Thu, 09/03/2020 – 08:43
- CDC warns states to prepare for vaccines by November
- First COVID vaccine results due later this month
- India posts another record daily jump in cases
- Victoria sees cases pop back above 100
- China sees first international flight from Vietnam after lifting travel restrictions
- Brazil nears 4 million confirmed cases
- “The Rock” reveals COVID diagnosis for himself, family
* * *
After expanding the administration’s ban on evictions, the CDC has reportedly told all US states to be ready to distribute a COVID-19 vaccine by November, an ambitious timeline oft-repeated by Dr. Anthony Fauci, although many other credible epidemiologists, including former FDA director Dr. Scott Gottlieb, say a vaccine likely won’t be ready until next year.
In a letter to governors dated Aug. 27 which was first reported last night, CDC Director Robert Redfield said states “in the near future” will receive permit applications from McKesson, which has a contract with the agency to distribute vaccines to states, hospitals and local health-care systems.
“CDC urgently requests your assistance in expediting applications for these distribution facilities and, if necessary, asks that you consider waiving requirements that would prevent these facilities from becoming fully operational by November 1, 2020,” Redfield wrote in the letter, which was first reported yesterday by McClatchy.
Wall Street analysts are already scoffing at the White House’s latest unrealistically optimistic timeline: From Rabobank: “Optimists are talking about the US government talking about a virus vaccine being rolled out on 1 November – which has nothing, n-o-t-h-i-n-g, to do with the US election two days later, honest; I mean who would write that script?!”
FDA head Dr. Stephen Hahn has said that the agency might approve a COVID-19 vaccine before Phase 3 trials are finished.
According to the latest data from Johns Hopkins, the US has confirmed 6,115,098 cases, and 185,752 deaths.
Dr. Redfield recently told Yahoo Finance that officials are preparing “for what I anticipate will be reality, is that there’ll be one or more vaccines available for us in November, December.”
Other letters sent to states from the CDC urged states to develop a triage protocol for who will receive the vaccine first, with the most vulnerable patients receiving a priority. States must prepare by identifying which providers will administer vaccine, who will receive it and where. Redfield said that states should be prepared for the likelihood that at least some vaccine doses will be available by year-end.
While worries about mandatory vaccination policies intensify, Bloomberg noted in a report published Thursday that the first Phase 3 trial results should arrive by mid-September from AstraZeneca, according to Airfinity, an analytics company that tracks drug trials.
With AZ in the lead, two other contenders, Moderna and the Pfizer-BioNTech collaboration will likely have data to present at a critical FDA meeting on virus vaccines that’s presently set for Oct. 22. Just 2 weeks before the Nov. 3 election, we suspect the administration will roll out a major announcement on vaccines – probably declaring that vaccinations will begin for the most vulnerable patients immediately – as Trump’s “October surprise.”
While drugmakers made a lot of noise about building a “racially diverse” pool of test subjects for their vaccine trials, even the fastest trials won’t have final data by the Oct. 22 deadline. Instead, citizens will receive what are knon as “interim readouts”, an early snapshot of the data so far.
The WHO has warned against approving vaccines solely on the strength of these ‘interim readouts’. Speaking of the WHO, the US said Wednesday it will keep Trump’s promise, made in April, to stop paying its dues to the WHO, one day after the US withdrew from the COVAX global vaccine trial program. Meanwhile, the African CDC is urging all nations to join together to work on vaccine candidates.
Here’s a rundown of the other major coronavirus stories overnight:
India reported another record jump in new cases, with 83,883. That’s officially the biggest number reported in a single day anywhere in the world. It brings India’s total to 3.85 million. India is carrying out mass testing in cities like Delhi. Another 1,043 people died from the disease, the health ministry said, bringing India’s death toll to 67,376.
China reported 11 new cases of coronavirus on Thursday, all of them imported, while an Air China flight from Phnom Penh was the first international flight to land in Beijing after direct flights from eight countries were allowed to resume.
Air China Flight CA746 (Phnom Penh-Beijing) landed at Beijing Capital International Airport at 6:57 am BJT on Thursday. This is the first direct international flight to Beijing after the city gradually resumed direct inbound flights from September 3. pic.twitter.com/aghIDpkPyB
— People’s Daily, China (@PDChina) September 3, 2020
Brazil’s health ministry says it has confirmed another 46,934 cases, bringing its total to 3,997,685. Some 123,780 people have died from the disease in Brazil, the second biggest, and second-deadliest, outbreak outside the US.
Australia’s second-largest state, Victoria, reported 113 new cases of the virus and an additional 15 deaths on Thursday, returning to more than 100 new cases for the first time in 4 days.
Finally, Hollywood star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson revealed that he and his family all tested positive for COVID-19, but have now recovered. He added that the coronavirus was “one of the most challenging things” they ever did as a family.
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