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      Vaccine-makers snub Trump’s self-congratulatory “Vaccine Summit”

      Beth Mole · news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 8 December, 2020 - 16:49

    US President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC on December 7, 2020.

    Enlarge / US President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC on December 7, 2020. (credit: Getty | Saul Loeb )

    The Trump administration will host a “Vaccine Summit” today at the White House. But notably absent from the vaccine-centered event will be any companies that actually make vaccines—including the companies leading the race for a COVID-19 vaccine, Moderna, Pfizer, and Pfizer's partner BioNTech.

    The companies reportedly declined to attend or withdrew, which is seen as a snub to lame-duck President Trump. Senior officials for the Trump administration, meanwhile, said the administration decided to go “in a different direction.”

    The Trump administration has pitched the unusual event as a way to educate the public about vaccine development, regulatory approval, and distribution processes and to congratulate the many players helping to develop COVID-19 vaccine candidates. The event includes a “fire-side chat” with top vaccine regulator Peter Marks from the Food and Drug Administration. There will also be talks with representatives from FedEx, UPS, McKesson, CVS and Walgreens, who will all help get any FDA-approved vaccines to people’s arms.

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      More good COVID-19 vaccine news—but it won’t save us

      Beth Mole · news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Monday, 16 November, 2020 - 20:48

    Geneva: WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced on March 11, 2020 that the new coronavirus outbreak can now be characterized as a pandemic.

    Enlarge / Geneva: WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced on March 11, 2020 that the new coronavirus outbreak can now be characterized as a pandemic. (credit: Getty | FABRICE COFFRINI )

    There’s more good news on the COVID-19 vaccine front today: biotechnology company Moderna reported in a press release this morning that its mRNA vaccine appeared 94.5 percent effective at preventing COVID-19 in an interim analysis of a large, Phase III trial. The news comes exactly one week after similar results came out via press release for another mRNA vaccine developed by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and German biotech firm BioNTech.

    But, while health experts are “cautiously optimistic” for this and many other vaccines in the coming months, they warn that such a timeline will not be fast enough to spare lives and health care systems from the current spike in disease.

    “Right now, we are extremely concerned by the surge in cases we’re seeing in some countries,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, said in a press conference Monday. “Particularly in Europe and the Americas, health workers and health systems are being pushed to the breaking point.”

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