Vaccines and Global Health: The Week in Review :: 23 May 2020

.– Request an Email Summary: Vaccines and Global Health : The Week in Review is published as a single email summary, scheduled for release each Saturday evening before midnight (EDT in the U.S.). If you would like to receive the email version, please send your request to david.r.curry@centerforvaccineethicsandpolicy.org.

 pdf version A pdf of the current issue is available here: Vaccines and Global Health_The Week in Review_23 May 2020

– blog edition: comprised of the approx. 35+ entries posted below.

– Twitter:  Readers can also follow developments on twitter: @vaxethicspolicy.
.
– Links:  We endeavor to test each link as we incorporate it into any post, but recognize that some links may become “stale” as publications and websites reorganize content over time. We apologize in advance for any links that may not be operative. We believe the contextual information in a given post should allow retrieval, but please contact us as above for assistance if necessary.

Support this knowledge-sharing service: Your financial support helps us cover our costs and to address a current shortfall in our annual operating budget. Click here to donate and thank you in advance for your contribution.

.
David R. Curry, MS
Executive Director
Center for Vaccine Ethics and Policy

Seventy-third World Health Assembly

Milestones :: Perspectives :: Research

 

Editor’s Note:
Next week’s edition with cover final resolutions and decisions for this virtual WHA.

Seventy-third World Health Assembly
#WHA73 18-19 May 2020
Watch WHA session video records here

Historic health assembly ends with global commitment to COVID-19 response
19 May 2020 News release
At today’s meeting of the 73rd World Health Assembly —its first-ever to be held virtually—delegates adopted a landmark resolution to bring the world together to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

The resolution, co-sponsored by more than 130 countries, was adopted by consensus.

It calls for the intensification of efforts to control the pandemic, and for equitable access to and fair distribution of all essential health technologies and products to combat the virus. It also calls for an independent and comprehensive evaluation of the global response, including, but not limited to, WHO’s performance.

As WHO convened ministers of health from almost every country in the world, the consistent message throughout the two-day meeting—including from the 14 heads of state participating in the opening and closing sessions —was that global unity is the most powerful tool to combat the outbreak. The resolution is a concrete manifestation of this call, and a roadmap for controlling the outbreak.

In his closing remarks, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said “COVID-19 has robbed us of people we love. It’s robbed us of lives and livelihoods; it’s shaken the foundations of our world; it threatens to tear at the fabric of international cooperation. But it’s also reminded us that for all our differences, we are one human race, and we are stronger together.”

The World Health Assembly will reconvene later in the year.

 

::::::

Editor’s Note:
We present below key text from the COVID-19 Response resolution adopted at WHA73 with Editor’s text bolding. The full text of the resolution as adopted [final version to be released] is presented at the end of this week’s edition.

 

SEVENTY-THIRD WORLD HEALTH ASSEMBLY
COVID-19 response
A73/CONF./1 Rev.1 18 May 2020

… OP1 Calls for, in the spirit of unity and solidarity, intensification of cooperation and collaboration at all levels to contain, control and mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic;

 

OP2 Acknowledges the key leadership role of WHO and the fundamental role of the United Nations system in catalysing and coordinating the comprehensive global response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the central efforts of Member States therein;

OP3 Expresses its highest appreciation of and support to the dedication, efforts and sacrifices, above and beyond the call of duty of health professionals, health workers and other relevant frontline workers, as well as the WHO Secretariat, in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic;

OP4 Calls for the universal, timely and equitable access to and fair distribution of all quality, safe, efficacious and affordable essential health technologies and products including their components and precursors required in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic as a global priority, and the urgent removal of unjustified obstacles thereto; consistent with the provisions of relevant international treaties including the provisions of the TRIPS agreement and the flexibilities as confirmed by the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health;

OP5 Reiterates the importance of urgently meeting the needs of low- and middle-income countries in order to fill the gaps to overcome the pandemic through timely and adequate development and humanitarian assistance;

OP6 Recognizes the role of extensive immunization against COVID-19 as a global public good for health in preventing, containing and stopping transmission in order to bring the pandemic to an end, once safe, quality, efficacious, effective, accessible and affordable vaccines are available;…

 

