Connect with us

Business

Britain becomes 1st country to approve Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine – Global News

Published

 on


Britain on Wednesday became the first country in the world to approve a coronavirus vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca as it battles a major winter surge driven by a new, highly contagious variant of the virus.

Boris Johnson’s government, which has already ordered 100 million doses of the vaccine, has jumped ahead of other Western countries with its vaccination program.

It was the first to approve a shot developed by Pfizer of the United States and Germany’s BioNTech, with the result that hundreds of thousands of people were vaccinated in Britain before European Union countries and the United States even began administering it this month.

Read more:
Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine shows 70% overall efficacy, more work needed: study

The AstraZeneca/Oxford shot, unlikely to be approved for some time by EU or U.S. regulators, will start being administered on Monday, beginning with those most at risk from COVID-19.

Story continues below advertisement

While the approval by the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is a vindication for a shot seen as essential for mass immunisations in the developing world as well as in Britain, it does not eliminate questions about trial data that make it unlikely to be approved so rapidly in the European Union or the United States.

Uncertainty has swirled over the most effective dosing pattern for the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine since it released data last month showing a 90% success rate for a half-dose followed by a full dose, but only 62% – still usually more than enough for regulators – for two full doses.


Click to play video 'AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine looks promising, 70% effective on average'



2:35
AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine looks promising, 70% effective on average


AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine looks promising, 70% effective on average – Nov 23, 2020

The MHRA said that the results for the half-dose regimen had not been borne out by analysis. Instead, it approved the regimen of two full doses.

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

An official involved in the MHRA decision, said that the vaccine’s effectiveness had risen when the doses were given three months apart.

Story continues below advertisement

“Effectiveness was high, up to 80%, when there was a three- month interval between first and second doses, which is the reason for our recommendation,” Munir Pirmohamed, Chair of the Commission on Human medicines expert Working Group on COVID-19 vaccines, told reporters.

Read more:
U.K. to assess AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine as questions swirl over data

Hancock said hundreds of thousands of doses would be available to administer next week in Britain.

“The NHS (National Health Service) will be able to deliver these shots into people’s arms at the speed at which it can be manufactured,” Health Secretary Matt Hancock told Sky News.

“I am also now, with this approval this morning, highly confident that we can get enough vulnerable people vaccinated by the spring that we can now see our route out of this pandemic.”


Click to play video 'Coronavirus: WHO encouraged by AstraZeneca vaccine results, but needs further analysis'



4:28
Coronavirus: WHO encouraged by AstraZeneca vaccine results, but needs further analysis


Coronavirus: WHO encouraged by AstraZeneca vaccine results, but needs further analysis – Nov 23, 2020

Crucially for countries with relatively basic health infrastructure, the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine can be stored and transported under normal refrigeration, rather than supercooled to -70 degrees Celsius (-94 Fahrenheit).

Story continues below advertisement

The vaccine is one of two candidates currently undergoing a rolling review by Health Canada, along with one developed by Johnson & Johnson. The agency has not said when approval might come for the AstraZeneca shot.

India is keen to start administering the new shot next month; Serum Institute of India (SII), the world’s biggest producer of vaccines, has already made about 50 million doses. Chile is also interested.

(Reporting by Alistair Smout and Paul Sandle in London, additional reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru, Kate Kelland in London, John Miller in Zurich, Emilio Parodi in Milan; editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Kevin Liffey)

–With files from Global News and the Associated Press

© 2020 Reuters

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Business

Vancouver couple accused of being COVID-19 vaccine tourists won’t be able to skip B.C. line – News 1130

Published

 on


VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The wealthy Vancouver couple accused of flying to a remote Yukon town to get vaccinated against COVID-19 won’t be allowed to line up for a second shot in B.C. anytime soon.

Rod Baker and his wife, Ekaterina, reportedly flew from Vancouver, where they live, to the remote Yukon community of Beaver Creek, where they received the Moderna vaccine.

But according to a statement from the Ministry of Health, there won’t be any space made for the couple to get their required second shot in B.C.

“There is no room in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan for people who deliberately put vulnerable populations at risk in order to receive their vaccine before the start of their eligibility group,” reads the statement to NEWS 1130.

Vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer require a second dose for full protection.

B.C. was administering the second shot 35 days after the virus until further delays from Pfizer pushed the province to extend that window to a maximum of 42 days.

RELATED: Couple accused of flying to Yukon for vaccine ‘despicable’: B.C. minister

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry didn’t indicate how long the couple would have to wait for their second shot as vaccines are in short supply.

“They should be ashamed of themselves,” Henry said Monday when asked about reports of the Bakers jumping the queue.

“They put a community at risk for their own benefit and that to me is appalling.”

The current plan for immunizing British Columbians against the virus won’t see the general population starting to get vaccinated until April. Even then, those at higher risk and those oldest will be immunized first, before the province works backwards in five-year increments until people 60 years and older are immunized.

