Sep 17, 2020
Tens of thousands in China receiving experimental COVID-19 vaccines
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China is treating tens of thousands of its citizens with experimental coronavirus vaccines that have not had completed standard testing — raising concerns about safety.
In July, China launched a vaccine emergency use program offering three experimental shots developed by a unit of state pharmaceutical giant China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) and biopharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech.
The vaccines were aimed to protect essential workers, including those in the medical field, transportation industry and grocery store workers.
But now, China National Biotec Group — the Sinopharm unit developing two of the emergency use vaccines — and Sinovac Biotech have confirmed that at least tens of thousands of people have been jabbed with the untested inoculations.
Among those who received an early shot was the chief biosafety expert for the country’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
“So far, among the people who were vaccinated, no one has been sick with the disease,” Guizhen Wu said on state TV this week, while also revealing she had received a vaccination in April.
“So far, [the vaccination scheme] works very well. No side effect occurred.”
A fourth COVID-19 vaccine being developed by CanSino Biologics was also approved for use by the Chinese military in June.
At least some of the vaccines would be ready for public use as early as November, Wu said.
Meanwhile, experts in Western countries have warned against green-lighting the emergency use of vaccines that have not completed testing due to a lack of knowledge about longer-term effectiveness and potential side effects.
Anna Durbin, a vaccine researcher at Johns Hopkins University, called China’s emergency use program as “very problematic.”
“You’re vaccinating people and you don’t know if it’s going to protect them,” Durbin told Reuters.
Russia is among the few other countries to authorize the use of an experimental vaccine, making its own “Sputnik V” vaccine mandatory for certain groups, including teachers.
And this week, the United Arab Emirates authorized the emergency use of a Sinopharm vaccine, resulting in the first international emergency clearance for one of China’s vaccines.
News Source: newsbrig.com
Tags: emergency use
Company Uses Peas To Make Eco-Friendly Material That Acts Like Single-Use Plastic
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Microplastics are a big polluter of our waterways and oceans, and single-use items are a big part of the problem.
About eight tons of plastic enter our oceans every year, clogging our beaches and harming sea life. But a new type of plastic that’s easy on the environment is rolling out in the UK, and it’s made from peas.
“Single-use plastics and microplastics don’t need to be made from fossil fuels, there’s something very wrong about making materials from oil that lasts just for a minute or two,” says Simon Hombersley, CEO of Xampla.
The company says it’s the first in the world to engineer plant protein into a material that acts like single-use plastic.
It starts as a liquid that’s turned into sheets for packaging items like dishwasher detergent, sandwiches, candy, and even the stickers that go on fruit. All biodegrade in a matter of days.
“At the moment, the microcapsules contain plastic, which would not degrade and last for ages in the ocean. Our capsules were made of protein and would be eaten by fish eventually,” says Xampla biochemist Anne Jacobs.
It’s much healthier than consuming microplastics. Fish aren’t the only ones. Studies show the average American ingests more than 70,000 microplastic particles every year.
It’s taken over a decade to perfect the process and it’s not just peas. Other common plants like potatoes can be used. It doesn’t even have to be food that ends up on the dinner table.
“There are a lot of waste products already in the farming process that have got very low value or even are just plowed straight back into the field, that can be sold on and used to make our kind of materials,” Hombersley says.
Scientists say microplastics can cause immune response and respiration issues in aquatic life. One study found oysters lay fewer eggs.