A US$60 double-dose experimental coronavirus vaccine is being made available to some residents in an eastern Chinese city, health officials have said, the first details of a mass rollout for an as yet unproven vaccine.
Officials in Jiaxing on Thursday said that residents aged 18 to 59 with “urgent needs” could seek consultations at clinics for a Sinovac Biotech vaccine that authorities have been giving to groups such as medical workers.
The statement from Jiaxing’s center for disease control and prevention did not specify what constituted “urgent needs.”
Authorities did not say how many people in the city had been given the vaccine, which comes in two doses, administered up to 28 days apart and costing 400 yuan (US$59.70).
China has given hundreds of thousands of essential workers at ports, hospitals and other high-risk areas across the country an experimental vaccine, officials said.
However, even as 11 Chinese vaccines have entered clinical trials — with four in advanced phase 3 trials — none have been approved for mass distribution.
China has approved some candidates for emergency use, with officials saying that they have not seen serious adverse reactions.
Beijing has also made bold predictions on a broader rollout before the end of the year, as it battles a storm of international criticism over its early handling of the outbreak.
Health officials told a news conference last month that the country expects to produce 610 million vaccine doses annually by the end of the year, stressing it would be affordable.
The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan has fully vaccinated 90 percent of its eligible adult population within just seven days, the Bhutanese Ministry of Health said on Tuesday. The tiny country, wedged between India and China and home to nearly 800,000 people, began giving out second doses on Tuesday last week in a mass drive that has been hailed by the UN Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) as “arguably the fastest vaccination campaign to be executed during a pandemic.” Bhutan grabbed headlines in April when its government said it had inoculated about the same percentage of eligible adults with the first dose
African nations should build capacity to produce vaccines on the continent and work with pharmaceutical companies to ensure that the raw materials needed to produce the inoculations are available, WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said. While a waiver on the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights that is being discussed at the WTO is seen as a way to improve the supply of COVID-19 vaccines to the world’s least inoculated continent, Okonjo-Iweala said that only a handful of African countries have the capacity to produce the life-saving drugs. “There [are] a handful of countries — maybe Tunisia, Morocco to some extent,
MISINFORMATION: The digital giant said there were ‘numerous’ offending videos that were removed from the channel, which has 1.85 million subscribers Sky News Australia has been banned from uploading content to YouTube for seven days after contravening its medical misinformation policies by posting numerous videos that denied the existence of COVID-19 or encouraged people to use hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin. The ban was imposed by the digital giant on Thursday afternoon, the day after the UK’s Daily Telegraph ended Alan Jones’ regular column amid controversy about his COVID-19 commentary, which included calling the New South Wales Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant a village idiot on his Sky News program. YouTube has not disclosed which Sky News program the videos were from, but said there
Dozens of Afghan soldiers fled across the border into northwestern Pakistan after their border post was overrun, apparently by the Taliban, the Pakistani army said on Monday. The statement said 46 members of the Afghan forces, including five officers, slipped across the border late on Sunday near the Pakistani border town of Chitral in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The Afghan soldiers “have been provided food, shelter and necessary medical care as per established military norms,” the Pakistani army said, adding that it had informed Afghan authorities of the development. The Afghan government on Monday denied its troops crossed into Pakistan. “This issue is