Tag Archives: World Health Organization

Italy in Talks to Set Up a Vaccine Manufacturing Center With State Funding | Instant News

Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s government is in discussions to set up a vaccine production center in Italy using state funds, according to the director general of the country’s drug regulator.

Nicola Magrini, head of the Italian Medicines Agency, or AIFA, told Bloomberg in an interview that the government was considering funding the project for around 200 million euros. The Covid-19 vaccine will be one approved by the European Medicines Agency, he said, refusing to say which.

“There are talks that are very advanced,” said Magrini, 59, a former scientist at the World Health Organization, at his office in Rome on Monday. The aim is to start production in the fourth quarter, he said, adding that manufacturing would be from start to finish, “exceed filling and finishing capacity, and produce actual bulk.”

Italy’s efforts to build domestic capacity came as Draghi increased pressure on drugmakers to speed up vaccine deliveries, talking regularly with the chief executive to seek additional supplies and speed up deliveries, officials said.

Targets at Risk

With the lockdown weighing on the devastated economy, the government risks missing its latest target of 500,000 vaccines a day by the end of this month. Italy has slipped behind its counterparts including Germany and France in inoculation, mainly due to delays in supplies from AstraZeneca Plc.

Read More: Italy Draghi Big Pressure Pharmacy as a Risk Vaccine Target

Italy’s planned vaccine production goals will work with the European Union, Magrini said.


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Brazil’s Coronavirus outbreak is now a ‘raging hell’ amid 4,000 deaths daily, WHO – World News warns | Instant News

Brazil’s Covid-19 outbreak has turned into a “raging hell” as this week recorded a daily record 4,000 deaths, the World Health Organization said.

The number of deaths caused by Covid-19 has now reached more than 345,000, second only to the United States, where 561,000 deaths were recorded.

President Jair Bolsonaro’s treatment of Covid-19 – which he previously described as the “mild flu” – will now be examined amid fears that he failed to introduce adequate measures to stop the outbreak in the South American country.

“What you have here is a raging epidemic,” said Bruce Aylward, senior adviser to the World Health Organization’s director general, in a public briefing.

Supreme Court Judge Luis Roberto Barroso ruled late Thursday that enough senators had signed up to the proposed investigation into the government’s pandemic response to launch an inquiry despite being stalled by the Senate leadership.

A patient speaks via video to a loved one
(Image: AFP via Getty Images)

Bolsonaro on Friday lashed out at the Senate’s pending investigation into his handling of the pandemic.

“This is a stitch between Barroso and the left in the Senate to weaken the government,” Bolsonaro told supporters outside his residence, accusing the judge of “politics.”

The Senate investigation represents the most severe political consequences to date for Bolsonaro’s approach to corona virus, which has led him to ignore health experts who call for wearing masks and social distancing.

Aerial view of buried coffins in the area where a new grave has been excavated at Parque Taruma cemetery, Brazil
The coffin is buried in a mass grave in Manaus, Amazonas state
(Image: AFP via Getty Images)

Bolsonaro has supported his criticism of the COVID-19 vaccine, but he has continued to attack governors who are trying to impose lockdowns and even lighter measures, accusing them of killing more with those restrictions than the virus itself.

One in four deaths from this week’s pandemic occurred in Brazil, where a brutal wave has swept through hospitals and recorded more than 4,000 deaths per day.

But political exhaustion and pressure from Bolsonaro has prompted some governors to relax restrictions despite record deaths.

The state of Sao Paulo, whose governor was once a critic of the president, announced it was relaxing some restrictions next week even as its hospital struggled to handle the caseload.

Sao Paulo officials said the drop in hospitalizations had justified the decision to restart football matches without spectators, reopen shops selling building materials and resume take-out services at restaurants.

Meanwhile, the city of Rio de Janeiro, the country’s second largest city, let a series of restrictions imposed in late March expire on Friday. As a result, bars, restaurants and malls are now able to resume live services.

