AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India is used at a hospital in Sri Lanka in January 2021 – Photo: REUTERS
Reuters news agency, citing two sources familiar with the matter, said that India will resume the delivery of vaccines to COVAX in a few weeks, contributing to helping poor countries have more vaccines.
India, the world’s largest vaccine producer, stopped exporting COVID-19 vaccines in April when the epidemic broke out in the country due to Delta variant.
This affects the world supply of vaccines, including the COVAX vaccine sharing and distribution mechanism co-founded by the World Health Organization (WHO). Restrictive measures began to ease in October, with India sending 4 million doses of the vaccine to neighboring countries and partners.
Original medicine coming soon The first molnupiravir
On November 9, Bangladesh pharmaceutical company Beximco announced that it would produce the generic drug of Molnupiravir for the domestic market and possibly for export.
According to Reuters, this is the first generic drug Molnupiravir produced in the world, after Merck allows poor and middle-income countries to manufacture generic drugs without charging royalties.
Generic drugs have the advantage of being cheaper than brand name drugs, so they are favored by low-income countries.
A Beximco representative said its generic drug will retail for a maximum of 70 taka (82 cents) per pill, or 2,800 taka ($33) for a full course.
Antiviral drug Molnupiravir researched and manufactured by Merck – Photo: REUTERS
Also related to drugs Molnupiravir, Merck announced that the US Government decided to spend an additional $ 1 billion to buy 1.4 million courses of Molnupiravir drug to treat COVID-19.
TThe US total has bought 3.1 million courses with a total value of about $ 2.2 billion, although the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet approved this drug.
Many other countries are also racing to negotiate with Merck to buy the drug Molnupiravir after clinical data showed that the drug reduced the risk of death in COVID-19 patients by 50%.
In Thailand On November 9, the cabinet of this country also approved the purchase of 50,000 courses of Molnupiravir for strategic stockpiles and treatment of susceptible COVID-19 patients.
UK recognizes Chinese and Indian vaccines
From November 22, the UK will welcome people who have received 2 doses of Sinovac and Sinopharm/BBIBP’s COVID-19 vaccines and India’s Covaxin.
These are 3 vaccines on the WHO’s list of permitted emergency use. Currently, the UK is only accepting people who get the AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
Also regarding safe travel amid COVID-19 season, a Government official Thailand announced that the country is considering opening its borders with Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar. Regulations related to vaccines, testing and isolation will be announced on November 10.
The opening of the border is mainly to welcome the workers of the three countries back to Thailand, to solve the labor shortage that is affecting the economy of the country.
The first international guests arrived in Thailand after the country opened to foreign tourists on November 1 – Photo: REUTERS
Fear of shortage of needles in 2022
After vaccines and drugs, WHO warned that the world could be short of 1-2 billion needles for the COVID-19 vaccine campaign in 2022.
In a warning on November 9, WHO also worried that a shortage of needles would affect vaccination campaigns against other diseases and “reduce the safety of needles”.
WHO expert, Lisa Hedman, advises countries to calculate in advance the need to use needles for COVID-19 vaccines and other diseases, to avoid “water jumps to the feet”, leading to a crisis of shortage of protective equipment. health care as at the beginning of the pandemic.
Europe is tense because of the outbreak again
European countries are at risk of a new outbreak after a few months of easing social distancing, even though vaccination rates in many countries are already high.
Inside an intensive care room for COVID-19 patients in Bulgaria on November 9 – Photo: AFP
In Netherlands On November 9, hospitals in Limburg province called on the Government to take new measures to prevent the increasing cases of COVID-19 infections. These hospitals all lament that they do not have enough staff and infrastructure to deal with the skyrocketing number of infections.
According to Reuters, like other parts of Europe, the number of new COVID-19 cases in the Netherlands has continuously hit an all-time high despite the vaccination rate in adults is about 85%..
Bulgaria reported 334 deaths from COVID-19 on 9-11, the highest level since the beginning of the pandemic as the country grapples with a fourth outbreak. Currently, Bulgaria has the lowest vaccination rate in the European Union, according to Reuters.
In from, the number of new cases announced on November 9 continued to decrease, but the number of deaths increased to a record 1,211 people. The current vaccination rate for COVID-19 in Russia is 400 per 100,000 people, according to data provided by Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko on November 9.