Growing concerns about a rare coagulation disorder reported among vaccine recipients developed by AstraZeneca PLC and University of Oxford and Johnson & Johnson dominated the COVID-19 news on Wednesday. , with Denmark becoming the first country to stop using the AstraZeneca stab entirely.
The Danish Health Authority said Wednesday that after considering the country’s vaccine deployment will continue without the impact of AstraZeneca, as it warned of a “real risk of serious side effects.”
Health authorities say it agreed with the EU drug regulator evaluation, quantification, evaluation that the benefits of vaccines outweigh the risks, but note that watchdogs urge countries to consider their own situations and vaccine availability when making their observations.
Denmark’s move is another setback to the European Union’s already sluggish vaccination campaign, which was exacerbated on Tuesday after Johnson & Johnson said it would delay scheduled implementation Its coronavirus has shot throughout mass of 27 members due to coagulation reports. That came after the top US health authorities called for it pause immediately about using the vaccine while they examined six serious rare blood clotting cases that were reported in women who had received the vaccine. J&J is expected to provide 55 million doses of the single-shot vaccine to the EU in the second quarter.
The European Union is accelerating the deliveries of 50 million doses of vaccine by Pfizer Inc. and German partner BioNTech SE grow into the second quarter from their initial delivery date of the fourth quarter.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the EU is also in talks with Pfizer-BioNTech on a third contract that will provide 1.8 billion doses over the period 2021-2023. The production of the vaccine and all its essential ingredients will be located in the EU.
The EU hit the 100 million vaccinations milestone on Wednesday, and more than a quarter was the second dose, as its vaccine program kicked off following a slow, stumbling onset due to a shortage of supplies. .
Experts will be closely watching today’s meeting of the J&J Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s advisory committee meeting which will begin at 1:30 p.m. East. The committee worked through vaccine data to better understand why clotting occurs and come up with a treatment plan for when it happens.
SVB Leerink hopes the committee will update its recommendations to say that women under 50 should no longer be vaccinated. Women are disproportionately affected by this condition, both with J&J vaccines as well as AstraZeneca. Some European countries have restricted use of AstraZeneca
vaccines for their older populations.
The problem of blood clotting is very rare and six cases are negligible among the 6.8 million people who received the drug. But the gritty headlines are a concern for health professionals, who worry it could discourage vaccine uncertainties and undermine public education efforts.
Dr Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and President Joe Biden’s Medical Director, said the suspension could actually help combat vaccine hesitation. -please.
Fauci told NBC News: “The fact that you have … the CDC and the FDA have taken this very seriously, considered safety a top concern, confirmed or stressed that we take safety very seriously.
Fauci said he did not expect the pause to take too long.
“They paused because, as we have seen, first one, two, three, then four and then six. Although seldom happens, as you have just said quite accurately and appropriately, however, less than a million, as you said, because very cautious they want to stop quickly, watch it, see What’s going on, see if there are any more details, and that’s it. I think it will definitely be a matter of days, not months, ”he said.
Meanwhile, the US vaccine program continues to be making good progress. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s vaccine tracker shows that as of 6 a.m. ET Tuesday, 245.4 million doses have been shipped to the states, 192.3 million doses have been injected, and 122.3 million people have received at least one shot, equal to 36.8% of the population.
75.3 million people, or 22.7% of the total population, were fully immunized, meaning they had received two doses of the two-dose vaccine provided by Pfizer Inc. develope.
and German partner BioNTech SE
single-shot vaccine. The AstraZeneca vaccine has not been approved for use in the United States
Among Americans 65 and over, 34.2 million were fully vaccinated, or 62.5% of that group. More than 43 million people in that age group received an initial impact, representing 79.2% of that population.
The US added at least 77,312 new cases on Tuesday, according to a New York Times follower, and at least 987 people died. The US recorded an average of 71,215 cases per day last week, up 8% from the average two weeks ago.
Michigan remains a hotspot with the highest case rate in the US In the Northeast, cases are starting to stabilize with New York and New Jersey starting to see numbers improve after the surge. spikes in early spring.
