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US approves Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine

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US approves Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine | The Thaiger
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The US has approved the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, a situation that now permits the rollout of the new mRNA coronavirus vaccine. President Donald Trump promised the first immunisations will now take place “in less than 24 hours”, hailing the development.

“Through our partnership with FedEx and UPS, we have already begun shipping the vaccine to every state and zip code in the country.”

President Trump also announced that governors in states around the US would decide who will go to the front of the queue to receive the new vaccine. The US is now the 6th country to approve the 2-dose vaccine schedule, following the lead of Britain, Bahrain, Canada, Saudi Arabia and Mexico.

The US hopes to vaccinate 20 million people before the end of the year. A second vaccine, developed by Moderna and the National Institutes of Health, is currently awaiting approval but is expected within the next week.

The decision is a scientific milestone for the American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and German partner BioNTech, but also for the mRNA (messenger ribonucleic acid) technology the Covid-19 vaccine is based on. Traditional vaccine technology normally uses a weakened or inactivated form of disease-causing microbes. The new mRNA technology “delivers genetic instructions to human cells to make them express a surface protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (Covid-19)”.

The vaccine approval coincides with soaring cases in the US with the grim milestone of 300,000 confirmed deaths now surpassed in the past 24 hours. In the past 24 hours 246,530 new cases were announced along with 3,016 deaths as a result of Covid-19 infection.

US approves Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine | News by The Thaiger

The approval of the Pfizer vaccine followed a busy 24hours after it was widely reported that the White House threatened to fire the US FDA chief Stephen Hahn if he didn’t issue the approval before the weekend. Mr. Hahn disputed the reports but gave the final approval anyway.

The US now heads into a huge logistical operation shipping millions of doses to hospitals, clinics, pharmacies and aged care facilities around the country.

FedEx, one of the logistics partners, are using special boxes to manage the vaccine’s cold storage requirement of -70 degrees C.

US approves Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine | News by The Thaiger

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Issan John

    Saturday, December 12, 2020 at 1:45 pm

    I can understand why the UK and now the US have approved the Pfizer vaccine since “they’ve met their primary goals: the analysis found the candidate to be 95 percent effective in preventing mild cases of COVID-19, and 94 percent effective in adults over 65 years old, with no serious safety concerns.”

    What I CAN’T understand, though, is why anyone would buy the vaccine apart from for political expediency, and even less why anyone would actually want to be vaccinated with it.

    Accordng to Pfizer (who should probably know), their vaccine’s 95 or 94% effective against MILD cases of Covid-19, but markedly less effective (apparently 90%) against SEVERE cases, and even less so (unclear, but “tapering off”) for those over 65.

    Meanwhile, Moderna’s vaccine is due to be reviewed for approval next week, and apart from being half the price of Pfizer’s it’s a fraction of the cost to distribute and, far more importantly, “data from its phase three study shows the vaccine is 94.1 percent effective in preventing mild cases of Covid-19, the primary target for the trial” and “the company also claimed that its vaccine is 100 percent effective at preventing severe cases of the disease, though this secondary analysis remains ongoing.”

    That’s similarly effective against MILD cases, and since doing nothing is widely accepted as being 80% effective (literally doing nothing, if 80% of cases are asymptomatic), that means it’s at least TWICE as effective against SEVERE cases as the Pfizer vaccine: not just halving them as the Pfizer vaccine does at best (up from 80% to 90%) but stopping ALL of them (from 80% to 100%).

    Given the alternative from Moderna in less than a week, and other alternatives including from AstraZeneca and quite possibly AstraZeneca with Gamaleya / Sputnik V, why does anyone want this vaccine?

  2. Avatar

    Ian

    Saturday, December 12, 2020 at 5:28 pm

    Do you make your comments because Thailand are at the back of the que for the vaccines and UK and America are at the front ,you really need to get outa Thailand for a while and see what the real world is like instead of filling thaiger with your self opiniated comments day after day it’s getting boring now issan John take a long holiday say mars lol

  3. Avatar

    Erich

    Saturday, December 12, 2020 at 6:47 pm

    Very useful information John. Thanks for sharing it.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Sunday, December 13, 2020 at 10:51 am

      It doesn’t affect me directly, Erich, as none are available here yet (or required yet, fortunately), but it looks as if there’ll be a choice elsewhere, in the West, very soon.

      Friends and family who are “vulnerable” to Covid-19 can
      now be vaccinated and they’re being pressured into taking the Pfizer vaccine without being told any of the probable limitations, or that alternatives will very soon be available which will probably be far more effective and offer far more protection.

      All that information’s readily available and very easily verified and confirmed, but none of it’s being passed on to those who need it most and should have it, and instead they’re pressured to take the Pfizer vaccine on the grounds that if they don’t take it now, when offered, they may be put at the back of the queue for any other vaccine later.

