WHO alert on falsified versions of Covishield in Uganda and India

SWITZERLAND – The World Health Organization has issued an alert on falsified versions of “Covishield” identified in Africa and South-East Asia Region. Covishield is the brand name under which Serum Institute of India (SII) sells the AstraZeneca-Oxford University Covid-19 vaccine. “The falsified products were reported to WHO in July and August 2021. The genuine manufacturer of Covishield has confirmed that the products listed in this alert are falsified. These falsified products have been reported at the patient level in Uganda and India,” the WHO said. Genuine Covishield vaccine is indicated…

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SAMA condemns healthcare workers discouraging vaccination as vaccine apartheid continues

SOUTH AFRICA – The South African Medical Association (SAMA) has expressed its dismay at reports that some healthcare workers, including doctors, have discouraged patients from getting COVID-19 vaccinations, based on doubts about the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness. SAMA Chairperson, Dr Angelique Coetzee, said the organisation wholly rejects any doubts about the COVID-19 vaccine. “There is high confidence among the scientific and medical community about the effectiveness and safety of the vaccines being rolled-out in South Africa, and they have also undergone safety and efficacy tests by the South African Health…

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Cote D’Ivoire starts Ebola vaccination of frontline workers

COTE D’IVOIRE – Cote d’Ivoire has launched Ebola vaccination of high-risk populations, including health workers and first responders in Abidjan, where an Ebola outbreak was declared on 14 August. The country was able to swiftly begin the vaccination on 16 August with the rVSV-ZEBOV Ebola vaccine manufactured by Merck as the vaccine doses that the World Health Organization (WHO) helped secure to fight a four-month long outbreak in Guinea were sent quickly by Guinea to Cote d’Ivoire. The vaccine deployment from Guinea included 2000 doses from Merck that are being…

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Nigeria launches second phase of COVID-19 vaccination in efforts to mitigate pandemic effects

NIGERIA – The Federal Government has launched the second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination in Abuja, a continuous effort towards curbing the spread of the disease in the country. At a symbolic event to flag- off the second phase at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Abuja, the Chairman of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on Covid-19, Boss Mustapha said the arrival of Moderna, and Janssen (Johnson and Jonson) vaccines will enhance the government’s effort to get more Nigerians vaccinated to achieve herd immunity against the disease. “Achieving herd immunity is…

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Serum Institute buys 50% stake in packaging joint venture SCHOTT Kaisha

INDIA – Serum Institute of India, the largest vaccine producer and manufacturer of biologics, has bought the 50% stake in the Indian packaging joint venture SCHOTT Kaisha from former co-owners Kairus Dadachanji and Shapoor Mistry. Serum Institute was already a customer of Schott Kaisha, using their vials, ampoules and syringes to store vaccines including the COVID-19 vaccine Covishield. The companies did not provide any further details on the deal. Serum Institute of India is expected to generate US$4 billion in revenues through its Covid vaccine deals by 2022, as a…

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USA preparing to administer COVID-19 booster shots as from September

USA – With half of US fully vaccinated, the Biden administration plans to begin administering COVID-19 booster shots to Americans as early as mid or late September, pending authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Health officials in U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration gathered round the view that most people should get a booster shot eight months after they completed their initial vaccination, sources have indicated. According to the New York Times, which earlier reported the development, officials are planning to announce the administration’s decision as early as this…

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India staring at US$11 billion market opportunity with Covid-19 vaccines supplies

INDIA – India’s pharmaceutical sector is looking at an opportunity to the tune of US$ 10 to 11 billion in the form of COVID-19 vaccine supply, in both domestic and export markets in the next three years, rating agency Care Ratings has said in a report. However, the Indian vaccine makers are unlikely to get the premium pricing being enjoyed by US-based multinational companies which is anywhere between US$ 15 and 25 per dose, their average realization could remain anywhere between US$3.25 and US$3.50 per dose, it said. According to…

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