- Will the Biontech approval gain traction?
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There is a new sight amidst the lockdown chaos in Shanghai: tall green metal fences erected around apartment complexes and building entrances. Apparently to seal off those who have tested positive from the outside world and thus “stop” the virus. These green fences have been heavily criticized on Chinese social media. Whether the barriers will now replace sending Covid-positive individuals to a quarantine camp remained unclear at first. The capital Beijing also declared several “high-risk areas” on Tuesday due to 33 newly registered infections. It is probably only a matter of days before a hard lockdown will be imposed here as well.
Instead of gradually paralyzing the entire country, the government could also try to quickly authorize mRNA vaccines. First and foremost, the effective vaccine by German manufacturer Biontech, writes Finn Mayer-Kuckuk. The fact that this has not yet happened is primarily for ideological reasons: Beijing would rather use a domestic substance on the front line. But domestic products like Arcovax are not yet market ready. However, Biontech and its Chinese partner Fosun Pharma remain optimistic that they will obtain approval for their vaccine.
In other areas, business between Europe and China is also stagnant. In a recent study, think tank Merics and the Rhodium Group report that direct investment from the People’s Republic in Europe increased only marginally last year. Again, one of the reasons is Beijing’s strict covid policy. But new measures on the European side could also further discourage investment, writes Amelie Richter. A new draft law on third-party subsidies, for example, envisages that all companies operating in the European Union must disclose subsidies from third countries – which could have a deterrent effect on investors from the People’s Republic.
Will the Biontech approval gain new momentum?
Shanghai continues to struggle under curfews, while Beijing begins to slip into a lockdown. The situation is so tense that the Communist Party’s highest asset is at risk: the general acceptance of its policies among the population. So it is baffling that public health policymakers are not grasping at every straw to alleviate the situation. To be specific, not a single mRNA vaccine is being administered in China. And the country’s own conventional vaccines have been injected in large numbers, but they are not particularly good at stopping Omicron (China.Table reported).
Despite high infection rates, modern vaccines have made a return to normal life possible in the US and Europe, because vaccinated individuals rarely need to be hospitalized. “One strategy that needs immediate implementation is to increase rates of the booster vaccination dose to the elderly and other vulnerable groups and to see if mRNA vaccines can be used,” said Jaya Dantas, a public health expert at the Curtin School of Population Health in Australia. It is only through the use of mRNA technology that the number of cases has decoupled from the number of deaths around the globe.
Now there is apparently new momentum in the approval process of BioNTech’s German mRNA compound. According to reports, BioNTech and its Chinese partner Fosun Pharma are again in negotiations with the authorities. They look for a way to obtain approval for the successful vaccine. After all, it will apparently take a while before a product from Chinese competitors is ready for the market.
- Corona Vaccines
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