Russia becomes first country to approve a COVID-19 vaccine, says Putin

first_imgPresident Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Russia had become the first country in the world to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine after less than two months of human testing, a move hailed by Moscow as evidence of its scientific prowess.The vaccine still has to complete final trials, raising concerns among some experts at the speed of its approval, but the Russian business conglomerate Sistema has said it expects to put it into mass production by the end of the year.Russian health workers treating COVID-19 patients will be offered the chance of volunteering to be vaccinated in the coming weeks, a source told Reuters last month. Speaking at a government meeting on state television, Putin dismissed those concerns, saying the vaccine, developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute, was safe and that it had even been administered to one of his daughters.”I know that it works quite effectively, forms strong immunity, and I repeat, it has passed all the needed checks,” said Putin.He said he hoped mass production would start soon.Phase III trialThe vaccine’s approval by the health ministry comes before the start of a larger trial involving thousands of participants, commonly known as a Phase III trial.Such trials, which require a certain rate of participants catching the virus to observe the vaccine’s effect, are normally considered essential precursors for a vaccine to receive regulatory approval.The Moscow-based Association of Clinical Trials Organizations (ACTO), a trade body representing the world’s top drugmakers in Russia this week urged the health ministry to postpone approval until that final trial had been successfully completed.In a letter to the ministry, it said there were high risks associated with registering a drug before that happened.”It is during this phase that the main evidence of a vaccine’s efficacy is collected, as well as information on adverse reactions that could appear in certain groups of patients: people with weakened immunity, people with concomitant diseases and so forth,” it said.Some international experts have also questioned the speed at which Russia approved its vaccine.”Normally you need a large number of people to be tested before you approve a vaccine,” said Peter Kremsner from the University Hospital in Tuebingen, currently testing CureVac’s COVID-19 vaccine in clinical trials.”In that respect, I think it’s reckless to do that [approve it] if lots of people haven’t already been tested.”Duncan Matthews, a professor of intellectual property law at Queen Mary University of London, said news of a potential COVID-19 vaccine was to be welcomed, “but safety must be the priority”.”The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) have fast-track approval procedures for emergency humanitarian use and we need to see evidence that Russia is adopting an equally prudent approach,” Matthews said in an emailed comment.More than 100 possible vaccines are being developed around the world to try to stop the COVID-19 pandemic. At least four are in final Phase III human trials, according to WHO data. Topics :center_img Regulatory approval paves the way for the mass inoculation of the Russian population and authorities hope it will allow the economy, which has been battered by fallout from the virus, to return to full capacity.Kirill Dmitriev, head of Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, hailed the development as a historic “Sputnik moment”, comparable to the Soviet Union’s 1957 launch of Sputnik 1, the world’s first satellite.The vaccine will be marketed under the name ‘Sputnik V’ on foreign markets, he said. State media have trumpeted the news.But the speed at which Russia has moved, approving a vaccine before the final stages of clinical trials to test safety and efficacy are over, has worried some scientists, who fear Moscow may be putting national prestige before safety.last_img read more

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Luxurious home in inner-city Brisbane sells for multi-million price

first_imgBrisbane medical identity Dr Ingrid Talll has sold her home for $4.5 million. Photo: Bruce LongA monstrous home at East Brisbane has sold for $4.5 million by Brisbane medical identity Dr Ingrid Tall.The eight-bedroom, five-bathroom property at Laidlaw Parade is on a 405sq m block with river front views.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this homeless than 1 hour agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor7 hours agoThe outside view of Dr Ingrid Tall’s home which recently sold for $4.5 million. Picture: Jack TranDr Tall, a cosmetic surgeon, declined to comment about the recent sale.According to CoreLogic, the home was built in 1985.Dr Tall owns and operates Cosmetic Image Clinics in Brisbane’s CBD.With more than 20 years experience in the cosmetic medicine industry, Dr Tall was also a former Australian Medical Association Queensland president and television medical journalist.last_img read more

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Market

first_imgAlgeria: SNTF is negotiating to buy signalling equipment for 33 stations between El Affroun and Oued Tlelat from Siemens Austria for Sch1bn.Australia: Queensland Rail has awarded two contracts worth A$217 to Walkers-Adtranz Pty Ltd for 90 EMU cars for Brisbane. Westrail has ordered 10 EMU cars from Walkers-Adtranz for the Perth suburban network at a cost of A$32·8m. Victoria’s Ministry of Transport has let contracts worth A$10m for upgrading the Flemington Bridge – Upfield route. GEC Alsthom is to provide new signalling, with Adtranz upgrading overhead electrification and John Holland Construction doubling 2 km from Fawkner to Gowrie. Belgium: SNCB has ordered 55000 prestressed concrete sleepers from British supplier Tarmac Precast Concrete.Bolivia: Empresa Ferroviaria Oriental has called tenders for supply of 200 boxcars, 200 hoppers, 75 flat and 45 open wagons. Brazil: MRS Logística has selected Iochpe-Maxion to refurbish 800 wagons with options for another 1200 .Canada: CN and CP have jointly invited tenders for repair and overhaul of train control and communications equipment.CN has awarded a seven-year resleepering contract to Fairmont Tamper, covering the supply of materials and equipment and the management of CN work crews.France: SAB is to supply brakes, pneumatic controls, resilient wheels, doors and couplings for 20 Eurotrams being built for Strasbourg by Adtranz.Germany: DB has taken delivery of the first of 500 wagons from DWA’s Niesky works for transport of china clay to Italy.Great Britain: Tiphook Rail has ordered 35 pocket wagons from Transtech of Finland to carry 9ft 6in high containers. Railtrack is inviting tenders by August 26 for four-year track renewal contracts worth a total of up to £1bn.Railtrack has awarded a £40m contract to Tarmac for resignalling at Manchester Victoria. Solid-state interlockings will be supplied by GEC Alsthom Signalling.Hungary: MAV-Adtranz Dunakesi wagon works has started assembly of 15 type Z1 coaches as part of a MAV order for 50 from DWA funded by a German credit.Israel: IR has ordered five IC3 Flexliner DMUs from Adtranz for DKr160m; they will be assembled by Ramta at Beer Sheva.New Zealand: Tranz Rail has purchased 17 diesel locos from QR; eight will be used to haul milk trains for Kiwi Dairy.Russia: RZD has ordered track maintenance machines from MTH Praha of the Czech Republic for KC1·77bn, including 60 ballast cleaners and 50 brush cutters. Work will be shared with PRMZ Kaluga.Switzerland: Alusuisse has a contract to develop the bodyshell and interior design for Germany’s Transrapid 08 test vehicle.Turkey: TCDD has ordered 40000 tonnes of rail from Czech manufacturer Trinecké Zelezlast_img read more

