Approval for Pfizer/Biontech vaccine in Switzerland – Death toll in Italy down slightly

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Switzerland has granted approval to the coronavirus vaccine developed by German company Biontech and its U.S. partner Pfizer. This is the world’s first approval in an ordinary procedure rather than an emergency approval, the regulatory agency Swissmedic announced today. The vaccine had been under review since mid-October with dossiers submitted on an ongoing basis, it said.

“The data available to date showed comparable, high efficacy in all age groups studied and met safety requirements,” the agency said. The most common documented side effects were comparable to those of influenza vaccination, it said. “After a meticulous review of the available information, Swissmedic concludes that Pfizer/Biontech’s Covid-19 vaccine is safe.”

The product has already received emergency approval since early December, first in the U.K. and then in several other countries worldwide. The U.S., Canada, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Ecuador and Chile are among the countries that have since approved the vaccine. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) will give its assessment of the Pfizer/Biontech vaccine on Monday.
Death toll in Italy down slightly
The number of newly reported deaths related to coronavirus in Italy has dropped slightly again. Today, 553 people were reported to have died from or with Covid-19. The previous day, there had been 674. This brings the total number of deaths since the beginning of the pandemic in Italy to 68,447. Italy is the European country with the most coronavirus deaths, ahead of the United Kingdom.

The number of new infections registered within 24 hours was 16,308, down from 17,992 the previous day, with 176,185 tests performed. 9.3 percent of these were positive. 592,018 people were in home isolation. The number of Covid 19 patients treated in hospitals decreased from 25,769 to 25,364, the Ministry of Health in Rome reported. The number of patients in intensive care units decreased from 2,819 to 2,784.

The Italian government yesterday decided to tighten CoV restrictions for the Christmas holidays. As a result, the whole of Italy is to be declared a red zone on holidays and weekends from December 24 to January 6. This will mean that stores and restaurants will remain closed and freedom of travel will be severely restricted.

hp, Source:ORF.at/agencies/pictures: pixabay.com

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