Trump announces a contract with Moderna to supply 100 million doses

Western skepticism about the Russian vaccine ... and Moscow considers it baseless "allegations"

The Russian vaccine is facing criticism from more than one country after Russia announced its registration as the first vaccine for "Corona". A.F.B.

Western officials questioned the safety and effectiveness of the Russian vaccine, which Moscow announced its development as the first vaccine in the world against the emerging corona virus, while Moscow considered doubts about the vaccine and its effectiveness "baseless allegations", while the US President, Donald Trump, announced a contract with the company, "Moderna." “For 100 million doses of the Corona vaccine.

In detail, the US Secretary of Health Alex Azar yesterday expressed doubts about Russia's announcement of developing the world's first vaccine against the virus, indicating the lack of data from his first experiments.

Moscow said, the day before yesterday, that the vaccine provides "sustainable immunity" against the virus, but Western scientists have expressed concern about the speed of development of Russian treatments and considered that researchers are not strict.

Minister Azar expressed those concerns yesterday at the conclusion of a three-day visit to Taiwan. "It is important to provide safe and effective vaccines, and for the data to be transparent," he told reporters in a conference call. "This is not a race to the first place."

He added, "I note that two of the six American vaccines that we invested in entered the third phase of clinical trials a few weeks ago, which the Russian vaccine has just started."

He added, "The data of the first experiments in Russia were not disclosed. They are not transparent."

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the vaccine was safe, confirming that one of his daughters had received a dose.

The vaccine was called "Sputnik V", after the first artificial satellite that contributed to placing the Soviet Union at the forefront of the space race during the Cold War in 1957.

Azar said he is confident that the vaccine will be available to the Americans. He said, "We think it is very credible that we will have tens of millions of doses of high-standard, safe and effective vaccine by the end of this year, and hundreds of millions of doses as we enter next year."

President Trump had launched the "Operation Warp Speed" program, which aims to develop, manufacture and distribute a vaccine against the emerging corona virus to all Americans by January 2021.

So far, Washington has provided at least $ 9.4 billion to seven developers of the vaccine and has signed production contracts with five of them to provide 700 million doses.

For his part, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the United States, Dr. Anthony Fauchi, expressed serious doubts about the safety and effectiveness of the Russian vaccine.

"I hope the Russians have already and categorically proven that the vaccine is safe and effective .. I seriously doubt that they did," ABC News quoted Fauchi as saying.

He emphasized that having a vaccine and proving that any vaccine is safe and effective are two different things.

He said that the United States continues to develop a number of vaccines, and added: “If we want to take advantage of the opportunity to harm a lot of people or give them something that does not work, we can start if we want, next week, to do so. But this is not the way things are. ”

He stressed that he had not heard any evidence that would convince him that the vaccine was really ready, calling on Americans to understand that “the announcements made by the Chinese or the Russians that they have a vaccine” are different from the American ones “because we have a way to do things in this country, which is that we care about safety.”

Yesterday, German Health Minister Jens Young said that he is skeptical that Russia has become the first country to grant regulatory approval for a vaccine for "Covid-19", saying that the most important thing is that the vaccine is safe and has been tested.

"It's not just about being the first in some way, it's about getting an effective vaccine that has been tested and thus safe," young men told Deutschland Funk Radio. “In order to gain confidence in such a vaccine, I think it is very, very important, even during a pandemic, to conduct the relevant studies and tests correctly and make them public.” The problem is that we know very little about him, as the Russian authorities do not deal transparently. ”

Russia, an ally of Russia, said yesterday that the vaccine "is potentially dangerous."

"Before all clinical trials are completed, the use of vaccines is like opening a tomato box (the box of evils), and thus is potentially dangerous," Iranian Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpour wrote on Twitter.

On the other hand, the Russian Interfax news agency quoted Health Minister Mikhail Murashko as saying yesterday that the allegations that the Russian "Covid-19" vaccine is unsafe are unfounded and driven by competition.

Murashko added that the Russian vaccine will be available for workers in the health sector in the coming weeks.

"In the next two weeks, the first batch of Corona virus vaccine packages will be obtained, first for medical workers," Murashko said in statements reported by TASS news agency.

This comes at a time when President Trump announced, the day before yesterday, a contract worth 1.5 billion dollars to deliver 100 million doses of the experimental Corona vaccine prepared by Moderna, which is the sixth contract of its kind since May.

"I am pleased to announce tonight that we have reached an agreement with Moderna to manufacture and deliver 100 million doses" of the vaccine the company is working on, Trump said during a press conference at the White House. Trump added, "The federal government will have these vaccine doses, and we are buying them."

The American pharmaceutical company, Moderna, announced that clinical trials of its vaccine against the "Covid-19" epidemic entered the final stage on July 27. Moderna is at the forefront of the global race to find an anti-epidemic vaccine.

Scientists warn that the first vaccines to be put on the market will not necessarily be the most effective.

In the past few weeks, the United States concluded deals to obtain hundreds of millions of doses of potential vaccines for "Covid-19" from several companies as part of the Rapid Registration Process, which aims to produce a vaccine in the country by the end of the year.

A dose of Moderna costs about $ 30.5 per person for a two-dose regimen.

With the exception of its deals with AstraZeneca, which offered a lower price for a dose in exchange for upfront payment of research and development costs, all deals price Covid-19 vaccines between $ 20 and $ 42 for a two-dose course.

Moderna said this month that its possible vaccine, MRNA-1273, is one of the few vaccines that has already reached the final stage of testing, which will end in September.

The United States will not fully pay for its deal with "Moderna" unless the company meets the timing criteria for delivering the vaccine. The United States has entered into agreements with Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Biontech, Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline to buy its potential vaccines.

Under these agreements, Washington will obtain more than 500 million doses of vaccines for "Covid-19", assuming that the companies concerned obtain the approval of the regulatory authorities. Some deals also give the United States an option to purchase additional doses.

Fauchi: Getting to a vaccine and proving that any vaccine is safe and effective are two different things.

Scientists warn that the first vaccines to be put on the market will not necessarily be the most effective.

Moscow says that the Russian vaccine will be available for health workers in the coming weeks.

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