On Wednesday 9 September, Monaco registered five new coronavirus cases. While trials for the AstraZeneca vaccine have been suspended, hope grows in Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine.
The toll keeps rising. As of today, Monaco has recorded 161 Covid-19 cases since the start of the pandemic. Four people are currently hospitalised at the Princess Grace Hospital, including a resident who is in ICU, while 48 others are self-isolating. The total number of recoveries has risen to 107 people.
AstraZeneca vaccine trials suspended
In a surprise turn of events, the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca announced that it had to suspend clinical trials for the AZD1222 Covid-19 vaccine after a patient developed transverse myelitis, a neurological syndrome which is characterised by the inflammation of the spinal cord. The vaccine was in the third phase of clinical trials. During this period, the vaccine is tested on a much larger sample than in previous clinical trials to ensure the vaccine’s safety and efficiency. Tests will be carried out to determine the origin of the patient’s sudden illness.
The first results of the clinical trials of the controversial Russian Sputnik V vaccine were published on September 5th in the British scientific journal The Lancet. The 76 volunteers who took part in clinical trials conducted by the Gamaleya National Research Centre for Epidemiology and Microbiology in Moscow developed a high concentration of antibodies after being injected with the vaccine.
However, there is also reason to be cautious: the trials were not conducted on the part of the populations most at risk. Russia will have to wait until the results of the third phase of clinical trials before claiming victory.