italian companies have given their availability to produce the COVID-19 vaccine and production could take off in 4-6 months after regulatory authorization, the industry ministry said on Wednesday.

Many companies will be ready to manufacture bulk drug substances – the active ingredients of vaccines – “because they already have, or will soon have, the necessary bioreactors and fermentation equipment,” the statement said.

He added that the government is willing to set up a research center in Italy for COVID-19 drugs and vaccines, which are financed by public and private investment.

Report by Giuseppe Fonte, by Maria Pia Quaglia, editing by Giulia Segreti

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Novavax COVID-19 shots may be removed for US use by May: CEO | Instant News


(Reuters) – Novavax Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine could be allowed for use in the United States as soon as May if US regulators allow it based on data from the company’s UK trials, which could be completed “in the coming weeks,” its chairman. said the executive on Monday.

However, Chief Executive Stanley Erck added that talks with the US Food and Drug Administration are ongoing and the agency may ask Novavax to submit data from its US trial, which could take an additional two months to complete, pushing back US permits until mid-summer. . .

Novavax shares were down 5.6% at $ 226.85 in extended trading after initially gaining after the release of its quarterly results. Its stock has surged about 2,400% from $ 9.82 on January 21, 2020, when the company announced it was developing a vaccine against the coronavirus.

Preliminary data from a UK trial released in January showed the vaccine was about 96% effective against the original version of the coronavirus and about 86% effective against the now widely circulated variant first discovered in Britain.

Novavax can already produce its injections on a large scale and will be able to have tens of millions of doses stockpiled and ready to ship in the United States when it receives authorization, Erck said.

“It will be substantial – in the tens of millions or one hundred million,” Erck said in an interview.

Novavax has promised to deliver 110 million doses to the US government by the end of the third quarter. That could happen as early as July, said Erck.

Novavax vaccine production plants should all be fully functional by April, said Novavax head of research Gregory Glenn on a conference call after the company reported quarterly results.

“In April, May, June, we have to complete product filling and finishing before regulatory approval,” said Glenn.

In late January, Erck said he expected it to take several weeks for Novavax to submit UK trial data with regulators in Great Britain, Europe and elsewhere. Novavax can produce up to 150 million doses per month in May or June, he added in January in an interview.

Novavax injections, if permitted, would increase vaccine options for the millions of Americans awaiting immunization against the coronavirus.

Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine on Saturday became the third to win US emergency use (EUA) clearance. The vaccine produced by Pfizer Inc with partners BioNTech and Moderna Inc received the EUA in December.

The Novavax vaccine is a two-dose regimen like Pfizer and Moderna, but it’s easier to ship because it can be stored at refrigerator temperature, rather than frozen.

Novavax pledged to deliver a dose to the United States after the Trump administration gave it $ 1.6 billion to help fund research, development and production of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Novavax completed its US-based trial registration with 30,000 subjects in February.

Reporting by Carl O’Donnell; Edited by Bill Berkrot and Alistair Bell

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Take AstraZeneca’s ‘fantastic’ vaccine, Germany alerts a skeptical public | Instant News


BERLIN (Reuters) – The German government and health chiefs on Friday urged the public to take the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, trying to stem a wave of skepticism about its effectiveness and safety that has left most of the country’s supplies unused.

FILE PHOTOS: AstraZeneca logo reflected in syringe droplets in an illustration taken on November 9, 2020. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / Illustration

Health authorities in several European countries – including Germany – are facing vaccine resistance after side effects including fever and muscle aches caused some front-line workers to admit to illness, putting extra pressure on already stretched health services.

Germany also recommended that the AstraZeneca vaccine be given only to people aged 18 to 64, which critics say is counterproductive to efforts to contain the pandemic. EU regulators have declared it safe for all.

“We highly recommend it: this vaccine is safe and effective,” Health Minister Jens Spahn told a news conference.

“… It protects oneself and others, like the other two vaccines,” he added, referring to two other vaccines approved for use by the European Union, from BioNTech / Pfizer and Moderna.

The health ministry said this week that it delivers only 15% of available injections, confirming concerns that Germany is being selective, slowing down vaccination efforts.

Lothar Wieler, head of Germany’s Robert Koch Institute for Infectious Diseases, said data from the UK and Israel, where there have been extensive vaccinations with the AstraZeneca drug, show that the product is “very, very effective”.

A study of 500,000 vaccinations in Scotland found that the vaccine reduced hospitalizations by up to 94%, which is “fantastic”, and rejecting it would not be “technically, objectively justified”, he said.

A lackluster reception from AstraZeneca prompted Spahn at the weekend to offer vaccinations to primary school teachers and child care workers earlier than planned.

On the streets of Berlin on Friday, some Germans said they would take it.

“The reports I hear and read about are definitely positive, not just negative,” said Kerstin Schlebthorst. “Yesterday I actually heard someone say that it works differently but is just as safe. I think this has been approached very hysterically. “

Wieler also reminded the public to be vigilant in enforcing social distancing because there is a risk if it doesn’t undermine progress and trigger a third wave of the epidemic.

“We will eradicate serious diseases through vaccinations and immunity and protect ourselves from them, but we will not be able to eradicate them,” he said.

