By staff writers – Translated by Anh Quan
|In this file photo taken on January 07, 2021 Dr Nikki Kanani prepares to administer the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, at the Sunrise Care Home in Sidcup, south east London. A British trial of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine on children has been paused while regulators assess its possible link to blood clots, Oxford University, which helped develop the jab, said on April 6, 2021.(KIRSTY O’CONNOR / POOL / AFP)|
The Moderna vaccine, which is already being delivered in Europe and the United States, joined ones from AstraZeneca-Oxford University and Pfizer-BioNTech in Britain’s armoury against Covid-19.
The first jabs of the two-stage Moderna inoculation were injected at a hospital in Wales, in a timely diversification of Britain’s rollout that was hailed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
“We have ordered 17 million doses that will be going into arms across the UK in the coming weeks. Please get your jab as soon as you are contacted,” he tweeted.
Supply problems for AstraZeneca had threatened to complicate Britain’s inoculation drive this month, and concerns are building over a potential link between the jab and rare blood clots among a small number of recipients.
Oxford University said late Tuesday that it had paused a British trial of the AstraZeneca vaccine on children.
The university said the trial had posed “no safety concerns”, but that it was awaiting more data from Britain’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) before restarting the study.
The MHRA says it is looking into the cases of clotting, amid reports that the regulator may join some countries in the European Union in restricting access in younger age groups.
The MHRA reported over the weekend that there had been 30 blood clotting cases, seven fatal, out of 18 million doses administered in Britain.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is also looking anew at the issue, but so far the World Health Organization insists the jab is safe.
Kent Woods, a British former head of both the MHRA and EMA, told LBC radio that the risks of Covid were much higher and he had “no reservations” about the AstraZeneca vaccine.
But Maggie Wearmouth, a member of the government’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, told the Daily Telegraph that “perhaps slowing things down” with the rollout “until we’re absolutely certain” might be wise.
Any delays could imperil the British government’s phased easing of its current coronavirus lockdown, with all adults due to receive a first vaccine dose by the end of July.
Singapore (VNA) – Singapore ’s vaccination programme will now be expanded to those aged 45 to 59, said Health Minister Gan Kim Yong in a press conference on March 24.
They can register their interest for inoculation on the website vaccine.gov.sg, and they will receive an SMS with personalised URL allowing them to book their appointments online.
As of March 23, more than 1.1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered. On average, around 40,000 doses of the vaccine are administered each day.
Nearly 800,000 individuals have received at least one shot, with more than 310,000 getting the two doses.
Singapore began COVID-19 vaccination for the elderly on February 24. To date, 55 percent of the elderly in the nation have received COVID-19 shots or made appointments to do so.
All Singaporeans and long-term residents will be offered free COVID-19 vaccinations.
The Southeast Asian country has licensed temporary use of Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, and is evaluating the efficiency of China’s Sinovac.
According to worldometers.info, as of 7pm on March 24, Singapore documented more than 60,200 SARS-CoV-2 infections, including 30 deaths. Over 60,000 were clear of the virus./.
This information was agreed at a regular meeting of the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control in Hanoi on April 14.
Do Quyet, director of the Military Medical University, announced that the second phase of the Nanocovax human trials is set to end on April 15. The university will send a report to the Ministry of Health and the Biomedical Research Ethics Council in order to review and evaluate the scientific basis of the second phase, while simultaneously starting the third phase.
Quyet also noted that a total of 554 volunteers who had got the Nano Covax jab in the second phase exhibited some forms of symptoms, including a light fever, pain around the injection site, muscle aches, joint pain, and fatigue. However, none of them required medical intervention and they are all now in stable health condition.
Vietnam should go ahead with research and production efforts of domestically-made COVID-19 vaccines, stressed the director.
The meeting saw the Ministry of Health (MoH) confirm that many countries globally are continuing to struggle with vaccine shortage, and Vietnam must try its best to secure a sufficient supply of the vaccines for domestic use through a combination of local production and imports.
Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long warned Vietnam is set to face numerous difficulties in accessing and negotiating the purchase of coronavirus vaccines from suppliers.
Addressing the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam requested that the MoH urgently submit specific plans to purchase foreign vaccines, in line with the Political Bureau’s decision and the Government ‘s Resolution No 21/NQ-CP regarding the purchase and use of COVID-19 vaccines.
At present four local COVID-19 vaccines are being developed by Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC, the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVAC), Vaccine and Biological Production Company No. 1 (Vabiotech), and the Center for Research and Production of Vaccines and Biologicals.
So far, pre-clinical trials by Nanogen, IVAC, and Vabiotech have shown that the vaccines are safe for use on animals and are immunogenic.
