Media/Policy Watch

Media/Policy Watch
This watch section is intended to alert readers to substantive news, analysis and opinion from the general media and selected think tanks and similar organizations on vaccines, immunization, global public health and related themes. Media Watch is not intended to be exhaustive, but indicative of themes and issues CVEP is actively tracking. This section will grow from an initial base of newspapers, magazines and blog sources, and is segregated from Journal Watch above which scans the peer-reviewed journal ecology.
We acknowledge the Western/Northern bias in this initial selection of titles and invite suggestions for expanded coverage. We are conservative in our outlook in adding news sources which largely report on primary content we are already covering above. Many electronic media sources have tiered, fee-based subscription models for access. We will provide full-text where content is published without restriction, but most publications require registration and some subscription level.

 

The Atlantic
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/
Accessed 8 Aug 2020
[No new, unique, relevant content]

 

BBC
http://www.bbc.co.uk/
Accessed 8 Aug 2020
[No new, unique, relevant content]

 

The Economist
http://www.economist.com/
Accessed 8 Aug 2020
[No new, unique, relevant content]

 

Financial Times
http://www.ft.com/home/uk
Accessed 8 Aug 2020
Richard Feachem
We must not wait idly for an elusive Covid-19 vaccine
…The writer is director of The Global Health Group at the University of California, San Francisco It is widely assumed that a Covid-19 vaccine will come to our rescue soon. This is unlikely to be true…
August 3, 2020

 

Forbes
http://www.forbes.com/
Accessed 8 Aug 2020
12 hours ago
China Drug Maker’s Shares Soar On COVID-19 Vaccine Pact With AstraZeneca
Shares among leading China pharmaceutical makers have soared amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
By Russell Flannery Forbes Staff

Breaking  |  
Aug 7, 2020
Gates Foundation Donates $150 Million To Distribute Covid-19 Vaccine To Developing Nations As They Struggle With Accelerating Pandemic
The donation comes on the heels of a debunked conspiracy theory about why Gates is pushing for the vaccination.
By Elana Lyn Gross Forbes Staff

Breaking  |  
Aug 6, 2020
Biden Supports Free Coronavirus Tests And Vaccines For Undocumented Immigrants
‘It’s in the interest of everyone, that everyone be taken care of,’ said Biden.
By Tommy Beer Forbes Staff

Breaking  |  
Aug 5, 2020
Moderna Plans To Charge $32-37 Per Covid Vaccine Dose, Discussing Supply Deals With Several Countries
The vaccine maker has received about $400 million in deposits from various countries for potential supply.
By Siladitya Ray Contributor

 

Foreign Affairs
http://www.foreignaffairs.com/
Accessed 8 Aug 2020
[No new, unique, relevant content]

 

Foreign Policy
http://foreignpolicy.com/
Accessed 8 Aug 2020 |
[No new, unique, relevant content]

 

The Guardian
http://www.guardiannews.com/
[No new, unique, relevant content]

 

New Yorker
http://www.newyorker.com/
Accessed 8 Aug 2020
Medical Dispatch
America’s Coronavirus Endurance Test
To defeat the virus, we will have to start thinking in years, not months.
By Howard Markel
August 6, 2020

 

New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/
Accessed 8 Aug 2020
Americas
Brazilian Billionaire Lemann Leads Initiative to Build COVID-19 Vaccine Factory
Brazilian billionaire Jorge Lemann’s foundation and other business interests will fund the building of factory to produce the COVID-19 vaccine being developed by Oxford University and pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca PLC.
By Reuters Aug. 7

Canada
Canada Has Placed Its First Vaccine Order, but Don’t Expect a ‘Silver Bullet’
Before the federal government announced an order for millions of doses of a still unproven vaccine, its top doctor sounded a note of caution.
By Ian Auste Aug. 7

U.S.
Vaccine for COVID-19 Will Need Outside Expert Review, U.S. Regulator Says
The United States will need to have independent experts review COVID-19 vaccine candidates before approval, the country’s top drug regulator said on Friday, offering reassurance that his agency would not cut corners in the race to roll out a vaccine.
By Reuters Aug. 7