Reporting by Thomas Escritt and Paul Carrel; Edited by Maria Sheahan and John Stonestreet

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Johnson wants a ‘cautious but irreversible’ pathway from the COVID-19 lockdown | Instant News


LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday he would plan a cautious but irreversible path away from this week’s COVID-19 lockdown following vaccination of 15 million vulnerable people.

With nearly a quarter of Britain’s population now inoculated with the first dose of the COVID vaccine in less than two months, Johnson is under pressure from some lawmakers and businesses to reopen the closed economy.

“We have to be very careful and what we want to see is careful, but irreversible progress,” Johnson told reporters. “If we possibly can, we’ll set a date.”

“If it’s because of the infection rate, we have to push something a little bit to the right – hold off a bit – we won’t hesitate to do it.”

Johnson, who is due out of lockdown on February 22, said the infection rate was still high and too many people were still dying.

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Asked if he would ensure schools reopened on March 8, Johnson said he would do everything he could to ensure that.

If a large number of people are infected, there will be a higher risk of mutations in the virus and a higher risk of spreading to older and more susceptible groups, he said.

The largest and fastest global vaccine launch in history is seen as the best chance to escape the COVID-19 pandemic that has killed 2.4 million people, brought the global economy to its worst peacetime slump since the Great Depression, and improved normal life for billions.

The United Kingdom has the fifth-worst official death toll in the world – currently 117,166 – after the United States, Brazil, Mexico and India.

VACCINE PASSPORT?

The UK has vaccinated 15,062 million people with the first dose and 537,715 with the second, the fastest launch per capita of any major country. Hancock said he expects vaccine supplies to increase as manufacturing accelerates.

An influential group of lawmakers in Johnson’s Conservative Party urged an end to the lockdown as soon as the nine most vulnerable groups were vaccinated. They don’t want any more rules after May 1st.

“We are all filled with grief for the people who have been lost, the losses we have suffered, but we do not respect those we love and are missing by destroying the rest of our lives,” said MP Steve Baker. “We have to find ways to rebuild our communities and economies and our prospects, our livelihoods.”

Britain is in talks with other countries about providing citizens with certificates showing they have been vaccinated so they can travel abroad in the future to countries that need it, Johnson said.

“It will be very influential, I think it will,” said Johnson, referring to the certificate. “What I don’t think we’re going to have in this country is, as it were, a vaccination passport that lets you go to pubs, or something.”

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge and Kate Holton; Edited by Peter Graff, Nick Macfie and Bernadette Baum

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Johnson is looking for a way out of the lockdown after 15 million vaccinations | Instant News


LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will assess this week how quickly Britain can emerge from its COVID-19 lockdown after vaccinating the most vulnerable 15 million people, but the health minister says the death toll and hospital admissions are still too high.

FILE PHOTO: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during the weekly Prime Minister’s Question session in Parliament in London, England February 10, 2021. UK Parliament / Jessica Taylor / Handout via REUTERS

With nearly a quarter of Britain’s population now inoculated with the first dose of the COVID vaccine in less than two months, Johnson is under pressure from some lawmakers and businesses to reopen the closed economy.

“We have to monitor the data,” Health Secretary Matt Hancock told Sky News. “Everyone wants to get out of this as quickly as we can safely, and both as fast, but also safe, that’s important.

“The question is an assessment of how fast and safe it is, how fast we can do it safely. That’s the assessment we made this week, looking at the data, before the prime minister sets the roadmap, on the 22nd, “he said.

The largest and fastest global vaccine launch in history is seen as the best chance to escape the COVID-19 pandemic that has killed 2.4 million people, brought the global economy to its worst peacetime slump since the Great Depression and improved the normal lives of billions.

The UK has vaccinated 15,062 million people with the first dose and 537,715 with the second, the fastest launch per capita of any major country. Hancock said he expects vaccine supplies to increase as manufacturing accelerates.

A group of influential lawmakers in Johnson’s Conservative Party are calling for an end to the lockdown as soon as the nine most vulnerable groups are vaccinated. They don’t want any more rules after May 1st.

“We are all filled with grief for the people who have been lost, the losses we have suffered, but we do not respect those we love and are missing by destroying the rest of our lives,” said MP Steve Baker. “We have to find ways to rebuild our communities and economies and our prospects, our livelihoods.”

Hancock said the UK government is in talks with other countries around the world about giving British people certificates showing they have been vaccinated so they can travel abroad in the future to countries that need it.

“There is international work going on because if other countries need (proof of vaccination) we want to allow British people to be able to travel to those countries,” said Hancock.

“We want to be able to facilitate certification of such vaccines, but that is not something we plan to introduce here,” he said, adding that the so-called vaccine passport is not something that is required to access services in the UK.

The United Kingdom has the fifth-worst official death toll in the world – currently 117,166 – after the United States, Brazil, Mexico and India.

The new COVID-19 hotel quarantine system for arrivals from 33 “red list” countries, intended to limit the spread of the new variant of the virus, appeared to be working smoothly hours after it was introduced, Hancock said.

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge and Kate Holton; Edited by James Davey, Peter Graff and Nick Macfie

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