Daily Archives: May 11, 2020

Novavax to Present COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate Progress in World Vaccine Congress Webinar Series

GAITHERSBURG, Md., May 11, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Novavax, Inc. (Nasdaq: NVAX), a late stage biotechnology company developing next-generation vaccines for serious infectious diseases, today announced that Gregory Glenn, M.D., President of Research and Development, will present progress of NVX-CoV2373, Novavax’ coronavirus vaccine candidate, on Wednesday, May 13, 2020 as part of the World Vaccine Congress’ COVID-19 webinar series. Dr. Glenn joins a distinguished group of global public health, epidemiology, regulatory and industry leaders in sharing expertise and information related to the SARS-Cov-2 virus, as well as ongoing efforts to develop vaccines to address the global health pandemic.

Dr. Glenn’s presentation will be followed by a live Q&A discussion. Webinar details are as follows:

Topic:                          Recombinant Nanoparticle COVID-19 Vaccine: Platform Technology for Emerging Infectious Diseases (EID)
Date and Time:           Wednesday, May 13, 11:00 a.m. ET
Moderator:                  Philip Krause, M.D., Deputy Director, OVRR, CBER, FDA

The webinar is free to attend. To register, please click here.

About NVX-CoV2373

NVX-CoV2373 is a vaccine candidate engineered from the genetic sequence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 disease. NVX-CoV2373 was created using Novavax’ recombinant nanoparticle technology to generate antigen derived from the coronavirus spike (S) protein and contains Novavax’ patented saponin-based Matrix-M™ adjuvant to enhance the immune response and stimulate high levels of neutralizing antibodies. In preclinical trials, NVX-CoV2373 demonstrated efficient binding with receptors targeted by the virus, a critical aspect for effective vaccine protection. A Phase 1 clinical trial of NVX-CoV2373 will initiate in May 2020 with preliminary immunogenicity and safety results expected in July 2020. The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) has awarded an initial funding of $4 million to support Novavax’ NVX-CoV2373 efforts, with additional funding discussions ongoing.

About Novavax

Novavax, Inc. (Nasdaq:NVAX), is a late-stage biotechnology company that addresses urgent global health needs through the discovery, development, and commercialization of innovative vaccines. Novavax recently initiated development of NVX-CoV2373, its vaccine candidate against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, with Phase 1 clinical trial results expected in July of 2020. NanoFlu™, its quadrivalent influenza nanoparticle vaccine, met all primary objectives in its pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial in older adults. Both vaccine candidates incorporate Novavax’ proprietary saponin-based Matrix-M™ adjuvant in order to enhance the immune response and stimulate high levels of neutralizing antibodies. Novavax is a leading innovator of recombinant nanoparticle vaccines; its proprietary recombinant technology platform combines the power and speed of genetic engineering to efficiently produce highly immunogenic nanoparticles to address urgent global health needs.

For more information, visit www.novavax.com and connect with us on Twitter and LinkedIn.


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Vietnam brings home over 270 citizens from Malaysia

 A flight carrying more than 270 Vietnamese citizens home from Malaysia landed at the Da Nang International Airport on May 10.

The flight was jointly organised by Vietnam’s competent agencies, the Vietnamese Embassy in Malaysia and the national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines.

The passengers included those under 18 years old, elderly and sick people, students who did not have accommodations due to dormitory closures, guest workers with visa and work permit expiration, and stranded tourists.

The Vietnamese Embassy in Malaysia sent officials to the airport to help the citizens with necessary procedures.

Upon their arrival at the Da Nang airport, the passengers and crew members were kept under quarantine and had medical checks-up in line with regulations.

Following the direction of the Prime Minister, over the past few days, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Transport, domestic competent agencies and Vietnamese representative offices abroad have jointly conducted many flights to repatriate Vietnamese citizens.

In the coming days, more flights will be arranged to bring back Vietnamese citizens home from other countries depending on the pandemic’s developments, quarantine capacity of Vietnamese localities, and demand of Vietnamese citizens living overseas.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Nearly 1,900 kindergartens, primary schools in Hanoi reopen

 Nearly 1,900 kindergartens and primary schools in Hanoi reopened on May 11 after more than three months of closure for COVID-19 prevention.

