💊 Brazil says yes to Takeda’s dengue vaccine; Europe says no to paying Pfizer more money; Researchers say maybe to sucralose
#298 | Bidding adieu to sugar, winter crops, and chicken dinners
Welcome to The Kable’s latest edition which brings you a number of vaccine-related updates.
South Korea’s LG Chem has won a UNICEF supply contract worth $200 million to provide essential vaccines – one for comeback kid polio and another pentavalent vaccine for diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, hepatitis B and meningitis – for about 80 million children globally.
Japan’s Takeda has received approval for its dengue vaccine, QDENGA, from the National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) in Brazil, which witnessed over 1.4 million dengue cases and 1,000 dengue deaths last year. QDENGA is effective against all four serotypes of the dengue virus.
Meanwhile, mice and monkeys are already benefitting from the first antiviral treatment for a mosquito-borne disease. Data shows that J&J’s experimental dengue pill was effective against all four virus serotypes in mice and two in monkeys.
Yesterday, we told you about the acute global shortage of health workers around the world, especially in African countries. Today, we have news about the Africa CDC’s efforts to enhance its vaccine workforce so that Africa can achieve its goal of producing over 60% of its vaccine requirements by 2040. The Africa CDC has launched a call for applications for 3 short-course training, open only to citizens of African Union member states, in vaccine manufacturing at Texas A&M University.
Countries in Europe are unhappy about having to pay for all the Covid vaccines they asked for but didn’t really need. Pfizer and the European Commission have arrived at a new supply agreement, but Pfizer is demanding that it be paid for doses it won’t even produce. We’re tempted to call this out as a typical first-world problem of excess, but unfortunately even Gavi has lost hundreds of millions of dollars in prepayments for vaccines for low- and middle-income countries which were never needed.
And finally, what is a news cycle without some news of bird flu? Chile is the latest country to report an outbreak of bird flu in poultry, leading to the suspension of chicken exports for a 28-day period. 40,000 poultry had to be culled, but authorities are not too concerned because this is only a small fraction of their total poultry population, and the outbreak appears to have been contained.