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Africa Needs Vaccines Now

The World Health Organization (WHO) has made an urgent call for another 20 million doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine to be distributed in African nations in the next six weeks, or many who have received their first dose will not get the boosted protection of a second shot.

Stark Racial Disparities Persist In Vaccinations

The data, provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in response to a public records request, gives a sweeping national look at the race and ethnicity of vaccinated people on a state-by-state basis. Yet nearly half of those vaccination records are missing race or ethnicity information.

Bill Gates, The White Man’s Burden And Modi Government’s Vaccine Debacle

The incompetence of the Indian government is starkly visible in its handling of the current COVID-19 crisis. It fares even worse on the vaccine front. Its belief in the ideology of free-market capitalism is that the market will magically produce whatever we need. This is why it starved the 7 public sector vaccine manufacturing units (Down to Earth, 17 April 2021) of any support. And also gave the public sector vaccine, Covaxin, developed by ICMR and National Institute of Virology to a private company, Bharat Biotech on an exclusive basis. It also believed that Serum Institute of India, another private sector company and the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, would make vaccines in required amounts without orders or capital support.

UK’s Vaccine Rollout Is A Reminder That We Need Universal Healthcare

London - Dr. John Lister watched in horror as the United Kingdom’s Covid-19 mortality rate climbed above 1 per 1,000, one of the highest death rates in the world since the start of the pandemic. So, when the 71-year-old Briton was informed he would receive the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in late January, he could hardly contain himself.  “It was a great moment of excitement when I got the notification,” Lister tells In These Times.  Lister, a health policy expert and associate professor at Coventry University, was one of 15 million people in the United Kingdom to receive a Covid-19 vaccine before February 15, thanks to a vaccination program that has consistently ranked among the three fastest in the world.

White New Yorkers Have Received Lion’s Share Of COVID-19 Vaccine

Three white residents receive a COVID-19 vaccine for every Black or Latino person in the city, according to new demographic data released by the mayor’s office on Sunday. At a press briefing, Mayor Bill de Blasio said there was a “profound disparity” about seven weeks into the city’s vaccination program. “Clearly, what we see is a particularly pronounced reality of many more people from white communities getting vaccination than folks from Black and Latino communities,” de Blasio told reporters. The vast difference in vaccine coverage shows the city isn’t meeting its pledge for equitable distribution. The mayor said supply problems were central to the challenge of distributing vaccines equitably across communities of color.

Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium Will Administer Vaccines

Philadelphia’s Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium will be playing a much more hands-on role in the city’s vaccine distribution efforts. Consortium founder Dr. Ala Stanford shared on Instagram that the group — which has provided COVID-19 testing to more than 20,000 people — will be administering the vaccine to Philly’s Black communities. People can sign up through a contact form or can reach out via email at Vaccinations will be offered on a first come, first served basis. The consortium will begin administering the vaccines when Philadelphia enters Phase 1B of its distribution plan, which includes critical essential workers and is expected to start sometime soon in early 2021.

US Blockade Prevents Venezuela From Funding COVAX

Venezuela’s Health Minister Carlos Alvarado on Sunday said that the economic blockade imposed by the United States is preventing his country from funding the COVAX initiative led by the World Health Organization (WHO). He recalled that his country offered to place US$18 million into the COVAX fund, but as a result of the U.S. blockade, Venezuela has not "been able to free those resources to pay the fund." Alvarado added that the U.S. sanctions have affected other vaccination programs previously conducted through the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) revolving fund. "We have not been able to pay the revolving fund, therefore, we have not been able to buy vaccines through that fund," the Health minister said...

Science Magazine Report Praises China’s COVID-19 Vaccine

The Science magazine website has just published a report praising a Covid-19 vaccine China has developed and referred to its "outstanding efficacy data" as a relevant feature, compared to the other vaccines out in the market. The vaccine, developed by the China National Pharmaceutical Group (CNPG), had been under phase III trials in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) since June, involving 31,000 volunteers from 125 countries and regions. The UAE announced on Wednesday the official registration of the Chinese company's COVID-19 vaccine. According to a statement issued by the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention, the interim analysis of the phase III trials indicates that the Chinese vaccine offers 86 percent efficacy against COVID-19 infections.

