AstraZeneca jab clots link plausible but unconfirmed: WHO experts

  by Robin MILLARD Agence France Presse A link between AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 jabs and blood clots is plausible but unconfirmed, the World Health Organization’s vaccine experts said Wednesday, stressing that reported occurrences were “very rare”. The statement came after the EU’s EMA drug regulator said earlier in the day that blood clots should now be listed as a “very rare” side effect of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine. But the jab’s benefits continue to outweigh the […]

US promises ‘much more’ vaccine aid, puts envoy in charge

  WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — The United States will soon be able to ramp up vaccine assistance abroad and will not seek “favors in return,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Monday, putting a veteran aid administrator in charge. Blinken said the top US priority was to fight Covid-19 at home but that the goal would be achieved soon, pointing to President Joe Biden’s promise that 90 percent of Americans will be near a […]

Russia registers ‘world’s first’ Covid vaccine for animals

  MOSCOW, Russia (AFP) — Russia announced Wednesday it had registered what it said was the world’s first coronavirus vaccine for animals, describing the step as important for disrupting virus mutations. It said mass production of the vaccine could begin in April. The agriculture oversight agency Rosselkhoznadzor said in a statement that the vaccine called Carnivak-Cov had been tested since October on dogs, cats, mink, foxes and other animals and was proven to be effective. […]

WHO experts give nod to China jabs, Sinovac and Sinopharm, boosting global vaccine drive

  by Nina Larson and Robin Millard, with AFP bureaus Agence France Presse GENEVA, Switzerland (AFP) — Two Chinese coronavirus jabs are safe and effective, WHO experts said Wednesday after reviewing partial data, providing a potential boost to countries from Australia to Europe struggling to roll out vaccines fast enough. Fewer than 600 million jabs have been given out across the world, three months after vaccination programmes began in earnest in Western countries and leaders […]

Global leaders push for pandemic preparedness treaty

  by Robin MILLARD Agence France Presse GENEVA, Switzerland (AFP) — World leaders pushed Tuesday for a new international treaty to prepare for the next global pandemic — and avoid the unseemly scramble for vaccines hampering the Covid-19 response. Leaders from 25 countries, the European Union and the World Health Organization (WHO) sought to get the ground rules down in writing to streamline and speed up the reaction to future global outbreaks. The treaty would […]

Why experts think we’ll need to vaccinate children against Covid

  by Issam Ahmed and Lucie Aubourg Agence France Presse WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Drugmaker Moderna says it has started Covid-19 vaccine trials for thousands of children aged under 12, a first step towards a new phase of the immunization campaign experts say might be necessary to stamp out the pandemic. While children are generally spared the worst of the disease, under-18s account for roughly a fifth of the US population of 330 million, […]

Pfizer begins Covid vaccine trial in young children

  WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Pfizer said Thursday it had begun clinical trials for its Covid vaccine in children under the age of eleven, an early sign of the next stage of the global immunization campaign. “Together with our partner BioNTech, we have dosed the first healthy children in a global Phase 1/2/3 continuous study to further evaluate the safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine,” the company said in a statement […]

Covid-19 vaccines online or in development

    by Paul RICARD and Jean-Philippe CHOGNOT Agence France Presse   With several Covid-19 vaccines either being rolled out or under trial, here is a rundown of the various stages of their development. On the market: PFIZER/BIONTECH The mRNA vaccine developed by US pharma giant Pfizer and German start-up BioNTech is already approved for use in the European Union, the United States, Canada, Britain and several other nations. Clinical trials showed the vaccine — […]

China approves inhaled CanSino vaccine for clinical trials

  BEIJING, China (AFP) — China’s drug authority has approved for clinical trials an inhaled Covid-19 vaccine co-developed by domestic firm CanSino Biologics, the company said in a filing on Tuesday. The move comes after the National Medical Products Administration gave another CanSino vaccine conditional approval last month, allowing it for public use. China currently has five coronavirus vaccines that have been given conditional market approval or allowed for emergency use, but none of these […]

Drinking alcohol, substance use linked to severe COVID-19, hospitalization and death, various studies show

Noting this, WHO recommends restricted access to alcohol, liquor during lockdown   (Eagle News) – Persons who have a history of alcohol, illegal drugs and substance use are more at risk in getting severe COVID-19 and being hospitalized, according to various studies and the World Health Organization. In fact, WHO is urging all countries to restrict alcohol or liquor use during lockdown as this had been found to contribute to severe COVID-19 infection, and even […]

AstraZeneca says vaccine 80% effective for elderly, no blood clot risk

  WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine is 80 percent effective at preventing the disease in the elderly and does not increase the risk of blood clots, the biotech firm said Monday, following its US phase III efficiency trials. It was 79 percent effective at preventing symptomatic Covid-19 in the overall population and 100 percent effective at preventing severe disease and hospitalization, it said. Several countries had advised against administering the jab to […]

J&J jab effective in countries with variants: WHO experts

  by Robin MILLARD Agence France Presse GENEVA, Switzerland (AFP) — The WHO’s expert vaccine advisers on Wednesday recommended Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 jab for use in countries where coronavirus variants of concern are circulating. The World Health Organization gave its seal of approval on Friday to the vaccine, which has the advantages of being a single-shot jab that can be stored at regular refrigeration rather than ultra-cold temperatures. After meeting on Monday, the WHO’s […]