Tag Archives: General health

Australia says Italy’s block on the AstraZeneca vaccine is frustrating but not crucial | Instant News

CANBERRA, March 5 (Reuters) – The Australian government on Friday expressed frustration over Italy’s decision to block deliveries of the COVID-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca, but stressed it would not affect the launch of Australia’s inoculation program.

Italy, supported by the European Commission, blocked plans to export around 250,000 doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine after drug manufacturers failed to meet EU contractual commitments.

“The world is in uncharted territory at the moment, it’s no surprise that some countries will tear up the rule book,” Australian Finance Minister Simon Birmingham told Sky News.

“This shows how well Australia continues to do compared to the desperation of other countries.”

Health Minister Greg Hunt said Australia had received 300,000 doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, which will last until local vaccine production increases.

“This is a single shipment from a country,” Hunt said in an emailed statement. “This shipment is not factored into our distribution plans for the coming weeks.”

AstraZeneca did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Australia started an inoculation program two weeks ago, vaccinating frontline health staff and the elderly with Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine despite limited doses of the vaccine amid tight global supplies.

Officials on Friday administered the first AstraZeneca vaccine to a doctor in the state of South Australia.

Australia has ordered 53.8 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which was developed in conjunction with the University of Oxford. Local pharmaceutical company CSL Ltd has secured the rights to produce 50 million of these doses in Australia.

The doses will form the backbone of Australia’s inoculation program, which is expected to be completed in October.

Australia is under less pressure than many other countries, recording just under 29,000 cases of COVID-19 and 909 deaths. Lower infection and death counts have been aided by tight lockdowns, rapid tracking systems and border closings. (Reporting by Colin Packham; editing by Jane Wardell)


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Germany will provide a single dose of AstraZeneca vaccine to COVID-19 patients | Instant News

BERLIN, March 4 (Reuters) – The German vaccine commission said on Thursday that people who have recovered from COVID-19 should receive a single dose of vaccine from AstraZeneca, a decision that may reduce scarce supplies.

A single dose should be given six months after a person is diagnosed with the disease, the Permanent Vaccination Commission said in a statement released by the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases. (Reporting by Douglas Busvine Editing by Caroline Copley)


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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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The Brazilian Senate approved a bill to speed up the purchase of a COVID-19 vaccine | Instant News

BRASILIA, March 2 (Reuters) – Brazil’s Senate approved legislation on Tuesday that would accelerate the purchase of vaccines for the country’s slow COVID-19 inoculation program and proposals will now be forwarded to President Jair Bolsonaro for signature.

The bill allows for emergency use of vaccines that have been approved by the United States, Britain, Canada, Japan, China, South Korea, Russia and Argentina.

This will allow direct use of fire by Pfizer and Janssen J&J units, as well as a Russian vaccine to be produced by the Brazilian company. (Reporting by Anthony Boadle Editing by Chris Reese)


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UPDATE 1-Brazil recorded a one-day record of 1,641 deaths from COVID-19 | Instant News

(Updates with the number of COVID-19 cases, background)

BRASILIA, March 2 (Reuters) – Brazil on Tuesday recorded a record one-day death toll from COVID-19 with 1,641 people dying from the disease, according to Health Ministry data.

That surpassed the previous day’s high of 1,595 deaths from COVID-19 recorded at the end of July 2020, as Brazil faced a new peak in coronavirus cases and its hospital system was pushed to the brink of collapse.

More than 257,000 people have died from COVID-19 in Brazil, according to official counts, making it the deadliest outbreak after in the United States.

About 10.6 million people have been infected since the pandemic began, according to the Health Ministry, with 59,925 new cases reported as of Tuesday.

The governor of Brazil’s state said on Tuesday that they would join together to buy a vaccine for COVID-19 and bypass the federal government, which has been slow to roll out its vaccine program. (Reporting by Lisandra Paraguay and Jake Spring; Editing by Leslie Adler and Peter Cooney)


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