Pfizer partner BioNTech has announced that it intends to file an emergency clearance request with the FDA tomorrow, the US Food and Pharmaceuticals Secretariat, US Secretary of Health Alex Azar told a White House press conference on Thursday.
We expect Moderna to make this request soon as well, he added, about this American company on the line to develop and distribute a vaccine on a large scale.
The director of BioNTech estimated Thursday
possibleits authorization and distribution during the month of December, both in the United States and in the European Union.
We are working hard, Ugur Sahin told AFP.
The President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen for her part announced that the European regulator could give the green light to the marketing of the two vaccines
from the second half of December, if the procedures go smoothly.
The Pfizer / BioNTech alliance and Moderna have announced in recent days an efficacy of around 95% for their vaccines, sparking a wave of optimism around the world, where hundreds of millions of doses have already been reserved by various governments .
And immunologist Anthony Fauci, a highly respected scientific figure in the United States, wanted to be reassuring by saying Thursday that
the speed of the process development of these vaccines had
in no way compromises security, nor scientific integrity.
This good news comes at a time when some 56 million cases and 1.35 million deaths have been officially recorded worldwide since the start of the pandemic, according to a report established Thursday by AFP.
exponential in the USA
In the United States, the epidemic is in phase
exponential, according to health authorities. More than 200,000 new cases in 24 hours were recorded Thursday, as well as more than 2,000 deaths, a bar that had not been crossed for months.
Americans have been urged to refrain from travel on Thanksgiving, November 26, the largest family holiday in the United States, when attendance records are traditionally broken at airports and on roads.
And across the country, local officials have had to resolve to impose new restrictions to curb the spread of the virus.
In California, about 94% of the population will be placed under curfew for one month as of Saturday. The measure prohibits all travel
non-essential between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. in the counties most affected by the coronavirus epidemic.
The virus is spreading at a speed not seen since the start of this pandemic and the days and weeks to come will be critical to stop this rise. We are sounding the alarm.
In the capital Washington, public museums and the zoo will close their doors from Monday, while in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio closed public schools on Thursday, a move that immediately sparked controversy, with a petition asking to maintain their openness and demonstrations in front of the town hall.
US President-designate Joe Biden, who is due to enter the White House on January 20 and has made the fight against the epidemic a priority for his start in office, said Thursday that he would not impose a
confinement national total despite the resurgence of the epidemic.
I think it would be counterproductive, he said.
I won’t stop the economy, period. I will stop the virus, he said at a press conference in Wilmington, Delaware, after a meeting with governors devoted to this crisis.
Elsewhere in the world …
In Europe, the WHO welcomed a drop in the number of weekly cases last week (-10%), but deaths continued to rise and caution remains in order.
In Germany, the level of contamination is still
too high, although the new restrictions put in place at the beginning of the month
are effective and encourage
optimism, estimated Thursday the reference health authority.
In France, the
virus circulates less quickly, more
the health load remains high, with 15,807 new patients admitted to the hospital in the last seven days, underlined the Minister of Health Olivier Véran.
Catalonia is preparing to take the plunge in easing restrictions. The northeastern region of Spain announced Thursday the reopening of bars, restaurants and cinemas next Monday, after more than a month of closure.
More good news in Europe: two weeks after sounding the alarm on a worrying mutation of the coronavirus to mink – and starting to slaughter its entire huge herd – Denmark concluded that this threat to human vaccines was
most likely extinct, in the absence of a new case detected.
The Irish government said on Thursday it was planning to cut down the country’s livestock mink as a precaution.
Elsewhere in the world, the virus continues to wreak havoc. Russia has passed the two million case mark, setting two new records for infections and daily deaths. Mexico, the fourth most bereaved country in the world, has reached 100,000 deaths from the virus.
India has crossed the 9 million case mark, and officially has 132,162 dead, but many experts believe the real figure is much higher, due to a relatively low number of tests.