The Sputnik-V vaccine produced an antibody response in all participants in early-stage trials, according to results published in The Lancet medical journal. It said the results of the two trials, conducted in June and July and involving 76 participants in Russian hospitals, showed 100 percent of participants developing antibodies to coronavirus and no serious side effects.
Russia licensed the two-shot jab for domestic use in August, the first country to do so and before any data had been published or a large-scale trial had begun.
The Lancet said: “The two 42-day trials – including 38 healthy adults each – did not find any serious adverse effects among participants, and confirmed that the vaccine candidates elicit an antibody response.
“Large, long-term trials including a placebo comparison and further monitoring are needed to establish the long-term safety and effectiveness of the vaccine for preventing COVID-19 infection.”
The vaccine is named Sputnik-V in homage to the world’s first satellite, launched by the Soviet Union.
Some Western experts have warned against its use until all internationally approved testing and regulatory steps have been taken.
But with the results now published for the first time in an international peer-reviewed journal, and with a 40,000-strong later-stage trial launched last week, a senior Russian official said Moscow had answered its critics abroad.
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Kirill Dmitriev, the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which backed the vaccine, said the its development was the “best in the world.”
He said: “With this publication we answer all of the questions of the West that were diligently asked over the past three weeks, frankly with the clear goal of tarnishing the Russian vaccine.
“All of the boxes are checked. Now we will start asking questions of some of the Western vaccines.”
Alexander Gintsburg, director of the Gamaleya Institute which developed the vaccine, said it would take nine to twelve months to vaccinate the majority of the population.
Governments and big pharmaceutical firms are racing to develop a vaccine to end the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed more than 850,000 people globally and infected around 26 million.
Over half a dozen drugmakers are already conducting advanced clinical trials, each with tens of thousands of participants.
Several, including Britain’s AstraZeneca and US companies Moderna and Pfizer expect to know if their COVID-19 vaccines work and are safe by the end of 2020.
After the latest round of Brexit trade talks ended in a deadlock, the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier launched another bitter attack on the UK. In a speech to Irish think tank the Institute of International and European Affairs on Wednesday, Mr Barnier said the UK will “have to move” if it wants a trade deal by the end of 2020. Mr Barnier also claimed he was “worried and disappointed” about the lack of concessions from his British counterpart, David Frost, after the pair met in London on Tuesday.
Downing Street said it was “clear [a deal] will not be easy to achieve”.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said “major difficulties remain” between the two sides, but the Government was keeping in close contact with the EU.
Brussels still insists on maintaining its current fishing rights in British waters and wants London to agree to a number of EU regulations, including environmental standards, workers’ rights and state aid rules.
On the other hand, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is demanding the right to diverge from the bloc’s rules in order to strike trade agreements around the world.
As the clock ticks down and tensions mount, unearthed reports shed light on another option available for the UK.
Guy Verhofstadt’s plan to turn UK into Ukraine after Brexit exposed: ‘Best solution’ (Image: GETTY)
EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier in front of Number Ten, Downing Street (Image: GETTY)
In 2017, Guy Verhofstadt, Leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Group, said an association agreement between Britain and the EU based on Article 217 of the Lisbon Treaty could be “the best solution”.
Article 217 association agreement “often replaces a cooperation agreement thereby intensifying the relations between the partners”, according to the European External Action Service.
The Lisbon Treaty article, already enforced between the EU and Albania, Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chile, Egypt and several other nations, including Ukraine, states: “The Union may conclude with one or more third countries or international organisations agreements establishing an association involving reciprocal rights and obligations, common action and special procedure.”
Being an associate member of the bloc would mean paying a membership fee instead of signing a free trade agreement.
This type of deal was also suggested by the Centre for European Policy earlier that year.
In a research paper, the organisation suggested the UK could follow a so-called “Ukraine Plus” model and establish a relationship with the EU similar to that of the Eastern European state.
The paper’s authors wrote. “A model for this special type of partnership could be provided by the Association and Free Trade Agreement which the EU has concluded with Ukraine.
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European Parliament’s Brexit Coordinator Guy Verhofstadt (Image: GETTY)
“This has been in effect since January 1, 2016, although some of it only provisionally because ratification by the Netherlands is still outstanding.
“Firstly, the ‘Ukraine Model’ corresponds to the British objectives in that it contains substantial market access but does not require the application of EU law or compliance with the case law of the ECJ, nor does it provide for free movement but it does allow free trade agreements with third countries.
“Thus the United Kingdom’s four key requirements are met.”
