COVID-19 vaccine news is keeping the morale high amid political turmoil in the US and record infection numbers in the UK.
The UK continues with its inoculation rollout, with high street pharmacies scheduled to start offering shots of the Oxford/AstraZeneca PLC (LON:AZN) jab by next week.
The government is aiming to vaccinate the country's 13mln most vulnerable residents before mid-February.
Pharmacies will administer the jab either on their premises or at designated sites, with the NHS assessing 200 locations led by firms such as Boots and Lloyds.
They have committed to delivering over 1,000 doses each week, the Guardian reported.
The Oxford jab will also be rolled out to hundreds of GP-run locations in England over the next weeks, to reach 700 sites distributing shots.
On Wednesday, UK cases notched up another unwanted daily record, reaching 62,322, with deaths linked to the virus topping 1,000 for the first time since last April.
Bayer partners with CureVac
German pharma giant Bayer has signed a collaboration and services agreement with CureVac (NASDAQ:CVAC) for the US biopharma’s COVID-19 vaccine.
Bayer will support the further development, supply and key territory operations of CureVac´s candidate, contributing its expertise and established infrastructure as well as support in selected countries.
The Nasdaq-listed firm, which was of the great hopes in March last year and rebuffed the “large sums of money” offered by US President Donald Trump for exclusive access to its vaccine, will be the marketing authorisation holder in markets outside of Europe.
The final stage of clinical trials began last month.
Allergic reactions on watch
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Wednesday it is keeping in check allergic reactions caused by the BioNTech/Pfizer (NYSE:PFI) and Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) immunisations.
People who had serious allergic reactions were urged not to get the second dose, Reuters reported.
The CDC said 11.1 allergic events are occurring every 1mln vaccinations, compared to 1.3 per 1mln shots caused by the flu jabs.
Severe reactions are still “exceedingly rare”, the agency said, stressing the importance of individuals showing up for the inoculation once they are called in.