OP8 CALLS on international organizations and other relevant stakeholders to:
…OP8.2 Work collaboratively at all levels to develop, test, and scale-up production of safe, effective, quality, affordable diagnostics, therapeutics, medicines and vaccines for the COVID-19 response, including, existing mechanisms for voluntary pooling and licensing of patents to facilitate timely, equitable and affordable access to them, consistent with the provisions of relevant international treaties including the provisions of the TRIPS agreement and the flexibilities as confirmed by the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health;

 

OP9 REQUESTS the Director-General to:
OP9.1 Continue to work with the United Nations Secretary-General and relevant multilateral organizations, including the signatory agencies of the Global Action Plan for Healthy Lives and Well-Being, on a comprehensive and coordinated response across the United Nations system to support Member States in their responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in full cooperation with governments, as appropriate, demonstrating leadership on health in the United Nations system, and continue to act as the health cluster lead in the United Nations humanitarian response;

OP9.2 Continue to build and strengthen the capacities of WHO at all levels to fully and effectively perform the functions entrusted to it under the IHR;

OP9.3 Assist and continue to call upon all States’ Parties to take the actions according to the provisions of the IHR, including by providing all necessary support to countries for building, strengthening and maintaining their capacities to fully comply with the IHR;

OP9.5 Assist countries upon request in developing, implementing and adapting relevant national response plans to COVID-19, by developing, disseminating and updating normative products and technical guidance, learning tools, data and scientific evidence for COVID-19 responses, including to counter misinformation and disinformation, as well as malicious cyber activities, and continue to work against substandard and falsified medicines and medical products;

OP9.6 Continue to work closely with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and countries, as part of the One-Health Approach to identify the zoonotic source of the virus and the route of introduction to the human population, including the possible role of intermediate hosts, including through efforts such as scientific and collaborative field missions, which will enable targeted interventions and a research agenda to reduce the risk of similar events as well as to provide guidance on how to prevent SARS-COV2 infection in animals and humans and prevent the establishment of new zoonotic reservoirs, as well as to reduce further risks of emergence and transmission of zoonotic diseases;…

OP9.8 Rapidly, and noting OP2 of RES/74/274 and in consultation with Member States,1 and with inputs from relevant international organizations civil society, and the private sector, as
appropriate, identify and provide options that respect the provisions of relevant international treaties, including the provisions of the TRIPS agreement and the flexibilities as confirmed by the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health to be used in scaling up development, manufacturing and distribution capacities needed for transparent equitable and timely access to quality, safe, affordable and efficacious diagnostics, therapeutics, medicines, and vaccines for the COVID-19 response taking into account existing mechanisms, tools, and initiatives, such as the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) accelerator, and relevant pledging appeals, such as “The Coronavirus Global Response” pledging campaign, for the consideration of the Governing Bodies;…

 

OP9.10 Initiate, at the earliest appropriate moment, and in consultation with Member States,1 a stepwise process of impartial, independent and comprehensive evaluation, including using existing mechanisms,2 as appropriate, to review experience gained and lessons learned from the WHO-coordinated international health response to COVID-19, including (i) the effectiveness of the mechanisms at WHO’s disposal; (ii) the functioning of the IHR and the status of implementation of the relevant recommendations of the previous IHR Review Committees; (iii) WHO’s contribution to United Nations-wide efforts; and (iv) the actions of WHO and their timelines pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic, and make recommendations to improve global pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response capacity, including through strengthening, as appropriate, WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme…

COVID-19: Impacts

Milestones :: Perspectives :: Research

 

COVID-19: Impacts

At least 80 million children under one at risk of diseases such as diphtheria, measles and polio as COVID-19 disrupts routine vaccination efforts, warn Gavi, WHO and UNICEF
Agencies call for joint effort to safely deliver routine immunization and proceed with vaccination campaigns against deadly vaccine-preventable diseases.
GENEVA/NEW YORK, 22 May 2020 – COVID 19 is disrupting life-saving immunization services around the world, putting millions of children – in rich and poor countries alike – at risk of diseases like diphtheria, measles and polio. This stark warning comes from the World Health Organization, UNICEF and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance ahead of the Global Vaccine Summit on 4 June, at which world leaders will come together to help maintain immunization programmes and mitigate the impact of the pandemic in lower-income countries.

