Tag Archives: Covid-19 vaccine

COVID 19: The world needs 7 million doses of vaccine- Bill Gates

Billionaire Bill Gates has outlined what he believes the world needs from a Covid-19 vaccine in order to reopen society.

“Realistically, if we’re going to return to normal, we need to develop a safe, effective vaccine. We need to make billions of doses, we need to get them out to every part of the world, and we need all of this happen as quickly as possible,” Gates said in a blog post.

The vaccine only needs to be at least 70% effective to stop the outbreak, Gates said. He added that a vaccine that’s 60% effective is usable, but society would still see localized outbreaks, while anything under 60% is unlikely to stop the virus.

Gates said he’s optimistic a safe and effective vaccine could emerge in 18 months, though it could be as short as 9 months or up to two years. It also doesn’t have to be perfect at first, and it can take time to develop a refined vaccine.

Gates said that once a usable vaccine is ready to go, it should be distributed to health-care workers first and then to people in low-income countries. The world will eventually need 7 billion doses or more if it’s a multidose drug, Gates said. He added that the Covid-19 vaccine will likely become part of newborn immunization schedules.

Since it emerged, the coronavirus has infected more than 3.2 million worldwide and killed at least 227,971 people, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

″It might be a bit hard to see right now, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. We’re doing the right things to get a vaccine as quickly as possible,” Gates said.

Coronavirus getting weak, may disappear before vaccine: Italian expert

Italian expert, Dr. Giuseppe Remuzzi said coronavirus is nearing its end and “may disappear” before the discovery of a vaccine to stop its spread.

Remuzzi is the director of the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research in Milan, Italy.

In an interview with Italy’s La7 television channel, Remuzzi said the virus is weakening day by day and could lose its potency.

His view conflicts with the pervading one in the medical world that has warned that the virus is now endemic within the population, meaning it will not go away on its own.

The view even warns of a “second wave” as the world comes out of lockdown.

Others have suggested that life may not completely return to normal until a vaccine is developed.

Remuzzi disagreed with these views.

According to him, the disease is less severe in newly infected individuals in comparison to those who were infected a month ago.

He argued further that the number of people who require intensive care in Italy is less than what it used to be.

Remuzzi said that he does not know why the deadly coronavirus is losing its potency.

However, he stated, people may have developed an immunity to it, which could lead to its eradication before the development of a vaccine.

“If things continue to evolve the way they are now, the outbreak may stop,” he added.

While the race is on to develop a vaccine, one might not be available until the end of 2021.

Group queries WHO’s proposed Covid-19 vaccine trial in Kano

A Kano-based group, Kungiyar Matasan Kano Advocacy Organisation, has kicked against the proposal to try the COVID-19 vaccine in the State.

In a statement signed by Comrade Alhassan Haruna Dambatta Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Kungiyar Matasan Kano, the group wondered why the people of the State should be used as Guinea pigs.

“Our attention has been drawn to a news item in the Media suggesting a proposed vaccine trial in Nigeria by WHO,” the group’s statement said.

“The vaccine trials is one of the efforts to discover a vaccine for the deadly Coronavirus and the trials are being supervised by the WHO which selected Nigeria as a ground to conduct these trials on some unlucky individuals whose lives are to be used as a laboratory specimen.

“We wouldn’t have become outraged, but the appearance of Kano State amongst states selected for the clinical trial of the COVID-19 vaccine in Nigeria got our attention the most and raised the need to set the record straight.

“Kano has suffered on various occasions in the past and equally has been neglected in the past, especially at the period of the devastation of the aftermath of these vaccine trials.

“In the recent past, people of Kano are yet to forget Pfizer’s clandestine drug trials which led to our people suffering from various ailments and medical conditions.

“The trials were made without proper vetting and approvals were never issued but Pfizer went ahead clandestinely and crippled our children and killed many innocent ones.

“But today, our dear state is once again being taunted as a possible ground for another medical jamboree and subjugation of the good people of Kano State to another round of trials of vaccines that are yet to be sufficiently proven as an effective means for the cure of the Coronavirus.

“What this simply means is that we the people of Kano state are still being regarded as guinea pigs that every Dick and Harry will turn to at the time of clinical trials of vaccines and drugs.

“Those whose families were crippled or killed because of Pfizer trials are yet to receive compensation a decade after but today the people of Kano state are selected for another round of vaccine trials only that this one is referred to as COVID-19 which remains the deadliest of the viruses discovered in recent past.

“We are astonished as to why this vaccine missed the road and found its way to Nigeria and unfortunately Kano State when Kano is not the origin of the virus neither was Kano recording mass death that will warrant a vaccine trial.

“We outrightly reject this WHO activity in our state and demand a withdrawal of our state’s name from the list of the states chosen to participate in this Coronavirus vaccine trials.

