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China pushes emergency use of COVID vaccine despite concerns – CTV News

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BEIJING —
After the first shot, he had no reaction. But Kan Chai felt woozy following the second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine approved for emergency use in China.

“When I was driving on the road, I suddenly felt a bit dizzy, as if I was driving drunk,” the popular writer and columnist recounted in a webinar earlier this month. “So I specially found a place to stop the car, rest a bit and then I felt better.”

His is a rare account from the hundreds of thousands of people who have been given Chinese vaccines, before final regulatory approval for general use. It’s an unusual move that raises ethical and safety questions, as companies and governments worldwide race to develop a vaccine that will stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Chinese companies earlier drew attention for giving the vaccine to their top executives and leading researchers before human trials to test their safety and efficacy had even begun. In recent months, they have injected a far larger number under an emergency use designation approved in June, and that number appears poised to rise.

A Chinese health official said Friday that China, which has largely eradicated the disease, needs to take steps to prevent it from coming back. But one outside expert questioned the need for emergency use when the virus is no longer spreading in the country where it was first detected.

It’s unclear exactly who and how many people have been injected so far, but Chinese vaccine makers have offered some clues. State-owned Sinopharm subsidiary CNBG has given the vaccine to 350,000 people outside its clinical trials, which have about 40,000 people enrolled, a top CNBG executive said recently.

Another company, Sinovac Biotech Ltd., has injected 90% of its employees and family members, or about 3,000 people, most under the emergency-use provision, CEO Yin Weidong said. It has also provided tens of thousands of rounds of its CoronaVac to the Beijing city government.

Separately, the Chinese military has approved the use of a vaccine it developed with CanSino Biologics Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, in military personnel.

“The first people to have priority in emergency use are the vaccine researchers and the vaccine manufacturers because when the pandemic comes, if these people are infected then there’s no way to produce the vaccine,” Yin said.

Now, large Chinese firms including telecom giant Huawei and broadcaster Phoenix TV have announced they’re working with Sinopharm to get the vaccine for their employees.

Several people who say they work in “front-line” organizations have said on social media that their workplaces have offered vaccinations for about 1,000 yuan ($150). They declined to comment, saying they would need permission from their organizations.

In an established but limited practice, experimental medications have been approved historically for use when they are still in the third and last phase of human trials. Chinese companies have four vaccines in phase 3 — two from Sinopharm, and one each from Sinovac and CanSino.

The Chinese government referenced the World Health Organization’s emergency-use principles to create its own through a strict process, National Health Commission official Zheng Zhongwei said at a news conference Friday.

He said there have been no serious side effects in the clinical trials.

“We’ve made it very clear that the COVID-19 vaccine we put into emergency use are safe,” Zheng said. “Their safety can be ensured but their efficacy is yet to be determined.”

Under the emergency rule, high-risk personnel such as medical and customs workers and those who have to work overseas are given priority access, he said. He declined to provide exact numbers.

“In China’s case, the pressure in preventing imported infections and domestic resurgence is still huge,” Zheng said.

But Diego Silva, a lecturer in bioethics at the University of Sydney, said that giving vaccines to hundreds of thousands outside of clinical trials doesn’t have “scientific merit” in China, where there are currently very few locally transmitted cases, and incoming arrivals are quarantined centrally.

“If it’s in the U.S. where the virus is still raging that’s a bit different, but in a country like China it doesn’t seem to make sense to me,” he said. “Because there’s not enough of the virus in China locally to deduce anything, you’re introducing a whole host of others factors” by injecting people outside of trials.

Zheng said that all those injected under emergency use are being closely tracked for any adverse health effects.

Kan Chai, the columnist, wrote in an article posted online in September that despite initial hesitation, he decided to sign up after he heard a state-owned company was looking for volunteers.

He didn’t say whether his was an emergency-use case, but the timing of his vaccination suggests it was. He took the first dose in late July, when the emergency inoculations were getting started and the trials were all but over.

“I’m willing to be a little white mouse, and the biggest reason is because I have trust in our country’s vaccination technology,” he said.

His real name is Li Yong, but his 1.65 million followers on the Twitter-like social platform Weibo know him better by his pen name, which means “10 years of chopping wood.” He declined an interview request.

He described taking the vaccine in a public webinar hosted by 8am HealthInsight, a popular health media outlet. It’s unclear why he qualified to receive it.

