By Alicja Ptak, Emilio Parodi and Francois Murphy
WARSAW/MILAN/VIENNA (Reuters) – A surge in demand for vaccines to ward off the winter flu has led to shortages in some European cities, raising the risk of a potentially lethal “twindemic” as COVID-19 cases spike.
Many governments boosted vaccine orders this year and launched campaigns to encourage citizens to get shots.
The aim was to inoculate earlier than usual and cover a bigger portion of the continent’s 450 million population to reduce the burden on health services.
Top manufacturers such as GlaxoSmithKline
and Seqirus have boosted supplies to the region by an average of 30% in anticipation of higher demand. But they are operating at full capacity and cannot meet all the late extra demand, Vaccines Europe, which represents the producers, said in a statement on Wednesday.
Interviews with at least 10 city and government officials, as well as medical experts, also show systems in major cities such as Warsaw are struggling with the strong early demand, causing delays and temporary shortages.
“This year, patients come all the time and ask about vaccines, more than 10 people every day,” said Grazyna Lenkowska-Mielniczuk, manager at Apteka Non Stop pharmacy in Warsaw’s Wola district.
“The wholesalers tell us the same thing as we tell patients: that there are no vaccines and we have to wait.”
Europe’s flu season begins in October and infections typically pick up between mid-November and the start of December, according to data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
Seasonal flu viruses cause between 4 and 50 million infections each year and up to 70,000 Europeans die each year of causes linked to flu, particularly among older adults and at-risk groups.
Precautionary measures to curb COVID-19 transmission such as social distancing, mask wearing and hand washing may help curb infections this season.
There was “very limited” flu transmission in the southern hemisphere this year for that reason, Sylvie Briand, director of Global Infectious Hazard Preparedness at the World Health Organization said in a briefing last week.
Even so, surging coronavirus infections across the continent prompted EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides to warn last month of the risk of a “twindemic of COVID-19 and the flu”.
Medical experts are urging more people get inoculated to prevent a deeper crisis.
“There is a need to prevent a double wave of influenza plus COVID-19,” said Clemens Wendtner, chief physician of infectiology and tropical medicine at the Munich Schwabing Clinic, who recommends people younger than 60 get the jab this year.
Poland’s Ministry of Health said it bought 3 million doses this year and will buy more if needed – as of Tuesday it had received 1.6 million shots.
But Mylan’s Influvac Tetra and Sanofi’s Vaxigrip Tetra vaccines are available in only 1% of pharmacies in Poland, according to gdziepolek.pl, a Polish website that helps patients find the nearest pharmacy with a drug they are seeking.
GSK’s Fluarix Tetra is not available and AstraZeneca’s
Fluenz Tetra is available
Todos Medical Receives Notices of Allowance From the European Patent Office Covering Use of TBIA Cancer Platform to Detect Benign Colon Cancer
NEW YORK, NY, REHOVAT, ISRAEL, SINGAPORE, Oct. 20, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — via NewMediaWire — Todos Medical (OTCQB: TOMDF), an in vitro diagnostics company focused on distributing comprehensive solutions for COVID-19 screening and diagnosis, and developing blood tests for the early detection of cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, today announced that it has received a notice of allowance from the European Patent Office covering the use of the Company’s Total Biochemical Infrared Analysis (TBIA) platform to detect benign colon cancer in peripheral blood. The TBIA platform uses spectroscopy-based infrared analysis method to analyze immune cells in the blood or order to turn the biological information in the blood into data, and then mines that data using artificial intelligence to develop algorithms that are predictive of cancer and other diseases that impact the immune system, including bacteria and viruses. TBIA’s lead programs are in the detection of breast cancer and colon cancer.
“We are very pleased that we’ve received this notice of allowance for TBIA in benign tumors as it further adds to our market leading position as an AI-based cancer blood screening company,” said Gerald E. Commissiong, President & CEO of Todos Medical. “In particular, the method underlying this IP could be quite complementary to existing screening methods by adding additional information to help physicians distinguish between benign (polyps) and malignant tumors of the colon using a simple blood test. Taken in combination with some of our other patents and patent applications that cover the detection of malignant tumors of the colon, we believe we now have intellectual property that fully supports commercialization of our TBIA cancer platform for colon cancer.”
The global market for in vitro colorectal cancer (CRC) testing is estimated to reach $1.2 Billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 8.7% over the forecast period, driven by higher incidence and prevalence for colon and rectum cancers, colorectal polyps screening and improved treatment over the last few decades. Aging population and rising incidences of colorectal cancer, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, inherited syndrome, obesity, and smoking are some of the factors driving the in vitro CRC testing market. According to the American Cancer Society (2018), an estimated 135,430 people were diagnosed with colorectal cancer in the United States. The American Cancer Society’s estimates number of 95,520 new cases of colon cancer and 39,910 new cases of rectal cancer in the United States for 2017.
For information related to Todos Medical’s COVID-19 testing capabilities, please visit www.todoscovid19.com
For testing and PPE inquiries, please email [email protected]
About Todos Medical Ltd.
Headquartered in Rehovot, Israel, Todos Medical Ltd. (OTCQB: TOMDF) engineers life-saving diagnostic solutions for the early detection of a variety of cancers. The Company’s state-of-the-art and patented Todos Biochemical Infrared Analyses (TBIA) is a proprietary cancer-screening technology using peripheral blood analysis that deploys deep examination into cancer’s influence on the immune system, looking for biochemical changes in blood mononuclear cells and plasma. Todos’ two internally-developed cancer-screening tests, TMB-1 and TMB-2, have received a CE mark in Europe. Todos
Multiple European countries experienced record daily highs in new coronavirus cases this week as the pandemic surges again around the world.
France reported 30,000 new confirmed coronavirus cases Thursday, the highest single-day increase since the pandemic hit, and nearly 200 cases per 100,000 people over the past week, according to the The Associated Press.
Cases began to rapidly increase in September, and have spiked in recent weeks.
Italy, an initial hotpot when the pandemic began, saw a new record daily high of 7,332 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday. The previous record was set on March 21, when 6,557 cases were recorded over a 24-hour period, according to CNN.
Italy has seen a consecutive increase in cases for the past 10 weeks.
In Germany, 6,638 new cases were reported in the past 24 hours, surpassing a previous record of 6,294 new cases recorded on March 28, The Robert Koch Institute confirmed Thursday morning.
The Czech Republic reported a record-high of new daily cases on Friday of 9,721, according to the country’s health ministry, as cases have seen a non-stop upward trend over the past two months.
Several affected countries are enforcing stricter lockdown measures in the wake of Europe’s COVID-19 surge, hoping to prevent future spikes.
The cases come as Europe and the U.S. head into the fall and winter seasons, which public health experts have warned could cause an increase in coronavirus cases as people move inside to get away from colder weather. Experts have also warned that this winter could be particularly deadly due to both the impending flu season and the coronavirus pandemic.