BioNTech founders warn of vaccine shortfall

BioNTech founders warn of vaccine shortfall

Because infections are spreading so rapidly in the United Kingdom, officials are now recommending prioritizing delivering a first dose to as many people as possible for both of the vaccines authorized for use in the country: the AstraZeneca shot and another from Pfizer-BioNTech.

ECONOMYNEXT- The World Health Organization (WHO) has listed Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, in order to speed access in the developing world, Reuters reported.

Meanwhile, the USA continues to stumble through the pandemic as thousands die every day.

Britain launched its inoculation drive with the US-German vaccine on Dec 8, with the United States, Canada and European Union countries following suit.

"At the moment it doesn't look good - a hole is appearing because there's a lack of other approved vaccines and we have to fill the gap with our own vaccine", BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin told news weekly Spiegel. "This is going to be the greatest operational challenge we've ever faced as a nation".

The Health Department said today it plans to use all the doses it has received - and those it expects to receive in the coming weeks - to more quickly inoculate priority groups.

The U.K.'s chief medical officers say the second dose may be important for longer-term protection, but one official said that the country urgently needed "rapid and high levels of vaccine uptake". According to the Oxford vaccine group, the newly authorized vaccine is "stable, easily manufactured, transported and stored at domestic fridge temperature", which means it is "able to be deployed very rapidly".

Founders of the company that developed the first WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccine have warned that there will be gaps in supply until other vaccines are rolled out.

More than 50 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine have already been stockpiled by its local manufacturer, Serum Institute of India (SII), and one of the sources said the shots could start to be transported from cold storage to Indian states as early as Saturday.

AstraZeneca said it has submitted full data to pursue conditional marketing authorisation from the European Medicines Agency for its COVID-19 vaccine, but the regulator said it still needs more information for approval.

Meanwhile, 33,683 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine have been administered to care home residents and front-line health staff in Northern Ireland.

Matthew W., an ER nurse at two different hospitals in the San Diego area, talked about receiving the Pfizer vaccine on Facebook. It gives us new hope as we welcome the New Year. The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has an average effectiveness of 70 percent, but could reach up to 90 percent.

First Minister Arlene Foster said she was delighted with the vaccine progress.

All the evidence suggests the number falls well short of the 40 million doses of both vaccines that we were originally supposed to have by this stage.

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