Scant information is publicly available about the program’s scope, size, and scientific merit. CNBG and parent Sinopharm declined to comment. Zheng, the National Health Commission official, did not know about the Kan Chai case.

While emergency use may be the right path, Chinese companies are not being transparent about issues such as informed consent, said Joy Zhang, a professor who researches the ethical governance of emerging science at University of Kent in Britain.

Zhang said that she could not find any relevant information on the Sinopharm website, and aside from reports published in international medical journals, there is little else made public.

She said relatively more information is publicly available about other trials such as one run by Oxford University and AstraZeneca. The trial was halted after a participant developed severe neurological side effects, and only resumed after clinical data was submitted to an independent review board.

China has a troubled past with vaccines, with various scandals over the past two decades.

The most recent case was in 2018, when Changsheng Biotechnology Co. came under investigation for falsifying records and making ineffective rabies vaccines for children.

In 2017, Wuhan Institute of Biological Products Co., a CNBG subsidiary behind one of the vaccines in phase 3 trials, was found to have made defective diphtheria vaccines that were ineffective.

Public anger over the case prompted an overhaul of a vaccine punishment law in 2019. The country tightened supervision over the vaccine development and distribution process, and increased penalties for fabricating data.

Those concerns seem to be of the past. Guizhen Wu, the chief biosafety expert for China’s Center for Disease Control, said a vaccine could be ready for the general public in China as early as November. She said she took an experimental vaccine back in April.

An overseas employee at a Chinese state-owned company, who spoke on condition of anonymity because she wasn’t authorized to speak with the media, said she decided to sign up last week.

She said she isn’t worried because a vaccine is a government priority, so authorities will keep a close watch on the process.

——

Wu reported from Taipei, Taiwan. Associated Press producer Olivia Zhang and videojournalist Dake Kang contributed to this report.

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Copper hits $7,000 a tonne as ‘green-tinted’ rally hots up – Financial Times

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Copper hit $7,000 a tonne for the first time since 2018 on Wednesday, as strong demand in China and hopes for a wave of “green” stimulus measures lift the price of the vital industrial metal. 

Benchmark copper prices trading on the London Metal Exchange reached as high as $7,034 in afternoon trading, their strongest level since June 2018. The metal, used in everything from air conditioning units to cars and power networks, has risen about 14 per cent this year, on the back of supply disruptions and China’s rapid recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Chinese president Xi Jinping’s pledge last month that the world’s second-largest economy would be carbon neutral by 2060 is expected to lead to a focus on renewable energy in the country’s next five-year plan, which starts in 2021. In the US, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has promised a $2tn green energy and infrastructure plan if he wins the election next month. 

Copper is emerging as one of the key ways for investors to gain exposure to a rollout of more wind, solar, batteries and electric cars, due to the metal’s use in electric wiring. “We believe investor interest in gaining exposure to the ‘decarbonisation’ theme is on the verge of reaching fever pitch,” said Max Layton, an analyst at Citigroup. 

China’s move last month was a “massive fundamental shift” that would give a meaningful uplift to copper demand over the next two to five years, especially in China’s electricity grid, Mr Layton said.

Analysts at Goldman Sachs said metals such as copper could enter a “green-tinted bull market”.

Copper consumption in the automotive and power sectors is set to grow by 2.3m tonnes over the next five years, accounting for almost three-quarters of projected global demand growth, Mr Layton said. 

On average, an electric car contains more than three times as much copper as an internal combustion car. Copper is also used in wind turbines and to connect renewable sources of generation to the grid.

In anticipation of its rising demand, China, the world’s largest consumer of copper, has been stockpiling supplies of the metal this year, according to analysts at Macquarie. Vivienne Lloyd, an analyst at the bank, estimates that China could have stockpiled 800,000 tonnes of the metal, based on the difference between imports and production. A rise in the renminbi to a two-year high on Wednesday against the dollar also makes copper cheaper for Chinese buyers.

“We do not believe that China has over-imported refined copper in 2020,” said Nicholas Snowdon, an analyst at Goldman Sachs. “The surge in refined imports has been a necessary offset to sharp declines . . . resulting from disruptions in mine supply and scrap flows.”

Copper’s rally has also been boosted by supply interruptions due to Covid-19 restrictions on mining companies. Antofagasta, the Chilean copper miner, said on Wednesday that its third-quarter production fell 4.6 per cent in the three months to the end of September from the previous quarter. 