In other news:
• A large UK trial that looked at whether COVID-19 can be safely mixed has been extended to include injections made by Moderna and Novavax, researchers dad on Wednesday, as MarketWatch’s Lina Saigol reported. The Com-The Research led by the University of Oxford was launched in February to compare the effectiveness of a first-dose injection of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine, followed by a few weeks with a vaccine jointly produced by Pfizerand BioNTech and vice versa. The extensive research will look for adults over 50 years of age who have received their first vaccinations in the past 8 to 12 weeks.
• President Joe Biden said the United States has enough vaccine “for all Americans to live alone”, after the US health department recommended a suspension of Johnson & Johnson vaccines, MarketWatch’s Robert Schroeder reported. Biden echoed the comments of Jeff Zient, the White House COVID-19 response coordinator, saying that authorities have secured enough doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
• Chief Executive Albert Bourla of Pfizer Inc. tweeted late Tuesday that the pharmaceutical company has “increased” its COVID-19 vaccine production and will be able to deliver 10% more doses to the United States by the end of May compared with a total of 220 million doses agreed previously, as well as the “full (300 million doses) supply was agreed by the end of July two weeks earlier.” The CEO said: “In the fight against COVID-19, we join in the fight. this.
• Moderna says its COVID-19 vaccine continues to show “strong efficacy”, including more than 90% effective for COVID-19 infections and more than 95% for severe cases. of COVID-19 over the average six-month follow-up, MarketWatch’s Claudia Assis reported. The new pre-clinical data also shows booster vaccine candidates with a specific variant are active, the company said. Stéphane Bancel chief executive said: “We are looking forward to getting clinical data from specific vaccination candidates for each of our variants,” as well as clinical data from a vaccine study – apply in teenagers. “The new preclinical data on our variant-specific vaccine candidates gives us confidence that we can proactively tackle emerging variants.”
• Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday said he had received the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, three weeks after the first dose., The Associated Press reported. The Russian leader claimed to have received the blow, which is largely invisible to the public, at a session of the Russian Geographic Association in which he participated via video link. The president told reporters after the event that he did not experience any side effects after the second shot. “As you can see, everything is normal, with no side effects,” Putin said, adding that doctors told him he developed a “good immune response” after the first injection. Putin injected the first coronavirus on March 23, which was also out of camera sight, and the Kremlin will not reveal which of the three currently approved for use in Russia the president used.
According to global statistics for the disease caused by coronavirus increased over 137.5 million on Wednesday, according to the report data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, when the number of deaths increased to over 2.96 million.
Data show that at least 78 million people have recovered from COVID.
The United States leads the world in terms of morbidity and mortality in a wide margin, with 31.3 million cases accounting for about 23% of the global population, while 563,475 deaths account for about 19% of the global total.
Outside the US, India has replaced Brazil as the country with the second highest number of cases with 13.9 million people and fourth globally in the number of deaths with 172,085 people.
Brazil ranked third in cases of illness with 13.6 million people and second with a death toll of 358,425.
Mexico ranked third in the number of deaths with 210,282 people and 14th highest in the number of cases with 2.3 million people.
The UK has 4.4 million cases and 127,369 deaths, the highest in Europe and the fifth highest in the world.
China, where the virus was first discovered late last year, There have been 102,108 confirmed cases and 4,844 deaths, according to its official figures.
What does the economy say?
Import costs rose for the fourth consecutive month in March and added to growing inflationary pressures in the US, as the resurging economy created strong demand for a wide variety of sawn timber goods. , computer chips to new cars, MarketWatch’s Jeffry Bartash reported.
The import price index increased by 1.2% in the previous month, the government said Wednesday. Economists polled by Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal had forecast a 0.9% gain.
Import costs started to rise late last year. Initially, rising oil prices were the main cause, but now prices of many goods and services are rising as demand rises again and supplies fail to keep up.
Import prices have risen 6.9% in the past 12 months, marking the fastest pace since 2012. Import costs fell during the early stages of the pandemic.
“The increase in import inflation is temporary and tends to be lower in the second half of this year,” said Kathy Bostjancic, head of US financial economics at Oxford Economics.
Dow Jones industrial average
and the S&P 500
was higher on Wednesday.
Additional reporting by Lina Saigol and Callum Keown