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United Kingdom approves new Covid-19 vaccine, first jabs start next week

Caitlin Ashworth

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United Kingdom approves new Covid-19 vaccine, first jabs start next week | The Thaiger
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The United Kingdom approved the new Covid-19 vaccine by Pfizer-BioNTech for emergency use and will start injections next week. The UK became the first country in the world to license the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which Pfizer says marks a historic moment in the fight against the coronavirus.

The UK purchased 40 million doses of the vaccine and 800,000 doses will be available next week, according to Health Secretary Matt Hancock. He says the most vulnerable people will get the first jabs. 50 hospitals are ready to receive the vaccine, he says.

“From early next week we will start the programme of vaccinating people against Covid-19 here in this country… It’s very good news.”

The new Covid-19 vaccine was authorised for emergency use by the private Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla says the company applauds the agency for conducting a careful, yet timely, assessment of the vaccine.

“As we anticipate further authorizations and approvals, we are focused on moving with the same level of urgency to safely supply a high-quality vaccine around the world.”

The vaccine has been shown to have a 95% efficacy in its final trials. A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson says the approval of the vaccine follows months of rigorous clinical trials and experts have concluded that the vaccine meets strict safety, quality and effectiveness standards.

SOURCES: Reuters | Guardian

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Issan John

    Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at 6:24 pm

    Even if I could get the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine, I wouldn’t take it – not because I’m “anti-vax” but because the mRNA technology is still largely untested and all the vaccine appears to do is make 95% of those vaccinated asymptomatic (up from 80%), nothing more, which means that IF that’s the case it won’t be acceptable to many countries as a “Pass” without quarantine as you can still be as contagious as if you hadn’t been vaccinated at all.

    IF.

    IF so, then I’d prefer to wait for the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is far more likely to stop also you being contagious – but which almost certainly won’t if you’ve already had the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines.

    • Avatar

      Preesy Chepuce

      Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at 9:31 pm

      I agree that the AZ vaccine is the one, but I think the point of this is to establish the process of rapid approval, and there’s talk of the MHRA process being essentially franchised around the world, and the world following British standards, because pharma is one area where the UK excels.

      • Avatar

        Manue,

        Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at 11:23 pm

        Jesus, it is like talking about getting the last fashionable smartphone or whatever useless item? 2 people, real people, talking about that fashionable vaccin, no idea what they are talking about, but which one do you buy? we have first humans in real life to take it. Let’s see how it works now, got a bad feeling, probably me being too paranoid.. just hope it all all works out now, don’t mind me being… interrogative though

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Thursday, December 3, 2020 at 11:40 am

        I don’t think it’s “talk”!

        Pfizer / BioNTech have already said they’ll sell the franchise, but why would anyone want to buy it?

        It’s less effective than Moderna’s with a higher percentage of serious symptoms (5 percentage points higher, so twice as bad), double the price of Moderna’s (and well over ten time the price of AZ’s), with an incredibly complex and expensive transport and storage requirement as it has to be kept at -70c or used within five days as soon as the temperature goes above that, while at least Moderna’s ‘only’ has to be kept at -20c.

        On top of that, the mRNA vaccines appear very clearly to do nothing to reduce transmission at all (literally nothing) as all they do is make 90 – 95% of those vaccinated asymptomatic, so they’re still just as likely to be contagious as those who haven’t been vaccinated.

        Pfizer / BioNTech must be relieved that they’ve managed to sell what’s essentially a massively over-priced and not particularly effective vaccine to a bunch of suckers desperate to salvage some political profit out of the shambles they’ve created, but I think the idea that “the world [is] following British standards” is lioving in la-la land.

        • Avatar

          London Al

          Monday, December 7, 2020 at 11:54 pm

          This is just the sort of scaremongering garbage which should be banned from social media and forums such as this, RNA vaccines work by introducing into the body a messenger RNA (mRNA) sequence that contains the genetic instructions for the vaccinated person’s own cells to produce the vaccine antigens and generate an immune response.

          In addition -70c is the same temperature as required for dry ice, it’s not difficult.

          I’ll ignore the racist stuff.

  2. Avatar

    A

    Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at 6:35 pm

    Russia and China are vaccinating people for long time already..LOL

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Thursday, December 3, 2020 at 11:43 am

      Actually Russia has vaccinated less than 19,000 with their Sputnik V vaccine, which means it hasn’t even reached the level of Stage 3 trials even though they’ve “approved” it, and China has yet to approve any of its vaccines.