According to data collected by the World Health Organization, UNICEF, Gavi and the Sabin Vaccine Institute, provision of routine immunization services is substantially hindered in at least 68 countries and is likely to affect approximately 80 million children under the age of 1 living in these countries.

ROUTINE IMMUNIZATION OF CHILDREN DISRUPTED 
Since March 2020, routine childhood immunization services have been disrupted on a global scale that may be unprecedented since the inception of expanded programs on immunization (EPI) in the 1970s. More than half (53%) of the 129 countries where data were available reported moderate-to-severe disruptions, or a total suspension of vaccination services during March-April 2020.

“Immunization is one of the most powerful and fundamental disease prevention tools in the history of public health,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “Disruption to immunization programmes from the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to unwind decades of progress against vaccine-preventable diseases like measles.”

“At the 4 June Global Vaccine Summit in London, donors will pledge their support to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to sustain and accelerate this lifesaving work in some of the most vulnerable countries. From the bottom of my heart, I urge donors to fully fund the Alliance. These countries, these children especially, need vaccines, and they need Gavi.”

The reasons for disrupted services vary. Some parents are reluctant to leave home because of restrictions on movement, lack of information or because they fear infection with the COVID-19 virus. And many health workers are unavailable because of restrictions on travel, or redeployment to COVID response duties, as well as a lack of protective equipment.

“More children in more countries are now protected against more vaccine-preventable diseases than at any point in history,” said Dr. Seth Berkley, Gavi CEO. “Due to COVID-19 this immense progress is now under threat, risking the resurgence of diseases like measles and polio. Not only will maintaining immunization programmes prevent more outbreaks, it will also ensure we have the infrastructure we need to roll out an eventual COVID-19 vaccine on a global scale.”

Transport delays of vaccines are exacerbating the situation. UNICEF has reported a substantial delay in planned vaccine deliveries due to the lockdown measures and the ensuing decline in commercial flights and limited availability of charters. To help mitigate this, UNICEF is appealing to governments, the private sector, the airline industry, and others, to free up freight space at an affordable cost for these life-saving vaccines. Gavi recently signed an agreement with UNICEF to provide advance funding to cover increased freight costs for delivery of vaccines, in light of the reduced number of commercial flights available for transport.

“We cannot let our fight against one disease come at the expense of long-term progress in our fight against other diseases,” said Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director. “We have effective vaccines against measles, polio and cholera. While circumstances may require us to temporarily pause some immunization efforts, these immunizations must restart as soon as possible, or we risk exchanging one deadly outbreak for another.”

Next week, WHO will issue new advice to countries on maintaining essential services during the pandemic, including recommendations on how to provide immunizations safely.

MASS IMMUNIZATION CAMPAIGNS TEMPORARILY DISRUPTED
Many countries have temporarily and justifiably suspended preventive mass vaccination campaigns against diseases like cholera, measles, meningitis, polio, tetanus, typhoid and yellow fever, due to risk of transmission and the need to maintain physical distancing during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Measles and polio vaccination campaigns, in particular, have been badly hit, with measles campaigns suspended in 27 countries and polio campaigns put on hold in 38 countries. At least 24 million people in 21 Gavi-supported lower-income countries are at risk of missing out on vaccines against polio, measles, typhoid, yellow fever, cholera, rotavirus, HPV, meningitis A and rubella due to postponed campaigns and introductions of new vaccines.

In late March, concerned that mass gatherings for vaccination campaigns would enflame transmission of COVID-19 WHO recommended countries to temporarily suspend preventive campaigns while assessments of risk, and effective measures for reducing COVID virus transmission were established.

WHO has since monitored the situation and has now issued advice to help countries determine how and when to resume mass vaccination campaigns. The guidance notes that countries will need to make specific risk assessments based on the local dynamics of COVID-19 transmission, the health system capacities, and the public health benefit of conducting preventive and outbreak response vaccination campaigns.

Based on this guidance, and following growing concerns about increasing transmission of polio, the  Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), is advising countries to start planning for the safe resumption of polio vaccination campaigns, especially in polio high-risk countries.

Despite the challenges, several countries are making special efforts to continue immunization. Uganda is ensuring that immunization services continue along with other essential health services, even funding transportation to ensure outreach activities. And in Lao PDR, despite a national lockdown imposed in March, routine immunization in fixed sites continued with physical distancing measures in place.

