Covid-19 vaccine Daily Latest Updates: Sputnik V reported 99% effectiveness, Explaining Covid-19 vaccine chaos in California
|Russia's Sputnik vaccine was found to be effective in preventing COVID-19 symptoms, according to a new study published in The Lancet medical journal. Here, a patient gets a shot of the Russian vaccine at Sochi's City Hospital No 4. Dmitry Feoktistov/TASS via Getty Images|
Russia's Sputnik V Covid vaccine appears 99% effective
Russian scientists say the country's Sputnik V vaccine appears safe and effective against Covid-19, according to early results of an advanced study published in a British medical journal, reported NBC News.
The news is a boost for the shot that is increasingly being purchased by nations around the world who are desperate to stop the devastation caused by the pandemic.
Researchers say based on their trial, which involved about 20,000 people in Russia last fall, the vaccine is about 91 percent effective and that the shot also appeared to prevent people from becoming severely ill with Covid-19. The study was published online Tuesday in the journal, Lancet.
The Sputnik V vaccine was approved by the Russian government with much fanfare on Aug. 11. President Vladimir Putin personally broke the news on national television and said that one of his daughters had already been vaccinated with it.
The study was financed by government entities such as the Moscow City Health Department and the Russian Direct Investment Fund. The findings stand to add legitimacy to the Sputnik vaccine, which met with skepticism last August when the Russian government touted its move to formally register the world's first vaccine, despite not having completed clinical trials. The Phase 3 clinical trials in the Lancet study did not begin until Sept. 7.
More than 16,000 volunteers got the vaccine group and more than 5,000 got a placebo.
Despite the early lack of hard data, Russia has been able to sell its Sputnik vaccine to a number of countries, including Argentina, Mexico, India and Hungary, as health officials around the world work to secure life-saving vaccines to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The international market for vaccines has been extremely tight: Hundreds of millions of doses from pharmaceutical giants such as Pfizer and Moderna have been bought or reserved by the European Union, Canada, the U.S. and other large countries.
Pfizer delivers 200 million doses by May
Pfizer plans to deliver 200 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine to the U.S. by May, earlier than its initial forecast of July, according to slides published Tuesday by the drugmaker ahead of its fourth-quarter earnings call.
The company, which developed its vaccine with German drugmaker BioNTech, also said it can potentially deliver 2 billion doses globally by the end of this year now that health-care providers can extract an additional sixth dose of the vaccine from the vials. In December, the Food and Drug Administration said extra doses from vials can be used after doses were being thrown away due to labeling confusion.
Pfizer had delivered 29 million doses of its two-shot vaccine to the U.S. government as of Jan. 31, according to the company. As of Monday, 17 million of those Pfizer doses have been administered, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Covid-19 vaccine rollout chaos in California
|The City of Los Angeles heralded the site’s capability of administering 12,000 injections a day. So far, the site has done only about 7,000 per day. Officials point to the lack of supply from the federal government. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)|
More than a third of the Pfizer and Moderna doses in California appear to be unused, but health officials say they can’t give out shots more quickly, according to Los Angeles Times.
And problems with the state’s data systems have left officials in the dark about how many doses have actually been administered, clouding the picture of the state’s progress.
California has administered more than 3.45 million injections, by far the most in the country, but for weeks ranked among the slowest per capita in vaccinating its population and in using up the doses allocated by federal officials, data show.
By Monday, about 7.2% of California residents had received a first dose, and 60.9% of the state’s vaccine supply had been administered — a dramatic improvement from a week ago, but still behind other big states like Texas, Illinois and New York, and only slightly ahead of Florida.
The Golden State’s early sluggish rollout defies one easy explanation. For weeks, Gov. Gavin Newsom and public health officials limited vaccine access to only health workers and nursing homes, and data snafus complicated the picture of how vaccination efforts are progressing. Experts say the structural barriers of such a large, decentralized state that leaned heavily on 61 local health departments to administer the doses also complicated the response.
The biggest and most persistent problem, though, has been beyond the state’s control. Officials have been hamstrung by vaccine supply shortages and lack of predictability from the federal government and the manufacturers.
“The supply crunch creates this huge unmet demand, which creates chaos,” said Andrew Noymer, associate professor of public health at UC Irvine. “There are just layers and layers of logistical issues that we have today that we didn’t have in previous vaccination campaigns.”
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