Coronavirus Notebook: UK Reveals Plans For Pre-Approval Use Of COVID-19 Vaccine
The UK government is proposing to take the "very unusual step" of making COVID-19 vaccines available before they are licensed. The international COVAX initiative is now supporting nine vaccines, and the EU and AstraZeneca have firmed up a vaccine purchase agreement.
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Convalescent plasma has taken another battering as a potential treatment for coronavirus patients, after a UK drug safety body agreed with a US expert panel that there was not yet enough evidence to recommend its use in COVID-19 patients.
The UK can already OK the use of unapproved products, but the government wants more certainty around the conditions that will be attached to any decision to make COVID-19 vaccines available before they have been licensed. Moves are also under way to reassure pharmaceutical companies about liability issues.
The European Commission is in talks to buy vaccines from CureVac and Moderna, amid concerns over “vaccine nationalism” and lack of transparency. Meanwhile the EU health technology assessment network has begun publishing “rolling collaborative reviews” of potential COVID-19 therapies, and two more firms have announced progress with monoclonal antibodies.