Russia Approves Second COVID Vaccine
EpiVacCorona, described as a "peptide-based shot," has yet to even begin large-scale trials. Russia announced its first vaccine, Sputnik V, on Aug. 11.
Russia Approves 2nd Virus Vaccine After Early Trials
Russian authorities have given regulatory approval to a second coronavirus vaccine after early-stage studies, two months after a similar move prompted widespread criticism from scientists both at home and abroad. Russian President Vladimir Putin made the announcement on Wednesday, during a televised meeting with government officials. “We now need to increase production of the first vaccine and the second vaccine,” Putin said, adding that the priority was to supply the Russian market with the vaccines. (Litvinova, 10/14)
Russia Says It Has Another (Unproven) Coronavirus Vaccine
Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced the approval of a second new coronavirus vaccine in as many months – but neither has completed the kind of extensive and rigorous three-phase trials required in the U.S. Speaking during a televised news conference, Putin said the new vaccine developed by Siberian biotech company Novosibirsk's Vektor [State Virology and Biotechnology Center], a former Soviet-era bioweapons lab. (Neuman, 10/14)
In other vaccine news —
The Wall Street Journal:
China Drugmaker Gives Unproven Covid-19 Vaccine To Students Going Abroad
China is expanding distribution of its coronavirus vaccines outside of clinical trials, with a state-owned company offering them to students going abroad amid a campaign by officials to boost public confidence in homegrown inoculations. China National Biotec Group Co., a division of state-owned Sinopharm that is developing two Covid-19 vaccines, was giving them free to Chinese students planning to study abroad, according to a company website and students who applied for it. (Deng, 10/14)
Eli Lilly Says Other Antibody Trials Ongoing After NIH Pause
Eli Lilly & Co. said it is reviewing safety data that caused federal researchers to pause a trial of the company’s Covid-19 antibody in hospitalized patients. In the meantime, other trials using lower doses of the drug outside the hospital will continue. On Tuesday, Lilly said enrollment had been paused in the ACTIV-3 trial of its monoclonal antibody treatment sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. The trial is testing a high-dose version of the treatment combined with the drug remdesivir, considered to be a standard of care. To date, the study has enrolled 326 participants who are hospitalized with Covid-19. (Griffin, Cortez and Langreth, 10/14)
Extra Safety Scrutiny Planned As Virus Vaccine Worries Grow
Facing public skepticism about rushed COVID-19 vaccines, U.S. health officials are planning extra scrutiny of the first people vaccinated when shots become available — an added safety layer experts call vital. A new poll suggests those vaccine fears are growing. With this week’s pause of a second major vaccine study because of an unexplained illness — and repeated tweets from President Donald Trump that raise the specter of politics overriding science — a quarter of Americans say they won’t get vaccinated. That’s a slight increase from 1 in 5 in May. (Neergaard, 10/14)
The Wall Street Journal:
Ahead Of Covid-19 Vaccine, Half Of Americans Indicate Reluctance
About 70% of registered voters surveyed said they would take a Covid-19 vaccine, although many want to wait until it has been available for a while to see if there are major problems or side effects, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll shows. The survey found that 20% of respondents said they would take a vaccine as soon as one becomes available, while about half the respondents wanted to wait until they learned more information about the shot. (Hopskins, 10/15)
AI Will Soon Face A Major Test: Can It Differentiate Covid-19 From Flu?
It’s long past hackathon time. With Covid-19 cases surging in parts of the U.S. at the start of flu season, developers of artificial intelligence tools are about to face their biggest test of the pandemic: Can they help doctors differentiate between the two respiratory illnesses, and accurately predict which patients will become severely ill? (Ross, 10/15)
Does The Flu Vaccine Affect My Chances Of Getting COVID-19?
Does the flu vaccine affect my chances of getting COVID-19?The flu vaccine protects you from seasonal influenza, not the coronavirus — but avoiding the flu is especially important this year. Health officials and medical groups are urging people to get either the flu shot or nasal spray, so that doctors and hospitals don’t face the extra strain of having to treat influenza in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. (10/15)