BioNTech/Pfizer file for EU approval of Covid-19 vaccine

BioNTech/Pfizer file for EU approval of Covid-19 vaccine
This illustration picture taken on November 23, 2020 shows a bottle reading “Vaccine Covid-19” and a syringe next to the Pfizer and Biontech logo. (File/AFP)
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Updated 01 December 2020

BioNTech/Pfizer file for EU approval of Covid-19 vaccine

BioNTech/Pfizer file for EU approval of Covid-19 vaccine
  • If approved, the jab could potentially be rolled out “in Europe before the end of 2020”

FRANKFURT, Germany: Germany’s BioNTech and its US partner Pfizer on Tuesday said they had applied for EU regulatory approval for their Covid-19 vaccine, raising hopes that the first jabs could be administered in December.
The two companies said in a statement that they had submitted an application to the European Medicines Agency on Monday “for Conditional Marketing Authorization (CMA)” for their vaccine, after tests showed it was 95 percent effective against the novel coronavirus.
If approved, the jab could potentially be rolled out “in Europe before the end of 2020,” the statement said.


UK scientists warn too early to tell if new COVID-19 variant more deadly

UK scientists warn too early to tell if new COVID-19 variant more deadly
Updated 43 min 20 sec ago

UK scientists warn too early to tell if new COVID-19 variant more deadly

UK scientists warn too early to tell if new COVID-19 variant more deadly
  • PM Boris Johnson had previously said evidence showed higher mortality rate 
  • Top medics have said it is “too early” to say whether the variant carries with it a higher mortality rate

LONDON: The discovery of a new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) variant in the UK should not alter the response to the pandemic, scientists say, despite fears that it could prove more deadly.
Top medics have said it is “too early” to say whether the variant, thought to be up to 70 percent more transmissible, carries with it a higher mortality rate.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson claimed there was “some evidence” the variant had “a higher degree of mortality” at a press conference on Friday, Jan. 22, with the UK’s chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, adding it could be up to 30 percent more deadly. 
That came after a briefing by the UK government’s New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag) said there was a “realistic possibility” of an increased risk of death.
Prof. Peter Horby, Nervtag’s chairman, said: “Scientists are looking at the possibility that there is increased severity ... and after a week of looking at the data we came to the conclusion that it was a realistic possibility.
“We need to be transparent about that. If we were not telling people about this we would be accused of covering it up.”
But infectious disease modeller Prof. Graham Medley, one of the authors of the Nervtag briefing, told the BBC: “The question about whether it is more dangerous in terms of mortality I think is still open.
He added: “In terms of making the situation worse it is not a game changer. It is a very bad thing that is slightly worse.”
Dr. Mike Tildesley, a member of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling for the UK government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, said he was “quite surprised” Johnson had made the claim.
“I just worry that where we report things pre-emptively where the data are not really particularly strong,” he added.