Vaccination campaigns 
Total # of  countries with postponed campaigns as of 15 May*
Measles/ Measles Rubella/ Measles Mumps Rubella (M/MR/MMR)
27
Polio (IPV)
7
Bivalent oral poliovirus vaccine (bOPV)
26
Monovalent Oral Poliovirus Type 2 (mOPV2)
13
Meningitis A (MenA)
2
Yellow Fever (YF)
4
Typhoid (TCV)
2
Cholera (OCV)
5
Tetanus (Td)
7

 

::::::

Statement
Remarks by Henrietta Fore UNICEF Executive Director at joint press briefing on immunization with WHO and Gavi, 22 May
22/05/2020
…And there have been serious disruptions in supply chains and transport services. UNICEF has reported a substantial delay in planned vaccine deliveries due to the lockdown measures and the resulting decline in commercial flights and limited availability of charters.

However, we cannot let our fight against one disease come at the expense of long-term progress in our fight against other diseases.

We cannot exchange one deadly outbreak for another. We cannot afford to lose the decades of health gains that everyone has worked so hard to achieve.

We need joint, concerted efforts to put vaccinations back on track. And there are many ways we can do this:

First, countries need to intensify their efforts to track unvaccinated children, so that the most vulnerable populations are vaccinated as soon as it becomes possible to do so.

Second, we need to address gaps in vaccine delivery. UNICEF is working with our offices around the world, freight forwarders and partner organisations to prioritise shipments and arrange charter operations as required for delivery of emergency and critical supplies. We have also appealed to governments, the private sector, the airline industry, and others, to free up freight space at an affordable cost for humanitarian supplies including life-saving vaccines. A special thanks to Gavi who made at least US$ 40 million available to UNICEF to secure vital supplies, including vaccines and personal protective equipment on behalf of 58 low and lower-middle-income countries as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Third, we need to look for innovative solutions to keep vaccinations going. And some countries are already leading the way. Uganda, for example, is ensuring that immunization services continue along with other essential health services, even funding transportation to ensure outreach activities…

 

Fourth, vaccines need to be affordable and accessible to those who need them the most.

And last, we need to make sure we have the resources to do all of this. This is a significant undertaking that requires generosity and commitment. We know only too well that when it comes to some of these diseases, no child is safe until every child is safe. Ahead of the Gavi replenishment conference in June, the call for additional funding cannot be timelier.

 

::::::

Framework for decision-making: implementation of mass vaccination campaigns in the context of COVID-19
WHO Interim guidance
22 May 2020
Background
Mass vaccination campaigns to prevent or respond to outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases and high impact diseases (VPD/HID) are effective strategies to reduce deaths and disease. Yet many countries have had to postpone such vaccination campaigns due to the physical distancing measures implemented to reduce COVID-19 transmission.

For countries affected by both VPD/HID and COVID-19 outbreaks, determining the best course of action may be challenging. Weighing the benefits of a safe and effective intervention that reduces mortality and morbidity against the risks of increasing transmission of a new disease that may burden essential health services can be complex. The starting point for such considerations is a risk-benefit analysis that reviews in detail the epidemiological evidence and weighs the short- and medium-term public health consequences of implementing or postponing mass vaccination campaigns, weighed against a potential increase in COVID-19 transmission.1

 

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, this document:
I. outlines a common framework for decision-making for the conduct of preventive and outbreak response campaigns;

 

II. offers principles to consider when deliberating the implementation of mass vaccination campaigns for prevention of increased risk of VPD/HID among susceptible populations; and

III. details the risks and benefits of conducting vaccination campaigns to respond to VPD/HID outbreaks.

This document is complemented by an annex (Annex 1) that provides guidance on how to safely organize a mass vaccination campaign, and is supplemented by a range of technical materials on prevention, response and control measures for COVID-19, including the”
:: Guiding principles for immunization activities during the COVID-19 pandemic: Interim guidance,2
:: the Frequently Asked Questions: Immunization in the context of COVID-19 pandemic,3 and
:: the Polio eradication programme continuity: implementation in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.4 This interim guidance should also be used in conjunction with existing disease-specific WHO prevention and control guidelines.

