World Health Organization suggests 21-28 day gap between 2 Pfizer doses

Henrietta Brewer
January 14, 2021

Moderna Inc on Monday said it will produce at least 600 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine.

The doses would be available to member states in the second quarter of this year.

Addressing the criticism of the EU's slow start in the vaccine rollout when compared to Britain and the United States, Von der Leyen insisted that the European Union has taken "the right course of action", explaining that her commission had to sift six from 160 vaccine candidates.

EU countries started inoculating people with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine two weeks ago, after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommended the shot's conditional approval under the brand name Comirnaty with an authorisation that allows five doses to be extracted from each vial.

"The advantage of this good news is: We have already a contract - so no lengthy negotiations anymore", European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement.

"We are providing more COVID-19 vaccines for Europeans". In December, Operation Warp Speed leaders said they hoped to distribute 20 million vaccine doses by the end of 2020.

The UK has pre-ordered 17 million doses of the Moderna vaccine - 10 million more than planned - but supplies are not expected to arrive until spring.

Meanwhile, 235 candidate vaccines are still being developed worldwide with 63 of them in clinical trials in countries including Germany, China, Russia, Britain and the United States, according to information released by the World Health Organization on January 6.

Early results of large, still unfinished studies show both the Moderna and the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines appear safe and strongly protective, although Moderna's is easier to handle since it doesn't need to be stored at ultra-frozen temperatures.

In the United States, only about 4.5 million people had received their first shot as of Monday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. The company said it is "continuing to invest and add staff to build up to potentially 1 billion doses for 2021".

The Moderna vaccine, an RNA vaccine like Pfizer's, injects part of the virus's genetic code in order to provoke an immune response.

Asked about vaccine scams, Pfizer said it had taken meticulous steps to reduce the risk of counterfeiting and tracked trends very carefully.

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