By Ciara Linnane, MarketWatch
Slaoui, and others, said it was important to establish whether the vaccine can work as well in those aged over 55, who face a greater mortality threat from COVID. Soriot said the development was unlikely to delay regulatory approval in the U.K.
In other news:
• A group of scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that the actual number of coronavirus infections in the U.S. reached nearly 58 million at the end of September and is now closer to 100 million, based on a model that calculates the true number to be about eight times the reported one. The model, reported on in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, seeks to account for the fact that reported numbers are based on positive tests but that most people with mild symptoms, or those entirely unsymptomatic, are not being counted because they don’t get tested. “Reported case counts are recognized to be less than the true number of cases because detection and reporting are incomplete and can vary by disease severity, geography, and over time,” the CDC scientists wrote.
• Germany has passed 1 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to local broadcaster Deutsche Welle, boosting the number of countries with more than a million cases to 12. The milestone was passed after Germany counted 22,268 new cases on Thursday, along with 389 fatalities. At least 15,160 Germans have died of COVID-19. The country has extended its partial lockdown into December to avoid overwhelmed hospitals.
• Russia set a new daily case record of 27,543 on Thursday and 496 deaths, the Moscow Times reported . Moscow has seen a 300% month-on-month increase in COVID-19 deaths in November, according to data from the health department . Indian drug company Hetero will produce 100 million doses of Russia’s controversial Sputnik V vaccine as part of an agreement with the Russian Direct Investment Fund. The vaccine was approved and is in use even though Phase 3 trials have not yet been completed.
• Hackers from North Korea attempted to disrupt attempts made by South Korea to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, the Guardian reported . The effort was uncovered by South Korea’s intelligence agency, who said most attempts were aimed at stealing the log-in information and other details of people associated with drug companies working on potential vaccine candidates. Microsoft said a week ago that three hacker groups working for the Russian and North Korean governments had tried to break into the networks of seven leading pharmaceutical companies and vaccine researchers in South Korea, Canada, France, India and the U.S.
• Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, said he would not take a vaccine once one is available and said the country’s Congress was unlikely to mandate one, Reuters reported . The right-wing politician, who tested positive for the virus in July, made the comments on social-media platforms. Brazil has the second-highest number of coronavirus deaths in the world after the U.S., but Bolsanaro has spent much of the year playing down the gravity of the illness.
The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide climbed above 61 million on Friday, the Johns Hopkins data show, and the death toll is 1.4 million. At least 39 million people have recovered from COVID-19.
Brazil has 171,460 fatalities and is third by cases at 6.2 million.
India is second in cases with 9.3 million, and third in deaths at 135,715.
Mexico has the fourth highest death toll at 104,242 and 10th highest case tally at 1 million.
The U.K has 57,128 deaths, the highest in Europe and fifth highest in the world, and 1.6 million cases, or seventh highest in the world.
China, where the virus was first discovered late last year, has had 92,580 confirmed cases and 4,742 deaths, according to its official numbers.