There are “concerning trends for COVID-19 ahead of the winter season in the northern hemisphere”, including increased ICU admissions and hospitalisation in Europe, and case increases in the Middle East and Asia, according to World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. However, the WHO’s ability to assess the threat of new COVID-19 variants […] Continue reading ->
Pharmaceutical giant Janssen/Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and generic manufacturer Serum Institute of India (SII) charged the South African government more than the European Union for COVID-19 vaccines – and South Africa assumed all the risk in ‘take-it-or-leave-it’ contracts with Pfizer, J&J and SII. This is according to an analysis of the contracts led by Health […] Continue reading ->
Three years after the launch of its COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) initiative, the World Health Organization (WHO) has secured its first COVID-19 vaccine license from a private pharmaceutical company, the UN health body announced on Tuesday. The agreement with Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp., a private vaccine manufacturer based in Taiwan, is a welcome but underwhelming […] Continue reading ->
The South African High Court has ordered the country’s health department to hand copies of all its COVID-19 vaccine procurement contracts, negotiations and agreements to a non-governmental organisation, Health Justice Initiative (HJI). The Pretoria High Court ruling on Thursday comes in response to a court application by HJI for access to the contracts, arguing that […] Continue reading ->
Dr Hans Kluge, regional director of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Europe,  has warned member countries to maintain their COVID-19 infrastructure and genomic surveillance amid a “gradual increase in cases, including hospitalizations, in some European countries”.  “COVID has not gone away. While its impact currently isn’t as severe as earlier, millions, especially the most […] Continue reading ->
The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued new standing recommendations for COVID-19 for member states, now that the virus outbreak is no longer classified as a pandemic. The recommendations are seven-fold, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreysus told a media briefing on Wednesday. “First, all countries should update their national COVID-19 programmes using the WHO […] Continue reading ->
Older adults vaccinated with Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine were 15% less likely to be infected with COVID-19 than those vaccinated with Pfizer-BioNTech’s, according to a peer-reviewed study, published in JAMA Network on Wednesday. The study was based on observational data from 6.3 million adults, almost 60% women and 86.5% White, with an average age of 76 […] Continue reading ->
A single healthcare worker infected with COVID-19 cost the Kenyan economy over $33,000 – around 18 times the country’s per capita GDP. This is according to a new report on the economic cost of COVID-19 infections among healthcare workers in Eswatini, Colombia, Kenya and South Africa (the provinces of KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape) during the […] Continue reading ->
The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated patients’ difficulties in accessing medication for non-communicable diseases (NCDs), but there is a range of measures countries can take to mitigate this – and a pandemic accord could address some of the structural weaknesses. COVID-19 had a disproportionate and far-reaching impact on people living with NCDs. Not only were they more […] Continue reading ->