Some 75 new countries have submitted expressions of interest to join the COVAX Facility, potentially supporting 90 other countries who have already joined the COVAX Advanced Market Commitment initiative created to pool demand and secure lower prices for bulk purchases of a COVID-19 vaccine. Meanwhile, Moderna is pulling ahead in the COVID-19 vaccine rat race […] Continue reading ->
On Monday, the Geneva-based NCD Alliance launched the first-ever fund to bolster the efforts of NGOs worldwide fighting chronic diseases alongside the COVID-19 pandemic with some $US 300,000 in initial seed capital.  The effort is unique in that it links major pharma interests that develop and produce drugs for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) to the support […] Continue reading ->
Ibadan, Nigeria – The World Health Organisation (WHO) is advocating for equitable access to effective COVID-19 vaccines but developments surrounding the race to a vaccine suggest this may be extremely difficult. And health policy leaders in Africa and other low and middle-income countries are increasingly worried about their prospects for being pushed to the back […] Continue reading ->
Just three days after almost 240 scientists criticized WHO for downplaying the risks of airborne transmission of tiny SARS-CoV-2 particles, or aerosols, the Organization edged closer to its critics point of view.    WHO’s latest scientific brief, published Thursday, acknowledges that “short-range aerosol transmission cannot be ruled out”. The tiny virus particles floating through the air […] Continue reading ->
The United States has secured almost all of Gilead Sciences’ projected production of remdesivir – an antiviral that was shown to reduce hospitalization times for COVID-19 patients- for the next three months. US Health and Human Services (HHS) has secured 100 percent of Gilead’s projected production for July (94,200 treatment courses), 90 percent of production […] Continue reading ->
A COVID-19 vaccine candidate under development by pharma giant Pfizer and biotech firm BioNTech showed promise in interim results released Wednesday. The vaccine candidate, BNT162b1, was able to induce the formation of antibodies that neutralized SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in all participants who received doses between 10ug to 30ug, according to a report […] Continue reading ->
A six-vial five-day course of remdesivir – a promising COVID-19 treatment – will be priced at US $2340, or $390 per vial for developed countries, Gilead Sciences Chief Executive Officer Daniel O’Day wrote in an open letter on Monday. “Earlier hospital discharge [thanks to treatment by remdesivir] would result in hospital savings of approximately $12,000 […] Continue reading ->
High-level WHO official Emer Cooke has been nominated as the head of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the critical regulatory body for European health product approvals. Cooke, an Irish national with 30 years’ experience in international regulatory affairs, is currently the Director of the WHO’s Regulation and Prequalification Department since 2016. In this role, she […] Continue reading ->
The deadliest and longest Ebola outbreak in the history of the Democratic Republic of the Congo has finally ended, the Health Minister Longondo Eteni jubilantly announced on Thursday. The outbreak, concentrated in Ituri and North Kivu provinces in the northeastern DRC, infected 3470 people, and caused 2287 deaths.  The end of the nearly two-year long […] Continue reading ->