U.S. pushed vaccine waiver; India struggles with pandemic
U.S. decided to support a waiver of patent protections for coronavirus vaccines. The European Union and China hinted that they are willing to take part in the negotiations with the World Trade Organization.
Meanwhile, India said it had its highest-ever daily tally of 412,262 new Covdi-19 cases, as well as a record 3,980 deaths. According to Indian drugmakers, a halt on some cargo flights from China may disrupt the global pharmaceutical supply chain, which will make the situation direr in India.
Asian authorities are trying to prevent an Indian-like surge of infections beginning in their countries. The governors of Osaka and Tokyo pushed to extend their virus emergencies, and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will decide the course of action on Friday. Vietnam, Australia, and Malaysia have already toughened restrictions.
Olympic athletes will receive donated vaccines
Tokyo Olympic delegations and athletes will be able to receive coronavirus vaccine doses donated by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE. Organizers are trying to push ahead with preparations for the much-delayed games.
The International Olympic Committee already signed an agreement with the companies about donating the doses. It expects the first delivery at the end of this month. However, the number of doses is unknown yet.
Meanwhile, Russia approved a single-dose version of its Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, claiming that it showed almost 80% efficacy.
The Sputnik Light vaccine has 79.4% efficacy rate, that is based on an analysis of real-world data instead of a standard clinical trial. The drugmakers expect interim results from the final-stage study later this month. However, early and mid-stage studies showed no serious adverse events.
Moderna Inc. also continues testing. According to the company, its Covid vaccine in teenagers proved to be 96% effective. Moderna increased its product sales projections for this year. It also reported its first-ever profitable quarter. The company wants to produce the vaccine for teens and children in the near future.