#Switzerland; #PfizerBioNTechCovid19vaccine; #Swissmedic; #FederalOfficeofPublicHealth; #EU; #Moderna; #AstraZeneca
Switzerland/Canadian-Media: Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine has been approved by Swissmedic, Switzerland's drug regulator for use in the country, media reports said.
Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine. Image credit: Unsplash
“The data available to date showed a comparable high level of efficacy in all investigated age groups, thus meeting the safety requirements,” drug regulator Swissmedic said in a statement Saturday, adding that the vaccine can’t yet be given to anyone under 16. “The level of protection afforded seven days after the second injection is over 90% in adults.”
The the vaccine was approved by the Swiss after the United Kingdom (U.K.) and United States (U.S.) among others have already approved the vaccine.
The decision by the European Union (EU) regulators be made in a meeting next week.
Contracts with the companies for the delivery of three million vaccine doses had been previously signed by Switzerland.
About 100,000 doses of the first delivery is scheduled to arrive this year, which would be followed by larger batches, according to a separate statement from the Federal Office of Public Health.
People in vulnerable groups would be prioritized for vaccinations beginning in December.
Swiss and EU regulators have been reviewing the vaccine for a conditional marketing authorization process, which according to EU commission’s directorate-general for health requires a higher evidence level, unlike the U.S. and U.K., which conducted emergency authorizations.
Due to seven-day average increase of 3 percent compared to last week, it was announced by the the Swiss government on Friday that it will be closing restaurants and leisure venues to curb the spread of new infections and added that further steps would be considering if the situation worsens.
Vaccines from Moderna and AstraZeneca are still undergoing approval by Swissmedic and are “unlikely” to be available until the middle of next year, said the public health office.
#Moscow; #Russia; #SputnikVaccine; #Covid19Pandemic
Moscow/Canadian-Media: Russia's mass vaccination campaign against the coronavirus began on Dec 4 with thousands of people in 70 locations across the city, getting vaccinated in Moscow, with a vaccine that has not been fully proven to be safe and effective, media reports said.
People between the ages of 18 and 60 who face high risks of exposure, are being vaccinated and are to receive a second 21 days later.
Pregnant women and people suffering from a cold or chronic conditions are barred from receiving it.
In spite of receiving widespread criticism, Moscow adopted the mass vaccination campaign when last month the makers of the Sputnik vaccine reported positive results from a clinical trial of on a small and unspecified number of people, without waiting for the final trial to be completed.
Russia has recorded nearly 2.4 million cases, the fourth-largest number in the world since the beginning of the pandemic, and more than 41,000 deaths and Moscow, with around 13 million people, has been the epicenter of the country’s outbreak.
#China; #HuaweiTechnologies; #TelecomCompany
Canada/Canadian-Media: Talks are in progress between the U.S. Justice Department and representatives of Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies Co. about a deal that would see the Chinese telecom executive free to return home from Canada if she admits her guilt, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
Meng Wanzhou. Image credit: Wikipedia.
Meng was arrested Dec 2018 on a U.S. extradition request over allegations that she lied to a Hong Kong banker in 2013 about Huawei's control of a subsidiary that's accused of violating U.S. sanctions against Iran.
Shortly after Meng's arrest, Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were detained in China, where they remain in detention and were charged with spying for Canada.
In the Journal’s reports that if she does that, U.S. prosecutors would defer the charges against Meng, and could even drop them at a later date. The report added that the proposed deal could pave the way for China to return Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, two Canadians detained there on charges of spying.
#Moderna, #Coronavirus, #Vaccine, #COVID19
Washington/Canadian-Media: The results of its corona vaccine trials by the pharmaceutical company Moderna have been submitted to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in order to obtain emergency use authorization for the vaccine, media reports said.
Moderna Vaccine. Image credit: Twitter handle
Moderna said that vaccine is generally well tolerated and devoid of serious safety concerns and vaccine efficacy was 94.1 percent and reached 100 percent in severe COVID-19 cases.
At least three promising vaccine candidates are expected to receive emergency use authorization from US health authorities in coming weeks, according to media reports.
The U.S. FDA said an advisory committee would meet to discuss the request on Dec. 17, making Moderna's candidate the second highly effective vaccine likely to receive U.S. regulatory backing and a potential roll out this year.