Israel leads the global vaccination race, with more than seven percent of its population having received the sting within nine days.
Around 644,000 people have received a dose of the Pfizer / BioNTech shock in the country of 8.7 million, the highest per capita rate in the world.
The rapid introduction in a country that prides itself on its independence comes after the Israeli health minister ordered a round-the-clock vaccination campaign. Hundreds of military medics were drafted to aid the effort, and the country ordered shots from all three Pfizers in Moderna and AstraZeneca.
Israel is expected to introduce a so-called “Green Passport” system in January, which means that people who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 do not need to be quarantined when traveling from abroad or coming into contact with a virus patient.
Bahrain ranks second on the global vaccine table while the UK ranks third after giving 800,000 doses in just under two weeks by Christmas Eve. With the Oxford / AstraZeneca sting approved today, the UK will accelerate its vaccine campaign.
The US has released most vaccines immediately after injecting more than 2.1 million people, but President-elect Joe Biden has criticized delays in introducing them.
Europe launched its own program over the weekend after an EU regulator finally approved the Pfizer sting. Portugal and Denmark made the fastest advances on the continent yet.
Israel leads the world in vaccine competition after supplying vaccines to more than seven percent of its population in nine days. Bahrain ranks second in the per capita table
The US has shipped more cans than any other country, but President-elect Joe Biden has criticized delays in introducing it. So far, the UK has spent the most in Europe
Chinese company says its vaccine is 79 percent effective
Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinopharm announced today that its Covid-19 vaccine was 79 percent effective in Phase III studies.
China has already issued over a million vaccines under an emergency program, but Sinopharm’s announcement is the first data on the effectiveness of a Chinese vaccine.
But China, where the coronavirus first emerged last year, is struggling to gain international trust for its vaccine candidates, hampered by a lack of transparency in test results.
It has also been slow to complete Phase III studies that had to be conducted overseas due to China’s success in containing the spread of Covid-19 within its own borders.
But Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have both approved Sinopharm vaccines, and Beijing has promised to ship its products to poorer Asian countries at a relatively low cost.
Sinopharm has applied to the Chinese Medicines Agency for approval of the vaccine, it said in a statement.
China plans to vaccinate millions this winter ahead of the lunar new year, and officials have vowed to increase vaccine manufacturing capacity to more than a billion doses over the next year.
While the 79 percent value is lower than the Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna puffs, the Sinopharm product does not require the -70 ° C temperatures required to store the Pfizer pierce, which is one in many developing countries represents an almost impossible logistical challenge.
It gives China a diplomatic instrument after facing widespread criticism from the US and Australia about the handling of the first outbreak in Wuhan.
Chinese health officials said this week that data from antibodies circulating in Wuhan suggests the number of cases at the epicenter of the pandemic could be ten times higher than previously reported.
The Israeli health minister said Wednesday that nearly 152,000 people had been vaccinated in one day, bringing the total to well over half a million.
The 643,600 people vaccinated are already more numerous than the 412,398 people who tested positive for coronavirus in Israel.
After two national bans and more than 3,000 deaths, Israel began its mass vaccination program on December 20 after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu became the first citizen to get the sting.
Netanyahu, who has self-isolated three times after being exposed to Covid carriers, has called for more than two million people to be vaccinated within a month.
“This is the critical phase, the first phase, because this is the population at risk, all the medical teams, all people over 60,” he said.
“Once we’re done with this stage, we can get out of the coronavirus in 30 days, open up the economy and do things no country can do.”
While only the Pfizer push has been used so far, Israel has also ordered supplies of the Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines.
The Israel Justice Department also announced that it had asked Facebook to remove bogus anti-vaccine content as the government tried to raise support for the program.
Four Hebrew-speaking groups have been removed to post text, photos and videos with “intentionally mendacious” content intended to mislead about coronavirus vaccines.
The fake news included false claims that vaccines were used to plant government tracking chips in recipients’ bodies, poison them, or subject them to medical experiments.
Israel follows Bahrain in the global ranking, where 56,041 people out of a population of 1.7 million had been vaccinated by Tuesday evening.
Bahrain uses the Sinopharm vaccine developed by the Chinese pharmaceutical company of the same name, which says the shock is 79 percent effective.
China has struggled to gain confidence in its vaccine candidates, which is hampered by a lack of transparency in test results. However, it has been approved in Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.
It was also slow to complete phase 3 studies that had to be conducted overseas due to China’s success in containing the spread of Covid-19 within its own borders.
In China, however, more than a million people have already received doses of vaccine as part of their emergency program.
This includes frontline health workers, government employees, and workers planning to travel abroad.
An Israeli military doctor prepares to give the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine at a medical center in Rishion LeZion on Monday
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was the first Israeli to receive the vaccine on December 19 and rolled up his sleeves at a medical center in Ramat Gan
China plans to vaccinate millions more this winter in the lead up to the lunar new year, and officials have vowed to increase the capacity to more than a billion doses.
Beijing has pledged to share its vaccines at a relatively low cost – a potential boost for poorer Asian countries that otherwise rely on the limited distribution of a global program.
Third in the global vaccine race is Great Britain, which approved the Pfizer sting before its EU neighbors or the US.
Today the UK was the first to approve the Oxford / AstraZeneca pile, which, unlike the Pfizer pile, can be stored at normal refrigerator temperatures.
This means the Oxford vaccine is easier to introduce into nursing homes and general practitioners’ offices, paving the way for an even bigger vaccination program.
Pascal Soriot, CEO of AstraZeneca, told BBC Radio 4 that Today’s broadcasts will increase “very quickly” in the first and second weeks of January.
He added, “We will start deliveries this week – maybe we will ship our first cans today or tomorrow.
‘The vaccination will start next week and we will very quickly reach a million a week and beyond.
‘We can go to two million. We may be vaccinating several million people by January, and by the end of the first quarter we will be in the tens of millions. ‘
Bahrain, where a woman is scheduled to receive a vaccine in Manama last week, has approved both the Pfizer stab and another shot by Chinese company Sinopharm
When asked if two million vaccinations a week are possible, Health Secretary Matt Hancock told Times Radio, “The NHS can absolutely do that.”
In the US, the two million people vaccinated so far have lagged far behind the Trump administration’s goal of immunizing 20 million people before the end of 2020.
President-elect Joe Biden criticized Trump’s vaccine rollout on Tuesday, warning that at the current rate, it would take years for the required shots to be fired.
“As I have long feared and warned, efforts to distribute and administer the vaccine are not progressing as they should,” Biden said.
Biden’s goal of ensuring that 100 million shots were fired by the end of his 100th day in office would mean “increasing five to six times the current rate to a million shots a day,” he added.
Earlier in the day, Biden’s Vice President-elect Kamala Harris received her Moderna vaccine live on TV to build confidence.
78-year-old Biden received his first dose of the vaccine last week and has vowed to make the pandemic his top priority when he takes office on Jan. 20.
Dr. Atul Gawande, a member of Biden’s Covid-19 advisory board, told CBS News the transition team still does not have all of the information needed to understand the bottlenecks that are hindering vaccine distribution.
“The realistic picture is to expect that it could fall before … enough people are vaccinated for us to get back to normal and that it could be summer before the general public really accesses the vaccine,” he said.