Ministry of Health staff confirms there are clear processes in place to ensure people currently live in B.C. The pre-registration system also prevents people from booking an appointment before you are eligible –based on your age.

Following accusations of travel, Great Canadian Gaming confirmed Rod Baker was no longer with the company.

Tickets filed in a Whitehorse court show the 55-year-old man and his 32-year-old wife were each charged with failing to self-isolate for 14 days and failing to act in a manner consistent with their declarations upon arriving in Yukon.

The allegations against them have not been proven in court and the tickets indicate the couple can challenge them.

– With files from the Canadian Press and Denise Wong

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Business

Outrage over B.C. couple jumping COVID-19 vaccine queue – CBC News: The National

Published

 on


[unable to retrieve full-text content]

  1. Outrage over B.C. couple jumping COVID-19 vaccine queue  CBC News: The National
  2. Merck ends development of two potential COVID-19 vaccines  The Globe and Mail
  3. Questions surround death of person who got COVID vaccine  Los Angeles Times
  4. Kamala Harris Receives Second Dose of Covid-19 Vaccine  Bloomberg Quicktake: Now
  5. Publix announces second round of COVID-19 vaccine appointments  FOX 5 Atlanta
  6. View Full coverage on Google News



Source link

Continue Reading

Business

Business exec and his wife charged after flying into remote Canadian town to get Covid-19 vaccine, officials say – CNN

Published

 on


Rodney and Ekaterina Baker have been charged under Yukon’s Civil Emergency Measures Act (CEMA), according to court documents.
Yukon Community Services Minister John Streicker said the couple showed up at a mobile clinic last Thursday in Beaver Creek, home to an indigenous community.
One of them presented a British Columbia health care card, the other had one from Ontario, Streicker said in a statement.
The Bakers weren’t charged for getting the vaccine. Rather, they were accused of not following quarantine requirements after arriving in the Canadian territory.
According to a charging document, the Bakers are from Vancouver, British Columbia, southeast of the Yukon territory.
“I am outraged by this selfish behaviour, and find it disturbing that people would choose to put fellow Canadians at risk in this manner,” Streicker said. “Reports allege these individuals were deceptive and violated emergency measures for their own advantage, which is completely unacceptable at any time, but especially during a public health crisis.”
CNN was unable Tuesday to reach the Bakers for comment.

Couple posed as local motel employees, reports say

Indigenous communities are one of the groups given priority for Covid-19 vaccinations, according to Canada’s vaccine guidance. They are often also disproportionately affected by the novel coronavirus because they can be in areas where health care access is limited.
Beaver Creek, the westernmost community in Canada, is the home of the White River First Nation. It is just a few miles from the Alaska border.
The Bakers allegedly chartered a plane from the city of Whitehorse in Yukon to Beaver Creek, which has about 125 residents, and claimed they were employees at a local motel, Streicker told CNN news partner CBC.
The Bakers arrived in Yukon from Vancouver on January 19 and were supposed to be self-isolating for 14 days in Whitehorse, according to officials. According to a complaint made to law enforcement, they traveled to Beaver Creek on January 21. The travel was not allowed because of quarantine requirements, officials said.
After getting their shots, the couple raised suspicions in the community by asking for a ride to the airport, Streicker told CNN news partner CBC.
“And people were like, ‘Well, why would you be going to the airport?’ ” Streicker said.
Following an investigation, the couple was located at the Whitehorse airport, and Yukon officials told CNN the couple left the territory that same day.
Members of the mobile clinic team called the motel and were informed the couple did not work there, Streicker told CBC.
CNN reached out to Streicker for comment on Tuesday but did not hear back.
As for getting the vaccines, according to Streicker, the British Columbia and Ontario health cards wouldn’t have necessarily prevented the Bakers from getting them, as there are many out-of-territory workers in the region.
Rodney, 55, and Ekaterina Baker, 32, were each charged with failure to self-isolate for 14 days upon entry into the territory and failure to behave in a manner consistent with the declaration provided upon entry into the territory.
Charges under the Civil Emergency Measures Act (CEMA) may include fines up to $500; up to 6 months in prison; or both, according to Yukon’s Covid-19 orders and directions. The Bakers were each levied a $500 fine and $75 surcharge on both counts.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police were alerted to the situation. The RCMP’s Yukon office said Tuesday it is investigating; it would not reply to CNN questions.
The Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, a hotel and casino company with 25 Canadian properties, told CNN that while it didn’t comment on personnel matters relating to former employees, effective January 24, Rodney Baker was no longer the president and CEO of Great Canadian and is “no longer affiliated in any way with the company.”
“As a company, Great Canadian takes health and safety protocols extremely seriously, and our company strictly follows all directives and guidance issued by public health authorities in each jurisdiction where we operate,” the statement added.
The White River First Nation said it “is particularly concerned with the callous nature of these actions taken by the individuals, as they were a blatant disregard for the rules in which keep our community safe during this unprecedented global pandemic.”

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending