In this episode, Ayesha discussed Omicron, the latest SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern. The editorial team talked about the emergence of variants amid low vaccine uptake in some parts of the world owing to vaccine inequities and vaccine hesitancy. Omicron’s transmissibility, severity and the effectiveness of the current vaccines against it remain unknown. Amid border closures and travel bans being instituted by countries worldwide, the team agreed that the pandemic isn’t over yet and new variants may be inevitable, which is why vaccination and other protective measures such as masks, physical distancing and hand hygiene continue to be important to help mitigate transmission.
The team also talked about Sagent Pharmaceutical’s voluntary recall of several lots of its injectable seizure medication levetiracetam due to potential loss of sterility because of a container closure issue on the vials it comes packaged in. The affected lots were distributed this year and affect reserve sample vials. The writers discussed how companies need to pay closer heed to the quality standards of manufacturers producing the packaging components for their pharmaceuticals, as the packaging of a drug product is critical to its integrity.
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