Audience
This interim guidance is to be used by national health authorities (and subnational where appropriate), together with immunization programme partners…

Continue reading

Coronavirus [COVID-19]

EMERGENCIES

Coronavirus [COVID-19]
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

Editor’s Note:
We certainly recognize the velocity of global developments in the COVID-19 pandemic. While we have selected some key announcements and reports here and above, COVID-19 announcements, analysis and commentary will be found throughout this issue, in all sections. Beyond the considerable continuing coverage in the global general media, the WHO’s authoritative guidance is available here:
:: Daily WHO situation reports here: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports
:: WHO Coronavirus disease (COVID-2019) daily press briefings here: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/media-resources/press-briefings

Situation report – 124 [WHO]

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
23 May 2020
[Excerpts]
Situation in numbers (by WHO Region)
Total (new cases in last 24 hours)
Globally 5 103 006 cases (109 536) 333 401 deaths (5 663)
Africa 74 256 cases (2 504) 2 040 deaths (59)
Americas 2 282 488 cases (62 221) 135 184 deaths (3 579)
Eastern Mediterranean 402 919 cases (13 331) 10 806 deaths (158)
Europe 1 987 657 cases (21 413) 172 958 deaths (1 631)
South-East Asia 182 278 cases (9 119) 5 556 deaths (209)
Western Pacific 172 696 cases (948) 6 844 deaths (27)

HIGHLIGHTS
:: WHO has published a COVID-19 Monitoring and Evaluation Framework listing the key public health and essential health services and systems indicators to monitor preparedness, response, and situations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
:: WHO has updated a document on Operational Planning Guidelines to Support Country Preparedness and Response. The document provides a practical guide that can be used by national authorities to develop and update their COVID-19 national plans across the major pillars of COVID-19 preparedness and response.
:: WHO published an interim guidance on Framework for decision-making: implementation of mass vaccination campaigns in the context of COVID-19. The document describes the principles to consider when deliberating the implementation of mass vaccination campaigns for prevention of vaccine-preventable diseases and high impact diseases (VPD/HID), and when assessing risks and benefits of conducting outbreak-response vaccination campaigns to respond to VPD/HID outbreaks.
:: WHO has published an interim guidance on Controlling the spread of COVID-19 at ground crossings advising countries to reduce the spread of COVID-19 resulting from travel, transportation, and trade on and around ground crossings

::::::
::::::

Ebola – DRC+

Emergencies

Ebola – DRC+
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

Ebola Outbreak in DRC 93: 19 May 2020
[Excerpts]
Situation Update WHO Health Emergencies Programme Page 2
From 11 to 17 May 2020, there have been no new confirmed cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) reported in Democratic Republic of the Congo. Since the resurgence of the outbreak on 10 April 2020, seven confirmed cases have been reported from Kasanga, Malepe and Kanzulinzuli Health Areas in Beni Health Zone. So far, no definitive source of infection has been identified…

Conclusion
Despite the launch of the 42-day countdown, efforts to retrieve the missing confirmed case and investigations into the origin of the latest cluster are still ongoing. Given the long duration and large magnitude of the Ebola outbreak in North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri Provinces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, there is a risk of re-emergence of the virus during the lead up to the declaration of the end of the outbreak, and for several months following that declaration. In the coming weeks and months, it is crucial to maintain a strong and robust surveillance system in order to detect, isolate, test and treat new suspected cases as early as possible, to improve outcome of potential cases, and to break new chains of transmission. Maintaining strong communication and coordination among partners, authorities and affected communities, as well as continuing support for and engagement with EVD survivors are essential in this outbreak response.

::::::
::::::

Emergencies

Emergencies

POLIO
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

Polio this week as of 19 May 2020
:: The Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) of the GPEI has announced the appointment of new members of a reconstituted polio Transition Independent Monitoring Board (TIMB). Read more [see below]
:: This month, world leaders have joined together to make several important commitments to strengthening public health infrastructure during the COVID-19 response – investments that will go a long way in protecting the most vulnerable communities, including those affected by polio. Read more

Summary of new viruses this week (AFP cases and ES positives):
:: Afghanistan: one WPV1 positive environmental sample and five cVDPV2 cases
:: Pakistan: nine WPV1 positive environmental samples and one cVDPV2 case

::::::

TIMB Members [Transition Independent Monitoring Board]
The previous TIMB monitored the situation over a period of three years (November 2016 – December 2019), in the light of progress towards polio eradication. Its role was to independently assess the GPEI’s policy and plans to transition and sustain those polio assets and resources that have played a major dual role in underpinning wider immunisation and other essential health programmes. The TIMB members played an invaluable part in meetings and in the production of three major reports that helped to shape the polio transition process.

