Shots

Moderna starts human trials of an mRNA-based flu shot

Moderna gave its mRNA-based seasonal flu vaccine to the first set of volunteers in a clinical trial, the pharmaceutical company announced today. The start of the trial marks the next stage of the company’s work on this type of vaccine technology after the overwhelming success of its COVID-19 vaccine, which was built using the same strategy. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, mRNA vaccines were still largely experimental, even as they were heralded as the future of vaccine development. People who get an mRNA vaccine are injected with tiny snippets of genetic material from the target virus. Their cells use that genetic information to build bits of the virus, which the body’s immune system learns to fight against. The high efficacy of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines made by Moderna and Pfizer / BioNTec...

Nigeria adds South Africa to its coronavirus ‘red list’ for arriving travellers

Nigeria is adding South Africa to its “red list” of countries for which there are stringent restrictions for arriving passengers, officials said during a briefing on Monday. Nigeria is introducing the restrictions due to the spread of the Delta variant in South Africa, Chikwe Ihekweazu, the head of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, said. The country joins India, Brazil and Turkey on the list. “In Nigeria, we haven’t found the Delta variant yet,” Ihekweazu said during the briefing. Non-Nigerian passport holders and non-residents who visited the countries on the list within 14 days are barred entry from Nigeria, while passport holders and residents must undergo a seven-day quarantine in a government-approved facility at cost to the passenger. They are also required to take Covid-19 tes...

Belgium send defending champion Portugal out of Euro 2020

Belgium have sent out defending champions, Portugal out of Euro 2020, with a lone goal victory on Sunday. Portugal dominated the game with 24 goal attempts and five shots on goal, while Belgium scored with its only shot on goal and six goal attempts. Thorgan Hazard got the only goal of the match for Belgium on 42 minutes. He latched on to a superb pass and breaks through the defence before firing a shot from mid-range that goes past the goalkeeper inside the right post. On 58 minutes, Diogo Jota had a chance to draw Portugal level. He picked up an inch-perfect pass inside the box and fired the ball just over the crossbar. On 83 minutes, Raphael Guerreiro fired a brilliant shot from the edge of the box, but the effort rattled the right post It could have been a superb goal for Portugal if i...

UK: Some countries are using coronavirus vaccines as a geopolitical tool

British foreign minister Dominic Raab said on Friday there was no doubt some countries were using vaccines as a diplomatic tool to secure influence but Britain did not support so-called vaccine diplomacy. Raab was speaking to Reuters on the sidelines of a G7 summit in Cornwall, southwestern England, that was likely to be dominated by the West’s attempts to reassert its influence as the world looks to rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic. Western diplomats fear Russia and China are using their vaccines to gain influence across the world, especially in poorer countries that do not have their own production or the means to buy shots on the international market. Asked whether he was concerned that China and Russia could use vaccines in exchange for influence, Raab said: “There’s no doubt there’s...

Africa on cusp of the third wave of coronavirus facing a vaccine shortage

Africa is heading into a third wave of coronavirus infections as the least-inoculated continent faces a shortage of vaccines. African nations reported 94,000 new cases in the week through June 6, a 26% increase. South Africa announced the most new cases, followed by Tunisia, Africa Centres for Disease Control & Prevention Director John Nkengasong said in an online briefing Thursday. “Fourteen or so of our member states are now heading toward the third wave, and aggressively so,” he said. “It really highlights the need for us to roll out vaccines at speed and at scale.” Only 2.8% of Africa’s population is inoculated, compared with a global average of 14.5%, according to Africa CDC and Bloomberg Economics data. The program has slowed because of interruptions to supply from India, where m...

US to give 500 million Pfizer coronavirus vaccines to poorer countries

The US is to distribute half a billion shots of the Pfizer vaccine to nearly 100 poorer countries. Some 200 million doses will be given out this year and 300 million in 2022. It comes as US President Joe Biden said before leaving for the G7 summit in Cornwall that he would be announcing a vaccine strategy for the world. The US would pay for the doses at a “not-for-profit” price, according to the New York Times, which said the plan could be officially announced on Thursday. The shots will go to 92 lower-income countries and the African Union, sources told the Reuters news agency. Pfizer and the White House have so far not officially commented. America is well advanced in its vaccine rollout but campaigners have called for richer countries to do more to help protect developing nations. It’s ...

