Pfizer Sets Up Its ‘Biggest Ever’ Vaccination Distribution Campaign

In Kalamazoo, Mich., a stretch of land the size of a football field has been turned into a staging ground outfitted with 350 large freezers, ready to take delivery of millions of doses of Covid-19 vaccine before they can be shipped around the world.

The facility is a hub in the sprawling supply chain

Pfizer Inc.

has built to handle the delivery of a vaccine widely awaited as a possible relief from the coronavirus pandemic. The U.S. pharmaceutical giant says it wants to deliver up to 100 million doses this year and another 1.3 billion in 2021.

Like other drugmakers testing potential vaccines, Pfizer is urgently laying the groundwork with its logistics partners so it can move quickly if its vaccine gets the go-ahead from the Food and Drug Administration and other regulators around the world.

“It’s the biggest-ever vaccination campaign,” said Tanya Alcorn, Pfizer’s supply-chain vice president. “If we get the FDA approval, we will be able to ship the vaccines very shortly after.”

The New York-based drugmaker is working with Germany’s

BioNTech SE

on one of several experimental Covid-19 vaccines in late-stage testing. Pfizer says it may know whether its vaccine works by the end of October and that it could be ready to apply for emergency-use authorization of its Covid-19 vaccine by late November.

The company’s effort to deliver relief to pandemic-weary populations will revolve around refrigerated storage sites at two of the company’s final assembly centers—the Kalamazoo facility and another in Puurs, Belgium—and rely on dozens of cargo-jet flights and hundreds of truck trips every day. Distribution centers in Pleasant Prairie, Wis., and in Karlsruhe, Germany, have been outfitted for extra storage capacity.

Pfizer so far has spent about $2 billion on developing the vaccine and setting up the distribution network.

The U.S. government placed an initial order for 100 million doses, with the option to purchase 500 million additional doses. The EU ordered 200 million doses with an option for another 100 million. Japan ordered 120 million doses and the U.K. 30 million. Countries in South America and in the Asia-Pacific region also have placed significant orders.

In a typical vaccination campaign, pharmaceutical companies would wait until their product is approved before buying raw materials, establishing manufacturing lines and setting up supply chains to ship a vaccine.

Pfizer Chief Executive Albert Bourla said that the company began setting the groundwork for its supply chain in March, when it kicked off its vaccine development.

“Ensuring over a billion people globally have access to our potential vaccine is as critical as developing the vaccine itself,” he said.

Pfizer says it is preparing for distribution in case the vaccine wins authorization, with hundreds of thousands of doses already in the company’s warehouses in the U.S. and Europe.

Cool Box

To make sure its Covid-19 vaccine doses arrive at hospitals and clinics frozen and potent, Pfizer created

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Rihanna’s latest Savage X Fenty campaign stars Black breast cancer survivors

Written by Jacqui Palumbo, CNN

Rihanna is using her latest Savage X Fenty campaign to shine a spotlight on Black breast cancer survivors.

In support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the singer’s lingerie brand asked three “survivors and thrivers” to model new styles from a capsule collection that will directly benefit the Clara Lionel Foundation, a charity founded by Rihanna in 2012. A press statement said that Savage X Fenty will donate a portion of the proceeds — up to $250,000 in total — to help the organization fund cancer research and support for Black people diagnosed with the disease.
Leiva, one of the three models, wanted her scars to be shown in photos. "I do not see my scars as scars," she said in an e-mail. "I look at them as my handmade jewerly pieces ... reminding me and others I am here and thriving."

Leiva, one of the three models, wanted her scars to be shown in photos. “I do not see my scars as scars,” she said in an e-mail. “I look at them as my handmade jewerly pieces … reminding me and others I am here and thriving.” Credit: Courtesy of Savage x Fenty

The campaign photographs feature Cayatanita Leiva and Ericka Hart, both 34, and Nykia McKenzie, 26, wearing the collection’s sporty new styles against draped pink fabric. Each model had a hand in how they were presented, either taking the pictures themselves or with the help of a loved one.

Hart, who posed in a gray bralette and panty set, was diagnosed with two types of breast cancer at once: HER2-positive and triple-negative. The model credited the Black femme and queer communities with being a source of support.

“The Savage X Fenty campaign was affirming of my experience as not just a breast cancer survivor but all of my intersections of identity as a Black, queer, non-binary femme,” Hart said in an email interview.