“The law has mandated us to ask proper questions when in need of answers especially those that are made on behalf of the voiceless, in view of this, therefore, various questions have been developed but the one needing an answer is whether the 15billion allocated to Kano state to fight COVID-19 was attached with conditions of vaccine trials, why Kano state?

“Why not China, the US or Europe where the devastation of the virus is enormous and are the index countries where the virus originated from and spread to Africa.

“Whilst we presently pay attention to the situation in our state, it remains not our business if these vaccine trials are conducted elsewhere, but in a situation where some individuals are ready to serve as willing tools for this vaccine trials, we would like to suggest it to be conducted on a well-set agreement between the willing tool and the authorities, proper compensations should be maintained and these should include an insurance cover for the willing individuals.

“The condition in Kano State caused by the spread of the Coronavirus seems under control and well managed, this can be verified from low death and low daily infection recorded and there is no doubt that Kano state will come out of this COVID-19 issue strong but what remains unacceptable is choosing the state as a colony for COVID-19 vaccine trials. This should be reversed.”

Bill Gates offered House of Reps $10m bribe for speedy passage of compulsory vaccine bill – CUPP alleges

The Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP), on Monday, alleged that it has intercepted a human intelligence report that the Nigeria House of Representatives leadership was poised to forcefully pass the compulsory vaccine bill without subjecting it to the traditions of legislative proceedings.

In a statement issued and signed by the spokesperson of the opposition political parties, Barrister Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere in Abuja on Monday, the body urged lawmakers in the lower chamber to rise against impunity.

The body in the statement alleged that a sum of $10 million was offered by the American Computer Czar, Bill Gates for influence the speedy passage of the bill without recourse to legislative public hearing, a development they described as anachronistic, adding that the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila should be impeached if he forces the bill on members.

The statement read:

“Opposition Coalition (CUPP) has intercepted very credible intelligence and hereby alerts Nigerians of plans by the leadership of the House of Representatives led by Femi Gbajabiamila to forcefully and without adherence to the rules of lawmaking to pass the Control of Infectious Diseases Bill 2020 otherwise known as the Compulsory Vaccination Bill which is proposing a compulsory vaccination of all Nigerians even when the vaccines have not been discovered.

“This intelligence is coupled with the information of the alleged receipt, from sources outside the country but very interested in the Bill, of the sum of $10 million by the sponsors and promoters of the Bill to distribute among lawmakers to ensure a smooth passage of the Bill.

“This will manifest in a wishy-washy public hearing which the promoters still insist on cancelling under the pretext of containment of the spread of the coronavirus. The intelligence is that the House will under whatever guise pass the Bill tomorrow 5th May, 2020 upon resumption.

“The Nigeria opposition rejects the Bill and urges opposition lawmakers in the House of Representatives to confront the Speaker of the House with these facts tomorrow at plenary and resist every plan to illegally pass the Bill.

“We have been informed that the alleged deal on the passage of the Bill was struck during a trip to Austria a few months back while the financial support for the promotion of the Bill was allegedly received last week to mobilize for a push leading to the hurried attempt to pass the Bill by any means necessary.

“Nigerians are reminded that at present, there is no discovered/approved vaccine anywhere in the world and one now begins to wonder why the hurry to pass a Bill for a compulsory vaccine when there is none.

“What if the world eventually does not find a vaccine or cure for coronavirus just like it has not found a cure for HIV AIDS? What is the hurry in passing a Bill based on speculation or is there anything else the leadership of the House would want to tell Nigerians? Is this bill what will stop the mass deaths and infections rising in Lagos, Kano, Abuja, Gombe, Borno, Kaduna, Ogun, Bauchi and indeed all over the country?

“Is this Bill going to revive and grow the economy and reduce hunger and give us more testing kits or bed spaces? Is this Bill going to stop the stealing of palliatives meant for poor and vulnerable Nigerians? Is it true that all these noises for the Bill is all for the alleged $10 million?

“The leadership of the House needs to start speaking now on why the hurry when there are a lot of urgent Bills to be passed which are not being attended to.

“Where is the Bill to make the wearing of face masks compulsory now that the Federal Government has against all wisdom insisted on easing the lockdown and the people have trooped out already without obeying the health regulations that will make them safe?

“Where are the economic revival Bills to protect jobs and vulnerable Nigerian workers whose livelihoods are threatened daily by this pandemic? Where are the Bills to compel the Federal Government to look inwards and encourage emergency research for the manufacture of essentials like test kits, ventilators, Personal Protective Equipment, vaccines, drugs, masks, sanitizers etc

“All opposition lawmakers should prove they are not part of the evil or partakers of the financial inducement and confront Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila to come clean.

“Let all parliamentary rules be dropped and opposition members should turn the House upside down using their parliamentary privileges if that is what it takes to stop this foreign-sponsored Bill.