Nigeria records 63 new coronavirus cases

Nigeria on Friday recorded 63 new coronavirus infections in seven states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The new figure raised the total number of infections in the country to 166,254, an update published by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Friday night indicates. According to the update, no new death was recorded from the virus, which has already claimed 2,071 lives in the country. The data shows that the new COVID-19 cases were reported in seven states and Abuja. Lagos recorded 25 cases, closely followed by Ondo with 22. Rivers State reported six while Akwa Ibom and Kaduna reported three each. Also, Kwara State reported two while Ebonyi and FCT reported one each. A breakdown of the data shows that 11 people were discharged on Friday after testing negative for the vi...

Taiwan says request to drop word ‘country’ preceded BioNTech vaccine deal collapse

Germany’s BioNTech asked Taiwan to remove the word “country” from an announcement they planned to make on a COVID-19 vaccine sale to the island, its health minister said on Thursday, giving details of the deal whose axing was blamed on China by Taipei. Taiwan and China are engaged in an escalating war of words after Beijing offered the shots to the Chinese-claimed island via Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group Co Ltd, which has a contract to sell them in Greater China. Taiwan Health Minister Chen Shih-chung told a daily news briefing the government had signed and sent back a “final contract” agreed with BioNTech after months of negotiations, and the two sides were on the verge of issuing a press release on Jan. 8. But four hours later “BioNTech suddenly sent a letter, saying they strongly ...

South Sudan to return 72 000 coronavirus vaccines to Covax

South Sudan will return 72 000 doses of donated Covid-19 vaccines after concluding it cannot administer the jabs before they expire, a health ministry official told AFP on Tuesday. The country received 132 000 doses of the Oxford/Astrazeneca vaccine in late March from Covax, the global initiative to ensure lower-income countries receive jabs, but so far has administered less than 8 000 shots. The rollout has been hampered by vaccine hesitancy and major logistical hurdles in the vast and underdeveloped country of 12 million, which, apart from the pandemic, faces an emergency food crisis and widespread armed insecurity. “There’s a plan to deliver back 72 000 doses to Covax,” Angelo Goup Thon, the head of Covid-19 operations at the health ministry, told AFP. He said the decision was made late...

WTO chief: Patent waiver not enough to close vaccine gap

World Trade Organisation (WTO) Director-General, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has said that intellectual property waiver alone will not be enough to narrow the huge COVID-19 vaccine supply gap between rich and poor countries. She told the European Parliament that it was clear that discussions around vaccine patents alone would not suffice, saying that global leaders should do more to ensure that there is equitable production and distribution of the jabs. Okonjo-Iweala said developing countries had complained that the licensing process was cumbersome and should be improved upon. She added that while it makes sense to protect research and innovation, it is also important to expand access to the vaccines. According to her, manufacturers should work to expand production, pointing to idle capacity ...

Taiwan says China seeking political gain with Honduras vaccine move

Taiwan condemned China on Wednesday for seeking to use vaccines for political gain after Taipei’s diplomatic ally Honduras said it was considering opening an office in China in a bid to acquire much needed COVID-19 shots. Honduras does not have formal relations with China and is one of a group of Latin American nations that have formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan, which Beijing considers part of its territory. Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez said that to buy Chinese vaccines, he would do as the Chinese had suggested and look for a “diplomatic bridge”. read more Several Latin American nations are receiving Chinese vaccines, but countries that have built ties with Taipei rather than Beijing, such as Honduras and Guatemala, are not. Taiwan Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou said...

Andre Gray: Watford bench thought Isaac Success was tired before wonder goal

Andre Gray admitted that the Watford bench thought Isaac Success was looking ‘jaded’ before he netted a stunning goal in the 2-0 win over Swansea City at the Vicarage Road on Saturday. Success scored his first goal in 30 months as Watford ended their season on a high with the impressive win. “We were saying on the bench how knackered he was,” Gray told Hive Live after the game. “He hasn’t played much this season and then you’ve seen after he scored the energy that he’s come into! It’s quite normal when you score, you get a bit of an adrenaline rush, but it’s an absolutely great finish.” Gray was delighted to get a goal for himself in the game too, taking his personal tally to five for the season. “I love scoring goals, I always enjoy it,” he said. “Every time I play, I’m always trying to g...