World Coronavirus Dispatch: WHO seeks data on Russia's Sputnik V vaccine

A medical staff tends to a patient inside the COVID-19 intensive care unit at the San Filippo Neri hospital in Rome. Photo: Reuters

The WHO is in discussions with the Russian institute that developed the Sputnik V candidate vaccine against Covid-19 over its potential application for emergency use listing, the UN agency said. “We look forward to receiving the data for their Sputnik V candidate vaccine. If a product submitted for assessment is found to meet the criteria for listing, WHO will publish the results widely,” WHO said in a statement.


By granting the vaccine emergency use listing, the WHO would effectively be recommending its use to member states. 


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Let’s look at the global statistics:

Total Confirmed Cases: 52,733,290

Change Over Yesterday: 605,595

Total Deaths: 1,293,183

Total Recovered: 34,149,223

Nations hit with most cases: US (10,552,821), India (8,728,795), Brazil (5,781,582), France (1,915,282) and Russia (1,843,678)


Source: Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center


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Federal Reserve Chair says US economy in for challenging few months: “We do see the economy continuing on a solid path of recovery, but the main risk we see to that is clearly the further spread of the disease here in the United States,” ederal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said Thursday. “With the virus now spreading, the next few months could be challenging.” Fed officials made no changes to their policy stance last week at a meeting following the US election, sticking with near-zero interest rates. Read more here 


Fauci says end to pandemic is in sight, thanks to vaccines: Covid won’t be a pandemic for “a lot longer” thanks to rapid progress in vaccine development, according to Anthony Fauci, the top US infectious disease official. The coronavirus could nonetheless circulate for years, and people need to recommit to inexpensive public health measures like wearing masks, washing hands and social distancing as cases surge, the director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said. Read more here 


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Fans attending Olympics next year may be asked not to cheer to limit coronavirus: Fans attending next year's rearranged Tokyo Olympics may be asked not to cheer in order to limit the risk of spreading coronavirus. Tokyo 2020 chief executive Toshiro Muto said organisers were considering asking spectators to refrain from "shouting or talking in a loud voice". However, he added the "practicality and feasibility" must be considered. Read more here




Central bank chiefs cautiously optimistic on vaccine breakthrough 

Three of the world’s top central bankers predicted the breakthrough on a coronavirus vaccine would lift the uncertainty weighing on the global economy, while calling for more short-term public support to bridge the gap to a recovery. Read their comments here


Covid vaccine presents pharma with shot at redemption and profits 

Pfizer and Merck were among those initially hesitant to get involved, according to Peter Hale, executive director of the Foundation for Vaccine Research in Washington, which regularly works with the industry’s biggest participants. Hale described an atmosphere of “extreme reluctance” in the early weeks of the pandemic. Faced with the need to develop a vaccine on an accelerated timeline, under immense public scrutiny and possibly at no profit, the road ahead looked fraught with risk. Ten months later, 202 companies are developing inoculations, 47 products are in clinical trials, and the commercial benefits of what once seemed like a purely altruistic endeavour are clearer. Read more here


The children never had the coronavirus. so why did they have antibodies?

A provocative study suggests that certain colds may leave antibodies against the new coronavirus, perhaps explaining why children are more protected than adults. Read more here

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