EU regulator reviews Merck pill, Joshua Kimmich sparks vaccine debate

ByDonald L. Leech

Oct 26, 2021


· American drug maker Merck said the European Union (EU) medicines regulator has launched a real-time review of its investigational antiviral drug COVID-19 for adults.

As part of the procedure, also known as a ‘continuous review’, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) would assess the data as soon as it becomes available, instead of waiting for a formal request when all the information is available. required will have been collected.

While vaccines are the main weapon against COVID-19, Merck’s experimental pill, called molnupiravir could be a game-changer after studies have shown that it can halve the chances of death or hospitalization for those most at risk of serious illness.

Bayern Munich football star Joshua Kimmich found himself at the center of a debate in Germany on the merits of vaccination against the virus. Kimmich confirmed this weekend that he has yet to be vaccinated because of his own concerns about “a lack of long-term studies” on the effects of vaccines.

The player said he was still thinking about it and it was “very possible for me to get the shot”. Kimmich denied being “anti-vaccination”.

He would be waiting for an inactivated vaccine. Which consists of viral particles, bacteria or pathogens, which have been grown in culture and then killed to destroy disease-producing capacity. The most widely used inactivated vaccine is the Sinovac vaccine made in China., which has not been approved for use in the EU.

The EMA concluded that Moderna’s booster vaccine can be given to people 18 years of age and older, at least six months after the second dose. This is the second booster vaccine to be approved in the EU.

“This follows data showing that a third dose of Spikevax given six to eight months after the second dose resulted in increased antibody levels in adults with declining antibody levels,” EMA said. .

· Moderna announced that its vaccine generates a robust immune response in children between the ages of six and 11, and that it plans to submit the data to global regulators soon.

Moderna said his two-dose vaccine produced virus-neutralizing antibodies in children, and the safety was comparable to that seen previously in clinical trials in adolescents. He cited provisional data that has yet to be peer reviewed.

· Russia has reported 1,106 deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, the highest figure since the start of the pandemic, amid an increase in the number of new cases that have prompted authorities to re-impose partial lockdown measures.

The daily toll has hit new records in six of the past eight days. The state’s COVID-19 task force also reported 36,446 new infections, up from 37,930 a day earlier.

Some regions have imposed a closure of workplaces, and from Thursday, Moscow to introduce toughest lockdown measures since June 2020, only essential stores such as supermarkets and pharmacies remain open. Schools in Moscow are also closed, and unvaccinated over 60s in the capital have been ordered to stay home for four months.

The Dutch government may impose further restrictions to reduce pressure on hospitals struggling to cope with a growing number of COVID-19 patients, said Health Minister Hugo de Jonge.

Coronavirus infections in the Netherlands have been increasing for the past month and have reached their highest level since July in recent days, after most social distancing measures were abandoned at the end of September.

The new wave of infections has driven the number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals up faster than expected this month, De Jonge said, and many hospitals are already cutting back on regular care again to treat coronavirus cases.

Bulgaria reported record number of daily coronavirus deaths and infections, Tuesday, as a fourth wave of the disease puts a strain on the health system of the least vaccinated country in the EU.

In the past 24 hours, new infections topped 5,863 while 243 people have died from the virus, official data shows. The pandemic has killed 23,316 people in Bulgaria.