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  • coronavirus update

    Border reopening to SA after Adelaide scare

    Tasmania's border will reopen to South Australia at 12:01am Thursday. It'll be classified as a low-risk jurisdiction, meaning arrivals won't have to quarantine - unless they've been in a specific hotspot identified by South Australian Health as connected to…
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    SA drops quarantine for Vic travellers

    South Australia has opened its border to Victoria, clearing the way for people to cross the state line without needing to quarantine. The change comes as SA also reduces some local coronavirus restrictions on Tuesday that were imposed because of the latest…
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    Two vaccines available in US 'in weeks' -sharenews

    People in the US could have access to their first two vaccines against the coronavirus before Christmas, Health Secretary Alex Azar says. The Food and Drug Administration's outside advisers will meet on December 10 to consider authorising Pfizer Inc's…
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    SA looks to step back virus restrictions

    South Australia has revised a range of COVID-19 restrictions, including opening the border with Victoria, after reporting no new cases linked to the worrying Parafield cluster. The requirements for Victorians to quarantine when they come to SA will be…
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    No virus cases in Victoria for four weeks

    Once overrun with almost 8000 active cases, Victoria has officially eliminated COVID-19. Friday marks four weeks without a new case of coronavirus. Some 9828 Victorians were tested in the past 24 hours. Health authorities say 28 days with no new cases means…
  • Coronavirus latest news2

    New SA COVID case part of existing cluster

    A COVID-19 infection which has closed an Adelaide high school is thought linked to a cluster which prompted a shortlived lockdown in South Australia. The Woodville High School will remain closed until further notice as deep cleaning is conducted and while…
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    Tangled whale warning

    Those on the state's east coast are being urged to keep an eye out for an entangled whale calf. The baby humpback and its mother were spotted near Schouten Island on Tuesday heading south, the juvenile apparently trailing ropes and buoys. An extensive aerial…
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    WHO experts keen to visit Wuhan in China -sharenews

    Researchers led by the World Health Organisation would like to go back to a wholesale food market in Wuhan in China to follow up initial cases of COVID-19 which emerged in the city and investigate how the virus likely first spread from bats. Peter Ben…
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    Sweeping reforms to SA hotel quarantine system

    South Australia will make sweeping reforms to its hotel quarantine system after a cluster of COVID-19 cases was linked to one facility in Adelaide. Premier Steven Marshall says anyone who tests positive while in a medi-hotel will now be moved to a dedicated…
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    Queensland to open border to Vic on Dec 1

    Queensland is looking forward to welcoming Victorians back into the state on December 1, the same day NSW residents will be able to visit again without quarantining, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says. The premier announced the change on Wednesday after the…
  • HAfire

    Fish frenzy over escapees

    A fish farming campaigner wants a full EPA probe into yesterday morning's mass Huon Acquaculture salmon escape due to an electrical fire in one of its D'Entrecasteux Channel pens. Huon has spun the incident as good news for local fishers with minimal…
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    'Key' week for curbing SA virus cluster

    South Australia remains on track to ease coronavirus restrictions before Christmas but health officials say this week is crucial in combating a cluster of COVID-19 infections. One more case was added to the so-called Parafield cluster on Monday, taking the…
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    COVID-19 passports likely for travellers -sharenews

    Qantas is part of a push by world airlines to require international travellers to prove they've had the coronavirus vaccination before entering or leaving a country on a flight. A vaccination against COVID-19 could become available earlier in the new year,…
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    Victoria reaches no active cases milestone

    Victoria has hit another coronavirus milestone, with no active cases for the first time in nearly nine months. The state's last active case, a man in his 90s, was discharged from hospital on Monday. After its second wave ballooned to 7880 cases on August 11,…
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    NSW-Victoria border opens, flights resume

    The NSW-Victoria border is fully open for the first time in more than four months with flights between the states resuming. The border opened a minute after midnight, allowing Victorians to freely visit NSW for the first time since July 8 without having to go…
  • coronavirus update

    COVID-19 victims maintain immunity -sharenews

    Australian researchers have discovered that patients who've been infected with COVID-19 retain immunity against the virus and the disease for at least eight months. The research is the strongest evidence yet that vaccines against the virus will work for long…
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    Victoria dumps mandatory outdoor masks