  3. Avatar

    wiliian

    Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at 8:40 pm

    I’ll go live in the sticks before I get the gates vaccine. This whole covid thing feels like a scam, Brought to you by the same folks who engineered 9/11 and the 2009 great financial crisis which allowed them to print money, get bailouts with my money to pay record bonuses and benefits and yachts. The government is the problem not the solution.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Thursday, December 3, 2020 at 11:53 am

      Ummm ….. sorry to disillusion you, but this isn’t “the gates vaccine”.

      The vaccine he’s backing will be produced by the Serum Institute of India at less than US$3 a jab, and will be either the AstraZeneca or Novavax vaccine, distributed by Gavi / Covax.

  4. Avatar

    Johnny Dee

    Thursday, December 3, 2020 at 2:51 pm

    Last week I told you the vaccine was coming guys the information I got was on the money,all the doubters and gloomers and you know who you are well let’s say a big Thankyou….. let’s just say and hope it’s spread out equally and ultimately rapidly and safe. There’s a long way to go but it’s a start on the long road back to some kind of normality. Take care guys

  5. Avatar

    Ameila Leary

    Thursday, December 3, 2020 at 3:34 pm

    All this is done because of the efforts of scientists and other medics, who put all their potential to do the job for people’s welfare. Vaccine protection for individuals over 65 years of age is over 94 per cent, according to the report. The Germans argue that the vaccine has not been tested for more than 65 years and it is not clear to children how long it will last, whether it is guaranteed to all vaccinated people, whether one is still affected and has side effects, as this can also be calculated.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Thursday, December 3, 2020 at 6:56 pm

      Could you say what “report” you’re talking about that puts the protection rate at 94% for those over 65?

      That isn’t in any medical reports or in any reports from Pfizer / BioNTech, nor were those over 65 tested sufficiently to support that figure.

      The EU objections to approval aren’t that it “has not been tested for more than 65 years” but that it hasn’t been tested sufficiently on those who are most vulnerable, which includes the elderly – Pfizer’s age bracket was “between 55 and 81”, IIRC.

      Perfectly reasonable, since doing nothing “gives protection” of over 80%, and Moderna’s vaccine offers more protection for the vulnerable at half the price and with far simpler storage and distribution issues and was also tested more thoroughly with those who need it most, while AstraZeneca’s may well offer more at a fraction of the price, without the storage and distribution issues, and with the added benefit of reducing transmission and contagion which the mRNA vaccines don’t.

      Hardly surprising that the two countries rushing to approve the vaccine in undue haste before the end of the year are the UK and the US, whose leaders have made the worst shambles of Covid in the West and who are desperate to take some credit to salvage what they can of their political reputations.

  6. Avatar

    Peter

    Thursday, December 3, 2020 at 11:37 pm

    I say the politicians should have to take any vaccine first. If it doesn’t kill them then we will know that the vaccine is safe. If it does kill them then the country will be safe. Its a win-win.

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

Crime

Asia’s biggest drug kingpin arrested in Netherlands

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Asia’s biggest drug kingpin arrested in Netherlands | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Sky News

Asia’s biggest drug kingpin is under arrest in the Netherlands after years of authorities chasing him worldwide. 57 year old Tse Chi Lop, a Chinese-born Canadian citizen, was arrested by Dutch police acting on a request by Australia’s federal police.

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime named him as the suspected leader of the Asian mega-cartel known as “Sam Gor”, a major producer and supplier of methamphetamines worldwide. Tse is commonly compared to the Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

Sam Gor is suspected of laundering billions in drug money through businesses such as casinos, real estate and hotels in Southeast Asia’s Mekong region. Australia’s federal police said Friday’s arrest came after a 2012 operation that arrested 27 people linked to a crime syndicate spanning five countries. The groups was accused of importing large amounts of heroin and methamphetamine into Australia, according to police.

“The syndicate targeted Australia over a number of years, importing and distributing large amounts of illicit narcotics, laundering the profits overseas and living off the wealth obtained from crime.”

The arrest of Tse Chi Lop almost 10 years after that operation’s launch is a major break for Australian authorities. The country’s attorney-general will now begin preparing a formal extradition request for the alleged drug lord to face trial.

Most of Asia’s meth comes from “Golden Triangle” border areas between Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and southwest China. The production of methamphetamine, either in tablet form or the highly potent crystalised “ice” version, take place in Myanmar’s eastern north Shan state. Ketamine and fentanyl are also produced there as well, mostly in ‘portable’ labs that hide underneath the thick rainforest canopy.

In 2018 alone, Thailand netted more than 515 million methamphetamine tablets, a number 17 times the amount for the entire Mekong region 10 years ago. Traffickers are constantly finding more creative ways to ship their products as drug busts are featured daily on the news in those regions.