Earlier on May 4, about 900 secondary and high schools resumed teaching and learning.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc had allowed the removal of social distancing measures at schools because Vietnam has largely contained the pandemic without new infection cases in the community over the past three weeks.

However, there is still a high risk of transmission from outside of the country, given the complexity of the fight against the COVID-19 in the region and the world, and a vaccine is yet to be found.

Social distancing measures suitable to the new normal situation must therefore be maintained in education and training and socio-economic sectors, the PM ordered.

The Ministry of Education and Training also issued 15 criteria for ensuring COVID-19 prevention and control at educational establishments. Any schools that are unable to meet more than seven criteria will be assessed as unsafe and not allowed to operate.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Around 670,000 labourers lose jobs in first four months

 As many as 670,000 employees lost their jobs in the first four months of 2020 due to the COVID-19 crisis, according to the Department of Employment under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.

Data from the agency showed that by the end of April, about 55 percent of labourers working in individual production and business establishments, and 46 percent of those working in enterprises and cooperatives, had been affected by the pandemic.

Especially, April felt the most serious impact with 76 percent of workers affected, an increase of 20 percent against the previous month. Up to 76 percent of enterprises had to terminate and suspend labour contracts with workers, lay off employees or allow them to take turns working.

About 80,000 more labourers are forecast to lose their jobs in May, increasing the total unemployed in the first five months to 750,000.

The ratio of enterprises effected by the pandemic is predicted to surge between 75-80 percent in the second quarter due to the ongoing global economic downturn.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Public attention focuses on Party personnel work

 Personnel work is a key issue at the focus of attention of Party cadres, members and people nationwide ahead of the 12th plenum of the Party Central Committee, which is a step closer to the 13th National Party Congress.

Phung Quang Minh, a Party member and deputy head of the Information Technology section under the Hanoi Customs Office, expressed his view that unity within the Party and the selection of persons with both talent and ethics in congresses of all-level Party organizations are the two essential issues. If those two issues are addressed in a serious and righteous manner, the Party will win people’s approval and support, thus contributing to promoting national development and strengthening the prestige of the Party and the State.

According to Minh, the fact that nearly 100 high-ranking Party officials have been punished or disciplined, including imprisonment, since the beginning of the 12th tenure demonstrates the Party’s high resolve in fighting corruption and negative phenomena, leaving no banned zones in the fight. But at the same time it also revealed alarming signs in personnel work of the Party.

“If the personnel work is done well, it will prevent people with factionalist and self-interest thinking from holding positions in the Party. And only then can we put an end to disunity, factions and defiance against law of a number of Party members,” Minh said.

A veteran Party member, 75-year-old Lt. Colonel Nguyen Van Niem acknowledged that there are many signs that the Party is curbing and driving back negative phenomena in personnel work, starting with the assessment and selection of potential cadres with both talent and good ethics.

He stressed that there have been new changes in the selection and election of holders of important positions in the political system, which better ensure democracy, transparency and fairness as well as the involvement of the entire society.

Dr. Tran Khanh Dung, a lecturer at the Department of Information Technology (the University of Construction) shared the view that good personnel work at Party congresses at all levels should start with eliminating factionalism and opportunism.

He said factions in the Party will discourage people with talent and cause disunity, and voice his hope that Party congresses at all levels will be able to select cadres with talent and ethics in line with the requirement of the Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Localities speed up land clearance for North-South Expressway

 The 13 provinces the North-South Expressway runs through have sped up land clearance to hand over land for the project before June 30.

Ninh Binh, Nam Dinh, Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien-Hue, Khanh Hoa, Ninh Thuan, Binh Thuan, Dong Nai, Tien Giang and Vinh Long provinces have all made the efforts.

Dong Nai was the first province to basically finish land clearance work and ready to hand over the land for the project, while Nghe An was the slowest and has completed only 77 percent of the work so far.

Land clearance progress in the other localities has exceeded 80 percent on average.

For example, land clearance progress has hit 83 percent in northern Ninh Binh province.

Vu Van Luan, Chairman of the People’s Committee of Khanh Hoa commune in Ninh Binh province, said about 700 households were affected by land transfers in the commune.

The committee was negotiating with the last 40 households for compensation, he said.

The committee would finish land clearance for the project by June 30, Luan added.

