One More Major COVID Vaccine Trials Paused

One More Major COVID Vaccine Trials Paused

In August this year, Pfizer and BioNTech entered into an agreement to supply the U.S. government with 100 million doses of their coronavirus vaccine in a $1.95bn (£1.49bn) deal, as part of the government's Operation Warp Speed - a push to deliver 300 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of the year.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, and the purchase is expected to provide enough doses to vaccinate 750K people.

Johnson & Johnson said it has temporarily paused its COVID-19 vaccine candidate clinical trials due to an unexplained illness in a study participant.

Its medical-device unit's sales fell 3.6% to US$6.15 billion, as patients and hospitals continued to delay non-urgent surgeries due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

New Zealand appeared to have stamped out community transmission of COVID-19 earlier this year following a tough nationwide lockdown. So far, 37,000 participants enrolled and over 28,000 received a second vaccine dose.

"In the face of this global health crisis, Pfizer's objective - breakthroughs that change patients' lives - has taken on an even greater urgency". As per a statement issued by the New Zealand government, the agreement is subject to the successful completion of all clinical trials for the vaccine and regulatory approvals in New Zealand.

J&J Pauses COVID-19 Vaccine Trials Due To Unexplained Illness In Participant
The recruitment of volunteers for phase 3 of the Johnson & Johnson clinical trials began at the end of September. If approved, the jab would be available for emergency use authorisation in early 2021 on a not-for-profit basis.

The Government signed a $27 million agreement with Covax Facility last month which will allow New Zealand to buy a successful vaccine from a range of candidates.

The programme aims to offer equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for rich and poor countries alike.

Australia also has a deal in place for a vaccine being developed at the University of Queensland.

The vaccine is based on a single dose of a cold-causing adenovirus, modified so that it can no longer replicate, combined with a part of the new coronavirus called the spike protein that it uses to invade human cells. "A number of factors will influence who will receive what vaccines and when, such as trial data on the suitability of each vaccine for certain age groups", Hipkins said.

"Most of this investment will pay for sufficient supplies to support New Zealand and Pacific Realm countries".

However, she said the government had already signalled "hundred of millions of dollars" was required for securing vaccines.

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