The government is calling on Filipinos to take part in clinical trials, especially one that is already ongoing and two others that are set to start soon, as a way of helping produce an effective vaccine for COVID-19. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, which is based in Belgium and owned by Johnson & Johnson, has started its clinical trial in the Philippines for its single-shot vaccine. Two Chinese companies, Sinovac Biotech and Clover Biopharmaceutical, are in the final stages of preparations for their trials in the country. “We encourage our countrymen to join clinical trials if your barangay is chosen as one of the sites of the clinical trial, because we need to find a vaccine that is effective and safe and efficacious,” said Undersecretary Rowena Guevara of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). At the moment, Janssen is recruiting and screening participants, said Guevara. Those who would pass the screening would be given the vaccines and their condition would be ... » Learn More about DOST appeals for more COVID-19 vaccine trial volunteers
SINGAPORE: The nine months of a pregnancy are often a period of great joy, anticipation and a fair share of trepidation. On top of all the worries and anxieties about becoming new parents, welcoming another life into the family, we also worry about the health of the mother and foetus. The pandemic has only heightened these worries, especially given that pregnant women are at higher risk of severe COVID-19 than non-pregnant women, and COVID-19 has been associated with an increased risk of pre-term birth, according to the World Health Organization. Getting vaccinated, therefore, is a priority for many. But while vaccination remains the best defence against COVID-19, the immediate benefit of vaccination depends on the local COVID-19 situation. READ: Commentary: Concerns over long-term side effects could hold back Singapore’s COVID-19 vaccination programme In regions experiencing high rates of infection, vaccination may seem a favourable choice as your risk of contracting ... » Learn More about Commentary: Without a vaccine, how can pregnant mothers protect themselves against COVID-19?
Throughout Southeast Asia, from Jakarta to Bangkok to Ho Chi Minh City, authorities are racing to secure desperately needed coronavirus vaccines as hospitals overflow, new infections surge and daily death tolls reach new heights. The challenge for developing countries such as Indonesia , Thailand and Vietnam has been compounded as global vaccine production struggles to meet demand and wealthy nations hoard the lion’s share of shots. The crisis has drawn attention to a contentious remedy employed during previous infectious disease outbreaks. Fractional dosing involves administering smaller amounts of vaccines to stretch dwindling supplies. Advocates say the approach, which divides experts, warrants serious consideration as a way to rapidly expand inoculation and save lives as the coronavirus tears through unvaccinated populations. In an article published in Nature Medicine earlier this month, researchers at the University of Hong Kong and University of Chicago said reduced doses ... » Learn More about Covid-19 vaccines: Is fractional dosing a solution for supply-short Southeast Asia?
SANTIAGO: Chilean authorities said on Friday (Jul 23) that China's Sinovac had begun evaluating potential sites for the construction of a vaccine plant in Chile that could begin producing doses of the Chinese shot as early as the first half of 2022. Chile, a global leader in vaccinating its citizens against the coronavirus, has leaned heavily on the Sinovac vaccine in its fast-paced mass vaccination program. The Andean nation also helped spearhead clinical trials of the shot late last year. A delegation of executives from Sinovac this week visited potential sites for the factory near the capital Santiago and in Chile's northern desert. "This is an investment that could be made very quickly and that would make the plant ... operational in the first quarter next year," Economy Minister Lucas Palacios told reporters following a site visit near Antofagasta. Palacios said the plant could produce as many as 50 million vaccine doses annually and in addition to its CoronaVac ... » Learn More about China’s Sinovac evaluates vaccine plant in Chile
The United States is considering giving more coronavirus vaccines to Vietnam, its ambassador to the United States said on Sunday, July 25, as the Southeast Asian country struggles to control outbreaks of the fast-spreading Delta variant of the virus. After successfully containing the virus for much of the pandemic, Vietnam has been facing rapid outbreaks of infections, with daily cases repeatedly hitting new highs. Vietnam took delivery of a shipment of 3 million Moderna doses from the United States on Sunday, taking the amount given by the United States, via the global COVAX vaccine scheme , to 5 million doses. "The US side has said it is also considering more vaccine donations to Vietnam soon," the ambassador to the United States, Ha Kim Ngoc, said speech posted on a government web site. Vietnam is also in talks with the United States on domestic production of mRNA vaccines, its foreign ministry said on Thursday, adding that production could begin in ... » Learn More about Vietnam says more US vaccine donations expected after first 5 million doses
