Federal government is considering further entry bans – decision on opening schools and daycare centers in the southwest postponed

The Federal government is considering According to the “Spiegel” Transport and entry bans for people from areas with the highly contagious mutant virus. A template for the corresponding regulation could be finalized on Friday. However, some departments still have concerns about the plans, as reported by “Spiegel” and citing government circles. So could Entry bans in future for countries like Denmark or the Netherlands apply, it was said from government circles.

Exceptions should therefore apply to commuters and diplomats, as well as to freight traffic. In addition to controls at the airport and on the train by the federal police, it should No stationary controls in border traffic on the road give, but only bullet point-like controls over the veil search.

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EU extends corona entry freeze to Japan – decision on opening schools and daycare centers in the southwest postponed

The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announces the government will decide on stricter border rules to contain the corona pandemic on Wednesday. The interior minister will take tougher measures for countries that are on the red list because of the spread of the corona mutations, says Johnson in parliament. Permanent border closings are not a solution. In the UK, the number of people who died from COVID 19 has risen to over 100,000.

Opposition leader Keir Starmer accused the British Prime Minister of not having learned from his mistakes in the pandemic. “The problem is that the important lessons have not been learned,” Starmer said during the traditional questioning of the Prime Minister in the London House of Commons. “Why does the UK have the highest death toll in Europe? Why does Britain have almost the highest death rate in the world? “asked the head of the Labor Party. Whether testing, imposing lockdowns or the rules for Christmas – Boris Johnson hesitated too long about everything and made important decisions too late.

Johnson defended himself with reference to the particularly contagious corona variant B.1.1.7 discovered in Great Britain, which had made the fight against the pandemic even more difficult.

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Sanofi plans to produce Biontech Pfizer vaccine from summer

Vaccine production

Sanofi, Biontech and Pfizer want to join forces in the fight against the pandemic.

(Photo: AFP)

Frankfurt The urgently needed corona vaccine from Biontech will in future also be manufactured by the French pharmaceutical company Sanofi in Frankfurt. Both companies signed a corresponding contract on Wednesday. As of summer, Sanofi plans to produce more than 125 million doses of the vaccine developed by Biontech and Pfizer for the European Union.

For this purpose, Sanofi wants to use a plant in Frankfurt that has previously been used to manufacture diabetes drugs. In the coming months, the plant will be converted to take over manufacturing steps from the late phase of vaccine production.

“Although vaccination campaigns have started all over the world, not enough people are being vaccinated because less vaccine than expected was delivered due to production bottlenecks and delayed approval times,” said Sanofi boss Paul Hudson, commenting on the decision to support competitors in the manufacture of their Covid-19 vaccine to support.

Since Sanofi has the appropriate technology and facilities, they want to help meet global demand. Regardless of the support of the competition, Sanofi wants to continue to develop its own vaccine candidates.

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In view of the massive demand for corona vaccines, Biontech is working flat out to expand its production capacities. The Mainz-based biotech company and Pfizer committed to deliver up to 600 million cans to the EU this year. But recently there were delivery problems.

According to the company, production at Pfizer’s Belgian plant in Puurs, where, among other things, the filling and packaging of the vaccine (Fill & Finish), had to be throttled first so that capacities could be expanded.

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Additional amounts of vaccine are to come from Marburg from February. Last year, Biontech took over a biotech facility from Novartis that is being converted. The company Dermapharm in Grünwald near Munich is also active for Biontech and has been providing production capacities for formulation, filling and packaging since last year. Dermapharm boss Hans-Georg Feldmeier wants to more than double production capacities in the next few weeks.

In addition, the US company Baxter in Halle, Westphalia, wants to start production of the vaccine from Biontech and Pfizer in a few weeks.

The Comirnaty vaccine developed by Biontech was the first corona vaccine to receive approval in the EU on December 23 and has since formed the backbone of vaccination campaigns in the European Union. A comparable vaccine from the US company Moderna, of which the EU has ordered 160 million doses, has also been approved since January 6th. Ten million of these cans will be delivered in the first quarter.

