covid_cell_1’s weekly COVID-19 news round-up

pharmafile | December 17, 2020 | News story | |   

Developments in the race to vaccinate against COVID-19 have dominated the news this week; a vaccine roll-out is underway in the US after the FDA approved Pfizer’s jab for emergency use, while Russia’s Sputnik V candidate has been shown to be over 90% efficient in Phase 3 study data.

While stories like these are cause to be hopeful, the battle is far from over – researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have also said that high-income countries buying up jab reserves will leave almost a quarter of the world’s population without access to a vaccine until 2022.

1. FDA issues emergency use authorisation for Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine – Published on 14/12/20

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in those aged 16 and older in the US, with the first doses likely to be rolled out this week.

2. Final control point analysis shows 90% efficacy for Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine – Published 14/12/20

Efficacy data have been revealed from the final control point data analysis for Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine, showing the candidate to have an efficacy exceeding 90%, according to the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and the National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology, known as the Gamaleya Center.

3. New coronavirus strain identified in the UK – Published 15/12/2020

A new variant of coronavirus has been identified in the UK, and is growing faster in some parts of England, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said.

4. UAE rolls out Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine amid conflicting reports of efficacy – Published 15/12/20

The United Arab Emirates has begun rolling out Sinopharm’s COVID-19 vaccine in its capital Abu Dhabi, despite claims that numerous workers in Uganda who received the Chinese company’s jab later tested positive for the virus.

5. Quarter of the world may not access COVID-19 vaccine until 2022 – Published 16/12/20

Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health said that high-income countries have already reserved billions of doses of vaccines, meaning access for middle and low-income countries is precarious.

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