• Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine was developed during a four-year collaboration with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where three of its scientists, Dr. John R. Mascola, Dr. Barney S. Graham, and Dr. Kizzmekia S. Corbett, worked with Moderna employees on the genetic sequence that triggers an immune response to SARS-CoV-2. In addition, the US government gave Moderna $1.4 billion to develop and test the vaccine, and purchased half a billion doses for $8.1 billion.
After a year of talks to resolve the dispute and without telling the NIH, Moderna filed an application with the US Patent and Trademark Office which only names its employees. leaving the government to consider a lengthy legal battle over its inclusion in the patent application, which give the it the right to license the technology, bringing in millions of dollars of revenue, and enable it to decide where the vaccine is produced, which would improve access to it.
Christopher Morten, an expert on pharmaceutical patent law at Columbia Law School, said “Moderna wants exclusive ownership and control of this patent. They want to be the only organization that decides where mRNA-1273 is made, how it’s made, who makes it, what price it’s sold for. And co-ownership of this patent is a threat to that control.” Source
• China warns that the coronavirus virus could be transmitted by parcels sent in the mail after three employees at a children’s clothing factory in the northeastern Hebei province developed COVID-19. Authorities more than 1,200 miles away ordered people who had received – or handled – packages from the company to get tested, calling it a “Covid-related mail chain.” Officials tested 300 packages of clothing from the company (all of which were negative), and halted parcel-delivery services in two cities – Xinji and Jinzhou – as well as the town of Shenze, the provincial government.
Although international health authorities say the risk of acquiring COVID-19 from surfaces, including packages, is possible but low, China has inspected imported frozen foods, and said that parcels from overseas or high-risk areas within the country should be sanitized, and it encourages recipients to wear masks and gloves when picking up and unpacking deliveries. Source
• China continues to impose increasingly restrictive measures to stop the Delta variant from spreading. In Shenyang, international visitors must spend 28 days quarantined in a hotel, where they can only open the door to their room to receive food. During this period, they are tested seven times – and once they leave the hotel, they are required to spend another 28 days inside of their homes. In Beijing, dozens of pharmacies were shut down after selling cough medicine without asking customers for their name, ID and contact information, which has been required since the early days of the pandemic. Source
• Guan Yi, a University of Hing Kong virologist nicknamed the “virus hunter” by the Chinese media for his work on identifying the animal origins of SARS and MERS, criticizes China’s COVID-19 policy. “We don’t stand a chance if we pursue a target of zero COVID. The virus is here today, just like flu. That’s a fact, whether people like it or not.” He recommended that China should “kick out vaccines that have become ineffective,” adding “If we fail to recognize our shortcomings, we lack the incentive to make progress.” Source
• During a national address, French President Emmanuel Macron announces that people who are eligible for a coronavirus booster must get it, or their health pass will be de-activated, prohibiting them from restaurants, bars or cinemas. Source
• In the US, ten states sue the government over its coronavirus vaccine mandate for healthcare workers, saying that it “threatens with job loss millions of health care workers who risked their lives in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic to care for strangers and friends in their communities,” and “threatens to exacerbate an alarming shortage of healthcare workers, particularly in rural communities, that has already reached a boiling point.” They say any further losses will endanger patients, causing “devastating adverse effects on health care services.”
Federal officials did not comment, but the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said “…there is no question that staff in any health care setting who remain unvaccinated pose both direct and indirect threats to patient safety and population health.” Source
• Israel’s Health Ministry approves use of the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine in children ages 5-11, pending approval from the Ministry’s Director-General, Dr. Nachman Ash. Source
• US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announces that it has made a deal to export the J & J coronavirus vaccine to overseas conflict zones via COVAX. “In countries suffering from years of conflict – such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and Yemen – less than 2 percent of the population have been vaccinated against Covid-19,” Esperanza Martinez, the head of the Covid crisis management team for the International Committee of the Red Cross, adding “This shocking inequality must be rectified,” she said. “The donation of these doses is a positive step in that direction.” Source
• Novavax CEO Stanley Erck says it is on track to file for US FDA Emergency Use Authorization for its coronavirus vaccine and has already requested a meeting with the Agency. Source