WHO Urges Wealthy Nations To Join Plan To Distribute Vaccine To Most Vulnerable

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Missing from participation are the U.S., China and Russia. Other vaccine news including developments in Russia and China.

The Washington Post:
Coronavirus Vaccine: WHO’s Covax Plan Lays Out How Vaccine Will Be Distributed 

The World Health Organization on Monday urged more wealthy countries to join its vaccine agreement — and provided details about how a vaccine, when it is developed, will be doled out. More than 150 countries, representing 64 percent of the world’s population, have agreed to participate in the Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility, or Covax, which aims to develop and distribute $2 billion in doses of a vaccine by the end of next year. (Rauhala, 9/21)

64 Wealthy Nations, Minus The U.S., China, Back Covid-19 Vaccine Initiative

Countries representing about 64% of the world population have signed up to expand global access to Covid-19 vaccines by funding a purchasing pool organized by the World Health Organization and other nonprofit groups, leaders of the effort announced Monday. Not among the countries: the United States, which had previously said it is not taking part in the so-called COVAX Facility, or Russia nor China, both of which have already issued emergency use licenses for Covid-19 vaccines. (Branswell, 9/21)

In other vaccine news —

Kaiser Health News:
Signs Of An ‘October Vaccine Surprise’ Alarm Scientists

President Donald Trump, who seems intent on announcing a Covid-19 vaccine before Election Day, could legally authorize a vaccine over the objections of experts, officials at the Food and Drug Administration and even vaccine manufacturers, who have pledged not to release any vaccine unless it’s proved safe and effective. In podcasts, public forums, social media and medical journals, a growing number of prominent health leaders say they fear that Trump — who has repeatedly signaled his desire for the swift approval of a vaccine and his displeasure with perceived delays at the FDA — will take matters into his own hands, running roughshod over the usual regulatory process. (Szabo and Aleccia, 9/21)

Exclusive: ‘We’re Confident’ – Russia To Share Legal Risks Of COVID-19 Vaccine 

Russia is so confident in its COVID-19 vaccine that it will shoulder some of the legal liability should anything go wrong, rather than requiring buyers to take on the full risk, the head of the state fund bankrolling the project told Reuters. The decision leaves the vaccine’s state-backed developers open to potentially costly compensation claims should there be any unexpected side-effects. It is something many vaccine-makers have sought to avoid, by asking for full indemnity – complete protection from liability claims – from nations they sell to. (Ivanova and Boadle, 9/22)

Chinese State-Backed Firm Expects Coronavirus Vaccine Approval For Public Use Within Months 

State-backed vaccine maker China National Biotec Group (CNBG) is hopeful of two of its novel coronavirus vaccine candidates receiving conditional regulatory approval for general public use within the year, its vice president said on Tuesday. China has inoculated hundreds of thousands of people under an emergency programme authorised in July for essential workers and other limited groups of people considered at high risk of infection, to stave off a resurgence of the coronavirus, even as clinical trials of vaccines are still underway to prove their efficacy and safety. (9/22)

Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Medical Experts Push For Children In COVID-19 Vaccine Trials

As efforts increase to enroll more older adults and people from all racial and ethnic groups in vaccine trial studies, medical experts are becoming more vocal in their desire to see a key group in such research: children. Dr. Evan Anderson, an associate professor of medicine and pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, was the lead author of a paper co-written by seven others published Monday titled “Warp Speed for COVID-19 Vaccines: Why are Children Stuck in Neutral?” (Stirgus, 9/21)

Also —

In Normal Times, It Takes Six Years To Get New Antivirals Out The Door

Researchers may be racing to develop new Covid-19 treatments, but normally it has taken slightly more than six years, on average, to test new anti-viral medicines and then win U.S. regulatory approval, according to a new analysis of medicines approved over the past two decades. In fact, between clinical trials and regulatory reviews, the combined time to win Food and Drug Administration approval for all anti-infective medicines between 2000 and 2019 was longer — slightly more than seven years. (Silverman, 9/21)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

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