“Why make a law for a vaccine that has not been discovered? Does it mean that Femi Gbajabiamila and the promoters have an idea of the vaccine and when it will be ready? When nations like Madagascar are making local remedies which is working, APC is making a law to compulsorily inject Nigerians with vaccines our former slave masters have not yet discovered.

“The plan to push the passing of the bill is evil

“The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC did not make any contributions to the drafting of the Bill and has even told Femi Gbajabiamila to suspend the Bill as the timing is very wrong but Mr. Gbajabiamila believes he can secure the silence and acquiescence of the NCDC with all the illegal powers been provided for the NCDC in the Bill hence he still wants to push ahead with it the passage.

“Like we told the Federal Government before, do not bring Chinese doctors, shut our external borders, do not ease the lockdown, do not relax Kano lockdown and they refused to heed to wise counsel preferring to play myopic politics with the lives of Nigerians, today the community transmission is getting worse and it has almost been confirmed that the so called strange deaths in Kano of hundreds of citizens is a result of the COVID-19.

“We are saying loudly again and calling on House of Representatives to suspend this Control of Infectious Diseases Bill and await for proper input and scrutiny after the pandemic and charge all efforts towards giving the needed support to reduce the spread and find a homegrown solution.”

Bill Gates says proposed Covid-19 vaccine will have a ‘code’

Co-founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates has provided a list of things that must be done to enable life return to normal again.

Gates said he is particularly excited about pursuing a new approach called ‘RNA vaccine,’ with code needed to produce viral fragments on its own.

Gates’s list contains what governments across the world must do if life is to go back to normal.

The billionaire businessman has been adding his voice, making suggestions on ways to fight the Coronavirus pandemic.

In an interview with White House Infectious disease expert Dr Fauci, on Thursday night, Gates listed four things that would help fight the pandemic.

The number one on his list is “testing.” Gates said that countries must improve and develop various strategies to advance current testing methods including at-home test kits.

The billionaire also said that “contact tracing” is key.

He said Germany’s model of interviewing everyone who tests positive and using a database to make sure someone follows up with all their contacts would be useful. Gates suggested that technology may be more adept at this, such as apps that help you remember where you’ve been or using cell phones.

He mentioned “effective treatment” but noted that right now, there is no ready vaccine for the treatment for Covid-19, as other drugs like hydroxychloroquine have received a lot of attention but are still being studied.

Gates finally talked about getting a “vaccine” which many countries and companies around the world are working at break-neck speed to develop.

Talking about the “RNA vaccine” Gates explained, “Unlike a flu shot, which contains fragments of the influenza virus so your immune system can learn to attack them, an RNA vaccine gives your body the genetic code needed to produce viral fragments on its own, So, once your body senses traces of the infection, it attacks it.”

COVID-19: WHO to commence vaccine trials in Nigeria

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has disclosed Nigeria has indicated interest to be part of the solidarity trial of vaccine for coronavirus (COVID-19) and that efforts are underway to start the process in the country.

The WHO Country Representative in Nigeria, Dr Fiona Braka made this disclosure at the daily briefing of the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 of which she is a member.

According to her, there are rigorous processes involved in approving a vaccine for any disease adding that 89 vaccines are currently in development globally.

Braka said: “on the subject of vaccines and clinical trials for COVID-19, I will like to say that research and development is an important aspect of the response and researchers around the world are working hard on accelerating the development of vaccines and therapeutics for Covid-19.

“WHO has launched various working groups to accelerate various aspects of vaccine development.

“Together with global health actors and partners, over the past week, WHO launched the Access to Covid-19 Tools ACT Accelerator, a global collaboration to accelerate development for equitable access to new Covid-19 diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines.

“We have a total of 89 vaccines that are in development globally, including seven in clinical evaluation and several therapeutics are in clinical trials.

“WHO is committed to ensuring that as medicines and vaccines are developed, they are shared equitably with all countries and people.

“We do have the solidarity trial which is an international clinical trial to help find an effective treatment for Covid-19, launched by the WHO and partners.

“More than 100 countries have joined the solidarity trial and to date, over 1, 200 patients have been randomized from the first five countries to evaluate the safety and efficacy of full drug and drug combinations.

“Nigeria has also expressed interest to be part of this solidarity trial and efforts are underway to start the process in Nigeria”, she added.

Meanwhile the Director General of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, has urged citizens to learn to live with the COVID-19 until there is a vaccine to halt its spread.

He said “we really encourage all Nigerians, because we are at the beginning of a journey and the most likely scenario is that until we have a vaccine, we would have to learn to live with COVID-19 in our country.

“We have to tell ourselves the truth about this and encourage one another because there is no point doing that. All of us here are just as vulnerable as catching the virus as are many other people. We will do our best, but we will always have to remember that it is a virus, you cannot build a wall and anything can still happen in spite of our best efforts”, he added.

