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Access to Coronavirus vaccine can return to old alliances because world powers are increasing the search for a cure for COVID-19 | Instant News


First is the Tams Team. Then it’s Marmite. Could the coronavirus vaccine be the next?

Records of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson using the Tim Tams package to begin formal negotiations for a new free trade agreement with Australia is a proverbial ship that launches a thousand memes.

But there is a possibility – outside – that the next picture from England could become a mop-haired Eton graduate brandishing a very important medicine bottle, saying: “Here it is, friend, and it will come to you.”

Replace Team Tams with the coronavirus vaccine? The Australian Government this week has held talks with Britain.(Provided: YouTube)

This week, a global search for one of the most important medical prizes has ever entered a new phase.

The University of Oxford in England, considered one of the leaders in the search for the COVID-19 vaccine, announced its candidate safe and has produced an immune response in early clinical trials.

The British government has committed to producing 100 million doses Oxford vaccine candidates, if it succeed.

It came amid further news this week that Britain, which is has been damaged by this disease, signing two separate agreements, one with a French company and the other with global pharmaceutical giant Pfizer – understood to be in at least hundreds of millions of dollars – to receive as many as 130 million possible doses of the coronavirus vaccine.

Although the three vaccine candidates might not succeed, the deal effectively orders supplies for the UK if they do.

Returning to Australia, these steps naturally triggered the question: so Britain has a plan … but what do we do?

Wait and see Australia approach

Australia has invested $ 5 million in a University of Queensland vaccine candidate – which one conducted a trial on humans earlier this month.

He also invested $ 19 million to help develop vaccines, and claims to have spent $ 256 million in “vaccine-related activities”.

But no formal commercial arrangements such as the UK have been announced in Australia.

And according to vaccine expert and Federal Government advisor Tony Cunningham, the UK strategy is something the Government needs to consider.

Tony Cunningham from Sydney's Westmead Institute
Tony Cunningham is the lead advisor for the Government’s COVID-19 vaccine strategy.(ABC News: Chris Taylor)

“We are in an interesting position right now,” he told ABC. “And I think we need to look at what Britain is doing.

“But the problem is, and many experts say this, we just don’t know what will win – we don’t know which type of vaccine is the best.”

And he will know.

A contagious disease doctor, clinical virologist and scientist, Professor Cunningham was very involved in launching the vaccine for the latest global pandemic, 2009 swine flu.

He is now the director of virus research at the Westmead Medical Research Institute and lead author of the Australian Academy of Sciences vaccine advice to the Government, where 21 scientists and researchers based in Australia describe which vaccines they think are “most promising”.

But this is a busy field.

There are now more than 200 COVID-19 vaccine candidates worldwide, with 22 in clinical trials.

Professor Cunningham described it as an “inverted triangle”.

“And, in the end, when the triangle gets smaller, you have to return one,” he said.

“But, maybe, the first vaccine might not be the best.”

At the moment, although it does not sit in the hand, it seems that the Government is taking that “wait-and-see” approach, and supporting more global initiatives.

Through a spokeswoman, Health Minister Greg Hunt said Australia was the “main contributor” to the Gavi Vaccine Alliance COVAX initiative.

COVAX is an alliance that includes the Bill Gates-funded Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and the World Health Organization, to fund a “global response” to accelerate the development, production and delivery of a fair COVID-19 vaccine.

But apart from this approach, there seems to be an alliance that is forming – and Australia is maneuvering.

The global community is ‘watching’

The government this week confirmed that they were discussing “international licensing arrangements for the COVID-19 vaccine” with the Johnson Government, which would allow Australia to “access and supply” vaccines developed in the UK.

Speaking at a press conference after Friday’s National Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed the UK discussion, describing Oxford’s results as “very interesting”.

The Prime Minister also confirmed that he had discussed with French President Emmanuel Macron. Sanofi France – a specialized vaccine company – has two candidates in development.

However, some experts question whether countries like China or Russia – both accused of carrying out cyber attacks on US and British vaccine research weapons – would be tantamount to any vaccine breakthroughs.

Morrison said the global community was watching.

“Right from the first G20 meeting that we held a few months ago, there was a strong enough commitment to ensure that [when] “someone found it, we have to make it available,” Morrison said.

“And any country that will hoard vaccine discoveries, I think, will not be welcomed with a welcome weapon by the whole world.”

Someone holding a Coronavirus vaccine bottle
There are more than 200 active candidates for the coronavirus vaccine worldwide.(AAP)

What about manufacturing?

