9 Drug Companies Pledge To Thoroughly Research Any COVID-19 Vaccine; AstraZeneca Pauses Trial After 1 Participant Experienced Adverse Event; PRI Examines COVAX Effort To Ensure Equitable Vaccine Distribution

DW: Coronavirus vaccine producers pledge to follow normal rules, as one key trial is paused
“German vaccine maker BioNTech and eight biotech companies have vowed to follow safety measures before rolling out vaccines. AstraZeneca has suspended one trial after ‘a potentially unexplained illness’ in a participant…” (9/9).

Financial Times: AstraZeneca pauses Covid-19 vaccine trial after suspected adverse event
“AstraZeneca has paused all clinical trials of the Covid-19 vaccine it is developing with Oxford University after a participant in the U.K. section of the study suffered a suspected serious adverse reaction. The U.K.-based drugmaker voluntarily put the trial on hold after the discovery of the sick participant. AstraZeneca said it was working to review the event to ensure it would not result in a significant delay to the study…” (Kuchler/Neville, 9/9).

New York Times: 9 Drug Companies Pledge to ‘Stand With Science’ on Coronavirus Vaccines
“Nine pharmaceutical companies issued a joint pledge on Tuesday that they would ‘stand with science’ and not put forward a vaccine until it had been thoroughly vetted for safety and efficacy. … President Trump has repeatedly claimed in recent weeks that a vaccine could be available before Election Day — Nov. 3 — heightening fears that his administration is politicizing the race to develop a vaccine and potentially undermining public trust in any vaccine approved…” (Thomas, 9/8).

PRI: A global initiative could ensure equitable access to a COVID-19 vaccine. Can it work?
“…[W]hen and if there is an effective vaccine, the supply could be limited. So, who gets it first? That is a critical question playing out on the world stage in a pandemic that knows no borders. … In response, a group of international organizations has set up a new initiative called COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility, or COVAX, to ensure fair and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. … COVAX is co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness (CEPI), the World Health Organization (WHO), and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. COVAX faces major opportunities — and hurdles — in the coming months. To compete with national interests, the initiative will require billions of dollars and the cooperation of as many countries as possible. So far at least 76 middle- and high-income countries have committed to join — but not the U.S…” (Gordon, 9/8).

Additional coverage of global efforts to develop a novel coronavirus vaccine is available from AP (2), BBC, CNN, Forbes, The Hill (2), POLITICO, Reuters, STAT, The Telegraph, UPI, USA TODAY, and Vox.

The KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report summarized news and information on global health policy from hundreds of sources, from May 2009 through December 2020. All summaries are archived and available via search.

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