Coronavirus vaccine: in search of effectiveness

Less than a week after the announcement of the success in the development of a vaccine against covid by BioNtech and Pfizer, news came: the American concern Moderna has also reached a breakthrough in this area. The vaccine developed by him has an efficiency of 94.5 percent, and in addition, the drug remains highly stable even when stored in a conventional refrigerator. Are there fewer and fewer obstacles to mass immunization?

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Competition is good for everyone!

The Tages-Anzeiger does not hide its glee:

“The preliminary results of the research carried out by biotech company Moderna are very optimistic, especially since they confirm the results of the competitor — BioNtech. Both vaccines work on the same principle — based on genes. And both show fairly high efficiency … and without the currently known side effects. … The reason for optimism also appeared because with the advent of the second promising project for the development of a vaccine, a mechanism of real competition is launched. … Thus, firms are forced to compete to ensure that the vaccine does not promise any risks. … In addition, competition between two similar anti-covid drugs will prevent manufacturers from raising prices to astronomical heights.“

Too many doubters

The Guardian points out that mass vaccinations must be preceded by an intense awareness campaign:

“It is not the handful of people who are convinced that Bill Gates is going to implant microchips in them now that it is not the handful of people who are convinced that Bill Gates is going to implant microchips in them … No, we are talking about the so-called hesitant and doubters’ that do not give health experts to sleep well. … Only seven percent would categorically refuse the vaccine, according to a survey by JL Partners published last week. But indecision to one degree or another is observed in every fifth. Fears that the vaccine has not been tested sufficiently are expressed by women rather than men. Those ‘hesitant and doubtful’ easily accept whatever their friends post on Facebook. They will prefer to wait — and see what happens when others are vaccinated.“

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The European Union for the first time acts as a united front

The European Commission has signed a contract with Biotech and Pfizer for the purchase of about 300 million doses of the new vaccine. La Repubblica columnist Massimo Riva supports this approach:

“This initiative of the European Commission is of particular importance in terms of strengthening the federal character of the EU. This is a real confirmation of a joint foreign and security policy. Perhaps this is the first time that the EU has emerged as a monolithic community in the international arena — with a united front and unanimously. And the goal is the same: to make the best use of your political weight and economic power.“

It’s time for Paris to deal with patents

If French authorities do not take decisive action now, vaccine distribution could be stalled, writes Mathieu Denne, an intellectual property lawyer, in an article in Les Echos:

“The state, of course, can require the introduction of compulsory licensing to gain access to patents, but this is a very long and cumbersome procedure. … Unlike other players in the market, Pfizer and BioNtech have made no commitment under certain circumstances to provide access to their intellectual property in connection with Covid-19. … And right now, when science begins to produce the first results, the French government should urgently address issues of intellectual property — in order to avoid repeating the situation with masks, when they suddenly found themselves in widespread deficit in the spring.“

Europe needs an operational vaccination plan

Der Tagesspiegel urges to think about the criteria for the distribution of the vaccine in Europe now:

“Which countries will be the first to receive what they need from their point of view? Germany — because it sent millions to support the development of a vaccine — or Poland because the population there is more affected by the coronavirus? Or should the country with the smallest number of intensive care beds go first — because there, unlike countries with a sufficient number of intensive care wards, being vaccinated means a better chance of survival? It would be great if the discussion about the fair order of vaccination became concrete — including in order to destroy the impression that we are again not keeping up with the development of events. After all, it is very clear to everyone: a vaccination plan should have been developed long ago.”

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