Brazil’s vaccination efforts, although faster than most countries in Latin America, have been slow compared to many developed countries and have so far relied heavily on one vaccine – Coronavac – developed by China Sinovac Biotech Ltd and has been frequently criticized by Bolsonaro.

On Friday afternoon, the national health agency Anvisa announced it was sending inspectors to two factories in Russia where the Sputnik V vaccine was produced to evaluate the safety of the jabs.


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Italy, UK recommend an age limit for the AstraZeneca vaccine but recommend it anyway | Instant News

LONDON (Reuters) – Italy recommended on Wednesday that AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 injections be used only in those over the age of 60 and the UK that people under 30 should get alternatives, due to the possible link between the vaccine and very rare cases of blood clots.

More than a dozen countries have at one time suspended the use of the vaccine, which has already been given to tens of millions in Europe. But most have continued, with some, including France, the Netherlands and Germany, recommending a minimum age.

EU health ministers have failed to agree on general guidelines on the use of injections, despite calls for coordination across member states to combat public doubts over a vaccine set that will be a key component of many vaccination programs.

Italian health authorities recommend that injections be used only in people over 60 years of age, but those under 60 who have taken the first AstraZeneca injection can also use the second injection.

An official in the UK said new advice by a government advisory group that other vaccines should be chosen for those under 30 if possible was “completely out of caution, rather than because we have serious safety concerns”.

European regulators reiterated that they have found a possible link between the vaccine and very rare cases of blood clots, but reiterated the importance of protecting people from COVID-19.

Rising infections caused by more contagious variants threaten hospitals in many EU countries – where vaccination rates lag behind Britain and the United States – forcing France and others to reinstate lockdowns.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) received reports of 169 rare cases of brain blood clots in early April, after 34 million doses had been administered in the European Economic Area (EEA), according to Sabine Straus, chair of the EMA’s safety committee. The EEA is made up of 27 EU countries plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.

In comparison, four out of 10,000 women will experience blood clots from using oral contraceptives.

In a statement, the EMA said it reminded healthcare professionals and recipients to remain vigilant against “the possibility of very rare cases of blood clotting combined with low blood platelet levels occurring within 2 weeks of vaccination”.


“So far, most of the cases reported have occurred in women under the age of 60 within 2 weeks of vaccination,” he added.

It did not issue new guidelines, saying European countries must make their own decisions on how to deal with risks.

AstraZeneca shots are sold at a price, for a few dollars per dose. This is by far the cheapest and highest-volume vaccine launched so far, and lacks the extreme cooling requirements of some of the other COVID-19 vaccines, making it likely a mainstay of many vaccination programs in developing countries.

In Germany, which recommended last week that people under 60 who receive one injection of AstraZeneca should get a second dose of another vaccine, an official said cases of the rare clotting condition were 20 times higher in those who received the shots.

But experts say that, even if a causal link is proven, the risk of serious freezing is less than the risk of a possible COVID-19 infection, which can cause similar clots along with other serious symptoms.

“The risk of dying from COVID is much greater than the risk of dying from this rare side effect,” said EMA executive director Emer Cooke.

FILE PHOTO: A bottle labeled “AstraZeneca COVID-19 Coronavirus Vaccine” and a syringe seen in front of the AstraZeneca logo featured in this illustration taken March 10, 2021. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / Illustration / Photo File


However, AstraZeneca’s shares were down 1.2% at a two-week low.

The injection has faced questions since late last year, when the drugmaker and the University of Oxford published trial data with two different efficacy readings as a result of a dosage error.

Britain’s chief drug regulator, June Raine, said the benefits outweighed the risks for the most part but were more balanced for younger people – whose risk of coronavirus infection was, on average, lower.

Wei Shen Lim, chair of COVID-19 for the UK’s Joint Advisory Committee on Vaccines and Immunization, said it is preferable for adults under 30 who do not have an underlying health condition to be offered another vaccine.