“Many cancer campaigns focus on one aspect, your chronic illness but not how your various identities play a role in how you navigate cancer … I also loved that the campaign didn’t focus on poses that focused on strength as the sole image for living with breast cancer, but rather is just showcasing people who want to share their experience to make a difference for someone else.”

McKenzie, 26, models for the new Savage X Fenty campaign.

McKenzie, 26, models for the new Savage X Fenty campaign. Credit: Courtesy of Savage x Fenty

Rihanna has focused on Savage X Fenty’s inclusive appeal since launching the lingerie brand, a follow up to Fenty Beauty, in 2018. The product range caters to a variety of “nude” skin tones, and offers a wide range of sizes. Her two runway shows to date, both held at recent editions of New York Fashion Week, grabbed attention for their theatrical performances and representation of diverse body types, ethnicities and genders, in stark contrast to the kind of lingerie shows the industry is accustomed to.
“My vision for the Savage X brand has always been having women feel confident and expressing themselves,” she said earlier this year, in a behind-the-scenes video following the second of her brand’s runway shows.

A striking disparity

As well as offering visibility to three individual Black breast cancer survivors, the campaign also brings attention to what it calls

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Melania Trump Cancels Campaign Rally Attendance Due To ‘Lingering Cough’ After COVID-19 Diagnosis


  • Melania Trump will not join President Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Pennsylvania
  • The FLOTUS canceled her attendance due to a lingering cough
  • Donald and Melania tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month

Melania Trump was supposed to join a campaign event for President Donald Trump in Pennsylvania, but the first lady decided to cancel her attendance due to a lingering cough.

The POTUS announced earlier this month that he and his wife tested positive for coronavirus. However, the president immediately recovered and has since returned to attending rallies. Melania’s attendance in Pennsylvania would have been her first public appearance after recovering from COVID-19 and her first appearance in more than a year since June 2019. However, she changed her mind and decided to just skip the event due to a lingering cough.

“Mrs. Trump continues to feel better every day following her recovery from COVID-19, but with a lingering cough, and out of an abundance of caution, she will not be traveling today,” Melania’s spokesperson, Stephanie Grisham, was quoted by Business Insider as saying Tuesday.

While Melania decided to just stay at home, her stepchildren have no qualms about making public appearances. Ivanka Trump will appear in Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Florida. Eric Trump and his wife will visit New Hampshire, Michigan, Nevada and Arizona. Meanwhile, Donald Trump Jr. will be traveling to North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

Last week, Melania got candid about her coronavirus experience when she wrote an essay about it. According to her, when she found out that she was COVID-19 positive, she immediately thought of their son, Barron. The 14-year-old initially tested negative but also contracted the virus after a few days.

“To our great relief he tested negative, but again, as so many parents have thought over the past several months, I couldn’t help but think ‘what about tomorrow or the next day?’ My fear came true when he was tested again and it came up positive,” she wrote.

“Luckily he is a strong teenager and exhibited no symptoms,” Melania continued before adding that her son has since tested negative.

The POTUS spent a couple of days at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after his COVID-19 diagnosis. Trump said he didn’t experience any symptoms.

Unlike Trump, Melania had body aches, cough and headaches. She was also extremely tired most of the time. But the FLOTUS has already recovered and is only taking caution due to her lingering cough that’s why she is skipping the campaign event in Pennsylvania.

In a rare public statement, US first lady Melania Trump said the allegations about her husband published by The Atlantic magazine -- that he called fallen US Marines "losers" and "suckers" -- were false In a rare public statement, US first lady Melania Trump said the allegations about her husband published by The Atlantic magazine — that he called fallen US Marines “losers” and “suckers” — were false Photo: AFP / SAUL LOEB

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Sidra Medicine joins hands with MoPH in ‘Are you ok’ campaign

Sidra Medicine, a Qatar Foundation entity, has partnered with the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) in its national mental health and wellness campaign ‘Are you ok’ to highlight the support services available for women, children and young people in Qatar.

“The (coronavirus) pandemic has changed the landscape regarding the critical need for robust mental health support systems. It is very assuring and speaks of the calibre of the healthcare services in Qatar, to see how the Ministry of Public Health and Sidra Medicine have rapidly mobilised to keep mental health on top of the country’s service agenda,” Professor Muhammed Waqar Azeem, the chair of Psychiatry at Sidra Medicine said.