U.S.
Fauci Warns COVID-19 Vaccine May Be Only Partially Effective, Public Health Measures Still Needed
An approved coronavirus vaccine could end up being effective only 50-60% of the time, meaning public health measures will still be needed to keep the pandemic under control, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious diseases expert, said on Friday.
By Reuters Aug. 7

Europe
Russia Offers to Supply Philippines With COVID-19 Vaccine
Russia is willing to supply a coronavirus vaccine to the Philippines, or team up with a local firm to mass produce it, its ambassador to Manila said on Friday, as infections in the Southeast Asian nation surge.
By Reuters Aug. 7

Asia Pacific
Takeda to Make Novavax’s COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate in Japan
Takeda Pharmaceutical will manufacture and sell up to 250 million doses of Novavax Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate in Japan every year, the two companies said on Friday.
By Reuters Aug. 7

Europe
Brazil’s Bolsonaro Orders $360 Million to Be Set Aside for AstraZeneca Coronavirus Vaccine
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro issued a decree on Thursday that will set aside 1.9 billion reais ($356 million) in funds to purchase and eventually produce the potential COVID-19 vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca PLC and Oxford University researchers.
By Reuters Aug. 6

 

Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/
Accessed 8 Aug 2020
Opinions
FDA commissioner: No matter what, only a safe, effective vaccine will get our approval
by Stephen M. Hahn
Stephen M. Hahn, a physician, is commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration.
August 5, 2020
Since the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic, developing a safe and effective vaccine has been an urgent worldwide priority: to save lives, and to bolster the public’s confidence in returning to a semblance of normal life.

At the Food and Drug Administration and our parent agency, the Department of Health and Human Services, we recognize the vital importance of vaccine development. The framework in the United States to support a covid-19 vaccine is now in place. Testing is underway and manufacturing capacity is rapidly expanding. But let’s be clear: The development effort must adhere to standards that will ensure any covid-19 vaccine’s safety and effectiveness.

Large-scale clinical trials already have begun for several promising vaccine candidates. The data from these trials will enable the scientists at the FDA to determine which of these candidates has the greatest potential to provide protection from the virus, what the possible side effects are and how long immunity is likely to last. FDA scientists will need the information to decide whether approval of the vaccine for general use is justified. This fall, we expect to start identifying which vaccine candidates are truly viable.

At the same time, our colleagues at Operation Warp Speed, which operates independently of the FDA as a partnership between HHS and the Defense Department, have been arranging for the stockpiling of vials and other equipment needed for a national immunization program.

Success will hinge, of course, on the data that emerges from clinical trials. This testing by its very nature takes time: It takes time for the human body to develop immunity, and it often takes time for side effects to emerge. While speed is essential in this global emergency, we at the FDA are committed to maintaining strict scientific principles and protection of those who volunteer as vaccine test subjects.

To prepare for the completion of tests and data submission, our agency has announced that any authorized or approved covid-19 vaccine would need to show that it prevents the disease or decreases its severity in at least 50 percent of people who are vaccinated. This is a reasonable standard given the nature and impact of the pandemic.

One key element in the FDA’s testing requirements is assuring diversity among the test subjects. All phases of vaccine clinical development should include the people most affected thus far by covid-19, specifically racial and ethnic minorities, elderly individuals, and people with other medical conditions. Only by gathering data on these populations can we gain a full understanding of a vaccine candidate’s safety and effectiveness.

I have been asked repeatedly whether there has been any inappropriate pressure on the FDA to make decisions that are not based on good data and good science. I have repeatedly said that all FDA decisions have been, and will continue to be, based solely on good science and data. The public can count on that commitment.

Once FDA scientists determine that a covid-19 vaccine candidate meets the appropriate regulatory standards for safety and efficacy, a pathway will be created by the government to make the vaccine available without delay. And, of course, after authorization or approval by the FDA, the safety of any vaccine will be closely monitored.

Since we at the FDA are the final arbiters of whether a particular vaccine is safe and effective, I cannot make any predictions about timing of an emergency use or final approval of a covid-19 vaccine. But I can attest that every FDA resource has been, and will continue to be, at the ready to facilitate clinical testing programs, and to review clinical data and manufacturing facilities. I can further provide assurances that any vaccine authorized for widespread use will meet the appropriate standards for quality, safety and efficacy.