The European Medicine Agency to Decide About Moderna on Jan 6

The Muslim Times has the latest and the best about vaccines

The European Medicines Agency on Jan. 6 will be considering approving a second coronavirus vaccine, this one by Moderna, which has already been approved for use in the United States.

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — European Union nations officially kicked off a coordinated effort Sunday to give COVID-19 vaccinations to some of the most vulnerable among their nearly 450 million people, marking a moment of hope in the continent’s battle against the worst public health crisis in a century.

Shots were administered Sunday morning to health care workers, the elderly and some leading politicians to reassure the public that the vaccinations are safe.

In Prague, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis received his shot at dawn and asserted: “There’s nothing to worry about.” In Rome, five doctors and nurses wearing white scrubs sat in a semi-circle at Rome’s Spallanzani infectious diseases hospital to receive their doses.

“Getting vaccinated is an act of love and responsibility toward the collective whole,” Claudia Alivernini, a 29-year-old Spallanzani nurse, said on the eve of being the first to receive the shot in Italy, which has Europe’s worth virus toll at more than 71,000 dead.

Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza, speaking outside the hospital, said the coordinated EU rollout was a sign of hope for the continent, but that people still cannot let down their guard for several months more.

“We still have difficult months ahead,” he said. “It’s a beautiful day, but we still need to exercise caution … this vaccine is the true path to close out this difficult season.”

The vaccines, developed by Germany’s BioNTech and American drugmaker Pfizer, started arriving in super-cold containers at EU hospitals on Friday from a factory in Belgium. The EU has seen some of the world’s earliest and hardest-hit virus hot spots, including Italy and Spain.

Others EU countries, like the Czech Republic, were spared the worst early on only to see their health care systems near collapse in the fall.

Altogether, the EU’s 27 nations have recorded at least 16 million coronavirus infections and more than 336,000 deaths — huge numbers that experts still agree understate the true toll of the pandemic due to missed cases and limited testing.

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4 replies

  1. BERLIN — From nursing homes in France to hospitals in Poland, older Europeans and the workers who care for them rolled up their sleeves on Sunday to receive coronavirus vaccine shots in a campaign to inoculate more than 450 million people across the European Union.

    The inoculations offered a rare respite as the continent struggles with one of its most precarious moments since the pandemic began.

    Despite national lockdowns, restrictions on movement, shuttering of restaurants and cancellations of Christmas gatherings, the virus has stalked Europe into the dark winter months. The spread of a more contagious variant of the virus in Britain has raised such alarm the much that continental Europe rushed to close its borders to travelers coming from the country, effectively plunging the nation as a whole into quarantine.

  2. IOWA CITY — University of Iowa Health Care is expanding its role in the global effort to find vaccines against COVID-19 by beginning to enroll volunteers for another trial.

    Of the two vaccines already approved for emergency use in the United States, UIHC served as a trial site for the Pfizer-BioNTech option — enrolling 250 participants for the double-blind study that vaccinated half its volunteers.

    The new trial in which UIHC is participating is for a Novavax vaccine similar in some ways to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines already being deployed. But it has differences, too, according to UIHC Executive Dean Patricia Winokur, who directs the campus’ Vaccine Treatment and Evaluation Unit.

    “The Novavax is a product that is a much more traditional vaccine,” she said. “The technology that we’re using is very similar to some of the flu vaccines that have been approved in the United States.”

    The product doesn’t use any of the virus itself but rather — like others COVID-19 vaccines already on the market or under development — targets the novel coronavirus’ spike protein with messenger RNA.

    “Your body creates that spike protein,” Winokur said, explaining the vaccine delivers “the instruction manual for making that protein.”

    “This is the more traditional vaccine where a manufacturing plant produces the spike protein.”

  3. The head of the federal government’s Covid-19 vaccine program said Sunday that health officials are exploring the idea of giving a major group of Americans half volume doses of one vaccine to accelerate the rollout.

    Moncef Slaoui, the head of Operation Warp Speed, said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that one way to speed up immunizations against Covid-19 was to give two half-volume doses of the Moderna vaccine to some individuals.

    “We know that for the Moderna vaccine giving half the dose for people between the ages of 18 to 55 — two doses, half the dose, which means exactly achieving the objective of immunizing double the number of people with the doses we have — we know it induces identical immune response to the 100 microgram dose,” Slaoui said.

    “And therefore, we are in discussions with Moderna and with the FDA — of course ultimately it will be an FDA decision — to accelerate injecting half the volume,” he added.

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