“At Sidra Medicine, we remain committed to supporting the people of Qatar, particularly children, young people and perinatal women in meeting their mental healthcare needs. In addition to world class mental health services, our Department of Psychiatry has started a number of educational and training programmes and is also involved in various leading-edge mental health-related research projects.”

Sidra Medicine offers Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Adolescent Medicine and Perinatal Mental Health services in Qatar. The services are either referral-based (in the case of children) or self-referral/ direct (perinatal mental health services).

Sidra Medicine’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) is available for children aged 5 to 18 years and includes outpatient, inpatient, consultation liaison and emergency care.

The service can be accessed via referral from Primary Health Care Centres, private clinics, schools and other sources.

“As part of our ongoing efforts to strengthen mental health support services, we have focused on patient care, education to build local human resources, research and building community models of care in Qatar. The success of our programme is based on the collaboration of patients, their relatives and our staff, who all work to help achieve patient goals to live their lives as fully possible. I am also proud of our team’s achieving accreditation for the world’s first Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education International (ACGMEI),” Dr Ahsan Nazeer, division chief of CAHMS at Sidra Medicine, said.

“Our advice to parents dealing with children with anxiety, especially during this time, is to encourage their children to share their concerns and have frank and open discussions about their fears and concerns. It is also important that children obtain accurate information from reliable sources. We also encourage parents to focus on instilling a sense of hope and optimism in their children by role modelling appropriate positive behaviuors,” Nazeer said.

Dr Alanoud al-Ansari, division chief of Adolescent Medicine whose clinic provides developmentally appropriate mental health and medical care for adolescents aged 12 to 18 years, has seen a rise in anxiety in teenagers.

“Teenagers are manifesting their anxiety around loss of control and unpredictability through eating disorders, depression and cutting themselves. Many of them have not been able to cope with being back at school. Despite families being in lockdown and opting to stay home during the pandemic, many families while

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Melania Trump cancels campaign trip due to ‘lingering cough’

Oct. 20 (UPI) — First lady Melania Trump canceled plans to attend a campaign rally for President Donald Trump on Tuesday due to a “lingering cough” from her bout of COVID-19, her chief of staff said.

Stephanie Grisham said the first lady is still recovering from her illness, nearly three weeks after her diagnosis.

“Mrs. Trump continues to feel better every day following her recovery from COVID-19, but with a lingering cough, and out of an abundance of caution, she will not be traveling today,” Grisham said.

The event in Erie, Pa., Tuesday night would have been the first lady’s first campaign event since the president’s White House speech as part of the Republican National Convention in August.

Melania Trump said last week she tested negative for the novel coronavirus after experiencing a “roller coaster” of symptoms, including body aches, cough, headache and fatigue. She said she chose a “more natural route” for her treatment, focusing on taking vitamins and eating healthy foods.

She also said the couple’s son, Barron Trump, tested positive for the virus, but has since tested negative.

The president, meanwhile, was hospitalized at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., for three days after experiencing some breathing troubles brought on by COVID-19. Doctors treated him with an experimental antibody cocktail by Regeneron and remdesivir, an antiviral originally created to treat the Ebola virus.

Donald Trump is expected to give remarks at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Erie International Airport before returning to the White House.

Scenes from the White House as coronavirus hot spot

White House Deputy Press Secretary Brian Morgenstern speaks to members of the White House press corps about the status of President Donald Trump’s health as he recovers from coronavirus outside of the West Wing of the White House on Wednesday. Photo by Sarah Silbiger/UPI | License Photo

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Kremlin dismisses vaccine disinformation campaign accusations as ‘circus’

Vladimir Putin sitting at a desk: Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the vaccine on a video conference call with government officials.

© Alexey Nikolsky/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the vaccine on a video conference call with government officials.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov dismissed the reaction of the UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to the Times report saying that Russia is engaging in a disinformation campaign to discredit the Oxford University coronavirus vaccine in an effort to promote its own vaccine Sputnik V, developed by the Gamaleya Institute.

“Commenting on the accusations against Russia is getting more and more circus-like,” Peskov said in a conference call with reporters Friday. “Russia is not misinforming anyone, Russia proudly talks about its successes and Russia shares its successes regarding the first ever registered [coronavirus] vaccine in the world.”

