In a politically charged series of exchanges at a Friday press briefing, World Health Organization officials pushed back against queries by a representative of China’s state-controlled CCTV, asking about whether the SARS-CoV2 virus discovered in Wuhan, China in December of 2019 could have been circulating in humans “outside of China before the outbreak in Wuhan, […] Continue reading ->
Nairobi.  Africa’s limited cold-chain capacity will constrain the continent’s ability to take up the more cutting-edge Pfizer and Moderna vaccines that are likely to win approval first from regulatory authorities, said WHO’s African Regional Director Dr Matshidiso Moeti on Thursday. Those same constraints make the AstraZeneca (AZD1222) vaccine the most attractive option, despite its lower […] Continue reading ->
South Africa is campaigning for the World Trade Organization (WTO) to waiver intellectual property rights on all products related to COVID-19 for the duration of the pandemic. Mustaqeem De Gama, Counsellor at the South African Permanent Mission in Geneva, is leading the campaign. Kerry Cullinan and Elaine Fletcher spoke to him about the reasons why […] Continue reading ->
Thirteen African countries and an international network of research institutions have joined forces to launch a multi-country clinical trial of COVID-19 drug treatments in Africa for people who are mild to moderately ill. The new ANTICOV trial, led by the Geneva-based Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi) aims to respond to the urgent need to […] Continue reading ->
The vaccine zero hour is approaching. As Norway’s Minister of International Development Dag Ulstein and South Africa’s Minister of Health Zweili Mkhize made yet another urgent plea Monday for some US$4.3 billion right now and another $US23.9 billion in 2021 to massively roll out new COVID19 vaccines, drugs and tests that are now coming on […] Continue reading ->
AstraZeneca, the pharma firm developing a COVID-19 vaccine in collaboration with researchers at Oxford University, announced that its Phase 3 clinical trials had resulted in a 90% efficacy rate for one dosing regime, in interim results released on Monday. The AstraZeneca breakthrough is significant because the vaccine, based on a known vaccine delivery technology, is […] Continue reading ->
  Nearly 100 World Trade Organization member countries and entities could potentially swing behind a proposal by India and South Africa to enact a wide-ranging waiver of complex World Trade Organization requirements on the use of patented products, trade secrets and copyrights on health products during the pandemic, asserted the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Access […] Continue reading ->
Moderna’s mRNA vaccine candidate has had a vaccine efficacy of 94.5%, the company announced today. unveiling the stunning, initial analysis of Phase 3 clinical trial results by an independent Data Safety Monitoring Board, appointed by the US National Institutes of Health.  And news that the vaccine can be stored at 2° to 8°C (36° to […] Continue reading ->
BREAKING – World Health Organization Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has proposed the creation of a Swiss-based global repository for sharing pathogen materials and clinical samples related to potential outbreak threats – allowing for the more rapid development of medical interventions.  The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the urgent need for this kind of system, said […] Continue reading ->
Despite the big success this year in the eradication of wild poliovirus in the African region, the COVID-19 crisis has seen a temporary interruption of polio vaccine programmes. This has led to a rise in vaccine-derived polio cases which, are more likely to occur when vaccine coverage is weaker, WHO and African Region health officials […] Continue reading ->