Lonza plans to increase production lines for Moderna vaccine

Moderna is being supported in production by the Swiss pharmaceutical contract manufacturer Lonza, who on Wednesday announced the early start of two more production lines for the active ingredient. “We assume that we will reach cruising speed within a few months,” said Lonza boss Pierre-Alain Ruffieux. At the Lonza plant in Visp in the canton of Valais, active ingredient for 300 million vaccine doses is to be produced each year.

Sanofi, in turn, is working with the British pharmaceutical company Glaxo-Smithkline (GSK) on a corona vaccine based on flu vaccine technology. In December, however, there was a setback: the drug did not show an adequate response from the immune system in older adults.

With the support of the US agency Barda, the companies are now planning to start a new phase 2 study with an improved vaccine in February. If the data are positive and a high-grade immune response is shown in all age groups, a global phase 3 study with several thousand subjects could start in the second quarter, according to Sanofi.

If the results are positive here as well, the approval applications can be submitted in the second half of the year, so that the vaccine doses could possibly be available in the fourth quarter of this year.

In addition, together with the US company Translate Bio, Sanofi is developing another vaccine that, like those already approved by Biontech and Pfizer, is based on so-called messenger RNA (mRNA). A phase 1/2 clinical trial of this compound is scheduled to begin this quarter.

More: China drives campaign against Biontech vaccine.

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Decision on opening schools and daycare centers in the southwest postponed – Prime Minister Johnson announces stricter border rules

The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announces the government will decide on stricter border rules to contain the corona pandemic on Wednesday. The interior minister will take tougher measures for countries that are on the red list because of the spread of the corona mutations, says Johnson in parliament. Permanent border closings are not a solution. In the UK, the number of people who died from COVID 19 has risen to over 100,000.

Opposition leader Keir Starmer therefore accused the British Prime Minister of not having learned from his mistakes in the pandemic. “The problem is that the important lessons have not been learned,” Starmer said during the traditional questioning of the prime minister in the London House of Commons. “Why does the UK have the highest death toll in Europe? Why does Britain have almost the highest death rate in the world?asked the head of the Labor Party. Whether it’s testing, imposing lockdowns or the rules for Christmas – Boris Johnson hesitated too long about everything and made important decisions too late.

Johnson defended himself with reference to the particularly contagious corona variant B.1.1.7 discovered in Great Britain, which had made the fight against the pandemic even more difficult.

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Sinovac vaccine may be more effective if the vaccination interval is longer

Sinovac vaccine

The dosage interval for Covid-19 vaccines has recently been increasingly discussed.

(Photo: AP)

Peking The Chinese biotech company Sinovac reports that its Covid-19 vaccine is more effective with a greater interval between the two vaccine doses. In a smaller group of just under 1400 subjects in the clinical study in Brazil, the effectiveness was then almost 20 percentage points higher, Sinovac announced on Monday. If the interval between the two vaccine doses was three weeks, the effectiveness was around 70 percent.

Brazilian scientists had reported last week that the vaccine had shown 50.4 percent protection against Covid-19 in the study of more than 9,000 participants – most of whom received their second vaccine dose after 14 days. A week earlier they had reported an effectiveness of 78 percent.

A Sinovac spokesman pointed out, however, that the robustness of the data from the smaller subgroup was weaker than the result of a good 50 percent, which is based on the combined data from subjects who received doses two or three weeks apart.

Yet other data had been reported from studies with the vaccine in Indonesia (63.5 percent) and Turkey (91.25 percent). That had fueled doubts about the vaccine. For example, Singapore – the only high-income country with which Sinovac has so far concluded a deal – wants to wait for further official data before approval. Indonesia and Turkey, on the other hand, have started their vaccination campaigns with the drug.

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The dosage interval for Covid-19 vaccines has recently been increasingly discussed. For example, the vaccine from Astra-Zeneca and Oxford University is more effective, according to British regulators, if there is a longer interval between the two doses than originally intended. Also under discussion was a later administration of the second vaccination with the agent from Biontech and Pfizer in order to be able to vaccinate more people in a shorter time. The Standing Vaccination Commission advised against this in Germany.

