9 October 2020
China joins World Health Organization’s (WHO) effort to try a locally produced vaccine for international use.
The move by China, where the new coronavirus was first reported, comes amid international criticism about Beijing’s handling of the pandemic that led unfavourable views toward China to soar in a recent survey of advanced countries.
China joined the $18 billion Covax initiative that aspires to give lower-income countries the same access to vaccines as wealthier nations. Covax is led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and the vaccine alliance, Gavi. It currently has nine vaccines in development and nine under evaluation in its portfolio with a goal to secure 2 billion doses by 2021.
The U.S is also racing for a vaccine but with the assistance from Wall Street.
“It is a soft win for China and made all the easier by President Trump’s impetuous decision to withdraw from the WHO and his short-sighted refusal to commit the U.S. to Covax”, said Nicholas Thomas, an associate professor in health security at the City University of Hong Kong.
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AstraZeneca is said to approach Gilead about a potential merger. Gilead is working to maximize Remdesivir access to millions of U.S citizens. Trump seeks quick FDA approvals of Covid-19 Treatments.
Pfizer is targeting a regulatory filing on its vaccine in the U.S. as soon as October. Moderna Inc.’s late stage data and AstraZeneca Plc’s efforts with the University of Oxford aren’t far behind. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced support for the Astra/Oxford trials only to hit a brick wall after a participant fell ill. Astra’s trial in the U.K. has resumed after a pause of less than a week.
Pressure is mounting globally for a vaccine as infections soar past 36 million and countries face resuming restrictions that have strangled their economies.
Data from the Astra-Oxford global trials may also be published in the coming weeks.
Look at the comparison of infection rates between the U.S and China since January 2020.
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