Coronavirus latest news: Pfizer says EU export controls a ‘significant’ burden
Pfizer has accused the European Union of hampering its Covid vaccine production.
The US drugmaker, which supplies Britain and more than 70 other countries with coronavirus jabs, said new EU rules about the free movement of goods across borders are damaging its ability to export the vaccine.
The rules oblige manufacturers to seek Brussels’ approval before exporting every parcel of jabs, which has caused “a significant administrative burden and some uncertainty”, said Danny Hendrikse, the pharmaceutical giant’s vice-president of global supply.
“Ultimately what we would like our colleagues to do is to focus on making and distributing the vaccine,” he said.
Few poeple self-isolate woth Covid symptoms, survey finds
Fewer than one in five people request a Covid-19 test if they have symptoms, while adherence to self-isolation is low, according to a large study examining the Test and Trace system.
Experts, including from the Public Health England (PHE) behavioural science team at Porton Down in Wiltshire, found that only half of people could identify the main coronavirus symptoms, which include a cough, high temperature and loss of taste or smell.
Just 18% of those with symptoms said they had requested a test, while only 43% with symptoms in the previous seven days adhered to full self-isolation.
The findings, published in The BMJ, are based on 74,697 responses to online surveys from 53,880 people aged 16 or older living in the UK.
In total, 37 survey waves were carried out from March 2 last year to January 27 this year, with about 2,000 participants in each wave.
The results showed that only 52% of people could identify the main symptoms of Covid-19, and this did not really improve as time went on.
Across all waves, 43% of people adhered to rules around self-isolation, though this improved in January to 52%.
“There is obviously a lot of uncertainty in this, and I don’t think this includes all costs, and obviously they will have varied. But even if it is only £10 per test, we are talking £60,000, which is an inefficient cost to detect a single case.”
15m Johnson & Johnson vaccines wasted after factory error
About 15 million doses of the single-shot coronavirus vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson were ruined in a factory error in the United States, The New York Times reported – a blow to the company’s efforts to quickly boost production.
The pharmaceutical giant told AFP it had identified a batch of doses at a plant in Baltimore run by Emergent BioSolutions “that did not meet quality standards” but did not confirm the specific number affected. The company also said the batch “was never advanced to the filling and finishing stages of our manufacturing process”.
“Quality and safety continue to be our top priority,” it said.
The Food and Drug Administration told AFP it was “aware of the situation” but declined to comment further.