The Times published a report on Friday outlining a supposed Russian disinformation campaign “designed to undermine and spread fear about the Oxford University coronavirus vaccine.” The campaign involves spreading memes and videos suggesting the vaccine, manufactured by a pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca is “a monkey vaccine” that could turn people into monkeys because it uses a chimpanzee virus as a vector, according to the newspaper.

“We know that Russia has got a track record in this area. Previously we’ve commented and called them out on it,” Raab said in an interview with Sky News.

“But anyone trying to basically sabotage the efforts of those trying to develop a vaccine I think are deeply reprehensible. It’s unacceptable and unjustified in any circumstances.”

The Times said a “whistleblower” “involved in the campaign” passed on the images to the paper out of concern about potential damage to the public health efforts. The newspaper notes it is not clear whether the campaign was directly authorized by the Kremlin but added “there is evidence that some Russian officials were involved in its organisation and dissemination.”

“Misinformation is a clear risk to public health. This is especially true during the current pandemic which continues to claim tens of thousands of lives, significantly disrupt the way we live and damage the economy,” Pascal Soriot, CEO at AstraZeneca, said in a statement.

“I urge everyone to use reliable sources of information, to trust regulatory agencies and to remember the enormous benefit vaccines and medicines continue to bring to humanity.”

Disinformation is “reckless and contemptible behaviour that could lead to real damage to people’s health”, said a source in Whitehall, the area in central London where key UK ministries are based. “This sort of lie fundamentally harms all of us around the world and we need to be alert to identify and counter this kind of activity to support the provision of factual information for all people about Covid-19 and vaccines.”

When asked to comment on the article, the Kremlin spokesperson in turn accused the UK of spreading disinformation about the Russian vaccine suggesting it’s a testament to the unfair competition in the vaccine race.

“Russia already has documents of intention to sell or jointly produce this vaccine in a number of countries, and of course in these countries Russia is not

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COVID-19 cases surge in Wisconsin, Trump to campaign there

By Brendan O’Brien and Maria Caspani

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Two weeks ago, Mark Schultz was getting ready to go to work at the tavern he owns in the Wisconsin city of Oshkosh when he started to feel sweaty, achy and chilled.

Within days, the 64-year-old was in an intensive care unit at a local hospital fighting for his life.

Schultz, his 45-year-old fiance and his 10-year-old son are three of the 41,000 Wisconsinites who have tested positive for the virus over the last two weeks, according to state health officials.

“I want people to know this is real. This is not a hoax. It’s not fake news like the president said,” Schultz said.

Wisconsin has recently become an epicenter of the pandemic in the United States.

On Friday, the state’s department of health services reported grim records as daily COVID-19 cases reached 3,861 and the seven-day average of new confirmed cases topped 3,000 for the first time.

“This virus is unbelievable what it does to people,” he said during a phone interview with Reuters on Friday from his home, four days after getting out of the hospital. “I literally thought I was taking my last breath. It’s like someone has a foot on your chest.”

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, who traveled to Wisconsin to announce the opening of a new testing facility in Neenah, told a news conference on Friday that the state’s cases and positivity rate were heading in the “wrong direction.”

Despite the surge in cases in Wisconsin, President Donald Trump plans on Saturday to make a campaign stop in Janesville as he seeks to make up for time lost during his own bout with the coronavirus earlier this month.

“Wear a mask,” Schultz said to those who plan to attend. “There is so many unknowns with this thing. That is the scary part.”

For a second day in a row, the United States reported more than 60,000 new coronavirus cases on Thursday as infections spike in all regions of the country, according to a Reuters analysis.

The United States reported over 63,000 new cases on Thursday and over 60,000 new cases on Wednesday, a level on back-to-back days not seen since late July and as total U.S. cases surpassed 8 million.


The surge in cases comes in the final weeks before the Nov. 3 presidential election. Trump has continued to minimize the threat to public health posed by the virus that has killed more than 217,000 Americans and 1 million globally.

The rise in U.S. cases is beginning to tax hospitals in some regions, with Wisconsin setting up a field hospital and reporting that in some areas more than 90% of hospital intensive care unit beds were filled as of Thursday.

The field hospital had yet to receive its first patient as of Friday morning, according to a spokesperson for the Wisconsin Department of Administration.

Meanwhile in Texas, Governor Greg Abbott said on Friday the state was increasing medical personnel and supplies

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