Further questions have been raised this week about Australia’s ability to produce vaccines quickly for mass distribution.

Some vaccine technologies, such as the mRNA technology developed by Monash University, cannot yet be produced in Australia.

That’s because the Australian medical supply and vaccine company CSL – the only company in Australia with the ability to make mass vaccines – only creates certain types of influenza vaccines.

But they have raised their hands to move to a new field of vaccine making.

Vaccine bottles on the factory floor.
CSL said it was trying to move to various fields of vaccine manufacturing.(Provided: CSL)

The Prime Minister said he was confident “in the vast majority” of cases that CSL would be able to reproduce vaccines locally.

CSL told ABC that the UQ vaccine – which it had committed to make – was its priority,

However, CSL vice president of product development Anthony Stowers said the company was committed to “improving [its] manufacturing skills and abilities “to support the development of each vaccine candidate

“This includes the capacity to carry out” downstream “aspects of vaccine production, such as processing licensed vaccine ingredients into bottles at [facilities] in Melbourne, “said Dr Stowers.

“We are exploring ways to support the manufacture of other vaccines that are being developed and will continue to open discussions.”

But despite all the global maneuvers and uncertainties, Professor Cunningham said he believed Australia was in a good position.

“We don’t know which strategy works best – there are so many unknowns,” he said.

“But I would say I’m very pleased with how well the government is listening to scientists.

“And looking around the world, I don’t want to be anywhere else.”

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Heat Advisory remains in effect; more heat and humidity today | weather | Instant News


Springfield, mA (WGGB/WSHM) — the heat and humidity will continue today with another Scorcher expected! This is the warmest morning of the summer so far with temperatures ranging from 70-ies, and we will be back in the ‘ 90s times in the day with heat indices between 97-103 degrees.

Warm Tips remain in effect for the Central and Eastern parts of Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin County until 8 PM. In addition to the Air Quality to unhealthy levels of ground-level ozone remain in force for all in the County of Hampden and Central and East Hampshire County until 11 PM tonight.

We may see a few showers this morning, then a weak front will bring in this day an isolated shower or thunderstorm, but most will stay dry during the day. Best chance to see the storm will be Springfield and points East as the front will be a bit more active in Eastern Massachusetts that day.

The front will bring a little relief tomorrow. It will be a little less humid, but still warm tomorrow with highs in the upper 80’s to nearly 90. There is a chance for showers and thunderstorms Wednesday and Thursday with highs in the mid to upper 80’s. Drier air should move in the end of the week to go to next weekend.

Copyright 2019 Western Mass (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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Contact Traceer Required; Coronavirus Vaccine Partnership Formed; Too Many Border Medical Facilities | Instant News


The United States can require up to 100,000 contact tracers to help contain the possibility of a second wave of coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19); AstraZeneca partnered to distribute an experimental COVID-19 vaccine at the end of the year; California border medical facilities continue to be overwhelmed by viral cases.

Redfield CDC Predicts US Need for COVID-19 Contact Trackers

To prevent the second wave of coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) in the United States, CDC Director Robert Redfield, MD, announced yesterday at a hearing before Congress about the need for at least 30,000 – maybe as many as 100,000 – contact tracers, report The Hill. To ensure these numbers are met in September, Congress provides state funding, the CDC Foundation helps, and Redfield hopes that AmeriCorps can provide additional staff. This is very contrast with 300,000 former CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH, said the United States would need it.

AstraZeneca, CEPI, Gavi Partnered to Produce an Experimental COVID-19 Vaccine

Up to 2 billion experimental COVID-19 doses can be available by the end of this year, according to Stat, if a partnership between AstraZeneca, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), and Gavi, Vaccine Alliance, succeeded. The United States can receive 300 million doses, and the United Kingdom can get 100 million doses. Additional license agreement between AstraZeneca and SII (former Indian Serum Institute) will distribute 1 billion doses of vaccines, made by Oxford University, to low and middle income countries.

Hospitals and Medical Facilities in California, Mexico Border at Capacity

Emergency departments in hospitals and other health centers located near the United States-Mexico border in California continue to be inundated with COVID-19 cases, Kaiser Health News notes. Doctors and hospital officials linked this to an ongoing trip between 2 US citizens and legal residents living in Mexico coming to the United States for treatment. Between May 31 and June 2 alone, there was a 25% increase in cases of patients with viruses in this facility.

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