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CORONA VIRUS

Study Shows Moderna Creates Twice as Many Antibodies as Pfizer

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Moderna Inc.’s Covid vaccine generated more than double the antibodies of a similar shot made by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE in research directly comparing immune responses to the inoculations.

A study of almost 2,500 workers at a major Belgium hospital system found antibody levels among individuals who hadn’t been infected with the coronavirus before getting two doses of the Moderna vaccine averaged 2,881 units per milliliter, compared with 1,108 units/mL in an equivalent group who got two jabs of the Pfizer shot.

The results, published Monday in a letter to the Journal of the American Medical Association, suggested the differences might be explained by the:

higher amount of active ingredient in the Moderna vaccine — 100 micrograms, versus 30 micrograms in Pfizer-BioNTech

longer interval between doses of the Moderna vaccine — four weeks, versus three weeks for Pfizer-BioNTech

Moderna’s vaccine was associated with a two-fold risk reduction against breakthrough SARS-CoV-2 infections compared to Pfizer’s in a review of people in the Mayo Clinic Health System in the U.S. from January to July.

The results were reported in a separate study released ahead of publication and peer review on Aug. 9.

 

Bloomberg

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CORONA VIRUS

Tanzania Receives Over One Million COVID-19 Vaccine Doses From China

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Tanzania on Friday received 1,065,600 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine from China under COVAX, boosting the east African nation’s vaccination campaign against COVID-19.

Speaking shortly after receiving the vaccines, Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children Dorothy Gwajima expressed gratitude for the vaccines, saying the donation will help accelerate Tanzania’s vaccination campaign launched by President Samia Suluhu Hassan on July 28.

COVAX is a global program aimed at providing equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.

She said a total of 760,962 citizens have been vaccinated on Tanzania’s mainland and 10,800 citizens have received the jabs in Zanzibar as of October 7.

Xu Chen, Minister Counsellor and Deputy Chief of Mission at the Chinese Embassy in Tanzania, said the donated vaccines will bolster Tanzania’s fight against the pandemic.

He said the Chinese government and Tanzania’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation are working very closely to facilitate the donation of two consignments totaling about 1.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from China.

The hand-over ceremony at Julius Nyerere International Airport in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam was attended by high-ranking government officials and representatives from the United Nations, the World Health Organization and the UN Children’s Fund.

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CORONA VIRUS

Museveni To Be Retested After Aides Test Positive For COVID-19

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Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni will be retested for COVID-19 after three of his aides tested positive for the virus, his physician said Friday.

Museveni’s consultant physician, Joseph Okiria, tweeted that the aides had tested positive on their return with the President from trips to the United Arab Emirates and Ethiopia.

“Following President Museveni’s recent return from Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Addis Ababa, three presidential aides have tested positive for COVID-19.

This despite best efforts and measures including daily PCR testing and full vaccination,” Okiria said. He said the staff who tested positive had been isolated and were receiving care.

“The President and other members of the team tested negative and will be retested,” Okiria added. “This highlights the continued difficulty of safe travel during the pandemic and the importance of testing all inbound and outbound travelers,” the physician added.

The number of daily infections in the east African country continued to drop, with less than 100 cases being registered, according to the health ministry.

The Ugandan government recently resolved that incoming and outbound travelers would be tested for COVID-19.

As of Friday, 124,437 total infections had been registered with 3,172 deaths and 96,237 recoveries since the outbreak started in March 2020, according to the ministry of health.

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CORONA VIRUS

Slovakia Donates 280,000 Doses Of COVID-19 Vaccines To Rwanda

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Rwanda has received 280,000 doses of Astra Zeneca vaccine donated by Slovakia. 

The delivery of the vaccines is coordinated through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism (EUCPM), which Rwanda applied to in order to access the vaccines. 

Responding to calls for vaccine justice and solidarity, Slovakia joins the EU in Kigali to donate the vaccines and commends Rwanda’s efforts in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Slovak Ambassador, Katarína Žuffa Leligdonová in Kenya said that, “Slovakia has heard loud and clear the calls for vaccine justice. Covid pandemics can only be successfully overcome if we join forces together. That is why Slovakia has joined in the EU family in Kigali and provide 280 000 Astra Zenecca vaccines to help Rwandan government and people to tackle this pandemics.”

The Head of Delegation of the European Union to Rwanda, Ambassador Nicola Bellomo said; “The EU is proud to have assisted the arrival of the vaccines through the EUCPM. The EU stands in solidarity with Rwanda, both multilaterally by supporting the COVAX facility, but also bilaterally by mobilising vaccines donated by our Member States through the EUCPM, and by working with Rwanda to create the framework necessary to attract foreign investment into vaccines manufacturing in the country”.

The EU finances 75% of the transport costs of the assistance sent through the EUPCM.

Through this Mechanism, the EU helps coordinate and finance the delivery of vaccines, medical and protective equipment and other material which are donated by EU Member states across Europe and the world, to countries that seek assistance.

Slovakia remains a staunch supporter of international solidarity through multilateralism and the COVAX facility.

Two weeks ago, Slovak President Ms. Zuzana Čaputová emphasised in her speech at the United Nations General Assembly that solidarity should be a binding principle, not an option. Slovakia will continue supporting all efforts to help making vaccines accessible to all.

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