28 April 2021

Lancet Infectious Diseases publishes a prospective observational study on coronavirus vaccine side effects and  among 627 ,383 people who received one or two doses of a coronavirus vaccine: 282, 103 of them received one dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, 28, 207 receive both doses, and 345 ,280 people received one dose of  the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine. The study, which included health care workers, found that people under age 55 years were more likely to experience vaccine side effects, as were women and people who had been infected with SARS-CoV-2.

Overall, the risk of infection at 21-44 days post-vaccination was reduced by 60 percent among recipients of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine, and by 69 percent among recipients of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. People over age 55 years, people with a BMI of BMI ≥30 kg/m2  and those with one or more pre-existing conditions had smaller reductions in their infection risk, supporting the UK decision to delay the second vaccine dose. Source

• The US government has invested six billion dollars in Moderna’s  coronavirus vaccine, according to a company Securities and Exchange Committee filing. BARDA has reimbursed Moderna for phase III trials and pharmacovigilance, providing $236 million in addition to the $5.75 billion it has already spent on the vaccine’s development, clinical trials, manufacturing and purchase of 300 million doses, all within a year. Moderna expects to reap at least $18.4 billion from coronavirus vaccine  sales this year. Source

• Although a 3,000-person phase III trial is ongoing, Kazakhstan is rolling out 50,000 doses of its two-shot coronavirus vaccine, QazVa – and plans to scale-up production and distribution of QazVa, which is based on an inactivated version of the coronavirus, is being developed by the Research Institute for Biological Safety Problems, where the vaccine’s developer, Dr Lepek Kutumbeto, who is Head of the Infectious Disease Laboratory and a Doctor of Veterinary Sciences, tested it on himself  and described it as “harmless.” Source

• China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with counterparts from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka to offer them a multilateral framework for a stable supply of Chinese coronavirus vaccines. Source

• As coronavirus infections rise in Russia to their highest rate since January, the government is offers assurances that it is “…an upswing, but this is not a wave, but rather a gradual little rise,” and saying that it is “absolutely wrong” to talk of a third wave. Vaccination rates are low, reaching only eight percent of the population, with many  distrusting the government. Source

• Personal diplomacy played a big role in a deal between the EU and Pfizer. The CEO, Albert Bourla said he and Ms. von der Leyen “developed a deep trust, because we got into deep discussions.” The deal includes 900 million doses of coronavirus vaccine through 2023, with an option to purchase an additional 900 million. The EU, which will become Pfizer’s biggest customer, can resell or donate doses to its partners.  Source

• While many suspect that India’s epidemic is driven by the homegrown B.1.617, researchers outside of the country suggest that the B.1.1.5  variant may be  more of a factor.  Source

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