Washington, United States:
US biotech giant Pfizer and German partner BioNTech obtained approval for the early launch of their coronavirus vaccine on Friday. This is a first step towards relief as the rise in infections is leading to a deadlock that traumatized nations and the global economy earlier this year.
The world is looking for scientists to save the global pandemic. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that its vaccines committee will meet on December 10 to discuss the emergency approval application.
“The FDA recognizes that transparency and dialogue are critical to public confidence in COVID-19 vaccines,” the organization’s head Stephen Hahn said in a statement.
“I want to reassure the American people that the FDA’s process and evaluation of the data for a potential Covid-19 vaccine will be as open and transparent as possible.”
He said he couldn’t predict how long the review would take, but the federal government earlier said the final green light would likely come in December.
Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer, described the filing as “a critical milestone in our journey to deliver a COVID-19 vaccine to the world“.
The BioNTech / Pfizer shot and another one developed by the US company Moderna have taken the lead in the global hunt for a vaccine.
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the European bloc could approve both before the end of the year.
Not a quick fix
However, the angry and enormously complex question of how to speed up production and sales means that there will be no immediate redress.
And the latest wave of the pandemic is hitting many regions more than the first to sweep the globe after the virus hit the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.
Globally, 1.4 million deaths and infections are approaching 57 million – although the actual numbers are unknown as countries have different reporting methods and many cases go undetected.
India’s infections have exceeded nine million – second only to the US – and some of its cemeteries have run out of space.
“At first when the virus broke out, I thought I would bury 100 to 200 people and it will happen. But the current situation is beyond my wildest thoughts,” New Delhi gravedigger Mohammed Shamim told AFP.
And Mexico was the fourth country to kill 100,000 people.
“We’re at a point where we don’t see a clear phase of relegation,” former Mexican health minister Malaquias Lopez told AFP.
Schools in NYC
In the US, it became known that President Donald Trump’s eldest son, Don Jr., tested positive for the virus earlier this week and was quarantined “in his cabin” with no symptoms.
Trump Jr. is the latest in a long line of White House-related infections, including his father. Both Trumps have consistently downplayed the risk of the pandemic, even as cases increase across the country.
More than a quarter of a million deaths have been reported in the United States since the pandemic began. 1,800 were registered on Friday.
The latest numbers have alarmed authorities enough to suggest that when Americans typically travel to family gatherings, people are staying home for next week’s Thanksgiving holiday.
Not everyone is happy about the new policies and regulations – as the 13,000 petitioners described as “nonsensical” New York’s decision to close schools, leave open bars and gyms.
California will also impose a curfew from 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. from Saturday – a measure that is similar to what Istanbul will impose on its 15 million residents on weekends starting Friday evening.
Elsewhere, Canada’s largest city, Toronto, will face a new lockdown starting Monday.
Recent restrictions in Europe include Northern Ireland’s decision to close pubs and shops for an additional two weeks as Portugal extends the state of emergency until December 8th.
But health officials in France said three weeks of restrictions helped them get past the peak of their second wave.
Governments are now pinning their hopes on a vaccine that can save them from business and school closings and home instructions that weigh heavily on people’s mental health.
Spain hopes to vaccinate “a very significant part” of its 47 million residents by mid-2021, while the Netherlands is aiming for 3.5 million in the first quarter.
The UK government said it has asked its independent medicines agency to investigate Pfizer / BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine with a view to an upcoming launch.
A separate vaccine candidate being developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca is currently in a Phase 3 study.
However, developing countries will face deeper challenges. The World Health Organization has called on the G20 to help fill a $ 4.5 billion funding gap for a program to distribute vaccines around the world. This emerges from a letter from AFP.
And the unprecedented speed at which vaccines are being developed has raised some concern.
China’s Sinopharm announced on Friday that it has already given its experimental vaccine to nearly a million people.
U.S. senior infectious disease advocate Anthony Fauci has tried to allay concerns about the Pfizer and Moderna candidates. He said the speed at which they were developed “did not compromise safety” but “reflected the extraordinary scientific advances made in these types of vaccines.” . “
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and posted from a syndicated feed.)