Tag: moderna

Sweden Retracts Vaccine Stored Under Wrong Temperatures
Europe

Sweden Retracts Vaccine Stored Under Wrong Temperatures

The country that was boasting about combating the Corona Virus through herd immunity has failed yet again, in mitigating the virus spread, as it administered vaccines to its Swedes stored at the wrong temperature while being transported. 

Swedish medical facilities have landed up giving some 1000 patients the Covid-19 vaccine stored in the wrong temperature. All those administered the doses were medical professionals. A total of 2100 such doses were stored in wrong temperature.  They amount to 20percent of what Sweden had to receive and were (unfortunately) stored in rather low temperature.

Apparently, there was a problem with delivery itself.  As of now, there have been so side effects, but those administered are being observed for any adverse reactions. The other doses have been withheld for further investigation to ascertain whether their efficacy remains effective even after they were stored on low temperatures while being transported. 

Before this, Sweden has made use of the Pfizer vaccine candidate and has inoculated more than 1.4 million of its population.  

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The currently authorized mRNA vaccines have been found to provide up to 95% immunity against COVID-19. Further, vaccine research specialists have also ascertained that both the Pfizer and Morderna vaccines are so similar that both can be used interchangeably in order a patient gets two jobs in the interval of 28 days. This has been confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention while they are still trying to decipher if the efficacy of the medication is affected if used interchangeably. 

Both have made use of the messenger RNA technology. 

AS the scare around the mutated virus increases, there will be the need to either tweak the vaccine or to ensure that the existing one can fight the possibly resilient Corona virus. According to vaccine researchers, tweaking the recipe wouldn’t be difficult for vaccines made with newer technologies. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are made with a piece of the virus genetic code that is simple to switch. 

Biden announces ‘American Rescue Plan’ to heal ailing economy and the pandemic crisis
Americas

Biden announces ‘American Rescue Plan’ to heal ailing economy and the pandemic crisis

American Rescue Plan: On Thursday, President-elect Joe Biden announces a $1.9 trillion Covid plan called the ‘American Rescue Plan’ to help fight the profound human crisis by accelerating immunizations and siphoning out monetary assistance to those battling with the pandemic’s financial aftermath. 

The president-elect praised Congress for passing the $900 billion package in Dec 2020 and he stressed that more action is required promptly to help fight the ailing economy.

The American Rescue Plan legislative proposal would meet Biden’s objective of managing 100 million immunizations by the 100th day and advance his goals of resuming most schools by the spring. It will also help balance the economy and aid the coronavirus crisis.

Biden proposed a $1,400 stimulus for Americans, which on top of $600 gave in the latest COVID-19 bill would carry the all out to the $2,000 that Biden has called for. It would likewise boost unemployment benefits and a moratorium on removals and foreclosures through Sept.

The U.S. administration has approved two different vaccines – Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine and Moderna vaccine for emergency use. Both require a two-shot. Up until now, over 10 million individuals have got the first shot. 

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer stated that passing a coronavirus relief bill would be the main goal when Democrats take control of the Senate. 

More than 385,000 people have passed away due to coronavirus in the U.S. On Thursday, the weekly unemployment claims jumped to 965,000, a signal that rising infections are forcing businesses to lay off workers.

Under Biden’s $1.9 trillion relief package will include $415 billion to zero in on battling the pandemic, over $1 trillion in direct stimulus to families, and $440 billion to aid business amid the growing economic crisis.

The plan incorporates funding for $1,400 in additional stimulus checks to Americans who are fit for them, adding to $600 checks previously passed in Dec; and an increase in additional weekly unemployment aid from $300 to $400, The Hill detailed. 

On Thursday evening, Biden announced that he is anticipating to work with Congress and act on the legislative promptly, calling for unity as the nation facing the double whammy of the coronavirus and economic crisis.

Ukraine stuck in vaccine geopolitics amid coronavirus pandemic
Geopolitics

Ukraine stuck in vaccine geopolitics amid coronavirus pandemic

Vaccine Geopolitics: To begin with, the first talks with Pfizer company and other Western vaccine manufacturers to get early shipments imploded after the Trump administration restricted vaccine exports. Presently, chances are only if President-elect Joe Biden takes office, the soonest commercial purchase of Western vaccines will be possible, The New York Times reported.

The pace of Covid disease in Ukraine has eased back in recent weeks with over 7,000 new cases reported every day. Since the start of the pandemic, 19,712 Ukrainians have passed away due to the infection. Ukraine declared a nationwide lockdown beginning from this weekend.