SOURCE: The Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Czech ‘Covid’ sniffer dogs can detect Covid-19 with a 95% success rate

The Thaiger

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Czech ‘Covid’ sniffer dogs can detect Covid-19 with a 95% success rate | The Thaiger

Czech dog trainers say canines can sniff out Covid-19 with an astonishing 95% success rate. The team of trainers in Renda, a Czech mountain village, are working in their own time to teach the dogs to tell the difference between fake samples of Covid and real ones by sniffing pieces of cloth. Lenka Vlachova, a trainer who works at Prague’s fire brigade, says the cloths either feature a scent from patients with Covid-19 or from those that tested negative for the virus. They also say they there are cloths with fake samples of the virus that are part of the testing group.

The project head, Gustav Hotovy, says the study is designed to verify dogs’ ability to detect the virus and generate a method enabling the use of training dogs in combatting the pandemic.

“The method should also work with other diseases, even more lethal than Covid-19. In the end, we should be able to detect a huge number of people in a very short time with a trained dog.”

Hotovy, who is a retired cynologist, whose team started training the dogs last August, says the first study confirming that dogs are able to detect tissue attacked by a virus was conducted in the United States about 10 years ago.

“The virus changes the human tissue, affecting the scent signature of the person.”

He says that the signature changes so much that it is immediately picked up on by the dogs. The samples are gathered by rubbing a piece of cotton against the patient’s skin and then the team has to make sure the sample is virus-free to keep the dogs from catching the virus.

A Finnish team has also been using dogs to detect the virus at Helsinki airport, reporting its dogs can detect the virus with close to 100% accuracy.

SOURCE: Reuters

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World

Talk show king, Larry King, dies at 87 | VIDEO

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Talk show king, Larry King, dies at 87 | VIDEO | The Thaiger

Larry King, the longtime CNN stalwart and talk host has died. He was 87 years of age. He is survived by 3 sons.

“Larry King Live” was a staple on the the young cable TV network for over 25 years, interviewing presidential candidates, celebrities, athletes and high-profile personalities. He retired in 2010 after taping more than 6,000 episodes of the show before moving his voice onto a fledgling streaming service.

His son, Chance, confirmed King’s death yesterday morning, US time, on his Facebook page.

“With profound sadness, Ora Media announces the death of our co-founder, host and friend Larry King, who passed away this morning at age 87 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.”

“For 63 years and across the platforms of radio, television and digital media, Larry’s many thousands of interviews, awards, and global acclaim stand as a testament to his unique and lasting talent as a broadcaster.”

King had recently spent time in hospital with Covid-19 at Cedars-Sinai. He had been battling a number of other health problems over the years, suffering several heart attacks. In 1987, he underwent quintuple bypass surgery, inspiring him to establish the Larry King Cardiac Foundation to provide assistance to those without insurance.

With all his health challenges, he continued to forge one of the great talk show careers in US entertainment history.

In 2017 King revealed that he had been diagnosed with lung cancer and successfully underwent surgery to treat it. He also underwent another procedure in 2019 to address angina.

King also suffered personal loss last year when 2 of his adult children died within weeks of each other: Andy King, 65, suffered a heart attack and daughter Chaia King, 52, died after being diagnosed with lung cancer.

With an affable, easygoing demeanor that distinguished him from more intense TV interviewers, King perfected a casual approach to the Q&A format, always leaning forward and listening intently to his guests, rarely interrupting.

Tim Newton from The Thaiger met Larry King in the early 90s whilst working on the ‘Australia Overnight’ program with the Macquarie Network, using King’s ‘Larry King Show’ radio format as a broad framework for the new radio networked program in Australia, the first of its kind.

“Larry was as affable in personal dealings as he was on air. He was very keen to help a young Aussie at the time who was trying to carve out a similar program to the famous Larry King Show of the 1980s that he hosted. I was happy to get a 30 minute meeting with him after flying to LA to meet him. He took me out to dinner and I walked away with a roadmap for our new radio show and a thousand other tips for the legendary talk show host.”

Jeff Zucker, CNN’s President, acknowledged King’s role in raising the network’s profile around the world.

“We mourn the passing of our colleague Larry King. The scrappy young man from Brooklyn had a history-making career spanning radio and television. His curiosity about the world propelled his award-winning career in broadcasting, but it was his generosity of spirit that drew the world to him. We are so proud of the 25 years he spent with CNN, where his newsmaker interviews truly put the network on the international stage. From our CNN family to Larry’s, we send our thoughts and prayers, and a promise to carry on his curiosity for the world in our work.”

SOURCE: CNN

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