      Unacceptable, just so the numbers can be kept up and political points scored.

  4. Avatar

    Johnny Dee

    Sunday, December 13, 2020 at 12:47 am

    Ian my friend you speak for 99.9% of the entire population ??.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Sunday, December 13, 2020 at 10:20 am

      Undoubtedly as well researched as the rest of your posts.

  5. Avatar

    Issan John

    Sunday, December 13, 2020 at 1:08 am

    If you think the US and the UK are “the real world” and “at the front” of anything, then I’m hardly surprised you see a holiday on Mars as an attractive option.

  6. Avatar

    Patrick Kelly

    Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 2:06 am

    Russian, Chinese supported vaccines are on the way. What could go wrong?
    I would not be in the same zip code of that vaccine. There’s are reason both countries are hacking any and all information about a vaccine. Both countries governments are an abomination.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thai DJ Celebrity party is likely to be “super spreader” event

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Thai DJ Celebrity party is likely to be “super spreader” event | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thairath Online

The birthday party of Techin Ploypetch, better known as “DJ Matoom”, is now considered a super-spreader source of Covid-19, with 19 people already found infected after attending the event. According the CCSA spokesperson during the daily briefing today, “Transmissions in Bangkok should be highlighted. They show the possibility of a person becoming a super-spreader”.

The birth of the super spreader birthday party started with a guest to the DJ’s party who had visited a well-known entertainment venue in Chiang Mai between January 1 and 4. He sought a Covid-19 test on January 5 following news that infected people had visited the pub, but tested negative. He should have self quarantined for 14 days, but he still flew to Bangkok and then attended the DJ celebrity’s birthday party on January 9.

DJ Matoom says he met the guest, one of his friend, on January 9, but that friend didn’t know he was infected until January 19 in which he told Matoom.

According to Dr Tanarak Plipat, now acting inspector-general of the Public Health Ministry, an infected person can transmit disease to two others on average, while a “super spreader” will transmit to multiple people.

DJ Matoom and the party’s guest were criticised of violating the disease control measures.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Thailand’s tourism targets film production to gain revenue during Covid-19 crisis

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Thailand’s tourism targets film production to gain revenue during Covid-19 crisis | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Herrera & Partners

Thailand’s tourism officials have a new idea to draw in visitors: film production. The Tourism and Sports Ministry is aiming to generate around 3 billion baht from foreign film crews and is targeting projects with an investment over 100 million baht, hoping to compensate for the loss of revenue due to the lack of international tourists during the coronavirus pandemic.

Foreign tourism revenue drastically dropped nearly 83% in 2020, going from nearly 40 million tourists in 2019 to only 6.7 million tourists in 2020.

The tourism department’s director-general Anant Wongbenjarat says that Thailand welcomed 176 international film productions to the country last year, generating 1.73 billion baht for the local economy. But this is a sharp decrease compared to the previous year where the 740 foreign film crews generated 4.86 billion baht.

In August, the CCSA decided to grant special entry permission to film productions. 53 film production projects were based in Thailand during August and December, contributing 1.14 billion baht to the economy. Those entering Thailand must still undergo a 14 day quarantine.

“International productions can proceed and generate income for locals despite the tourism slowdown.”

Anant also says there are 4 more film production projects underway, and it is forecasted to generate 186 million baht, bringing the total to 57 projects. In the first half of this year, there will be nine more productions expected to come in and help create at least 800 jobs for locals.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Moderna vaccine is proved ‘protective’ against Covid-19 variants

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Moderna vaccine is proved ‘protective’ against Covid-19 variants | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO

As fear over new variants of Covid-19 had prompted the travel restrictions to tighten worldwide, the United States biotech firm Moderna announced that its vaccine should protect against the variants identified in the United Kingdom and South Africa.

Latest studies on the efficacy of Moderna vaccines confirmed that the vaccines are effective and protective against new variants. The company will continue more tests adding a second booster of its vaccine, bringing to 3 shots in a total.

“We are encouraged by these new data, which reinforce our confidence that the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine should be protective against these newly detected variants.”

Last month, a private hospital in Bangkok advertised pre-orders for the Moderna vaccine, which still needs approval from Thailand’s FDA. Thailand’s Department of Health Service Support demanded that the hospital remove the advertisements.

In the ads, the hospital was charging 4,000 baht for a booking of the vaccine. In the post the hospital said the vaccine would arrive in Thailand in October 2021. They also announced that the vaccine would cost 6,000-10,000 baht.

Health officials say private hospitals will be allowed to administer vaccines that are approved by the FDA. So far, the Thai government has only approved the AstraZeneca vaccine for emergency use. The first batch of 50,000 doses are expected to arrive next month. Frontline health care workers and vulnerable groups in high risk areas will be first to receive the vaccine.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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