Moderna Covid vaccine efficacy falls slightly to 90% in US trial

  WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — US biotech company Moderna announced Covid vaccine is 90 percent effective against all forms of the disease and 95 percent effective against severe disease. The new results come from its ongoing Phase 3 clinical trial involving more 30,000 people across the United States, and the headline efficacy figure is a slight decrease from an earlier figure of 94.1 percent published in the New England Journal of Medicine in December. […]

US pauses J&J vaccine in blow to global immunization drive; rare clot in brain found in 6 women

South Africa follows US lead in suspending J&J vaccine rollout by Issam AHMED Agence France Presse WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — US health authorities on Tuesday recommended pausing the Johnson & Johnson Covid shot over blood clot fears, with the company quickly announcing it would delay its European rollout, in a setback for global immunization campaigns. Out of nearly seven million Americans who have so far received the single dose vaccine, six women between age […]

Covid patients with sedentary habits more likely to die: study

  by Marlowe HOOD Agence France Presse Among covid patients, a lack of exercise is linked to more severe symptoms and a higher risk of death, according to a study covering nearly 50,000 people who were infected with the virus. People physically inactive for at least two years before the pandemic were more likely to be hospitalised, to require intensive care, and to die, researchers reported Tuesday in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. As […]

UK B.1.1.7 variant not linked to more serious infections: study

  The UK variant of the novel coronavirus does not increase the severity of Covid-19 compared to other strains, according to research published Tuesday that also confirmed its increased transmissibility. The variant, known as B117, is now the dominant viral strain across much of Europe, and previous studies had shown it was linked to a higher likelihood of death than normal variants. But two studies published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases and The Lancet Public […]

S. African Covid variant better at bypassing Pfizer/BioNTech jab: Israeli study

  JERUSALEM (AFP) — The South African coronavirus variant is better at “breaking through” the defences of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine than other forms of the virus, Israeli experts said Sunday. However, one of the authors told AFP that while the study showed the variant to be relatively successful in infecting vaccinated people, it did not provide any data on whether it could generate serious illness among vaccinees. The study by Tel Aviv University and Clalit […]

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 […]