The immunization situation has generated an information war in Ukraine, which has been stirred up by Russia. TV broadcasting pro-Russian perspectives along with politicians have blamed President Zelensky for permitting Ukrainians to cease to exist of a difficult refusal to procure medication from an enemy nation. 

The nation is already battling with a tug of war between East and West in European political issues, which has presently become a point of convergence in the geopolitics being played on the covid-19 vaccine.

According to The New York Times, Lyudmyla Boiko’s family has just had a frightening, and deadly, experience with the Covid pandemic. 

A few relatives acquired the virus, and her daughter-in-law’s mom passed away. Presently, Ms. Boiko, a 61-year-old working at the Botanical Garden in Ukraine, is profoundly stressed over her husband’s health, which has medical conditions yet has not yet contracted the disease. She is placing her faith in an immunization. 

“I don’t mind where the vaccine is delivered as long as it’s safe, “Wellbeing ought to be the priority, Ms. Boiko stated.” 

Ukraine’s situation has grabbed the attention of Russia’s state-controlled media sources, who have underlined Ukraine’s Western partner’s failure to help in the time of need and offering the Russian Sputnik V vaccine as the alternative. 

Ukraine’s leaders, who have raised concerns over the efficacy and safety of the Sputnik V instead opted for China, purchasing its first vaccine in a rushed arrangement by the end of December 2020. 

“Russia, as usual, utilizes this in its crossover battle, as a data weapon,” Maksym Stepanov, Ukraine’s health minister stated over a phone interview about the nation’s work towards immunizing its populace. “He stressed, that the vaccine issue has been politicized.” 

The Russian insult has shocked Ukrainian health authorities; however, there is little they can do to counter it without an elective vaccine stock. 

“Russia is seeking an aggressive policy for the vaccine,” Oleksandr Linchevsky, former deputy health minister stated. “It’s in Russia’s governmental interest that Ukraine gets the vaccine from somewhere else soon as possible,” he added.

Ukraine, with a populace of 42 million, is expecting to get 8,000,000 vaccine injections under the Covax program that provides middle and low-income nations. However, those doses are scheduled to arrive in March.

Before the banning of vaccine exports from the United States, Ukraine had been in talks with Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson and Johnson to accelerate delivery. However, the negotiations are in process, the delivery time is deferred.

Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky has scarcely contained his shock at his nation ending up far back in the line for immunizations in spite of its uncertain geopolitical situation.

EU regulator authorises Moderna Covid-19 vaccine
Europe

EU regulator authorises Moderna Covid-19 vaccine

Moderna Covid-19 vaccine: On Wednesday, European Union regulator authorised the use of Moderna Covid-19 vaccine for the bloc. It is the second vaccine approved by the 27-member Union. The decision came amidst the rising criticism regarding slow pace of vaccination, which was required to shield 450 million population of the region. The announcement was made after European Medicines Agency gave a go ahead to the Moderna vaccine with an aim to increase number of vaccination doses available for the bloc.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said, “We are providing more COVID-19 vaccines for Europeans. With the Moderna vaccine, the second one now authorized in the EU, we will have a further 160 million doses. And more vaccines will come.”

“This vaccine provides us with another tool to overcome the current emergency,” said EMA Executive Director Emer Cooke. “It is a testament to the efforts and commitment of all involved that we have this second positive vaccine recommendation just short of a year since the pandemic was declared by WHO.”

Last month, EU provided similar authorisation to US vaccine developer Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech. In case of both the vaccines, people are required to take two shots at the gap of about two-three weeks. As per the existing deal with Pfizer-BioNTech, EU would be purchasing 300 million doses. But with the current approvals granted to Moderna, EU would avail 80 million more doses, with an option to further extend the order to 80 million extra doses. Besides, Moderna gained an upper hand over rest of the vaccines as it is easier to handle, transport and did require ultra-frozen temperatures for the storage.

Both Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech have been labelled safe to use as they both employ mRNA vaccine technology, which imply that the vaccine doesn’t contain any coronavirus. Instead, the medicine uses a certain type of genetic code which signals the immune system when it contacts a spike protein on the surface of the virus, about to attack.

Welcoming the move, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides said that the vaccine authorization “will ensure that 460 million doses will be rolled out with increasing speed in the EU, and more will come. Member States have to ensure that the pace of vaccinations follows suit.”

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz also commended the decision and wrote on Twitter that approval of the Moderna vaccine “is another important step in the fight against the pandemic. This means we have more vaccine available in the EU and can fight the pandemic faster.”

