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OPINION: Why coronavirus vaccine tourism would be a disaster for equality

OPINION: Why coronavirus vaccine tourism would be a disaster for equality

IT'S happening. Highly sought-after vaccines making their way on to the private market. Doses of the coronavirus jab developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca could be available for purchase in India as soon as March, according to comments made by the CEO of the Serum Institute in India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer. Why does the future availability of vaccines for sale privately in countries such as India matter? Because it means a secondary market emerges for vaccines where wealthy foreign visitors could pay for a vaccination if not eligible to be immunised under their own government’s scheme. In…
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J&J says review of illness that led to coronavirus vaccine trial pause could take days

J&J says review of illness that led to coronavirus vaccine trial pause could take days

CARL O’DONNELL and MANAS MISHRA  JOHNSON & Johnson has announced that it would take at least a few days for an independent safety panel to evaluate an unexplained illness of a study participant that led to a pause in the company's COVID-19 vaccine trial. J&J shares fell more than 2% following news of the pause and safety review. Rival AstraZeneca Plc's U.S. trial for its coronavirus vaccine candidate - which uses a similar technology - has remained on hold for more than a month after a participant in the company's UK trial fell ill. J&J, whose vaccine effort is among…
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South African volunteers on AstraZeneca vaccine trial say not alarmed by pause

South African volunteers on AstraZeneca vaccine trial say not alarmed by pause

SOUTH African volunteers on AstraZeneca’s experimental coronavirus vaccine trial said they were not worried to hear the trial had been paused after a participant fell ill and they hoped to be part of a potential solution to the pandemic. The vaccine, developed with the University of Oxford, has been described by the World Health Organization as probably the world’s leading candidate and the most advanced in terms of development. Some 2,000 volunteers in South Africa are taking part in the trial which was paused globally on Tuesday after an unexplained illness in a participant. An independent committee will review safety…
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Morocco expects 4.2 million COVID-19 vaccine doses soon, officials say

Morocco expects 4.2 million COVID-19 vaccine doses soon, officials say

MOROCCO expects new batches of coronavirus vaccine to arrive soon from Russia, South Korea and China, allowing it to continue its rapid immunisation roll-out despite a pause in exports from India, health ministry sources said. Morocco has already received 8.5-million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine, made in India, and Sinopharm vaccine, made in China, allowing it to administer more jabs than any other African country. It expects 4.2-million more doses soon, said Health Ministry scientific committee member Said Afif, keeping it on track to reach its target of herd immunity before the summer. These include two million more Sinopharm doses, a…
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Egypt aims to produce vaccines

Egypt aims to produce vaccines

THE Egyptian government hopes to sign an agreement with China's Sinovac Biotech Ltd before the end of March to manufacture its coronavirus vaccine in Egypt, according to Health Minister Hala Zayed. Talks between the two sides reached "an advanced stage" and Egypt has asked the Chinese government for assistance over the manufacturing price, Zayed said at a joint press conference with the Chinese ambassador in Cairo. The planned agreement would be between Sinovac and Egypt's Holding Company for Biological Products and Vaccines (VACSERA). Zayed said Egypt hoped to become a centre for manufacturing the vaccine, either for local use or…
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WHO tries to quash vaccine nervousness

WHO tries to quash vaccine nervousness

THE World Health Organization squarely endorsed AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine on Friday, as Thailand joined a number of smaller European countries in suspending the use of the shot because of sporadic reports of blood clots among recipients. Bulgaria also joined Denmark, Norway and Iceland, which all stopped using the vaccine on Thursday. Austria, Italy, Luxembourg, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia stopped using certain batches. "Until all doubts are dispelled..., we are halting inoculations with this vaccine," Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said. His health minister, Kostadin Angelov, said a 57-year-old woman had died of heart failure 15 hours after receiving an AstraZeneca…
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COVAX allocates at least 330 million COVID vaccines for poor countries

COVAX allocates at least 330 million COVID vaccines for poor countries

THE COVAX coronavirus vaccine sharing scheme has allocated at least 330 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for poorer countries in the first half of 2021, the GAVI vaccine alliance said yesterday. The allocation includes an initial 240 million doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India, an additional 96 million doses of the same shot made by AstraZeneca, plus 1.2 million doses of Pfizer -BioNTech'S COVID-19 vaccine. Publishing an interim distribution plan, the COVAX Facility, which is co-led by GAVI, the World Health Organization, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and the U.N. Children's Fund,…
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Guinea approves Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine

Guinea approves Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine

Guinea has approved the Russian Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine for domestic use, becoming the second African country to do so, health authorities and Russia's sovereign wealth fund said on Friday. The West African country's approval of the vaccine for use for one year occurred two weeks after President Alpha Conde was seen receiving it on television under a trial run of what is expected to be a much large delivery of vials from Russia. Guinea is negotiating a bilateral deal to take an additional 2 million doses, a senior government official told Reuters on condition of anonymity. Russia's vaccine diplomacy…
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Ivory Coast’s vaccine delivery delayed

Ivory Coast’s vaccine delivery delayed

IVORY Coast's government said it will receive a first batch of around 100,000 doses of the Pfizer BioNTech coronavirus vaccine in mid-February, around two weeks later than initially planned, due to delays in availability of the shots. Government spokesman Sidi Tiemoko Toure said on Wednesday the country plans to roll out its inoculation programme in the first quarter and would authorise vaccines from AstraZeneca , China's Sinopharm and Russia this week. While richer nations have secured and launched mass vaccination campaigns, countries in Africa are still scrambling to secure supplies as most grapple with a second wave of infections. "The…
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Senegal in talks to buy vaccine from China

Senegal in talks to buy vaccine from China

SENEGAL is in talks to buy at least 200,000 doses of a coronavirus vaccine developed by China's Sinopharm, Health Minister Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr has announced. Senegal this month said it would buy extra vaccines to complement those it will get through the World Health Organization-backed COVAX scheme, which aims to deliver 1.3 billion doses this year to 92 low- and middle-income nations. A deal with Sinopharm could help Senegal start vaccinations before COVAX kicks in, a small boost for a country where cases this month have surged to record highs and intensive care beds are full. But it would cover…
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