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The British Government Urges More People From Risk Groups To Volunteer For A COVID-19 Vaccine Trial.

The British government urges the elderly people and people from minority groups to volunteer for a COVID-19 vaccine trial to boost efforts to find a working vaccine against the disease that offers protection against the higher risk groups.

There are no COVID-19 vaccines that have been proven effective against the disease, but many are in the clinical phases.

Over 100,000 people have volunteered to take part in vaccine trials, however, more volunteers are needed, said the British Government.

Chair of the UK Vaccines Taskforce, Kate Bingham, said that safeguarding those at risk is the only way in ending the pandemic. She added that although getting 100,000 volunteers on board is great, but more is needed from different backgrounds to strengthen efforts in finding a vaccine quickly.

A study last week showed that minority ethnic groups were more likely to be infected by COVID-19. Disproportionate numbers of people from minority groups have also died from the disease.

(Source: The Straits Times, 2020)

The World Health Organization Calls For Nations To Join COVAX To Boost Global Efforts.

The World Health Organization (WHO) calls for nations to join a global vaccine pact, the COVAX Global Vaccines Facility on Tuesday (August 19) for sharing vaccine hopefuls with developing countries instead of hoarding vaccines for nations interest which hinders global efforts. 

The WHO also raised concerns that the pandemic’s infection rates in younger people are rising globally, putting at risk elderly and sick people in densely populated areas with weak health systems.

With more than 150 vaccines in development, about 24 in human studies and, a few in late-stage trials, the WHO said even countries signing bilateral deals boost their odds by joining COVAX.

COVAX currently covers nine vaccine candidates.

(Source: Channel News Asia, 2020)

Sinopharm Chairman Says COVID-19 Vaccine To Be Expected By December, with two doses costing less than $144.

Inactivated COVID-19 vaccine candidates developed by a Chinese pharmaceutical company, Sinopharm, are expected to be available by the end of 2020 for a price of less than $144 for two doses. 

Sinopharm’s Chairman, Liu Jingzhen said that the marketing review phase will commence after overseas phase III clinical trials are completed. He added that the price of the vaccines will not be high after they go into the market, with two shots costing less than $144. He also said not everyone needs to be vaccinated, only those who are at a higher risk of contracting the virus should take the injections.

Analysts have noted that once the vaccine becomes available to the public, some groups like medical workers and students might get it for free, while others would have to get vaccinated at their own expense.

 Sinopharm has already started to offer free voluntary injections to front-line medical workers in some state-owned hospitals since July. Citizens may also get the vaccination at no expense if included in the national immunization program, according to Chinese health authorities.

(Source: Global Times, 2020)