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Russia Approves Coronavirus Vaccine For Use

The Deciport Daily Quick-Look: 12 August 2020


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Photo: REUTERS


Russia's new vaccine has been named Sputnik-V.


Security (Health) // BLUF: Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced that a Russian-produced vaccine, named Sputnik-V, has been given regulatory approval, after less than two months of testing on humans.


According to Putin, the vaccine has also been administered to his daughter.


While mass vaccinations are scheduled for October, experts have raised concerns over the speed of the vaccine's production; suggesting researches may have cut corners.

(See Point 4 Below for Further Information)


The Daily Quick-Look for 12 August 2020

The Deciport Daily Quick-Look is your at-a-glance look at several key events and situations around the world over the last 24 hours. Each headline contains the link to its source report.

BLUF = Bottom Line Up Front.

FYSA = For Your Situational Awareness.


1. UNITED STATES - Security (Health): U.S. inks $1.5 billion deal with Moderna for 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine

FYSA: The United States has entered an agreement with drugmaker Moderna Inc (MRNA.O) to acquire 100 million doses of its potential COVID-19 vaccine for around $1.5 billion, the company and White House said on Tuesday. The United States in recent weeks has made deals to acquire hundreds of millions of doses of potential COVID-19 vaccines from several companies as part of its Operation Warp Speed program, which aims to deliver a vaccine in the country by the end of the year. Moderna’s price per dose comes to around $30.50 per person for a two dose regimen. With the exception of its deal with AstraZeneca, which offered a lower price per drug in exchange for upfront research and development costs, all the deals price COVID-19 vaccines between $20 to $42 for a two dose course of treatment. Moderna’s vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273, is one of the few that have already advanced to the final stage of testing and is on track to be completed in September, the company said this month. (Reuters. See link in heading for further reading)


2. UNITED STATES - Political: Biden VP pick: Kamala Harris chosen as running mate

FYSA: Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has named Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate. She is the first black woman to serve in the role. Once a rival for the top job, the California senator of Indian-Jamaican heritage had long been considered the front-runner for the position. The former California attorney-general has been urging police reform amid anti-racism protests. Biden will face President Donald Trump in the election on 3 November. Vice-President Mike Pence remains the Republican incumbent's running mate. (RNZ. See link in heading for further reading)


3. BRAZIL - Security (Health): Brazilian state in talks with Russia to make COVID-19 vaccine

FYSA: Brazil’s Parana state is in talks to produce a COVID-19 vaccine approved by Russia despite not having completed mass clinical trials, but it was unclear if the state’s research institute would get regulatory approval in Brazil. Tuesday’s announcement by the Parana Technology Institute (Tecpar) took Brazil’s regulators and health experts by surprise, with some raising doubts about the institute’s capacity to produce large volumes of a new vaccine from scratch. The Parana government said in a statement that Governor Ratinho Júnior was set to meet the Russian ambassador to Brazil on Wednesday to discuss the terms of an agreement.With the world’s biggest coronavirus outbreak outside the United States, Brazil has become a hub for mass clinical trials of potential vaccines. Brazilian officials have vowed to start producing British and Chinese vaccines within a year, but experts warn it may take at least twice as long.Moscow’s decision to grant approval for its vaccine before completing clinical trials has raised concerns among some experts. About 10% of clinical trials are successful.Moscow on Tuesday hailed its breakthrough, after less than two months of human testing, as evidence of Russia’s scientific prowess. Russian business conglomerate Sistema has said it expects mass production by the end of the year. (Reuters. See link in heading for further reading)


4. RUSSIA - Security (Health): Coronavirus: Putin says vaccine has been approved for use

FYSA: Russian President Vladimir Putin has said a locally developed vaccine for Covid-19 has been given regulatory approval after less than two months of testing on humans. Mr Putin said the vaccine had passed all the required checks, adding that his daughter had already been given it. Officials have said they plan to start mass vaccination in October. Experts have raised concerns about the speed of Russia's work, suggesting that researchers might be cutting corners. Amid fears that safety could have been compromised, the World Health Organization (WHO) urged Russia last week to follow international guidelines for producing a vaccine against Covid-19. On Tuesday, the WHO said it had been in talks with Russian authorities about undertaking a review of the vaccine, which has been named Sputnik-V. Currently, the Russian vaccine is not among the WHO's list of six vaccines that have reached phase three clinical trials, which involve more widespread testing in humans. (BBC. See link in heading for further reading)


5. NEW ZEALAND - Security (Health): New Zealand’s level 3 coronavirus lockdown stuns expat Kiwis

FYSA: A number of expat Kiwis have been left stunned after waking up to find New Zealand has returned to alert level 2, and Auckland alert level 3. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made the announcement last night after confirming four cases of community transmission in South Auckland. The restrictions will last three days and end at midnight on Friday. The sudden news surprised many Kiwis overseas after New Zealand was touted around the world as a safe haven from COVID-19. However, a number of expats who fell victim to abuse and vitriol for wanting to return home, questioned the approach to move back alert levels. “How is the New Zealand plan sustainable? Is the idea to be caged away until another country figures out a vaccine? What happens if that vaccine doesn’t come for years? Genuinely curious,” one Kiwi in the UK wrote. (News.com.au. See link in heading for further reading)


6. NEW ZEALAND - Political: New Zealand PM Ardern says dissolution of parliament deferred

FYSA: New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Wednesday that the dissolution of parliament to make way for a general election has been deferred until Monday, following the latest COVID-19 outbreak in the country. New Zealand’s parliament was due to be dissolved on Wednesday morning, which is the first step towards holding the general election scheduled for Sept. 19. Ardern said no decision has been made yet on postponing the election. (Reuters. See link in heading for further reading)



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