Supply could be under further pressure depending on the outcome of a constitutional referendum in Chile this Sunday. Chile is the world’s largest copper producer, from mines owned by BHP, Glencore, Anglo American and Antofagasta. Miners could face higher taxes or tighter controls on their rights over water if Chile’s constitution is rewritten, according to analysts. 

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Tech Stocks Are Crushing the Market This Year: Where to Invest $1,000 Today – The Motley Fool Canada

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Even amid a global pandemic that continues to wreak havoc on economies across the globe, the Canadian market is down just 5% on the year — not too bad considering at one point the S&P/TSX Composite Index dropped more than 30% in a single month.

The market crash earlier this year was one of the steepest drops that Canadians had faced in decades. It’s very possible that the worst has yet to come, but investors have witnessed an incredible bounce back over the past seven months.

The previously mentioned index has run up close to 45% since the last week of March. But even as strong as that bull run has been, many tech stocks have surged far more than 45% over the past seven months.

Canadian tech favourites like Shopify and Lightspeed have seen their share prices explode since the market began to rebound. Since the beginning of April, both tech stocks are up more than 200%.

Why are tech stocks soaring?

The global pandemic has dramatically increased the dependence on technology for both consumers and businesses across the globe. The trend of shifting towards a digital world was already evident, the pandemic just helped accelerate that digitization. As a result, we’ve seen stocks critical to helping digitize a business, such as Shopify and Lightspeed, soar throughout this pandemic.

It’s not just popular stocks like Shopify and Lightspeed that are on incredible bull runs, though. There’s a long list of Canadian tech stocks that deserve serious consideration for any investor that’s willing to hold for the long term.

I’ve covered a tech stock that has absolutely crushed the Canadian market this year. In addition to that, I believe that this company has a very strong chance to continue to outperform the Canadian market over the next decade.

Docebo

The pandemic has altered the lives and routines of Canadians across the country — perhaps none bigger than the changes within the working environment. To respect social-distancing regulations, the percentage of employees working from home has skyrocketed this year. And the longer employees continue to do so, the harder it may be to return to the grind of the office commute.

Docebo (TSX:DCBO) is my top work-from-home stock. The tech company specializes in developing cloud-based learning platforms that provide a virtual training experience for employees. The technology is powered by artificial intelligence, aimed to develop a unique learning experience for each user.

The tech stock has been a public company for just over one year. It’s a short track record to review performance, but investors that picked up shares just about at any point over the past year would be sitting on gains today. 

Since the beginning of the year, the stock is up 215%. That’s not too bad considering the Canadian market is down 5%. But if you were fortunate to pick up shares at the lowest point of the year, you’d be up more than 400%. 

Valuation is my biggest knock against Docebo. Growth of more than 200% on the year doesn’t come without the risk of extreme levels of volatility.

The company trades today at a very expensive price-to-sales ratio of 30. It might seem high, but that’s the cost of investing in a company that has grown 400% over the seven months.

Foolish bottom line

Just because the market is down on the year doesn’t mean there aren’t any companies that are growing. The tech industry is full of stocks that are trading near all-time highs today.

If you’re able to hold for the long term and can stomach the highly anticipated volatility over the short term, this is one tech stock that has the potential to continue to outperform the market for a long time.

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Fool contributor Nicholas Dobroruka owns shares of Lightspeed POS Inc and Shopify. Tom Gardner owns shares of Shopify. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Shopify and Shopify. The Motley Fool owns shares of Lightspeed POS Inc.

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WestJet, Air Canada in Twitter fight over flight refunds – Yahoo Canada Finance

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Cell Surface Markers Market Research Report by Product, by Source, by Cell Type, by Application, by End User – Global Forecast to 2025 – Cumulative Impact of COVID-19

