10 September 2020

Big Pharma says it won’t rush COVID-19 vaccine trials

Communicable Disease COVID-19 Live blog

Welcome to The Medical Republic‘s COVID Catch-Up.

It’s the day’s COVID-19 news in one convenient post. Email [email protected] with any tips, comments or feedback.

10 September

  • The nine biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world have taken what appears to be a stand against pressure from figures such as Donald Trump to rush a COVID-19 vaccine into production.
    The CEOs of AstraZeneca, BioNTech, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Moderna, Novavax, Pfizer, and Sanofi issued a joint statement stating that they would only submit COVID-19 vaccines for approval or emergency use authorisation “after demonstrating safety and efficacy through a Phase 3 clinical study that is designed and conducted to meet requirements of expert regulatory authorities such as FDA.”
    The signing companies pledged to “Always make the safety and well-being of vaccinated individuals our top priority,” and also committed to working to ensure sufficient supply and range of vaccine options.
    The BMJ has reported that FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn recently said that the agency might not wait for full phase 3 trial results before granting emergency use authorisation, and Trump has trumpeted that a vaccine will be ready before the end of the year.
    It sets the stage for an interesting showdown between Trump and Big Pharma, if in fact a vaccine is not ready in time for the US elections or the end of the year. Bring lots of popcorn.
  • How have Victoria’s frontline healthcare workers been affected by COVID-19? A group of researchers from Monash University and The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne have launched the COVIC-HA study of the long-term impacts of the pandemic on healthcare workers’ psychological and physical wellbeing.
    The study, which aims to enrol 1500 Victorian healthcare workers from hospital, primary care, aged care and first responders, will look at the risks of infection with SARS-CoV-2 in Victorian healthcare settings and work out how to better support workers and mitigate those risks.
  • The moggies of Wuhan likely had a high prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 positivity during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, new research suggests. Researchers did a serological survey of samples collected from 39 cats before the outbreak and 102 cats after the pandemic began, and found nearly 15% of those collected during the outbreak tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, according to a report in Emerging Microbes and Infections.
  • Here are today’s confirmed COVID-19 infection figures from around Australia to 9pm Wednesday:
    National – 26,465, with 781 deaths
    ACT – 113 (0)
    NSW – 4135 (9)
    NT – 33 (0)
    QLD – 1143 (8)
    SA – 465 (0)
    TAS – 230 (0)
    VIC – 19,688 (76)
    WA – 658 (0)
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