Gates Foundation Says We’ll Need to Work Together to Vaccinate 7 Billion People

PAUL HANDLEY, AFP

The wealthy Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation called Wednesday for global cooperation to ready COVID-19 vaccines for 7 billion people, while offering an additional US$150 million toward developing therapeutics and treatments for the virus.

While it is likely to take as many as 18 months to develop and fully test a safe coronavirus vaccine, global authorities and businesses need to start now on plans to manufacture it, said foundation chief executive Mark Suzman.

“It’s normal to have, at maximum, hundreds of millions of doses manufactured,” he said.

“When you are dealing with a novel pathogen like COVID-19, as and when we get to identifying a successful vaccine, we are going to need billions of doses.”

“There are 7 billion people on the planet,” he said. “We are going to need to vaccinate nearly every one. There is no manufacturing capacity to do that.”

Suzman announced the foundation, started and controlled by mega-billionaire Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda Gates, is adding US$150 million to the $100 million it announced in February to help in international efforts to battle the coronavirus pandemic.

Much of the money is to support the development of COVID-19 diagnostic tests, therapeutic treatments and vaccines, and to make them globally available, he said.

Some is also for helping the poorest countries in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, which lack supplies, equipment and infrastructure to counter the new epidemic.

But the foundation has its focus on preparing for the creation of a vaccine that could effectively halt the spread of coronavirus.

Some 100 potential vaccines are being developed and tested by scientists around the world, Suzman said.

Many might appear hopeful in initial, small tests, he said, but most will fail in larger trials.

“A successful vaccine has to be available for 7 billion people. You need to test if there are unexpected side effects, or side effects within cohorts or groups, whether it’s pregnant women or the elderly or the very young,” said Suzman.

“The vast majority of vaccine candidates fail in those larger trials, the so-called phase-three trials.”

Fastest vaccine ever

But even as those trials take place, he said, there needs to be an international group of experts, countries and companies honing in on those with the most promise and preparing ahead of time to manufacture them.

He said both China and the United States have to be part of the joint effort, as well as the World Health Organization. On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump said he was cutting off US funds for the WHO.

“Clearly for us, the World Health Organization is a very strong, reliable partner,” Suzman said, noting the Gates Foundation is WHO’s second-largest source of funding after the US.

Earlier Wednesday, European Commissioner chief Ursula von der Leyen called a donors conference for May 4 to fund the creation and global deployment of a vaccine, calling it “our collective best shot at beating the virus.”

Suzman said the Gates Foundation is “reasonably optimistic” that one or more successful vaccines can be proven within 12 to 18 months.

“This will be the fastest vaccine ever developed in human history,” he said.

Yet getting the production going, he estimated, will cost several billion dollars.

Each vaccine finally approved will require its own manufacturing process, and if people don’t begin to prepare within months, a lot of time will be lost, he warned.

“There will be no return to ‘normal’ until there is a vaccine,” Suzman said. “But there are no dramatic ways to short-cut it.”

© Agence France-Presse

Malaria drugs in shortage in US after President Trump announced it could cure coronavirus

Supply of a malaria treatment that has been tried with some success against the new coronavirus is in short supply as demand surges amid the fast-spreading outbreak, according to independent pharmacies and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP).

The ASHP, which maintains a list of drugs in shortage independent of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s list, plans to add the generic malaria drug hydroxychloroquine to its list of shortages later on Thursday, according to Erin Fox, senior director of drug information at University of Utah Health, who maintains the shortages list for the ASHP.

The FDA could not be immediately reached for comment, but hydroxychloroquine is not currently on its list of drugs in shortage.

President Donald Trump on Thursday called on US health regulators to expedite potential therapies aimed at treating COVID-19 for which there is no approved treatments or vaccines.

Chinese military devops COVID-19 vaccine, begin tests on humans

China has given the go-ahead for researchers to begin human safety tests of an experimental coronavirus vaccine in the race to develop a shot against the COVID-19 epidemic that has killed more than 7,000 people worldwide.

Researchers at China’s Academy of Military Medical Sciences, – affiliated to the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) -received approval to launch early-stage clinical trials of the potential vaccine starting this week, the ruling Communist Party’s People’s Daily reported on Tuesday.

Scientists in the United States said on Monday that clinical trials had begun for a vaccine developed by its National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the U.S. biotech firm Moderna.

Details in the Chinese clinical trial registration database show that a “Phase 1” test that will examine whether experimental shot is safe in humans aims to recruit 108 healthy people to take part between March 16 and December 31.

The trial will be conducted by China’s Academy of Military Medical Sciences and the Hong Kong-listed biotech firm CanSino Biologics, the database showed.

Experts at the World Health Organization say they do not expect any fully tested and approved vaccine to reach the market until the middle of next year.

Reuters