Moderna said that it was working towards producing about 500 to 600 million doses in 2021 to meet the global demand. On Monday, the pharmaceutical company said it is “continuing to invest and add staff to build up to potentially 1 billion doses for 2021.”

What Has Kept Netherlands From Corona Vaccine Inoculation Drive?
Europe

What Has Kept Netherlands From Corona Vaccine Inoculation Drive?

Corona Vaccine Inoculation Drive: Netherlands’ healthcare system is so gripped in bureaucracy that it is finding it difficult to justify the eminent delay in the provision of vaccinations to the Dutch.  The country has started to receive a trickle of the vaccine that was already being used in the UK for inoculations. 

An emergency debate in the parliament recently saw the opposition blaming the government for the eminent delays. This comes as a surprise because the country is well known for excellent health care budgets and a healthy life-work index. Apparently, the health care facilities in Netherlands have not been able to manage the surging number of cases of corona virus infected patients. 

The Dutch Health Minister, Hugo De Jonge has justified the delays, as Dutch choice to ‘go slow and pay it safe’ than act hastily as the UK did by cutting corners and wishing for a quick solution.  The EU Commission took rather long to zero on the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccination. 

This week, Mr. Jonge changed his stance and accepted that ‘over-agility’ could cost Dutch lives after all. Dutch was banking on the Astra Zeneca Oxford led vaccine whose efficacy rate varies between 60-90percent. It can be stored in normal refrigeration. Netherlands had not made any arrangements to accommodate the next better vaccine candidate, Pfizer or Moderna for that matter. The latter had arrived in end of December. 

Infrastructural and then IT system glitches is what has delayed the Netherlands to start a country wide inoculation drive. They now plan to start theirs from January 18, 2021. 

Netherlands was one of the few nations to have used rather relaxed lockdown norms. Their mask mandatory ruling has only been put into effect in December. The country is now fighting record high number of contraction rates. The first to be inoculated will be health care workers. The Dutch health ministry has confirmed that an initial 30,000 vaccines will be made available for a select group of healthcare workers.

The eminent delay has been attributed to primitive IT systems that are now being upgraded. Also, the ministry has confirmed that they are spending energy in training call-centre staff on the scripts to use with people booking their vaccinations. 

Moderna: second covid vaccine to gain US authorisation
Americas

Moderna: second covid vaccine to gain US authorisation

Second covid vaccine: On Friday, US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) provided authorisation for the emergency use of the covid vaccine developed by Moderna Inc. and the National Institutes of Health. The pharmaceutical company said that the vaccine doses would be available for use by Monday. As soon as the drug company received approval, US President Donald Trump tweeted, “Congratulations, the Moderna vaccine is now available!”

Post the discussion over the vaccine, “Food and Drug Administration (FDA) chief Stephen Hahn said: “With the availability of two vaccines now for the prevention of Covid-19, the FDA has taken another crucial step in the fight against this global pandemic.”

Immunologist James Hildreth, president of Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, during the panel discussion over the vaccine on Thursday said, “To go from having a sequence of a virus in January to having two vaccines available in December is a remarkable achievement.”

The US is the first nation to provide approval to Moderna, which is the second vaccine to be supplied in the country after the first, developed by Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech.

Both Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccine has a success rate, in case of latter it is 94% and is relatively cheaper to transport to different locations as it doesn’t require ultra-freezing temperature for storage as Pfizer, which requires to be kept at −70 °C, where as former can be stored in a −20 °C freezer for 6 months, and in a refrigerator (at about 4 °C) for 30 days. 

Moderna can be taken by anyone 18 years old or above, where as Pfizer said that its dosage can be taken by even 16 year olds. Commending the quick development of both the vaccine, NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins said that two work “better than we almost dared to hope, science is working here, science has done something amazing.”

The two were developed in a record time of within a year. Collins assured people that the speed of the vaccine development should not be a point of concern for people as he stressed that the early outcome was  result of billions of dollars of investment doled into i

company along with government investments and years of earlier scientific research. Collins said,“The rigour of the analysis of these vaccines is unprecedented. We’re not done with this but hope is on the way, and the hope comes from this scientific brain trust that has pulled out all the stops.”

FDA has issued few directions for the vaccine shots including: both the vaccine require two dose shots with second to be taken after several weeks and from the same company as the first one.

Both the vaccines provide a slight ray of hope to the nation, a week before Christmas. The coronavirus pandemic has claimed over 312,000 lives in US alone and about 1.7 million lives worldwide. The current average of number of new cases in the US is over 216,000 per day.

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