World Trade Organization Director General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has ” high hopes” that the WTO Ministerial Conference (MC12) that convenes at the end of November can deliver decisions that curb harmful fisheries subsidies as well as improving access of low- and middle-income countries to COVID medicines and vaccines.  But WTO members must overcome a series of […] Continue reading ->
Vaccine access advocates issued increasingly desperate, last minute calls upon the World Trade Organization to take action over a stalled initiative to impose a temporary waiver on intellectual property for COVID medicines, tests and vaccines – even as the initiative appeared doomed to a stalemate for the rest of the summer.  Ahead of the opening […] Continue reading ->
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 ->
IBADAN – Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria, has officially exhausted all the doses of Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine it received in March from COVAX, according to Dr Faisal Shuaib, CEO of Nigeria’s National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA). Twenty-one African countries have seen COVID-19 cases rise by over 20% for at least two weeks running, […] 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 ->
The World Trade Organization (WTO) Secretariat has issued a list of bottlenecks and trade-facilitating measures on critical COVID-19 products, ahead of Wednesday’s  High-Level Dialogue between itself and the World Health Organization (WHO) on how to expand COVID-19 vaccines manufacturing to ensure equitable access. “One common theme that emerges from the list is that essential goods […] Continue reading ->
As an official partner of the COVAX Facility, UNICEF is responsible for procurement, logistics and delivery of COVID-19 vaccines. PRITI PATNAIK spoke with Gian Gandhi, who coordinates COVAX operations for UNICEF, to get a sense of the challenges faced by the organization during the pandemic in the context of production shortages and realities at the […] 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 ->