More: Doubts about the Chinese corona vaccine are growing

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Lockdown: Corona rules for business travel

Business trips

Different regulations apply to business travelers depending on the federal state.

(Foto: Getty Images)

Düsseldorf The pandemic still has a firm grip on Germany. And even if the curve for the number of infections tends to point downwards, there is still no talk of an easing of the situation.

The greatest danger is currently from newly discovered virus mutations, for example in Great Britain, Brazil and South Africa, which are considered to be much more contagious than the corona virus that has so far been widespread in Germany. The federal government therefore continues to urge caution and adheres to the harsher corona measures recently decided. These apply until mid-February for the time being.

It becomes difficult for all those who still have to travel on business. Business trips that are absolutely necessary are still allowed, but subject to strict conditions.

What applies to all business travelers now

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Corona pandemic: Biontech vaccine approved in Hong Kong

Lockdown in Hongkong

The first batch of roughly one million doses of the Biontech vaccine will arrive in February.

(Foto: action press)

Beijing, Düsseldorf The German vaccine manufacturer Biontech and its Chinese cooperation partner Fosun Pharma announced a milestone in the distribution of the company’s vaccine on Tuesday: The vaccine is approved in Hong Kong.

The first batch of around one million cans is expected to arrive in the second half of February, the Hong Kong government said. This is a great success for Biontech, but also for the cooperation between the companies. The cooperation with Fosun is the company’s first in Asia.

The mood at the joint press conference on Tuesday was correspondingly festive. “We have to join hands,” said Hui Aimin, president of global research and development and chief medical officer of Fosun Pharma. “We are very interested in making our vaccine available worldwide,” emphasized Biontech boss Ugur Sahin. So far, the vaccine has been approved in more than 45 countries.

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+++ Corona-News +++: Seehofer checks restriction of air traffic “to almost zero” – Sanofi helps Biontech with vaccine production

+++ Netherlands expect another riot night +++ Two percent of Germans are vaccinated +++ Bavarian administrative judges overturn the 15-kilometer rule +++ The news blog. .

The plan for Germany after the corona pandemic

The author

Helge Braun has been Head of the Federal Chancellery since March 2018. The 48-year-old doctor is also a CDU member of the Bundestag in Giessen.

(Photo: dpa [M])

With the start of vaccinations, there is light at the end of the corona pandemic tunnel. Delays in delivery of vaccines and new virus mutants are creating new uncertainties. But we can still be optimistic that the pandemic will gradually lose its horror as the vaccination progresses this year. And that it is possible to normalize our everyday life and return to a life without pandemic-related restrictions.

Therefore, now is the right time for politics and the collective bargaining partners to develop a joint strategy for how Germany can recover from this crisis quickly and sustainably.
Because this crisis will also produce winners and losers among the national economies. Ironically, China, the country of origin of the pandemic, was the only major economic nation worldwide to achieve growth in its gross domestic product in 2020 – by at least 2.3 percent.

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Corona vaccine is unlikely to work on seniors

Corona vaccine from Astra-Zeneca

The federal government had high hopes for the vaccine. But now, of all people, the vaccine hardly seems to work in the group of people who are particularly at risk from Corona, the elderly.

(Foto: imago images/Christian Ohde)

Berlin, Düsseldorf, Brussels After the controversial vaccination start in Germany, the federal government placed high hopes in the approval of the vaccine from Astra-Zeneca: The preparation of the British-Swedish group should complement the RNA vaccines from Biontech and Moderna and pave the way for the second vaccination phase, in which people can also have their family doctors vaccinated.

But the vaccine from Astra-Zeneca, which, unlike the RNA agents, does not require extreme freezing temperatures for storage, could be unsuitable for seniors at risk of corona: According to information from the Handelsblatt from coalition circles, the federal government only expects an effectiveness of eight percent among the over 65s. It was feared that this vaccine, for which the EU could approve this week, would not come close to the 90 percent effectiveness of the RNA vaccine. The extremely low effectiveness in seniors is a setback for the Berlin vaccination strategy.

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