AstraZeneca : must prove claim to cheapest COVID-19 vaccine - MSF

Grant Boone
November 24, 2020

The British firm said on Monday its COVID-19 vaccine was 70% effective in pivotal trials and could be up to 90% effective, giving the world's fight against the global pandemic a third new weapon that can be cheaper to make, easier to distribute and faster to scale-up than rivals.

Meanwhile, as Brunei will be hosting the ASEAN Summit next year, Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham said it is very unlikely the nation can host in-person meetings during the first half of the year because the vaccine will only be available during the first quarter of the year.

Bill Gates, who was on the agenda with his comments during the coronavirus pandemic, announced the date when COVID-19 vaccines will start to be distributed.

Brussels has already struck deals with AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech, Sanofi-GSK, Johnson & Johnson and CureVac.

SK Bioscience's Covid-19 vaccine candidate NBP2001 has received permission to begin Phase 1 clinical trials, the company said Tuesday.

An EU official involved in the talks told Reuters last week the EU was seeking a price below $25 per dose for Moderna's vaccine.

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"Just in case we are able to get three of these, we will be able to get 60 million [Covid-19 vaccine doses] next year", Galvez said.

While taking the vaccine is not compulsory, the minister said it is highly encouraged.

It is also in talks to buy USA firm Novavax's potential COVID-19 vaccine.

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines herd immunity as a "concept of vaccination, in which a population can be protected from a certain virus if a threshold of vaccination is reached". In order to have an exact assessment of the cold storage capacity required for COVID-19 vaccine programme, the number of doses in each vial, the volume of a vial, etc need to be assessed. "How it was produced and how they checked for complications of those who are following this project is being monitored thoroughly", the minister added.

The two new trials are for vaccines both in phase 3 of development, the final phase before FDA approval. In addition to NBP2001, SK Bioscience is conducting the pre-clinical test of another vaccine candidate GBP510.

The senator expects that will "cut huge expenses for a cold chain, which the Pfizer vaccine would need as they have to be stored at -80 degrees Celcius [at -50 degrees, polar bears are known to freeze to death]-the infrastructure for which this tropical archipelago does not have".

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