US health chief skeptical of Russia’s virus vaccine claim

first_img“It’s important that we provide safe, effective vaccines and that the data be transparent… This is not a race to be first,” he told reporters during a conference call.”I should note that two of the six US vaccines that we’ve invested in entered the phase three clinical trials weeks ago that the Russian vaccine is now only beginning,” he added.”The data from the initial trials in Russia have not been disclosed, it’s not transparent.”Russian President Vladimir Putin said the vaccine was safe, and that one of his daughters had received a dose. The vaccine has been named “Sputnik”, after the world’s first artificial satellite that helped the Soviet Union take the lead in the Cold War space race in 1957.Governments are under huge pressure to find a vaccine against the coronavirus, which has killed more than 700,000 people worldwide and eviscerated the global economy since it first emerged in central China late last year.The United States is the worst-hit country, with nearly 5.1 million infections and more than 163,000 deaths.President Donald Trump is facing a tough fight to get re-elected in November, trailing rival Joe Biden in the polls as anger mounts over his administration’s response to the pandemic.Azar said he was confident a vaccine would be available for Americans.”We believe that it is highly credible that we will have in the high tens of millions of doses of gold-standard, safe and effective vaccine by the end of this year, and many hundreds of millions of doses as we go into the beginning of next year,” he said.Trump has launched “Operation Warp Speed”, which aims to develop, manufacture and distribute a coronavirus vaccine to all Americans by January 2021.So far, Washington has handed out at least $9.4 billion to seven vaccine developers and signed manufacturing contracts with five of them to provide 700 million doses.Azar’s Taiwan trip — the highest-level US visit since Washington switched diplomatic recognition to Beijing in 1979 — was billed as an opportunity to learn from the island’s success in containing the virus.Taiwan has reported fewer than 500 infections and just seven COVID-19 deaths. Topics :center_img Washington’s health chief on Wednesday expressed skepticism about Russia’s claim of developing the world’s first safe coronavirus vaccine, pointing to the lack of data from its initial trials.Moscow said Tuesday its vaccine offered “sustainable immunity” against the virus, but Western scientists have previously raised concerns about the development speed of Russian treatments, suggesting researchers were cutting corners.US Health Secretary Alex Azar echoed those concerns Wednesday as he wrapped up a three-day visit to Taiwan.last_img read more

World Cup an opportunity to showcase talent, but focus on Test cricket: Virat Kohli to India U-19 team

first_imgRahul Dravid’s young guns will hope to make India the most successful country at the U19 Cricket World Cup which begins in New Zealand from January 13th 2018. India has won the U19 World title thrice before (2000, 2008, 2012) which is the most number of titles won by a country along with Australia (1988, 2002, 2012).Virat Kohli too impressed first at the U19 World Cup when he captained the Indian young guns to the title in 2008. The Indian skipper also met the current lot led by another exciting prospect Prithvi Shaw before the team departed for New Zealand. Speaking to the ICC a few days earlier, Virat said that the Indian young guns must use this opportunity to dare to impress the world.WATCH VIDEO HERE”The players that will take part in the 2018 edition in New Zealand will have another opportunity to showcase their talent in front of the world and really look to stand out from the bunch, I think that should be the mindset of each and every player because it does present an opportunity. If other people are getting 50s or 60s then I would tell the batsmen to go on and score 120s and 130s at that level and that is how you stand out, that is how people take notice of you. If you go on and score 60s along with 8 other people then no one is going to point you out. It is a great opportunity for those who are mentally strong and can take it in a positive way, they will surely make something out of their careers from there on”, said King Kohli.advertisementIncidentally Virat Kohli, Steve Smith and Kane Williamson the current captains of India, Australia and New Zealand and the best batsmen in the world all represented their countries in the 2008 U19 World Cup. With 20 Test tons to his name Virat was quick to remind the current lot that their ultimate goal should remain to represent the country at the Test level.”It is good to know that so many people from that batch and not just the three of us captaining our countries (Virat Kohli, Steve Smith & Kane Williamson) but a lot of players have played for their countries as well. That is a signal to a lot of young cricketers from around the world that you need to focus on Test cricket and wanting to make it big for your country in that particular format and the rest of it trickles down easily to the other formats. If we aspire to play only one format and very quickly play for the country then the longevity is not there and I feel it is not worth it. So the thing that we did was that we kept Test cricket as priority in our heads and our careers went on from there and we could solidify other formats as well”, said the Indian skipper.With two weeks until the #U19CWC gets underway in New Zealand, India’s @imvkohli reflects on his experience at the competition and shares his tips for the next generation of #FutureStars. pic.twitter.com/TxpiccT64Y- ICC (@ICC) December 30, 2017The Indian captain also looked back at his own unbeaten campaign at the 2008 event.”The fondest memory from our U19 World Cup are obviously the wins in the tournament in Malaysia where we went unbeaten through the tournament and that is something very special to remember. The ICC U19 World Cup was a very important milestone in my career when I look back now. The World Cup was important as it was watched by many people, specially ours was the first edition when that started and that really helped us get a good platform to build our careers from there on. It holds a very important place in our minds and hearts”, concluded the skipper.Rahul Dravid’s wards will begin their campaign against the Aussies on Sunday, January 14th.last_img read more