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What obstacles should be cleared before the coronavirus vaccine is fully vaccinated?

Vaccine delivery continues to be delayed in the European Union or to sue AstraZeneca

Oxford University and AstraZeneca have worked together to develop a coronavirus vaccine. Image Source: Nature website

The global medical community is developing a coronavirus vaccine at an unprecedented speed and scale, and governments are also looking forward to the release and use of the vaccine. Recently, there have been many good news about several vaccines under development around the world.

Last month, several well-known vaccines announced the effectiveness of phase III clinical trials; on December 2, the British government approved the use of the coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer and German biotechnology companies; and Modena also announced that it would test the coronavirus vaccine in children…

Still, the Nature website said in its report that this does not mean that the vaccine will soon be fully vaccinated. Before that, addressing issues such as vaccine hesitation, supply logistics, distribution, pricing and payment will help clear the barriers.

Several vaccines have been declared to be effective.

Pfizer Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. announced on November 9 that the coronavirus vaccine developed by the company in cooperation with the German biotechnology company is more than 90% effective in phase III clinical trials.

The British newspaper The Independent reported on November 26 that the U.S. pharmaceutical company Modena announced that the candidate coronavirus vaccine they developed was also more than 90% effective.

In addition, Oxford University and AstraZeneca also claimed that the average efficacy of a candidate coronavirus vaccine it developed was 70.4%.

Early research shows that these candidate vaccines can stimulate immune response. The latest trial proves that this immune response can protect people from the novel coronavirus.

On December 2, the British government announced that the country’s Drug and Health Products Administration (MHRA) approved the use of the coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer and German biotechnology companies, which will be launched in the UK from next week. This emergency authorization clears the way for the deployment of the UK vaccine!

On November 30th local time, Modena applied to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use of its candidate vaccine, saying that its vaccine was effective and there was no “serious safety problem” during the trial.

According to a report in the Capitol Hill Daily on the 2nd, Modena Company said it would recruit 3,000 teenagers aged 12-17 to test the coronavirus vaccine to assess the safety of a single dose of the vaccine, and the results are expected to be announced in 2022.

The dilemma of “vaccine hesitation” must be considered.

While the candidate vaccine uses “arrow on the string”, Nature warns that researchers and clinicians still have a lot of preparations to do. First, they need to determine the effect of vaccines in people at high risk of COVID-19, including the elderly, obese and diabetics; secondly, it is not clear how effective some vaccines are protecting patients with severe COVID-19; thirdly, it is not clear to what extent vaccines can prevent vaccinated people from viralizing the virus. Spread it to others.

At the same time, in order to better respond to the COVID-19 epidemic, researchers and policymakers must also consider how to solve challenges that are not related to the candidate vaccine itself, such as “vaccine hesitation”.

The World Health Organization (WHO) Expert Group on Immunization Strategy Consulting defines “vaccine hesitation” as: an act of vaccination affected by many factors, that is, a group of people between the total recipient and the total rejecter. These “hesitant” individuals may refuse to receive some vaccines, but may also accept other vaccines or delay vaccinations, or accept vaccines but are not sure whether to go. According to polls by relevant institutions, in Europe and the United States, there are still a certain proportion of people who question or oppose the vaccination of the novel coronavirus vaccine.

In response, Nature pointed out in its report that in order to build the confidence of the general public in vaccination, governments, regulators, companies and research partners must keep their commitments to ensure transparency, true release of data and open discussion. Moreover, the media should also speak out to help people dispel doubts or fears about the coronavirus vaccine.

For example, the FDA has promised to hold a public meeting with the participation of external consultants in early December this year to discuss the relevant data before issuing emergency use authorizations for distribution of vaccines. In addition, national regulators should also share their data and analysis to speed up the approval of global vaccines. Regulators and vaccine manufacturers must also bear in mind that if people refuse to vaccinate because of the hesitation of the vaccine, the effectiveness of the vaccine will be greatly reduced.

In its report, Nature also stressed that governments cannot relax current public health measures. With the Christmas holiday approaching, some people may be eager to visit their relatives and friends from home, which may lead to the spread of the epidemic, so countries must be vigilant about it.

Vaccine distribution, pricing and payment to be coordinated

How to distribute vaccines, how to price them, who pays, etc. are also problems to be solved.

According to the current research results, the vaccine developed by researchers from Oxford University and Cambridge AstraZeneca Pharmaceutical Company can be stored in ordinary refrigerators, while the vaccine developed by Pfizer and German biotechnology companies, although claimed to be more effective, needs to be stored at -70 °C, increasing the score of this vaccine. Difficulty to send.

In addition, AstraZeneca and Oxford University promised to sell vaccines at cost during the pandemic and to low- and middle-income countries at the same price after the pandemic, but neither Pfizer nor Monard promised to reduce the price of vaccines after the coronavirus epidemic, according to Nature reported.

At present, many countries, most of which are rich countries, have pre-ordered nearly 4 billion doses of vaccine, so some people worry that developing countries may be unable to get the coronavirus vaccine.

The COVID-19 Vaccine Implementation Plan (COVAX) is a global alliance to ensure that low- and middle-income countries have access to adequate vaccine supplies. At present, it can only about 250 million people, which is far less than the required number. Once the price of vaccines begins to rise, the ability to pay of the poorest countries will decline. If these poorest countries do not have access to vaccines, it will also hit hard to deal with the COVID-19 epidemic.

As infectious disease researchers often say: there is an epidemic everywhere, and there may be an epidemic everywhere.

Source: Science and Technology Daily

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