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Another hike in UK’s Air Passenger Duty

first_img Sharing is caring! Share St. John’s Antigua- Britain’s controversial Air Passenger Duty is being increased again, leaving industry bodies in the UK furious over the decision by chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne.The tax is one that continues to be heavily criticised by Antigua & Barbuda and the rest of the Caribbean, because of its alleged discriminatory nature and its negative impact on tourist destinations in the region.While the annual increase was widely expected, the government in London has been heavily criticised following an announcement during the Autumn Statement earlier on Wednesday.The Caribbean is continuing to lobby against a tax that some industry officials insist is also hurting the UK economy.Dale Keller, chief executive, Board of Airline Representatives in the UK, said the pre-Budget levels of APD could not be justified.He also argued that the latest increase takes Britain dangerously beyond the tipping point where the impact can only be negative to the economy.According to Keller, the announcement comes as unsurprising from a government that is not listening to the wider industry, or international opinion, and is self-destructive to its own objectives of attracting foreign investment and tourism.Osborne confirmed earlier that the tax on all long-haul flights and in premium cabins including those to the Caribbean will rise by £2 (EC$9) per passenger from April 2013.The levy on short-haul economy flights will remain at £13 (EC$56).The government has also introduced a new tax rate for private jets, which were previously exempt from APD.Passengers on flights with fewer than 19 seats will have to pay £52 or EC$225 to £376 or a little over EC$1,600, depending on the length of flight, again from April 2013.Antigua Observer LifestyleTravel Another hike in UK’s Air Passenger Duty by: – December 6, 2012 Sharecenter_img 51 Views   one comment Tweet Sharelast_img read more

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Sterling domino effect: Dzeko, Jovetic and Higuain transfers could follow

first_imgRaheem Sterling’s proposed £49 million switch to Manchester City could spark a domino effect involving transfers for Citizens duo Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic and Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain, according to Italian media.The trio have been linked with moves to Roma, Inter and Liverpool respectively. Roma sporting director Walter Sabatini jetted into Manchester on Sunday evening to thrash out a €15m (£10.7m) transfer for Dzeko, although City are believed to be holding out for €20m (£14.3m).Jovetic could be handed an escape route back to Serie A by Inter Milan – with City keen to unload players ahead of the big-money arrival of Sterling.The Montenegrin striker has struggled to make an impact at City since a £22m move from Fiorentina and managed just five Premier League goals last season.However, La Gazzetta dello Sport and Tuttosport reported that Inter are holding out for Chelsea winger Mohamed Salah, who is believed to be the Nerazzurri’s top target ahead of Jovetic. Any delay could see Roma’s Sabatini ask for Jovetic as well as Dzeko during his Manchester visit. Meanwhile, Liverpool will soon have a huge influx of cash from the Sterling sale, meaning they can dive in for Napoli hitman Higuain. The door is more than open for an offer, as President Aurelio De Laurentiis was caught on camera telling fans “I wish” Higuain would leave. “With €90m I can buy eight players!”While the proposal won’t reach that height for Pipita, Napoli and Liverpool could do a deal for the Argentine. His confidence was battered over the summer by the Copa America, where he missed a decisive penalty in the shoot-out final against Chile.–last_img read more

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Gabriella’s fine finish in Portugal

first_img England international Gabriella Cowley produced a fine finish to be runner-up in the Portuguese international ladies’ amateur championship at the Montada resort.The 17-year-old from Hanbury Manor (Image © Leaderboard Photography) was two-under par for the final round and also finished the event at two-under. She was just one stroke behind Spain’s Silvia Bañon Ibañez who crucially birdied the 17th on her way to the title.Gabriella opened her challenge with a one-under 71, followed by 74 and a third round-71, which included three birdies in the last four holes.She was one of three English players in the top 10 in the championship, ahead of the Wentworth pair, Inci Mehmet and Annabel Dimmock. Inci, who challenged throughout the event, finished fourth, while Annabel, who won last week on Florida’s Orange Blossom Tour, was tied seventh.A total of eight English players made the third round cut, which reduced the field to the top 40 and ties. 1 Feb 2014 Gabriella’s fine finish in Portugal last_img read more

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