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It’s Unknown If Vaccinated People Can Spread COVID-19 – Medicine Agency

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It is still not known whether people vaccinated against Covid-19 can still transmit the coronavirus, the head of the EU’s medicine regulator told MEPs on Tuesday.

There are also concerns about whether vaccines developed last year will be effective against new mutations of the coronavirus strain now circulating the globe.

But preliminary indications are that the vaccines in use so far in the European Union — by BioNTech-Pfizer and Moderna — “will continue to be effective against at least the UK variant”, said Emer Cooke, executive director of the European Medicines Agency.

“I think the South African variant is more complicated, and we need additional work to determine the efficacy,” she added.

On possible post-vaccine immunity, she said clinical trial data did not look at transmission “but it is something that we’re asking the companies to look at”.

The comments, provided via videolink to the European Parliament, came as member countries begin to restrict travel to curb the variants’ propagation while hoping that vaccines might provide a solution.

Cooke also addressed delivery delays to the EU of doses from BioNTech-Pfizer and from AstraZeneca, which is poised to get authorisation by the end of this week.

While unable to shed light on the cause of the delay — something she said fell to the European Commission, which signed the purchase contracts with the firms — Cooke stressed the EMA “can work to help solve any type of manufacturing issues that do delay the supply.”

This could include helping to open of extra manufacturing sites.

She demurred on what authorisation the EMA might give the AstraZeneca vaccine when asked about German media reports — later denied by the German government — that the jab could be less effective in people over 75.

Some reports have suggested that the EMA may only approve the AstraZeneca jab for the under 55s.

“I’m not going to prejudge any decision because this is a scientific and expert discussion that is ongoing. But it it is possible to conclude an authorisation that would focus on a particular age group or it’s possible to conclude for a wider age group,” she said

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Pfizer Identifies Counterfeit Covid-19 Vaccines In Mexico, Poland

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US pharmaceutical company Pfizer has identified fake doses of its vaccine against Covid-19 in Mexico and Poland, Sputnik quoted The Wall Street Journal report.

In Mexico, some 80 people got fraudulent vaccines at a clinic for about US$1,000 (RM4,110) per dose. The doses also had fake labels.

In Poland, fake doses of the Covid-19 vaccine are likely to have been an anti-wrinkle medicine. The Polish authorities said that no one had received the fake vaccines.

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Covid-19 outbreak a pandemic on March 11, 2020. To date, more than 143.48 million people have been infected with the coronavirus worldwide, with over 3.05 million fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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BREAKING: AstraZeneca Covid-19 Vaccine Can Cause Unusual Blood Clot – EMA Affirms

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The safety committee of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has found that the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine can cause unusual blood clots with low blood platelets, but stresses the overall benefits of the vaccine in preventing coronavirus outweigh the risks of side effects.

“EMA is reminding healthcare professionals and people receiving the vaccine to remain aware of the possibility of very rare cases of blood clots combined with low levels of blood platelets occurring within 2 weeks of vaccination,” the agency said in a statement Wednesday.

“So far, most of the cases reported have occurred in women under 60 years of age within 2 weeks of vaccination. Based on the currently available evidence, specific risk factors have not been confirmed.”

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No Reason To Stop Using AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine – WHO

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The World Health Organization said Friday there was no reason to stop using AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine after several European countries suspended the roll-out over blood clot fears.

The WHO said its vaccines advisory committee was currently looking at safety data and stressed that no causal link had been established between the vaccine and clotting.

Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Italy and Romania postponed or limited the rollout of AstraZeneca vaccines after isolated reports of recipients developing blood clots.

“AstraZeneca is an excellent vaccine, as are the other vaccines that are being used,” WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris told reporters at a briefing in Geneva.

“We’ve reviewed the data on deaths. There has been no death, to date, proven to have be caused by vaccination,” she said.

“Yes, we should continue using the AstraZeneca vaccine,” she added, stressing though that “any safety signal must be investigated.”

“We must always ensure that we look for any safety signals when we roll out vaccines, and we must review them,” she said.

“But there is no indication to not use it.”

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