AstraZeneca said it was working with UK and European regulators to list the possibility of cerebral blood clots as a “very rare potential side effect”.

Among the possible causes of the rare cerebral sinous vein clot being investigated is that the vaccine triggers unusual antibodies in rare cases or a possible link to birth control pills. However, there is no definite evidence.

Andreas Greinacher, a scientist from Germany’s Greifswald University said his work showed that neither birth control nor clotting factor mutations played any role.

Many experts say it’s unclear whether or why the AstraZeneca vaccine will cause problems other vaccines that target similar parts of the virus don’t have.

Reporting by Francesco Guarascio, Kate Kelland, Alistair Smout, John Miller, Toby Sterling, Bart Meijer, Anthony Deutsch, Pushkala Aripaka, Stephane Nebehay and Josephine Mason; Written by Nick Macfie and Philippa Fletcher; Edited by Kevin Liffey and Peter Cooney


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Prime Minister Jacinda Arden’s government is in the spotlight for failing to mention Chinese interference | Instant News

Last week, 13 countries around the world voiced their concerns about China’s interference in the World Health Organization’s investigation into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The members of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance, which includes Australia, Canada, the UK and the US, all signed the joint declaration.

Almost everything. One Five Eyes Nation, New Zealand, declined to be named in the communique.

This has raised lingering concerns that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s government is weaker against Beijing. It is even dubbed the “soft belly” of the Five Eyes.

Wellington may have witnessed a diplomatic and trade dispute between the two China and Australia and have decided they don’t want to end up in the same position. But as New Zealand knows, even light criticism can anger China.

NZ failed to follow China’s Five Eyes’ statement

“New Zealand has been criticized for being reluctant to join forces with other states and to speak of concerning issues of concern with China,” wrote University of Canterbury China specialist Professor Anne-Marie Brady in the magazine. Diplomat last year.

“It practices deliberate ambiguity in its Chinese policies, and so far, seems to have gotten away with it.”

But New Zealand’s efforts to find a win-win way to deal with Beijing have caused its political will to be questioned by its allies.

In January last year, the British newspaper the Financial time declared that New Zealand was “on the verge of survival as a member” of the Five Eyes and had a “recumbent” attitude toward China.

A piece of evidence supporting that view occurred this week when even WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called on China over its reluctance to provide WHO COVID-19 investigations with the raw data the scientists asked for.

That New Zealand doesn’t endorse the WHO, the Five Eyes, or the likes of Japan, South Korea and Israel in calling China China is shocking.

Ardern’s government said its reluctance to join the chorus disapproved because it had not fully read the report. That was despite everyone, including small Estonians, had enough time to study the contents.

“Our technical experts are analyzing the report,” said New Zealand Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta spokeswoman Australian.

“Since this is a scientific report, we wanted to make sure we understood science before commenting.”

RELATED: A chilling find in the disputed China Sea

Denial has happened before. In January, New Zealand failed to sign another official statement of the other Five Eyes condemned the arrests of pro-democracy politicians in Hong Kong.

Also in January, Trade Minister Kiwi Damien Cook said Australia should follow New Zealand and “Show respect” to China and “beware of words”.

The advice led former diplomat and Liberal MP Dave Sharma to say he “expects more from trans-Tasman solidarity”.

“It shows a lack of familiarity with basic facts that I would not expect from close friends and partners like New Zealand,” he told SMH.

A lot of eyebrows have been raised about New Zealand’s handling of its relationship with China.

Unlike Australia, Australia has signed up to one aspect of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative. According to Financial time, Businessmen associated with the Chinese Communist Party are major donors to New Zealand’s main political party.

A New Zealand lawmaker recently admitted it teaching Chinese spies English to monitor other countries’ communications before emigrating. But he has denied passing information about his adoptive country back to Beijing, reports the Stuff website.