    Victorians can breathe a sigh of relief, with months of compulsory face mask-wearing coming to an end as part of a further lifting of COVID-19 restrictions. Premier Daniel Andrews on Sunday announced the changes to take effect from midnight. "Masks will be…
  • Steven Marshall 20201117001503789252 600x400

    SA COVID-19 close contact 'lied'

    A person closely linked to Adelaide's COVID-19 cluster lied to contact tracers in "completely and utterly unacceptable" conduct, Premier Steven Marshall says. But SA will ease the statewide lockdown immediately to allow family groups to exercise with…
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    Most Australians plan to get virus vaccine -sharenews

    Most Australians plan to get vaccinated against the coronavirus once it's available, but new surveys also show hesitancy in the community. Australian National University analysis released on Friday shows close to three-in-five people would get the jab, while…
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    Vic shuts border with SA

    Victoria will close its border with South Australia for 48 hours, after fragments of COVID-19 were detected in wastewater along freight corridors. Premier Daniel Andrews on Thursday announced a "hard border" will be in place from 11:59pm for 48 hours, before…

Moderna vaccine '94.5 per cent effective' -sharenews

In this photo illustration, a Moderna U.S. biotechnology company webpage seen displayed on a smartphone.Moderna said its experimental vaccine was 94.5% effective in preventing COVID-19 based on interim data from alate-stage clinical trial, becoming the second U.S. company in a week to report results that far exceedexpectations. (Photo by Pavlo Gonchar / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)

In this photo illustration, a Moderna U.S. biotechnology company webpage seen displayed on a smartphone. (Photo by Pavlo Gonchar / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)

US pharmaceutical firm Moderna has reported early analysis suggesting its coronavirus vaccine is 94.5 per cent effective, making it the second group to announce positive results from a large-scale clinical trial.

The results are in the same league as those announced last week by drugmakers Pfizer and BioNTech, which say their jointly-developed vaccine is 90-per-cent effective in preventing COVID-19.

"This is a pivotal moment in the development of our COVID-19 vaccine candidate," Moderna chief executive Stephane Bancel in a statement on Monday.

"Since early January, we have chased this virus with the intent to protect as many people around the world as possible."

Based on the results, Moderna said it would apply to the US Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorisation in the coming weeks.

Similar applications will be made to other drug safety authorities worldwide.

The company expects it can have 20 million doses of the vaccine, known as mRNA-1273, ready by year's end for shipment within the US and between 500 million and 1 billion doses for global distribution in 2021.

According to the World Health Organization the news is "quite encouraging" but more data is needed, chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said.

Trial participants need to be monitored for two more months for possible side effects, she told a press conference in Geneva.

"There are many questions still remaining" about the Moderna product and about Pfizer's rival vaccine candidate that has also shown to be very effective in trials, Swaminathan said.

More needs to be known about how long these vaccines protect against the novel coronavirus, to what extent they prevent severe cases of COVID-19 disease and what impact they have on elderly people, she said.

Like the BioNTech/Pfizer venture, Moderna's approach to stopping the pandemic - which has claimed at least 1.3 million lives since jumping into human hosts about a year ago - relies on genetic editing to create an organism that will prompt an immune system response to the virus.

Unlike the other venture, Moderna's research was supported by the White House's Operation Warp Speed program, which means the US government can claim responsibility for helping push the project along.

There has been no official White House response yet, though Anthony Fauci, the government's top infectious disease expert, heralded the discovery in an interview with CNN.

"It's just as good as it gets - 94.5 per cent is truly outstanding."

More than 30,000 people took part in the Moderna study.

The study results were based on results in a placebo group and in a second group two weeks after its members received a second dose of the vaccine.

In all, researchers discovered 95 individuals who developed COVID-19. Of those 90 were in the placebo group. Eleven of the COVID-19 cases were ranked as severe, again, all in the placebo group.

"Preliminary analysis suggests a broadly consistent safety and efficacy profile across all evaluated subgroups," read a statement.

In another good sign, the company said it should be able to keep mRNA-1273 stable for 30 days at between 2 and 8 degrees, which could be possible with distribution techniques.

Initial research from the Pfizer showed its vaccine had to be stored at -70 degrees for long-term storage, which would be a logistical challenge, especially in the developing world.

The European Commission is already negotiating with Moderna to supply up to 160 million doses.

© RAW 2020

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