Press review


Shortages of flu vaccines in Poland before autumn wave of Covid-19

Country : China, Poland, U.S., UK

Keywords :
WARSAW, 4 Sep (APM) - Experts say a second wave of Covid-19 will arrive during the flu season, while pharmacies are already reporting major shortages of pneumococcal and flu vaccines, reported Dziennik Gazeta Prawna (pA6) on Wednesday and Rzeczpospolita (pA1, A3) on Friday.
Both the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Chief Sanitary Inspectorate (GIS) are recommending pneumococcal vaccine for patients with an increased risk of infection, such as people aged over 60 and people suffering from chronic illnesses, such as pulmonary diseases, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, renal insufficiency and impaired immunity to Covid-19 infection.
Even so, pneumococcal vaccines are available in 7% of Polish pharmacies only, while Pfizer, the producer of the vaccine, has announced new shipments in mid September, reported Dziennik Gazeta Prawna.
Polish pharmacies are reporting increasing poorer availability of the flu vaccine recommended by the European Commission and MoH for relieving the healthcare system during the second wave of the pandemic.
The flu vaccine is usually ordered at the beginning of the year based on orders from previous years and, given that only 4% of the Polish population chooses to take flu jabs, current demand for flu vaccines substantially exceeds the orders from the beginning of the year. The MoH has announced a promise of a further two million doses, but this is still insufficient to cover current needs of Polish patients, concludes Rzeczpospolita.

Innovative cancer treatment in Poland for children will improve recovery rate by 80%

Innovative cancer treatments, such as targeted therapies, are being used in Poland which is increasing the recovery rate by 80%, reported Gazeta Wyborcza in its Zlota Wstazka supplement (p2) on Friday.
The Przyladek Nadziei [Cape of Good Hope] health centre is using immunotherapy with CAR-T molecules, an innovative therapy discovered in the U.S in 2012. Some 10-15 child patients are receiving such therapy which has a 50-60% recovery rate.
Nevertheless, its cost is 1.3 million zlotys (€295,000) and is not reimbursed by the Ministry of Health. The personalised targeted therapy is being used in cooperation with the German Cancer Research Centre in Heidelberg. It is available to all child patients under the care of 18 Polish Haematology and Oncology Centres.
A multi-faceted approach to immunotherapy using dinutuximab has reached the reimbursement list and will be included in a drug programme for child patients that is covered by medical insurance.
Another innovative therapy is referred to as CALL-POL, which is being researched by scientists from the Medical University of Lodz. It combines several innovative approaches to leukaemia, resulting in the creation of personalised targeted immunotherapy for child patients.
The therapy's objective is to increase the recovery rate to 95% and reduce the need for bone marrow transplants to 10%. The therapy will be tested on 550-600 patients and its cost of 28 million zlotys (€6.3 million) will be financed by the Medical Research Agency (ABM).

Scientists discover compound that kills antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Scientists from the University of Sheffield have developed a compound that kills antibiotic-resistant bacteria, both gram-positive and gram-negative, the latter being the at the top of the World Health Organization's (WHO) health hazards list, reports Gazeta Wyborcza (p18) on Friday.
In laboratory tests, the compound simultaneously disrupted several mechanisms of the antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which reduces the chances of the bacteria becoming immune to it. The scientists will now embark on clinical trials.

Covid-19 vaccine will help rebuild global economy

Experts say the Covid-19 drug and vaccine are to be a remedy for global economies and are now one of the most popular topics on stock markets, so companies worldwide are racing to produce a working solution for the global pandemic, reported Parkiet Gazeta Gieldy (p14) on Saturday.
According to the WHO, 139 vaccine candidates are globally at the stage of pre-clinical trials, 17 have passed Phase I, 13 have passed Phase II and six are being tested in Phase III.
The last of these include the vaccine candidates from Oxford University and AstraZeneca, the U.S.-based Moderna, the cooperation between Pfizer, Fosun Farma and BioNTech, and three vaccine-candidates from China, namely Sinovac, CanSino in cooperation with the Beijing Institute of Biological Products and Sinopharm in cooperation with the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products.
Vladimir Putin announced the approval of the vaccine-candidate produced by the Gamalei Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, even before the end of Phase II, which only started this week. The Russian government plans to vaccinate teachers, doctors and national defence authorities within several months. The medical personnel and border guards in China are reported to have already been being vaccinated, but it is not known with which vaccine-candidate.
The experts do not believe a working vaccine can be developed within a year, despite the promises of the global biotechs. AstraZeneca plans to produce two billion doses, 400 million for the U.S and the UK, and one billion for developing countries, the first batches coming in September and October.
Moderna is promising its first batch in the autumn and full production in 2021. The U.S. Government has contracted for 100 million vaccines from Pfizer, BioNTech and Fosun Pharma for delivery by the end of the year. Sinopharm plans to release its working vaccine by the end of the year and CanSino is building a plant to produce 100-200 million vaccines early next year.

WHO recommends steroids in battle against Covid-19

In a recent publication in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the WHO's advisory group has announced that the steroids, dexamethasone and hydrocortisone, reduce the risk of mortality in severe cases of Covid-19 by 20%, report Gazeta Wyborcza (p4) on Friday.
The study warns against using steroids in milder Covid-19 cases, as they could worsen the condition of patients and even increase the risk of death.

MabionCD20 is getting closer to registration on U.S. market

Mabion has received a summary of its meeting with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about registering MabionCD20 on the U.S. market, according to which the company can use the data from the EU registration in the U.S. procedure, reported Parkiet Gazeta Gieldy (p4) on Tuesday.



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