RELATED: Australian doctors reveal the WHO COVID report

NZ nicknamed Five Eyes ‘soft belly’

“Tiny New Zealand may seem like an odd target for Communist party infiltration, but the country appeals to Beijing as the soft belly of the Five Eyes,” wrote Jamil Anderlini in an opinion piece for Financial time last year.

The term “soft belly” haunts Mrs. Ardern. In 2018, the Canadian Government used it in official document to illustrate how China views New Zealand as a weak spot in security intelligence. It added that Beijing’s relationship with Wellington is a model for future Sino-Australian relations.

New Zealand exported $ 18 billion of product to China, double that of Australia.

“Perhaps fearing Beijing will respond with economic sanctions, Ms. Ardern has gone to great lengths to avoid mentioning the topic of Chinese political interference,” Anderlini added.

He only has to look across Tasman to see the trade pain China has inflicted on Australia after Canberra called for a WHO investigation, barred Chinese tech giant Huawei from sensitive infrastructure and continued to criticize Beijing’s human rights record.

In contrast, earlier this year, the free trade agreement between China and New Zealand was stepped up.

Funnel CCP Global Time praised Wellington, said it was “impartial” between the US and China and “has kept its own judgment on the main agenda regarding China”.

China’s constant call for western nations to take sides, which also has the useful side effect of undermining any impulse that may come.

Look for ‘safe ways’ to deal with China

Prof Brady said New Zealand was looking for a “safe way” to deal with China. But the country is actually more aggressive in fighting Beijing than ever before.

He dubbed it New Zealand’s “calm shift” from the previously adopted “blind eye”.

“New Zealand is … looking for a safe way to deal with China’s increasing political interference activity and aggressive foreign policy,” he said.

“The New Zealand government strictly avoids direct confrontation with China. Instead, the government is carefully managing a case-by-case recalibration of New Zealand-China relations, while claiming that any changes are ‘state agnostic’. “

In one piece Security, Prof Brady said New Zealand could learn from Australia’s “missteps” in China.

The danger for New Zealand, however, is that there may not be a safe way to manage China and its tiny glass jaws. Any criticism of Beijing is met with hostility.

In December, Ardern supported – in a somewhat muted manner – Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s disillusionment with a tweet from Beijing apparatchik depicting a digger slit the throat of an Afghan child.

That Global Time pointed the thorns towards Wellington. Maybe a warning shot.

“Kiwis bleat like Australian sheep but don’t condemn the killing in Afghanistan,” said the newspaper, who argued that Arden’s comments were something he “had to say” to safeguard trans-Tasman ties.

NZ is not silent on China, but perhaps more silent

New Zealand certainly doesn’t stay idle in China. It has expressed disappointment over the demise of Hong Kong’s already limited democracy. It has also barred Huawei from sensitive infrastructure. Last week, the foreign ministers of Australia and New Zealand said they had “grave concerns” about the treatment of the Uighurs.

Ms Ardern said New Zealand laws prevented sanctions from being imposed on China. That escape route means China is not levying sanctions in return, which is the case for the US, UK and Canada. Despite this, Beijing still rebukes him for meddling in the country’s “internal affairs”.

It’s a difficult balancing act for Ms. Ardern and the New Zealand government.

The aim might be not to poke the dragon. But as its allies routinely resent Beijing’s anger, there may be pressure for Wellington to give up its “calm change” and more firmly support Australia and the rest of the world’s democracies against China.


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Brazil’s Covid deaths hit a new monthly record as France tightened restrictions | Instant News

That Covid-19 The death toll jumped out of control in Brazil in March, more than double the country’s previous monthly record, officials said Wednesday, as President of France. Emmanuel Macron announced a limited national lock.

In a sign of the devastation caused by the virus as the world races to launch a vaccine, Brazil reports 66,573 people have died from Covid-19 in March – more than double that. many casualties as the month of the country’s second deadliest pandemic, July 2020.

