LONDON (Reuters) – Any COVID status certification scheme Britain adopts must be enforceable and must not discriminate against unvaccinated people, said the minister in charge of vaccine launches on Tuesday.
“There will not be a situation where the government will let that happen,” said Nadhim Zahawi on BBC television in response to a question about whether the certification scheme would be discriminatory.
“Everyone can get a test. There is no discrimination. “Not everyone can get a vaccine … that’s why we have to look at all the technologies to make sure they work together,” he said.
Reporting by Michael Holden and Estelle Shirbon; edited by Alistair Smout
Today, Novavax has announced that it will initiate a cross-weapon in two ongoing clinical trials to assess their vaccine for COVID-19, NVX-CoV2373. Biotech companies have developed next-generation vaccines for infectious diseases, and have become one of the big competitors to develop a vaccine for COVID-19.
The crossover initiation will allow the administration of the active vaccine to all participants in the trial and has already started in their phase 2b trials in South Africa, as well as phase 3 trials in the United Kingdom.
The updated clinical trial protocol will offer all participants in the UK and US phase 3 trials the opportunity to receive an additional round of vaccination, and those who choose to do so will be given an additional 2-dose regimen of either vaccine or placebo. .
In the South African phase 2b trial, participants who initially received the vaccine would be given an active vaccine booster shot, and those who initially received a placebo would be given one dose of the active vaccine.
All participants in the trial will remain blind to retain the ability to assess vaccine efficacy in each trial, and will be followed up for up to 2 years to monitor the safety and robustness of the protection the vaccine offers.
The company also announced that it plans to expand the PREVENT-19 trial to include a population of children and adolescents.
“The crossover ensures that all participants have access to the active vaccine candidate while allowing Novavax to continue to monitor the long-term safety and efficacy of our vaccine,” said Filip Dubovsky, Chief Medical Officer for Novavax. “We thank the volunteers who are stepping forward to take part in our clinical trials, without which we would not have been able to develop, study and ultimately deliver what we hope will be a significant tool in fighting COVID-19.”
The American public should be more concerned about a more contagious variant of the coronavirus spreading across the United States, former adviser to President Joe Biden warned.
Michael Osterholm, an epidemiologist at the University of Minnesota, voiced concern about variant B.1.1.7 during Sunday’s appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press.Children seemed to have an easier time spreading the variant first discovered in England, and that may have caused more severe illness among them, he said.
Osterholm, who served on Biden’s COVID-19 Advisory Board between elections and inauguration, previously supported the reopening of schools. But that’s because the previous form of the virus didn’t pose a serious threat to most children.
“This B.1.1.7 variant is a new ballgame. “Another aspect of the B.117 variant that hasn’t been discussed much, is the fact that it infects children very easily,” Osterholm said.
Osterholm said some 740 Minnesota schools had reported B.1.1.7 cases, despite the fact that schools were reopening under expert advice that children less susceptible to viruses. He noted that several hospitals have reported younger people battling a more severe form of COVID-19 than before.
“Unlike previous strains of the virus, we didn’t see children under eighth grade getting infected frequently, or they didn’t get very sick often,” Osterholm said. “They are not transferred across the community. That’s why I am one of the people who strongly supports reopening in classroom learning.”
Osterholm doesn’t say that schools should be closed now. But he said that there was something that needed to change to deal with B.1.1.7 spread.
“These kids right now are really a big challenge in terms of how they are transmitted,” he said. “We have to reconsider what we are doing now and how we are doing it.”
Research has shown that the COVID-19 vaccine protects against B.1.1.7 and other variants. But some health experts predict a the fourth wave in the US driven by the spread of variants. Even though vaccinations are steadily increasing, they are concerned that the speed will not be fast enough to prevent the next wave.
Last week, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the potential surge made her feel“the doom to come.”
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“We are now seeing an increase in the number of severe illnesses [and] ICU admission to unvaccinated individuals aged 30 to 50 years. ” pic.twitter.com/5KlflS2MoW
Daily COVID-19 cases have increased by 18% nationwide in the past two weeks, according to the New York Times’ corona virus tracker. They were up 46% in Pennsylvania and 10% in New Jersey.
Only Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Colorado, California and Massachusetts reported more variant cases than Pennsylvania and New Jersey, According to the CDC.
Pennsylvania has recorded 655 cases of variant B.1.1.7 and six cases of variant B.1.351 which were first seen in South Africa. A spokesman for the state health department did not provide a number of pediatric cases involving the variant.
New Jersey recorded 627 cases B.1.1.7 and two cases B.1.351.
Osterholm praised the Biden administration for doing its best to distribute the vaccine, but he said the US would not “have enough money to get through this surge.” Instead, he said the US needed to “consider recourse” to get through the expected waves.
Even so, not all experts are convinced. Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former director of the US Food and Drug Administration, doesn’t expect a new spike.
“I think there’s enough immunity in the population that you’re not going to see a true fourth wave of infections,” Gottlieb the word Sunday during appearance on CBS’s “Face the Nation. “
But Gottlieb noted that cases are increasing among young people who have not had the opportunity to be vaccinated.
“What we’re seeing is pockets of infection across the country, especially in unvaccinated young people and also in school-age children,” Gottlieb the word.
No COVID-19 vaccine is yet licensed for children under 16 years of age. Pfizer plans to ask the FDA to authorize its vaccines for children 12 years of age and older based on the results of clinical trials among adolescents.
In the United Kingdom, regulators have found 25 additional cases of rare blood clotting events following administration AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine, bringing the total number of recorded events to 30.
Treatment regulators had previously registered 5 of the rare blood brain clots among the nearly 11 million doses of vaccine administered. There are now 22 reports of an extremely rare brain clotting disease called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, as well as 8 cases of blood clots associated with low blood platelets.
Last monthMany countries in the EU, including Italy, Spain, France, Denmark and Norway, are suspending AstraZeneca use due to concerns over potential blood clotting issues.
More than anything else, it was touted as a comfort strategy to ensure the public that the government takes all issues seriously.
However, soon after, the drug regulator from the European Union stated that the AstraZeneca vaccine was safe and effective for use in the population and officials hoped that this certainty would ease the growing concerns surrounding the vaccine.
Officials still hold to the view that the benefits of injections far outweigh the possible side effects.
Just, Canada recommends do not use the AstraZeneca vaccine in individuals 55 years and under. The decision was made based on the occurrence of blood clots demonstrated in Europe.
The country says it is on track to vaccinate its population using the mRNA vaccine next fall, and will use a small dose of AstraZeneca.