Coronavirus Briefing: What Happened Today?

Moderna bets on profit Moderna provided its coronavirus vaccine almost exclusively to rich nations , keeping the poorest countries wai...

Moderna provided its coronavirus vaccine almost exclusively to rich nations, keeping the poorest countries waiting while he earns billions in profits.

The company shipped a larger share of its doses to wealthy countries than any other vaccine maker, according to a data company that tracks vaccine shipments.

Of the 22 countries, plus the EU, in which Moderna and its distributors have reported selling the shots, none are low income. And most of the middle-income countries that have deals with Moderna have not received any doses. At least three others pay higher prices.

Botswana, Thailand and Colombia said they pay $ 27 to $ 30 per dose, more than the United States (which paid $ 15 to $ 16.50 for each take) or the EU (which paid $ 22.60 to $ 25.50).

“They behave as if they have absolutely no responsibility beyond maximizing return on investment,” said Dr. Tom Frieden, former director of the CDC.

The need is real: Dozens of poor countries, mainly in Africa and the Middle East, had vaccinated less than 10 percent of their population as of September 30.

Moderna’s vaccine – the only product it makes – appears to be the best defense in the world against Covid-19. But the company is not keeping its promises. In May, Moderna OK provide Covax with up to 34 million doses of vaccine this year, plus up to 466 million doses in 2022. Covax says Moderna has yet to ship any of those doses.

The Biden administration is increasingly frustrated.

The U.S. government provided the company with essential scientific assistance and $ 1.3 billion for research, and agreed to pre-order $ 1.5 billion of the vaccine. Officials have urged Moderna executives to expand U.S. production or license its technology to foreign manufacturers. But administration officials say they saw little cooperation from Moderna to expand global access.

The company said it expects its vaccine to generate at least $ 20 billion in revenue this year, which would make its vaccine one of the highest-grossing medical products in history. In 2019, Moderna reported total revenue of $ 60 million, and the company’s market value has nearly tripled this year to over $ 120 billion.

One of the most frustrating issues facing public health officials in the United States at this point in the pandemic is that the arrival of boosters makes it harder to prime unvaccinated people to receive their first. vaccines.

Our colleague Jan Hoffman reports that while boosters offer additional protection to vulnerable populations, they raise new doubts among the hesitant. Many of those wary of the vaccine say they have become more confused by what they see as mixed messages from federal health agencies and the White House. In a September survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 71% of unvaccinated respondents said the need for boosters indicated vaccines were not working.

Health officials are also concerned that when injections are approved for children aged 5 to 11, as expected soon, the need for reminders will make finicky parents even more difficult to persuade.

Experts fear the country will run into the ceiling of convincing people, a ceiling well below the threshold needed for broad immunity.

With mass vaccination sites largely closed, the onus of persuading people to get vaccinated increasingly falls on primary care providers. But at this point, many doctors and nurses say they are exhausted from so much persuasive effort for relatively little return, even as they treat very sick patients who had refused to be vaccinated.

“It’s an uphill battle,” said infectious disease specialist Dr Uzma Syed, who has lectured on immunization education to national and international groups. “I can’t say that these conversations don’t come with tremendous burnout. But you keep on hoping to reach even one person to change their mind, because it’s a life saved.

At the start of the pandemic, before the vaccines were available, I was worried about getting the virus at random and was scared. Now, after having had three hits, I feel like an observer, no longer too worried about getting it on my own. The unmasked and the unvaccinated are given, a bit like the film “Idiocracy” upside down.

– Patrick Whitaker, Gex, France

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Newsrust - US Top News: Coronavirus Briefing: What Happened Today?
Coronavirus Briefing: What Happened Today?
Newsrust - US Top News
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