In Brief: BioNTech, Pfizer launch global study to test COVID-19 vaccine

The study will include 30,000 volunteers from Germany, the United States, Argentina and Brazil.

Photo by: Polina Tankilevitch, Pexels

By Sylvia Cunningham and William Glucroft

The Mainz-based biotech company BioNTech has launched a global study to test a possible vaccine against COVID-19.

Up to 30,000 people from Germany, the United States, Argentina and Brazil, will be included in the study, which is being jointly run by the U.S. pharmaceutical company Pfizer.

If the study is successful, the companies could file for regulatory approval as early as this fall with 100 million doses of the vaccine available worldwide by the end of the year.

In addition, a separate clinical trial run by the U.S. biotech company Moderna started this week. That study will also enroll 30,000 volunteers and will take place solely in the U.S.

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An increase in local COVID-19 outbreaks and decrease in public concern has Germany’s disease prevention authority worried.

At a news conference on Tuesday, the head of the Robert Koch Institute told reporters the pandemic is “developing rapidly.”

Dr. Lothar Wieler said it’s largely within the public’s power to determine the course of the virus. He urged people to stay 1.5 meters – roughly 5 feet – away from others and wear a mouth and nose covering whenever social distancing isn’t possible.

Monday saw a day-on-day increase of more than 300 new cases in Germany. By Tuesday, that had doubled to more than 630.

Check here for up-to-date information regarding the management of COVID-19 in Berlin.

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President Donald Trump says he will nominate a retired U.S. Army colonel as the new ambassador to Germany.

Douglas Macgregor will require approval from the U.S. Senate, which is unlikely to happen before the presidential election in November.

Aside from his military career, Macgregor is also a frequent guest on Fox News, something he shares with his predecessor Richard Grenell.

Grenell left the ambassador post in June after about two years in the position.

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