In Thanh Hoa province – where nearly 105km of the expressway runs through, it is estimated some 9,168 households were affected due to the project.

Land clearance progress has reached 92.2 percent, Giao Thong (Transport) online newspaper reported.

Nguyen Duc Trung, Deputy Director of the provincial Transport Department, said the department had ordered district authorities to speed up to ensure all land for the project is handed over before June 30.

Nguyen Duc An, Deputy Director of the Transport Department of Nghe An province, said the major reason for the locality’s delay was slow construction of resettlement areas.

To hand over the land fund before the deadline, the province planned to offer affected households money to rent houses to temporarily live in until the resettlement areas were finished, An said.

Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Nhat said the land clearance for the project was being implemented urgently and seriously.

Nhat said the sooner the localities complete land clearance, the sooner they would be able to disburse the public investment capital they were allocated from the State budget.

However, Nhat also ordered the localities to quickly finish their construction of resettlement areas and relocation of technical infrastructure works, including telecommunication cables and power lines, within the project scale.

Previously, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc sent a message last month to direct localities to solve problems in the project’s land clearance.

PM Phuc ordered the Secretary of the Party Committee and Chairpersons of the People’s Committee of each locality to consider land clearance work for the project an important and urgent task.

He also asked localities to quickly implement the completion of 114 resettlement areas in the second quarter of this year to relocate affected households.

There are 11 sub-projects under the North-South Expressway Project, with a total length of 654km.

The total investment of the sub-projects is about 118.7 trillion VND (5 billion USD). The fund for land clearance is about 12.4 trillion VND (529,000 USD).

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Stakeholders take action to revive pandemic-hit tourism

 All stakeholders in the tourism sector are adopting drastic revival measures in the wake of COVID-19.

According to the General Statistics Office, Vietnam welcomed about 3.7 million foreign visitors in the first four months of 2020, primarily in January and February when international travel was still “normal”. The figure represents a decline of 37.8 percent against the same period last year.

The pandemic has seen the industry suffer huge losses. Vietnam earned 775 trillion VND (34 billion USD) in revenue from tourism last year, but this year losses of 24-29 billion USD are anticipated because of the disease, said Truong Nam Thang from the Swiss Sustainable Tourism Programme.

The decline in international arrivals is expected to continue in the months to come as Vietnam maintains an entry ban on foreigner visitors while many countries around the world continue to impose lockdowns and border closures. Many people, meanwhile, now have a fear of travelling.

“COVID-19 has given the tourism sector tremendous headaches, more than anything it has experienced before,” Deputy Chairman of the Vietnam Tourism Association Vu The Binh said. “Our response must therefore also be different.”

After social distancing was lifted in late April, many popular destinations around the country have reopened their doors to domestic visitors. Travel agents such as Fiditour, Vietravel, and HanoiRedtours as well as luxury hotels like JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay are offering big deals to heat up the market.

Local administrations have also joined businesses’ efforts to recover the tourism sector.

The People’s Committee of Sa Pa township in northern Lao Cai province has cooperated with the Sa Pa Tourism Association and the Fansipan Cable Car Service to kick off a tourism stimulus programme, the first of its kind, to help recover the local industry.

Hotels, homestays, tour operators, and tourism destinations in Sa Pa will slash rates by 30 to 60 percent. The Sun World Fansipan Legend resort is offering a discount of up to 60 percent on Fansipan cable car tickets to travellers from six north-western provinces – Lao Cai, Lai Chau, Son La, Dien Bien, Yen Bai, and Hoa Binh.

Other cities and provinces such as Binh Duong, Quang Ninh, Quang Binh, Thua Thien-Hue, Son La, and Da Nang have been developing similar packages.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism also plans to launch a nationwide programme encouraging Vietnamese to travel around the country.

Running from June 1 to December 31, the “Vietnamese people travel in Vietnam” programme aims to promote domestic destinations and tourism products, engaging all stakeholders in the sector, from local administrations, tourism associations, and tour operators to hospitality businesses and airlines.

Many localities are thirsty for tourists at the moment, Binh told a virtual national conference seeking ways to revive the sector last week. “It is quite competitive, as if one locality does not perform well then visitors will turn to others,” he said.

He also stressed the necessity for all stakeholders to take part in the effort.

Source: Vietnam News Agency