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China COVID-19 vaccine may be ready for public in November, say officials

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Coronavirus Dozens of pharmaceuticals and research labs across the world are racing to develop a vaccine Thibault Savary AFP:File

Coronavirus vaccines being developed in China may be ready for use by the general public as early as November, an official with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said.

China has four Covid-19 vaccines in the final stage of clinical trials. At least three of those have already been offered to essential workers under an emergency use program launched in July.

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Phase 3 clinical trials were proceeding smoothly and the vaccines could be ready for the general public in November or December, CDC chief biosafety expert Guizhen Wu said in an interview with state TV late on Monday.

Wu, who said she has experienced no abnormal symptoms in recent months after taking an experimental vaccine herself in April, did not specify which vaccines she was referring to.

A unit of state pharmaceutical giant China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) and U.S.-listed Sinovac Biotech are developing the three vaccines under the state’s emergency use program. A fourth Covid-19 vaccine being developed by CanSino Biologics was approved for use by the Chinese military in June.

Sinopharm said in July that its vaccine could be ready for public use by the end of this year after the conclusion of Phase 3 trials.

Global vaccine makers are racing to develop an effective vaccine against the virus which has killed more than 925,000 people. Leading Western vaccine makers pledged earlier this month to uphold scientific study standards and reject any political pressure to rush the process.

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(REUTERS)

 


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Layoffs loom for beleaguered US airline industry

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Workers from the beleaguered US airline industry are making a last-ditch public appeal this week to coax more money from Capitol Hill power brokers to save their jobs.

The first day of October concludes the period when US carriers that received billions in aid from Congress promised to refrain from laying off workers.

A package of loans totaling up to $25 billion to seven US carriers announced Tuesday night by the Treasury Department provides funds for airlines to ride out a prolonged downturn amid the coronavirus, but won't affect plans for furloughs, airline sources said.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Wednesday on CNBC he was hopeful airlines would postpone layoffs if congressional leaders can reach a framework for a deal, saying it was "critical" for Congress to act.

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LeBron James says ‘bubble’ season the toughest challenge of career

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LeBron James says leading the Los Angeles Lakers into the NBA Finals after nearly three months inside the league's "bubble" in Orlando ranks as the biggest challenge of his career.

The 35-year-old superstar is readying for a 10th NBA Finals appearance on Wednesday when the Lakers face the Miami Heat in the championship round of an unprecedented season that began 11 months ago.

The coronavirus pandemic forced the NBA to shut down in mid-March, and anger over racism and police brutality almost prompted James and the Lakers to abandon the season in August.

James, who is hoping to win a fourth championship ring with a third different team after previous victories with Miami and Cleveland, said Tuesday that this year's disjointed season ranked as the toughest of the lot.

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COVID-19

Regeneron says early trials promising for COVID-19 treatment

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The US biotech firm Regeneron said Tuesday its antibody cocktail against the coronavirus reduced viral load and recovery time in non-hospitalized Covid-19 patients during an early-stage clinical trial.

"We are highly encouraged by the robust and consistent nature of these initial data," said George Yancopoulos, the company's president and chief scientific officer.

"We have begun discussing our findings with regulatory authorities while continuing our ongoing trial," he added.

"We have begun discussing our findings with regulatory authorities while continuing our ongoing trial," he added.

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