However, the think-tank acknowledged that issues could arise with a Ukraine-style deal for the UK, particularly when it comes to the financial services sector.
Banks currently have the right to “passport” their financial licences in one EU market to another, preventing them having to go through the costly and complicated process of being regulated in each market where they operate, but that passport could be lost after the Brexit process has been completed, causing chaos for Britain’s financial services industry.
The report noted: “The agreement with Ukraine is unlikely to satisfy the United Kingdom as regards the scope of trade liberalisation because it contains numerous restrictions on market access particularly for cross-border services.
“The United Kingdom will probably require better access to the EU internal market, primarily in the interests of the British finance industry.”
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Professor Carl Baudenbacher (Image: LAW AS CULTURE)
The European Court of Justice (Image: GETTY)
Former President of the European Free Trade Area Carl Baudenbacher criticised the Ukraine model, though, as it means Britain will still be under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice (ECJ).
He explained in a recent entry for the London School of Economics blog: “Under Trajan the Roman Empire, at its greatest extent, encompassed the entire Mediterranean region, but also parts of present-day Germany, Britain, Romania, Turkey, Syria and Armenia.
“The European Union is preparing to build a similar empire. Roman law played an important role in the expansion of the Roman Empire; and the EU relies on the export of its law, and the extraterritorial effect of the case law of the European Court of Justice (ECJ).
“The EU has concluded bilateral association treaties with four former Soviet republics, Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova and Armenia, under which these countries are aligning their legislation in important fields with EU law.
“The ECJ has a monopoly in the interpretation of treaty law which is identical in substance to EU law.”
More and more in recent weeks, speculation has gathered momentum over who will be the next mother to give birth to a royal baby, with many claiming the likes of Kate, Princess Eugenie or Princess Beatrice may make a bombshell announcement. But Kate’s first pregnancy left many concerned for her health, including royal expert Victoria Arbiter who explained she would have the “best care possible”. The Duchess of Cambridge endured acute bouts of morning sickness, leading her to need hydration and nutrients, when preparing herself to welcome her first son, and future heir to the throne.
Called hyperemesis gravidarum, the condition can cause excessive nausea and vomiting, and often results in patients being forced into hospital for treatments.
This was the case when Kate was expecting with George, and it paved the way for her to give birth in a hospital, following in the footsteps of her mother-in-law Princess Diana.
Buckingham Palace confirmed Kate’s hospital visit, which led many to speculate that she would give birth to George in the Lindo wing of St Mary’s Hospital, London – the same hospital her husband Prince William was born in.
In 2012, Ms Arbiter revealed that Kate would “definitely give birth in a hospital, certainly if she is still enduring complications such as this”.
She added: “They’ll be keen for Kate to get the best care possible because ultimately she is carrying the heir to the throne.”
More recently, Kate left royal fans convinced she may want a fourth child, to join children George, Charlotte and Louis in the Cambridge fold.
She made an appearance on the Happy Mum, Happy Baby podcast, in which she discussed parenthood and the difficulties mothers and fathers often face.
She told the broadcast that all mothers suffer from “mum guilt”, and that “anyone who doesn’t as a mother is lying”.
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After Louis arrived, Kate moved back to her normal look, which celebrity stylist James Johnson said would allow the Duchess of Cambridge to “keep her hair off her face” as she supported her young family.
Speaking to FEMAIL in 2018, Mr Johnson said: “She was known for her big and bouncy ‘Chelsea blow dry’ for years and now she’s gone back to that, back to her signature style.
“It might be easier for her to have longer hair so that she can pull it back and off her face while running after three young children.”
Finding Freedom is expected to shed light on both Harry and Meghan Markle’s frustrations with the palace and press as well as their journey into royal life. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have both distanced themselves from the book, saying they were not interviewed for the biography and did not make any contributions to it. However, the book claims the royal rift damaged more bonds than that of brothers Harry and William.
The latest revelation in the book details how Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s son, Archie Harrison, never got the chance to bond with his cousins Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis.
Meghan and Harry stepped back from the royal family in January.
A couple months after their bombshell announcement, sources claimed Harry felt like Archie “has been abandoned” by the Royal Family.
However, even before their royal exit and move, it was clear that Harry’s wish to have Archie be “best friends” with his cousins was a long shot due to the royal feud.
Prince harry wanted Archie to be “best friends” with his cousins George, Charlotte and Louis (Image: GETTY)
The latest revelation in the book details how Archie never got the chance to bond with his cousins Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis (Image: SAVETHECHILDREN)
New extracts of Finding Freedom, shared by the Times claim that though Harry and Meghan gave a standing invitation to Prince William and Kate Middleton to visit their home in the countryside, they never did.
