The long-delayed 2020 edition of the Tokyo summer Olympics opened Friday against the sober backdrop of soaring COVID infection rates, but with plenty of pomp and ceremony nonetheless –  including a massive fireworks display and an aerial show of drones resembling planet earth hovering above Olympic Stadium, while John Lennon’s “Imagine” echoed across the night […] Continue reading ->
Chinese officials have rejected WHO’s proposal for a more rigorous Phase II investigation of the origins of the SARS-CoV2 virus, including renewed consideration that the virus may have escaped from a laboratory, describing the new plan as “impossible” at a press conference.    “We will not accept such an origin-tracing plan as it, in some aspects, […] Continue reading ->
In a milestone deal for Africa, Pfizer/BioNTech announced Wednesday that it would partner with the Cape Town-based pharma firm Biovac to produce over 100 million doses annually of it’s cutting edge mRNA vaccine – for distribution within the African Union.   The deal was quickly hailed as a major breakthrough on a continent that is desperately […] Continue reading ->
Germany’s Health Minister Jens Spahn pushed back hard Thursday against voices calling for a waiver on the intellectual property of COVID-19 treatments and vaccines in a high-profile visit to Geneva. His trip coincided with German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s farewell visit to the United States, including a summit with US President Joe Biden, where protestors chanted […] Continue reading ->
WHO’s Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus slammed plans by Pfizer and Moderna, as well as a handful of rich countries, to begin offering ‘booster’ COVID vaccines to some groups of people – saying that the world has evolved a “dangerous” two-tiered system of vaccinations, driven by greed instead of enlightened self-interest. “It’s becoming a […] Continue reading ->
Nearly half of the 31 European nations using the European Union’s new digital COVID travel certificate have recognized the India-made version of the AstraZeneca vaccine, Covishield, alongside its European-made counterpart, Vaxzevria, an analysis by Health Policy Watch has revealed.  But other major countries, including France, Poland, and Italy, seem to be holding out, authorizing only […] Continue reading ->
In his most explicit appeal to date, WHO’s Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called upon the global leaders in COVID mRNA vaccine manufacturing – Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna to “share their know-how” in vaccine manufacturing with more manufacturers, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.  The WHO DG also called upon countries that are beginning to […] Continue reading ->
African Union and WHO/African Region officials on Thursday sharply criticized the European Union decision to not grant the Indian version of AstraZeneca’s “Covishield” vaccine, distributed by the global COVAX facility, recognition in the new EU “Digital Green Pass programme” – amidst a growing chorus of global protests over the double standard. In a related statement, […] Continue reading ->
The much-trumpeted European Union COVID Digital Green Pass, which launches 1 July and is meant to vastly ease travel to Europe for vaccinated and recovered passengers is being rolled out with one important hitch. Anyone vaccinated with an AstraZeneca vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India would not be qualified to get the pass […] Continue reading ->
  In a first-ever tripartite meeting this year, the heads of the World Health Organization, the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO),  have agreed to step up their collaboration on tools and resources for fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.   The meeting was the first formal tripartite meeting since Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was […] Continue reading ->