Tag Archives: Scandinavian

Brazil is working to import more AstraZeneca vaccines to prevent bottlenecks to local production | Instant News

RIO DE JANEIRO, February 26 (Reuters) – Brazil’s biomedical institute Fiocruz has started talks with AstraZeneca Plc on alternative sources of the COVID-19 vaccine in case of possible issues surrounding the local production of the injection, a director told Reuters on Friday.

Maurício Zuma, who heads the Fiocruz unit that produces the vaccine, said it still aims to produce 110 million doses in the second half of this year, but the complexity of the production process and regulation in Brazil could hamper those plans.

As a result, he said he was exploring alternatives such as importing more active ingredients or ready-to-use dosages.

AstraZeneca injections were supposed to be a major pillar of Brazil’s vaccination campaign, starting with imports and then moving to domestic production, but their rollout was stalled.

“To produce a vaccine here is a whole process,” he said. “We think we can prepare the vaccine by the end of the third quarter, but whether we can successfully deliver it will depend on regulatory questions.”

Brazilian health regulator Anvisa has come under increasing criticism for being slow and making heavy demands on vaccine manufacturers.

“We knew we were going to have an accident in a process that would normally take years,” Zuma added.

AstraZeneca has agreed to transfer the active ingredient technology in the COVID-19 vaccine to Fiocruz to enable complete local production. But the agreement has not been signed due to the complexity of the deal, Zuma said. (Reporting by Rodrigo Viga Gaier in Rio de Janeiro Writing by Stephen Eisenhammer Editing by Matthew Lewis)


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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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Astrazeneca denies shortage of vaccine shipments to EU, Italy – paper | Instant News

FILE PHOTO: Oxford / AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine box pictured in a refrigerator at the NHS mass coronavirus vaccination center at Robertson House in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, England January 11, 2021. Joe Giddens / Pool via REUTERS // File Photo

MILAN (Reuters) – AstraZeneca will deliver 180 million COVID-19 vaccines to Europe in the second quarter, of which 20 million to Italy, the head of its unit in Italy was quoted as saying on Thursday, dismissing reports of possible shortages.

Lorenzo Wittum, CEO and chairman of Astrazeneca in Italy, told the daily Il Corriere della Sera in an interview that Italy would receive more than 5 million shots by the end of March, less than the 8 million previously agreed, bringing the total to 25 million. dose in June.

Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing an EU official who was directly involved in talks with the Anglo-Swedish drug maker, that AstraZeneca expects to deliver less than half of the COVID-19 vaccines it contracts to supply to the European Union in the second quarter.

Wittum also said pharmaceutical companies were considering the possibility of administering a third dose and were working on a new version of the vaccine.

Reporting by Maria Pia Quaglia, editing by Agnieszka Flak


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Germany has confirmed it will receive 16 million doses of AstraZeneca in the second quarter | Instant News

FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: The test tube labeled “vaccine” in front of the AstraZeneca logo in this illustration was taken, 9 September 2020. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / Illustration

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany said it would receive 16 million doses of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine in the second quarter, the health ministry said.

That could represent a flaw in the company’s commitment to deliver about twice that amount to Germany in the quarter, according to a leaked contract with the EU.

Reuters reported on Tuesday that the volume of shipments to the European Union was estimated to be half the level that AstraZeneca had contracted to supply in the second quarter.

Germany’s 16 million doses are in line with this possible shortfall, as the country is expected to receive about 34 million injections of the 180 million AstraZeneca agreed to supply to the EU in the second quarter, according to internal German health ministry documents seen by Reuters and a leaked contract between AstraZeneca and EU.

In a statement on Wednesday, the health ministry confirmed German estimates of the delivery contained in an internal document, which was not previously published.

According to the document, dated February 22, Germany is expected to receive 33.8 million doses of AstraZeneca in the third quarter, beyond the schedule specified in the EU contract, which estimates completion of initial deliveries by the end of June.

In total, Germany expects from AstraZeneca 56.3 million doses under the EU contract, which is the equivalent of 18.7% of 300 million doses for the EU.

“In calculating the number of doses available in the regions, the Ministry of Health has always kept in mind that the AstraZeneca vaccine was passed later than we expected in the fall,” said the health ministry.

Reporting by Riham Alkousaa, editing by Thomas Escritt and Douglas Busvine; Edited by Giles Elgood


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Brazil will get the second batch of AstraZeneca’s 2 million vaccine from India on Tuesday | Instant News

RIO DE JANEIRO, February 22 (Reuters) – Brazil will receive a second batch of 2 million injections of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine from India on Tuesday, biomedical agency Fiocruz said on Monday.

An initial batch of 2 million doses of AstraZeneca was shipped in January.

The Ministry of Health has so far distributed only 11.8 million vaccines to the state, including the initial batch from AstraZeneca and 9.8 million injections of CoronaVac.

To vaccinate the main risk groups – healthcare workers, the elderly, indigenous people and those with existing medical conditions – Brazil needs 104.2 million doses. That’s two per person for the 49.6 million people concerned, plus a 5% operating loss, according to federal government plans. (Reporting by Pedro Fonseca; Written by Jamie McGeever; Editing by Peter Cooney)


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