On top of the Cambridges failing to take the time to visit, Harry also apparently felt like they needed a break from each other.
A source said: “Everywhere you turn, you’re surrounded by staff and family.
“He was at a point in his life where he was working with his brother, doing the foundation with his brother and living by his brother. It was too much.”
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A couple months after their bombshell announcement, sources claimed Harry felt like Archie ‘has been abandoned’ by the Royal Family. (Image: SAVETHECHILDREN)
Moreover, there seems to be little chance of a family reunion.
With the coronavirus keeping the Sussexes in Los Angeles, they have not been able to reunite with William, Kate and their three children.
However, it seems Harry doesn’t want to return to the UK or Royal Family any time soon.
A palace insider said Prince Harry had been “reluctant” to agree to the review following their trial separation.
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The book claims the royal rift damaged more bonds than that of brothers Harry and William (Image: KENSINGTON ROYAL)
Harry reportedly felt like he and William needed a break from each other (Image: GETTY)
The source, interviewed by the Telegraph, claims Harry and Meghan never wanted to return in the first place because the couple knew they never wanted to return to the “old way of doing things”.
They said: “The split was very stressful for everyone on all sides, but the Duke and Duchess were never going to go back to the status quo.
“Harry needed to be convinced of the purpose for a review.
“Theirs is a new model and they never wanted to go back to the old one, even if they do come back to the UK.
Royal Family tree (Image: EXPRESS)
“The review is intended to keep the door open to them but Harry could see the down side of this because this wasn’t about them changing their minds.”
The 12-month review was suggested as part of negotiations to keep the door open for the couple to return to the UK.
It allowed Prince Harry to hold on to some patronages and titles, said insiders, which in turn allows him to maintain his links with the UK.
The pair had been expected back for major events such as Trooping the Colour.
There seems to be little chance of a family reunion as the Sussexes work from Los Angeles (Image: GETTY)
However, the coronavirus pandemic scuppered the plans leaving them overseas.
The couple have been carrying out virtual tours and engagements in the US and are both involved in a number of projects close to their hearts.
harry and Meghan are planning to launch their new organisation Archewell this year.
The Duchess of Sussex recently gave a virtual keynote speech at the UN Foundation’s 2020 Girl Up Leadership Summit.
The 71-year-old has become one of the nation’s most beloved gardeners and is always on hand – and television – to show off an abundance of tips for budding green fingered people to take on and enjoy outdoors. From ‘Gardener’s World’ to ‘Ground Force’, Alan has become a national treasure – thanks in most part to his warm manner and brilliant garden analysis. And in 2018, while writing for Country Life, Alan once again showed off his knowledge by advising gardeners the best plant to bring inside at Christmas – and how to keep them flourishing.
He wrote: “Timing is everything and the keen gardener will plant batches of ‘prepared’ bulbs (given heat treatment to encourage faster flowering) at weekly intervals from late September to late October to offer a floral display that will last well into the New Year.
“Paperwhite and Grand Soleil d’Or narcissi are happy with a much shorter period of cool and dark conditions and will generally flower 6–10 weeks after planting. Bring them indoors when they’ve pushed 3in–4in) clear of the compost.
“These thoughts are for next year, of course, but if you buy ready-grown pots of Christmas-flowering bulbs, or are given them as a present, how do you look after them in today’s centrally heated homes?
“Keeping them in as bright a light as possible (on a windowsill, for preference) and as cool as is comfortable for you to live in will make them last longest.”
Alan, who was once so highly regarded he was given the honour of renovating former South African president Nelson Mandela’s garden, explained that those types of bulbs would need support to flourish.
The author, who has also appeared on programmes for ITV, added: “All these flowering bulbs need some form of support. Three or four split green canes pushed around the edge of the pot and looped around with garden twine will make an enclosure for the extending stems of the narcissi.
“Hyacinths are best supported by more brutal means. As soon as the flowers begin to open, push a 10in–12in piece of stiff wire down through the centre of the flower stalk and right through the bulb until it disappears from view. The support will be invisible and, although the bulbs will be damaged, flowering will not be affected.”
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“‘Paperwhite’ is ivory white and ‘Soleil d’Or’ a bright golden yellow and both are exquisitely scented.
“Choose a clay pot about 56in in diameter and three-quarters fill it with peat-free multipurpose compost.
“Sit the bulbs on top, so that they are touching, and fill around them with more compost, pushing it lightly between the bulbs.”