LONDON (REUTERS) - A growing number of countries are looking at switching to different Covid-19 vaccines for second doses or booster shots amid supply delays and safety concerns that have slowed their vaccination campaigns. However, the World Health Organisation warned on July 12 against the practice, calling it a "dangerous trend" since there was little data available about the health impact, while Europe's drug regulator made on July 14 no definitive recommendations on switching doses. The following are countries that are considering, or have decided to adopt, such a solution: Bahrain Bahrain said on June 4 that eligible candidates could receive a booster shot of the Pfizer/BioNTech or the Sinopharm vaccine, regardless of which shot they had first. Bhutan Bhutan's Prime Minister Lotay Tshering said on June 24 he was comfortable about mixing-and-matching Covid-19 vaccine doses to immunise a population of about 700,000 people. Canada The National Advisory Committee on ... » Learn More about Countries weigh ‘mix and match’ Covid-19 vaccines
The World Health Organization's chief scientist on Monday, July 12, advised against people mixing and matching COVID-19 vaccines from different manufacturers, calling it a "dangerous trend" since more data is needed about the health impact. "It's a little bit of a dangerous trend here," Soumya Swaminathan told an online briefing. "It will be a chaotic situation in countries if citizens start deciding when and who will be taking a second, a third, and a fourth dose." Swaminathan called mixing a "data-free zone" on Monday but the WHO clarified on Tuesday that some data was available and more was expected. Its Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on vaccines in June said the Pfizer vaccine could be used as a second dose after an initial dose of AstraZeneca, if the latter is not available. The results of a further clinical trial led by the University of Oxford that will look at mixing AstraZeneca and Pfizer as well as Moderna and Novovax vaccines is ... » Learn More about WHO warns against people mixing and matching COVID-19 vaccines
SHAH ALAM (Bernama): Sirim Bhd will cooperate with local institutions on studies during the preliminary stages of Covid-19 vaccine development in Malaysia, said Sirim group president and chief executive officer Datuk Dr Ahmad Sabirin Arshad. Ahmad Sabirin said the three institutes involved were the Institute of Medical Research (IMR), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) and the Veterinary Research Institute in Ipoh, Perak, and that Sirim would help carry out testing for the vaccine produced. "Sirim is ready to play an important role of providing assurance in the development of local vaccines to comply with international standards for safety, efficacy and manufacturing process. "It has held discussions with the IMR to also contribute in the development of the vaccine at the pre-clinical stage, and vaccine production on a pilot scale," he said at a press conference during the Sirim-Selvax Drive-Thru Vaccination Programme at its headquarters on Saturday (July 31). Ahmad Sabirin said ... » Learn More about Sirim to help in development of Covid-19 vaccines
US biotech giant Pfizer and German partner BioNTech sought approval on Friday, November 20, to roll out their coronavirus vaccine early, a first step towards relief as surging infections prompt a return to shutdowns that traumatized nations and the global economy earlier this year. The world is looking to scientists for salvation from the global pandemic, as a new wave of infections forces New York to shut schools and California to implement night time curfews. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said its vaccines committee would meet on December 10 to discuss the request for emergency use authorization. "The FDA recognizes that transparency and dialogue are critical for the public to have confidence in COVID-19 vaccines," the organization's head Stephen Hahn said in a statement. "I want to assure the American people that the FDA's process and evaluation of the data for a potential COVID-19 vaccine will be as open and transparent as possible." ... » Learn More about Pfizer, BioNTech seek first vaccine approval in US
A view shows the Kremlin amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Moscow, Russia April 20, 2020. REUTERS FILE PHOTO MOSCOW — Russia has given the green light for clinical trials combining a British shot from AstraZeneca Plc and Oxford University with Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine to go ahead, according to Russia’s state drug register. The health ministry’s ethical committee had in May suspended the approval process for the clinical trials, and requested additional information. According to the state drug register, five Russian clinics will hold trials that are set to finish in early March, 2022. Both the AstraZeneca/Oxford and Sputnik V vaccines involve two doses – an initial shot and a booster – but Sputnik V uses different viral vectors for its two shots. Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which promotes the use of the Sputnik V vaccine, has welcomed the decision to go ahead with the trials. “Currently, RDIF is conducting joint clinical trials to combine the ... » Learn More about Russia approves trials of combined AstraZeneca/Sputnik V vaccine