Global Health Roundup: COVID-19’s modified sequence created in ‘specific technology’ – Health Day

COLD FRONT: The Canadian government said Monday it will continue to follow its “pecific technology efforts” for battling flu, and expects to provide flu vaccine that will have less than 5 per cent of the drug’s original sequence when it arrives in Canada this winter.

In a news release, Public Health Agency of Canada said the vaccine’s total sequence will still be more than 70 per cent of the original sequence. PHAC said it used “specific technology” for its flu vaccines, and that this method is used in many, but not all, countries. Canada bought the vaccine to put it into small lots from the United States; however, it is manufactured to order.

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WHAT THEY’RE SAYING: The pharma firm Novartis, which makes COVID-19, says it is committed to keeping “a step ahead of the human influenza virus to provide the highest levels of protection.”

Pharmaceutical companies typically develop vaccines with the shortest sequence of viral sequences available. But this is the first time they are being made with a sequence of potentially lower quality in a production step used to “purchase” the vaccine from an outside source.

Novartis says it will strive to increase its manufacturing capacity in the coming years to address the projected demand, but will not be able to boost production fast enough to handle the expected high demand for flu vaccines this winter.

Canada’s PHAC said “it is not uncommon” for the procedure to be less than 100 per cent.

Some experts are concerned that if COVID-19 cannot live up to the nutritional value for humans, it will not be as potent.

— AP

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