France has meanwhile become the latest European country to succumb to a very high case of the coronavirus, despite Macron’s repeated promises not to re-enforce national lockdowns.

The virus has killed more than 2.8 million people since emerging in the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of 2019. And although the world is looking for a vaccine to end the upheaval that Covid-19 has brought, its rollout has begun swiftly in many countries. .

That includes Brazil, where health experts say the explosion of cases has been driven in part by a local variant of the virus known as P1, which can re-infect people who have the original strain and are believed to be more contagious.

“Never in Brazilian history have we seen a single incident kill so many people” in one month, said doctor Miguel Nicolelis, a former pandemic response coordinator for Brazil’s impoverished northeast.

With winter approaching in the southern hemisphere and the virus spreading rapidly, Brazil is facing “the perfect storm,” he told AFP.

“It is a threat not only to Brazil but also to the whole world.”

The surge in Brazil has overwhelmed hospitals and forced doctors to make painful decisions about who should provide life-saving care – prioritizing those most likely to survive.

“We are in a very tragic situation,” said epidemiologist Ethel Maciel.

In France, daily cases have more than doubled to around 40,000, and hospitals are overflowing in flashpoints such as Paris.

That ultimately forced Macron to back down and reimpose national restrictions he rejected in January.

“We got weeks of precious freedom,” he said in a national speech, but current action is “too limited at a time when the epidemic is accelerating”.

The existing limited lockdown in regions including Paris will be extended across the country from Saturday evening over the next four weeks, he said.

Schools will be closed for three or four weeks depending on age level – two of which are spring break.

In Italy, Prime Minister Mario Draghi has meanwhile extended restrictions to April 30, including the closure of restaurants and businesses.

And the Japanese minister in charge of the coronavirus response announced plans Thursday to designate sections of three regions – Osaka, Hyogo and Miyagi – for special virus countermeasures from April 5 to May 5.

The move, which would allow local officials to close businesses early or face fines, came with increasing infections in three regions even as the Olympic torch crossed the country before the pending Olympics opened on July 23.

On the bright side, the number of vaccines available could increase.

Experts at World Health Organization said a provisional analysis found two Chinese vaccines, from the companies Sinovac and Sinopharm, showed “good safety and efficacy” – but more data is needed.

Other vaccine makers, US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech, are pushing for plans to increase production, saying new data from the United States shows puncture 100 percent effective in children 12 to 15 years of age.

The US has delivered more vaccine doses than any other country, with nearly 150 million of the 600 million injections given worldwide.

But it has also suffered from more than 550,000 deaths – the highest toll in the world – and the coronavirus was the third leading cause of death in the US last year.

Several European countries have restricted access to

vaccine over blood clot reports, but the EU drug regulatory agency said it found no specific linking risk factor.

However, it is argued that a causal relationship is “possible” and that “further analysis is continuing.”

In a setback for other vaccine makers, some 15 million doses of Johnson & Johnson single-use vaccine were damaged due to factory error, The New York Time reported – a blow to US companies’ efforts to rapidly increase production.

In China, which has largely defeated the virus, authorities announced a week-long lockdown on the city of Ruili, after six cases were detected near the Myanmar border – the country’s first move in months.

Greece meanwhile said it would reopen most retail stores and relax free time restrictions despite its high Covid numbers.

And Brisbane, Australia is lifting a three-day mini lockdown that was put in place to stop the outbreak from infecting 14 people.

With a pandemic devastating the global economy, World Trade Organization gave a note of hope, saying that global trade will increase by eight percent this year.

However, the importance of the pandemic war is lost on Harlock – a one-year-old German Shepherd who is happy to learn to sniff out Covid-19 in Rome.

“Sniffing,” says her trainer, Massimiliano Macera, quickly rewarding the furry pupil with a snack every time the nose meets the tube.

“Their job is to play,” Macera said of her dog. “These people are experts.”


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