It is only a matter of time before other vaccinations are approved against SARS-CoV-2 but also for other new treatments for COVID-19, Dr. Elena Panagiotopoulou, acting Director of the Pharmaceutical Services at the Ministry of Health told CNA on Monday.
She also said that Cyprus participates in the direct procurement procedures and as soon as they are approved will be able to receive them.
According to Panagiotopoulou, there is intense mobility as regards vaccinations and other therapeutic approaches adding “we are close to their licensing and their availability.”
She said the Valneva vaccine will be licensed in December, noting it is an inactivated whole-virus vaccine, a more traditional form of than mRNA or the adenovirus vaccine. Similar technology is used in the Chinese vaccines from the Sinopharm and Sinovac companies.
She also said that at the end of the month, the evaluation of the anti-viral pill, molnupiravir or MSD will start and this is treatment is expected to make an impact.
Dr. Papagiotopoulou said that European Medicines Agency (EMA) started investigating the application to extend the use of BioNTech/Pfizer`s COVID-19 vaccine, Comirnaty, to children aged 5 -11 years, and noted that the EMA`s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) has launched a rolling review of Evusheld (also known as AZD7442) Long-Acting Antibody Cocktail, which is a combination of two monoclonal antibodies (Tixagevimab and Cilgavimab), which is being developed by AstraZeneca to prevent COVID-19 in adults.
She also said that EMA has ended the rolling review of CureVac AG’s COVID-19 vaccine, after the company informed the Agency that it was withdrawing from the process.
In addition, she said that EMA has started evaluating the application of Ronapreve in the treatment of COVID-19. The drug Ronapreve is a combination of two synthetic, anti-Spike, monoclonal antibodies (Casirivimab and Imdevimab) and was developed by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Roche Registration GmbH. This is aimed to treat COVID-19 inpatients who do not require additional oxygen therapy but are at risk of becoming seriously ill. It is also intended for preventing COVID-1 in adults and children aged 12 and over.
Dr. Panagiotopoulou also said that there are no complications from mix and matching different vaccines.
She told CNA that the third COVID-19 vaccine is only done with mRNA vaccines, that is Pfizer or Moderna.
There have been no reports in Cyprus of any serious side effects from vaccination with a different company or technology vaccine than the original one, she said.
There was only a single allergic reaction from the third dose, she said and that was not from mix and match but with Pfizer. The side effect was mild and manageable, she added.
Cyprus, she said, follows European standards and EMA information and is included in EMA’s information pool.
She also said that according to the Ministry of Health’s Pharmaceutical Services website, until October 19 a total of 601,051 people on the island received the first dose and 566,481 had completed the two-dose regime.
A further 32,066 individuals received the booster shot.