Health ministry seeks $150 million funds for COVID-19 vaccines

Saturday, 21 Nov, 2020

Competition has intensified among pharmaceutical companies racing to develop a Covid-19 shot, with two vaccines - one by USA company Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech, and another by USA firm Moderna - publishing large-scale trial data this month that showed their jabs were around 95 percent effective against Covid-19.

"Inducing robust immune responses in older adults has been a long-standing challenge in human vaccine research", Dr Angela Minassian, Investigator at the University of Oxford and Honorary Consultant in Infectious Diseases said in a statement.

The phase 2 trial of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine included 560 healthy adults, including 240 older than 70.

"The research shows that an immune response was generated in all age groups, including in the cohort of participants aged over 70 years", said Michael Head, senior research fellow in Global Health at the University of Southampton, who was not involved in the trial.

According to Health Minister of Ukraine Maksym Stepanov, Ukraine will receive the COVID-19 vaccine in several batches, and the first 1 million 200 thousand doses will be used to vaccinate health workers.

Previously, experts have raised concerns that a potential vaccine against COVID-19 may not be as effective in the older population, as the elderly are likely to have a weaker immune system compared to younger people. The early results raise hopes that the vaccine can protect the people most at risk of getting severely ill from the new coronavirus.

November turned out to be the month of good Covid-19 vaccine news.

Almost three-in-five Australians say they will definitely receive a coronavirus vaccine once it is available, a study has found.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a media briefing on Wednesday that five Chinese vaccine candidates are under clinical trials in countries, including the UAE, Brazil, Pakistan and Peru, and phase one and phase two clinical trials of some other vaccines are accelerated.

Netanyahu on Monday spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin about the possibility of purchasing Russia's coronavirus vaccine.

A COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing plant of the company was put into operation in September.

Gilbert added that they're looking at giving people two vaccine doses and then monitoring how well those responses are maintained.

This is the last stage before seeking regulatory approval, and includes tracking the effectiveness of the vaccine in preventing coronavirus.