Cell Surface Markers Market Research Report by Product (Antibodies and Pcr Arrays), by Source (Mice and Rats), by Cell Type, by Application, by End User – Global Forecast to 2025 – Cumulative Impact of COVID-19New York, Oct. 23, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Reportlinker.com announces the release of the report “Cell Surface Markers Market Research Report by Product, by Source, by Cell Type, by Application, by End User – Global Forecast to 2025 – Cumulative Impact of COVID-19” – https://www.reportlinker.com/p05913780/?utm_source=GNW The Global Cell Surface Markers Market is expected to grow from USD 561.02 Million in 2019 to USD 903.48 Million by the end of 2025 at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 8.26%. Market Segmentation & Coverage: This research report categorizes the Cell Surface Markers to forecast the revenues and analyze the trends in each of the following sub-markets: Based on Product, the Cell Surface Markers Market studied across Antibodies and Pcr Arrays. Based on Source, the Cell Surface Markers Market studied across Mice and Rats. Based on Cell Type, the Cell Surface Markers Market studied across B Cell Surface Markers, Monocyte Cell Surface Markers, NK Cell Surface Markers, and T Cell Surface Markers. Based on Application, the Cell Surface Markers Market studied across Clinical and Research. The Clinical further studied across Immunodeficiency Diseases and Oncology. The Research further studied across Drug Discovery, Immunology, and Stem Cell Research. Based on End User, the Cell Surface Markers Market studied across Academic & Research Institutes, Hospitals & Clinical Testing Laboratories, and Pharmaceutical & Biotechnology Companies. Based on Geography, the Cell Surface Markers Market studied across Americas, Asia-Pacific, and Europe, Middle East & Africa. The Americas region surveyed across Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, and United States. The Asia-Pacific region surveyed across Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, South Korea, and Thailand. The Europe, Middle East & Africa region surveyed across France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, United Arab Emirates, and United Kingdom. Company Usability Profiles: The report deeply explores the recent significant developments by the leading vendors and innovation profiles in the Global Cell Surface Markers Market including Abcam, Becton, Dickinson and Company, Bio-Rad Laboratories, Bio-Techne, Biolegend, Cell Signaling Technology, Danaher Corporation, F. Hoffman-La Roche, Genscript, Merk KGaA, Qiagen N.V., and Thermo Fisher Scientific. FPNV Positioning Matrix: The FPNV Positioning Matrix evaluates and categorizes the vendors in the Cell Surface Markers Market on the basis of Business Strategy (Business Growth, Industry Coverage, Financial Viability, and Channel Support) and Product Satisfaction (Value for Money, Ease of Use, Product Features, and Customer Support) that aids businesses in better decision making and understanding the competitive landscape. Competitive Strategic Window: The Competitive Strategic Window analyses the competitive landscape in terms of markets, applications, and geographies. The Competitive Strategic Window helps the vendor define an alignment or fit between their capabilities and opportunities for future growth prospects. During a forecast period, it defines the optimal or favorable fit for the vendors to adopt successive merger and acquisition strategies, geography expansion, research & development, and new product introduction strategies to execute further business expansion and growth. Cumulative Impact of COVID-19: COVID-19 is an incomparable global public health emergency that has affected almost every industry, so for and, the long-term effects projected to impact the industry growth during the forecast period. Our ongoing research amplifies our research framework to ensure the inclusion of underlaying COVID-19 issues and potential paths forward. The report is delivering insights on COVID-19 considering the changes in consumer behavior and demand, purchasing patterns, re-routing of the supply chain, dynamics of current market forces, and the significant interventions of governments. The updated study provides insights, analysis, estimations, and forecast, considering the COVID-19 impact on the market. The report provides insights on the following pointers: 1. Market Penetration: Provides comprehensive information on the market offered by the key players 2. Market Development: Provides in-depth information about lucrative emerging markets and analyzes the markets 3. Market Diversification: Provides detailed information about new product launches, untapped geographies, recent developments, and investments 4. Competitive Assessment & Intelligence: Provides an exhaustive assessment of market shares, strategies, products, and manufacturing capabilities of the leading players 5. Product Development & Innovation: Provides intelligent insights on future technologies, R&D activities, and new product developments The report answers questions such as: 1. What is the market size and forecast of the Global Cell Surface Markers Market? 2. What are the inhibiting factors and impact of COVID-19 shaping the Global Cell Surface Markers Market during the forecast period? 3. Which are the products/segments/applications/areas to invest in over the forecast period in the Global Cell Surface Markers Market? 4. What is the competitive strategic window for opportunities in the Global Cell Surface Markers Market? 5. What are the technology trends and regulatory frameworks in the Global Cell Surface Markers Market? 6. What are the modes and strategic moves considered suitable for entering the Global Cell Surface Markers Market? Read the full report: https://www.reportlinker.com/p05913780/?utm_source=GNW About Reportlinker ReportLinker is an award-winning market research solution. Reportlinker finds and organizes the latest industry data so you get all the market research you need – instantly, in one place. __________________________ CONTACT: Clare: clare@reportlinker.com US: (339)-368-6001 Intl: +1 339-368-6001

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