Nano Covax, the vaccine produced by Nanogen, is currently in its second phase of human trials, while IVAC’s Covivac remains in its first phase.
Vabiotech’s vaccine is anticipated to have its first and second phases for human trials approved in July.
Vietnam has signed a contract to purchase 30 million doses of the AstraZeneca this year. The first batch of more than 117,000 doses arrived in late February for the national COVID-19 vaccination campaign.
It is anticipated to received an additional 30 million doses of the same vaccine sponsored by COVAX, a global mechanism for developing, manufacturing, and procuring COVID-19 vaccines. The first batch of more than 800,000 doses arrived in Vietnam in late March.
Alongside the AstraZeneca vaccine, Vietnam is also ramping up negotiations with the Pfizer and Moderna of the United States, and other vaccine manufacturers in order to ensure a total of 150 million doses for domestic use.
* Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide said on Thursday he wanted to deepen his personal relationship with the United States President Joe Biden during his trip to the White House next month.
* Russia regrets that Afghanistan peace negotiations in Doha are yet to yield progress and hopes international talks with Afghan government representatives and the Taliban in Moscow on Thursday will support the process, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
* India and Pakistan reported a big jump in infections on Thursday, driven by a resurgence in cases in their richest states.
* The European Commission’s threat to block exports of COVID-19 vaccines to countries with higher vaccination rates that are not reciprocating, including Britain, won backing from Germany, France and Italy, EU officials and diplomats said.
* Flags flew at half mast and thousands of towns held a minute’s silence on Thursday as Italy mourned the victims of a coronavirus epidemic that has killed more than 100,000 in 13 months.
* Moderna expects to deliver its first COVID-19 vaccines to Britain in April and is on track to meet its supply obligations, a spokesman for the company said after ministers warned the vaccine rollout would be slower than hoped.
* Germany reports biggest rise in cases in two months
* Britain said on Thursday that global supply bumps meant its vaccine roll-out would be slower than hoped in coming weeks, but it expected deliveries to increase again in May, June and July.
* Irish goods imports from Britain fell by 65% in January from the same month last year as traders grappled with new customs requirements, COVID-19 restrictions and pre-Brexit stockpiling, Ireland’s statistics service said on Thursday.
* Sweden, which has shunned lockdowns throughout the pandemic, registered 6,467 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, health agency statistics showed. The country of 10 million inhabitants registered 8 new deaths, taking the total to 13,236. The deaths registered have occurred over several days and sometimes weeks.
* Alphabet Inc’s Google will invest US$7 billion in offices and data centers across the US this year, down from the US$10 billion last year, and create 10,000 new full-time jobs as it takes on a pandemic-driven surge in internet traffic.
Vietnam has given the first shot of AstraZeneca vaccine to more than 32,000 people, the Ministry of Health said in a report on Sunday.
An additional 1,446 people were vaccinated against COVID-19 on Saturday, the health ministry elaborated.
A total of 32,361 had been inoculated by 4:00 pm on that day.
They were medical staff directly treating coronavirus patients, health workers doing contact tracing and sampling tasks, and other frontline workers.
The Expanded Program on Immunization, which provides free immunization to children under one year old to protect them from six common and highly fatal infectious diseases in Vietnam, has recorded postvaccinal reactions in those inoculated against COVID-19.
The reactions signified the body’s building immunity against the coronavirus, the program said.
AstraZeneca is the only vaccine administered in Vietnam at the moment.
The Southeast Asian country received the first-ever shipment of 117,600 AstraZeneca jabs on February 24.
Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long said on Wednesday 1.3 million AstraZeneca shots will arrive in Vietnam by the end of this month and be distributed throughout the country.
Vietnam is negotiating the purchase of vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and the maker of Russia’s Sputnik V, the minister said, adding that it may be able to buy 30 million Pfizer-BioNTech doses this year.
The Ministry of Health received 1,000 Sputnik V shots as a donation from Russia on Tuesday, said Dang Viet Hung, director of the ministry’s Department of International Cooperation.
The government has said it already secured 60 million AstraZeneca jabs via direct purchases and the COVAX vaccine-sharing scheme.
Vietnam expects to acquire 150 million vaccine doses in total this year.
Vietnam’s first domestically developed COVID-19 vaccine, called Nanocovax, is expected to be available by the fourth quarter of this year and put into use in 2022, Reuters reported.
The nation recorded zero COVID-19 cases on Sunday morning, with 2,572 patients, 2,198 recoveries, and 35 deaths having been documented so far.
Authorities are quarantining 37,600 people who either got into close contact with infected patients or entered the country from virus-hit regions.