Tag Archives: Nordic Country

Germany recommends AstraZeneca COVID-19 shots only for ages under 65 | Instant News

BERLIN (Reuters) – AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine should only be given to people between the ages of 18 and 64, the German vaccine committee said in a draft recommendation, a day before a European regulatory decision on whether to approve the drugmaker’s injections.

FILE PHOTOS: A vial and sryinge seen in front of the AstraZeneca logo featured in the illustration taken January 11, 2021. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / Illustration / Photo File

“At the moment there are not enough data to assess the efficacy of the vaccine from the age of 65,” said the committee, also known as Stiko, in a draft resolution provided by the German health ministry on Thursday.

“The AstraZeneca vaccine, unlike the mRNA vaccine, should only be offered to people aged 18-64 at any stage,” he added.

The risk assessment is based on the same trial data published by the medical journal The Lancet on December 8.

The European Union approved the vaccine developed by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech in late December, and gave the green light for the injection Moderna made in early January.

AstraZeneca did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

On Monday, the drugmaker denied that the COVID-19 vaccine was not very effective for people over 65, after German media reports said officials feared the vaccine might not be approved in the European Union for use in the elderly.

The German health ministry said of the 341 people vaccinated in the group aged 65 and over, only one had the coronavirus, meaning a panel of vaccinators had yet to come up with a statistically significant statement.

AstraZeneca Chief Executive Pascal Soriot said the company had less data than other drug makers on the elderly because it then started vaccinating the elderly.

“But we have strong data showing the production of very strong antibodies to the virus in the elderly, similar to what we saw in younger people,” he told Die Welt newspaper in an interview earlier this week.

Germany is grappling with limited vaccine doses after Pfizer and AstraZeneca announced delivery delays in recent weeks, and Health Minister Jens Spahn warned the shortage would last until April.

Spahn said there is a younger age group with existing conditions waiting to be vaccinated, adding that the final recommendation on the use of AstraZeneca injections will only come after EU approval.

Apart from those over 80 and people living in nursing homes, Germany prioritizes medical staff and front line care.

In late December, Britain became the first country to approve a coronavirus vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca.

The government has said it would not recommend one vaccine over another for different population groups, although data on the efficacy of AstraZeneca / Oxford injections in the elderly are currently limited.

It began rolling out the vaccine in January in a campaign targeting the elderly and saw more than 7 million given their first dose. The UK has also used vaccines developed by Pfizer and BioNTech.

Reporting by Caroline Copley; Additional reporting by Emma Thomasson and Ludwig Burger; Edited by Maria Sheahan and Alexandra Hudson


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UK record decline in COVID deaths, increase in cases | Instant News

FILE PHOTO: Medics transfer patients between ambulances outside the Royal London Hospital amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, London, England, 27 January 2021. REUTERS / Toby Melville

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain recorded a further 1,239 deaths in 28 days after testing positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, down from 1,725 ​​the previous day, and 28,680 cases of further disease, an increase from the previous day.

Official data also showed that 7.45 million people had been given the first dose of the vaccine, up from the 7.16 million people announced Wednesday.

Reporting by Alistair Smout; Written by William Schomberg


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UPDATE 1-Swiss said the delivery of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine would be postponed | Instant News

* Switzerland expects Moderna to cover its shortfall in March

* Other COVID vaccine makers also get hiccups during delivery

* Switzerland hopes to inject everyone who wants a shot by the summer (Add comment from Swiss Federal Ministry of Health, details)

ZURICH, Jan 28 (Reuters) – Moderna has warned Switzerland that deliveries of the COVID-19 vaccine will be delayed, the Swiss health ministry said on Thursday, leading to a February shortage that the country expects US companies to make up for in March.

The delay follows European supply issues with vaccine maker AstraZeneca, as well as Pfizer and its German counterpart, BioNTech, as demand for COVID-19 shots is very high but supply remains limited and production is limited.

Switzerland, which has so far received 531,600 combined vaccines from Moderna and from Pfizer and BioNTech, said it still expects vaccine deliveries in the first quarter to meet the terms of their contracts.

He hopes to get 1 million doses by February, although with the delay Moderna could miss that target.

The Swiss Federal Ministry of Health did not provide a reason for the delay, referring questions to Moderna.

Moderna did not reply to messages seeking comment.

The delay in Moderna’s delivery was first reported by the Swiss newspaper Blick, which said a shipment of 300,000 doses planned for February 1 was likely to fail.

Some of the 26 Swiss cantons, such as European countries, have received fewer doses of Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine than they had planned, so they changed their vaccination schedule.

“The next shipment from Pfizer and Moderna arrived in the first week of February,” a spokesman for the Swiss Federal Ministry of Health told Reuters.

The cantons will be notified immediately so they can plan their vaccination activities.

Switzerland, with 8.6 million people, hopes to vaccinate everyone who wants a COVID-19 vaccination by the summer.

Swiss contract drug maker Lonza, which produces ingredients for the Moderna mRNA vaccine, said on Wednesday it may be “several months” before a new Swiss plant dedicated to producing injections will be at “cruising speed”.

The European-bound Moderna vaccine has to take the winding journey from Lonza in Switzerland to a filling and finishing facility in Spain, before being shipped to a Belgian logistics hub, and then being distributed to individual countries. (Reporting by John Miller; editing by Jason Neely and Hugh Lawson)


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The UK recorded the second-highest daily number of COVID victims on Wednesday | Instant News

FILE PHOTO: Health workers transport patients at Royal London Hospital, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in London, England, 26 January 2021. REUTERS / Hannah McKay

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain on Wednesday recorded the second-highest daily death toll from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic as the government struggled to speed up vaccination deliveries.

With a new variant of the highly contagious virus surging across Britain, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has shut down the economy and dispensed a vaccine faster than his European neighbor in a bid to contain the pandemic.

The UK has the world’s fifth-highest official death toll from COVID-19 and reported a further 1,725 ​​deaths within 28 days of testing positive.

Britain has been hard hit by the latest wave of the pandemic, with deaths routinely over 1,000 people per day and hitting a record 1,820 on January 20.

On Tuesday, the total number of deaths passed 100,000, the first European country to reach that figure, raising questions about the government’s handling of the crisis.

That rose to 101,887 on Wednesday.

The country recorded 25,308 cases of the disease on Wednesday, up from 20,089 the previous day.

However, the vaccine rollout is off to a good start. Data shows that 7,164,387 people have now been given their first dose of the vaccine, with 311,060 receiving them in the last 24 hours.

Reporting by Andrew MacAskill, written by James Davey


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Butantan in Brazil expects supplies for 8.5 million doses of CoronaVac by February 3 | Instant News

BRASILIA, Jan 26 (Reuters) – Brazil’s biomedical center Butantan expects a supply of about 8.5 million doses of China’s CoronaVac vaccine made by Sinovac Biotech to arrive on February 3, its director said on Tuesday.

Butantan director Dimas Covas said around 5,400 liters of active ingredients, saying he hoped the initial shipment, sufficient to fill and complete around 8.5 million doses, would be followed by a similar load delivered soon after. He also said Butantan plans to have a factory fully producing Chinese vaccines by early next year. (Reporting by Jamie McGeever)


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