Experts Temper Expectations For Pfizer’s COVID-19 Vaccine

Public health experts were among those who urged cautious optimism on Monday as pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announced that the first formal review of its coronavirus vaccine showed the vaccine is more than 90% effective at preventing the virus in trial volunteers who had never before had Covid-19.  Pfizer shared the news in a press release—not in a peer-reviewed medical journal, noted consumer advocacy group Public Citizen—amid its ongoing 44,000-person trial, which it is conducting with German drug manufacturer BioNTech.

US Sanctions Russian Institute That Developed COVID-19 Vaccine

Russia won the race to develop the first vaccine against the novel coronavirus. The United States has responded by slapping sanctions on a Russian research facility involved in creating it. The US government has blacklisted several Russian scientific institutes, including the Russian Defense Ministry’s 48th Central Research Institute, which has worked with other non-military medical centers to develop and test the world’s first Covid-19 vaccine. In the midst of the global coronavirus pandemic and a historic economic crisis, Washington has escalated its global campaign of economic warfare, imposing sanctions on foreign adversaries and announcing new punitive measures on a nearly daily basis. More than one-fourth of people on Earth live in countries that are suffering from US sanctions.

‘Western’ Media Falsely Claim Russia’s COVID-19 Vaccine Is Ready

After President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia's Covid-19 vaccine candidate had gained an approval from its regulator, 'western' media went into a anti-Russian frenzy to sow fear and doubt about it. Russia has not approved a vaccine against Covid-19 and it is not skipping large-scale clinical trials. The Russia regulator gave a preliminary approval for a vaccine candidate to start the large-scale clinical trial. This is similar to an emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

US Lawmakers, Top Official Clash On China’s Involvement In COVID-19 Vaccine

US lawmakers and a top official leading the White House’s efforts to produce a coronavirus vaccine clashed on Thursday over whether American health authorities should be working with China to speed up the process. At a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing to confirm General Gustave Perna to co-lead “Operation Warp Speed”, the Trump administration’s initiative to develop a coronavirus vaccine and therapeutics, several lawmakers asked whether the United States is committed to working with China on research. Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat representing Connecticut, raised the concerns “that the administration has … rejected and spurned combined world efforts to develop an effective vaccine” and asked if Perna would commit to “work with any nation that offers cooperation or information relevant to developing vaccines or therapeutic”.

Ethics Groups Call On Coronavirus ‘Vaccine Czar’ To Disclose Potential Conflicts

The Trump administration's decision to hire its new "vaccine czar" as a private contractor, rather than a government employee, has alarmed some ethics experts who say the designation will involve him in programs that could channel millions of federal dollars into the development of coronavirus vaccine and treatments without requiring he disclose financial holdings or potential conflicts. When it was announced two weeks ago that Moncef Slaoui would head up "Operation Warp Speed" to find and distribute a vaccine, the administration described him as “chief advisor,” but did not explicitly say he would not be a formal government employee. As a private contractor, he is not bound to the same disclosure regulations and criminal ethics laws as many formal executive branch employees, ethics experts told ABC News. That decision marks the latest concern with what ethics experts are describing as a blind spot into the coronavirus response.

US Government Fears China Will Give Away COVID-19 Vaccine For Free

The number of official global coronavirus mortalities surpassed a quarter of a million people today, including over 69,000 in the U.S. (although this is very likely an undercount). Polls show that the American people are extremely worried about contracting the virus. However, the government has a much bigger concern: that if they find a COVID-19 vaccine, China will copy it and distribute it for free. To many, it will not be immediately clear why it would be a problem for a manufacturing superpower, home to 1.4 billion people, to inoculate itself and others. But to the White House, this would be “stealing” a potential American innovation. “Biomedical research has long been a focus of theft, especially by the Chinese government, and vaccines and treatments for the coronavirus are today’s holy grail,”
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