TIMB Reports – GPEI
With the adoption by the 71st World Health Assembly of a 5-year strategic plan for polio transition, responsibility for leading planning and implementation passed to the World Health Organization. Necessary organisational changes followed and included a new TIMB to be smaller and more closely aligned with the IMB.

Strategic Action Plan on Polio Transition – WHA 71
On the basis of the new arrangements three TIMB members have been appointed to serve under the chairmanship of Sir Liam Donaldson who will also continue to chair the IMB.
THE MEMBERS
Sheila Leatherman, CBE, Hon RCP is a Professor of Global Health Policy at the Gillings School of Public Health of the University of North Carolina. Her professional experience stretches across the breadth of health care management, public health and health policy with expertise in quality of care, performance improvement in the health sector, and health systems reforms. She has worked with over 50 countries globally across North America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America. Most of her research and policy analysis has been on developing methods to assess health system performance and advising on how to improve quality of care in countries throughout the world.
She was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 2002 as a member of the Institute of Medicine. In 2007 she was awarded the honour of Commander of the British Empire (CBE) by Queen Elizabeth for her work in the National Health Service for over a decade and was appointed an Honorary fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in The UK in 2008. In 2019, she received the Presidential Distinction Award of the International Society for Quality in recognition of her work in low- and medium-income countries.
Currently, as a Lead advisor to the World Health Organization she develops the academic and technical foundations for WHO support of Member States in the development of national health care quality agendas to improve health care services and outcomes globally. Her current research focuses on improving care in fragile states, humanitarian crises and conflict zones.
She serves on the Board of Advisors for Doctors Without Borders (MSF- USA) and is a Board member and health advisor to Questscope NGO working in Jordan and Syria with refugees and displaced persons.

Lola Dare is a community physician, epidemiologist, global health practitioner, development consultant, social entrepreneur and health advocate of over 30 years. She has championed the application of evidence and data for policy, evaluation and accountability by a broad range of non-state actors including civil society and community-based organisations, private sector and the media. Lola Dare has been in the forefront of advocacy for resilient, accountable rights-based health care services and systems strengthening, and has engaged with high level policy makers, parliamentarians, large donor funded programmes, national governments, intergovernmental organisations and agencies. She is the President of CHESTRAD Global, an African-led social enterprise with offices in Africa, Europe and North America. CHESTRAD Global hosts its programme headquarters in Nigeria. She has served in many roles in governance mechanisms of international agencies including the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the US National Academies for Sciences, Global Fund for Malaria, Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, GAVI, Partnership for Maternal and Child Health (PMNCH), WHO technical teams and agencies of the United Nations, African Union and other African continental organisations.

Senjuti Saha is a Bangladeshi-Canadian microbiologist working at the intersection of Clinical Microbiology and Global Health as a Scientist at the Child Health Research Foundation in Bangladesh. Her work is grounded in advancing the cause of health and research equity, based on her vision that everyone across the world should have equal access to the practice and benefits of science. The focus of her work is on paediatric preventable infectious diseases, with the goals of: (1) using state-of-the-art technology like on-site metagenomics to identify aetiologies that elude standard laboratory testing in low- and middle-income countries and (2) understanding the indirect impacts of interventions like vaccines on the overall health system. She advocates for equal access to scholarly literature and science education. The team’s mission at the Child Health Research Foundation in Bangladesh is to break free of the vicious cycle of limited resources that lead to lack of data required for evidence-based policy decisions. This in turn leads back to limited resources; instead, the commitment is to build virtuous cycles of data-generation, that are sustainable and cost-effective.

::::::

WHO Grade 3 Emergencies [to 23 May 2020]

Democratic Republic of the Congo
:: Ebola Outbreak in DRC 93: 19 May 2020
[See Ebola above for detail]

Nigeria – No new digest announcements identified
Somalia – No new digest announcements identified
South Sudan – No new digest announcements identified
Syrian Arab Republic – No new digest announcements identified
Yemen – No new digest announcements identified

::::::

WHO Grade 2 Emergencies [to 23 May 2020]
Burkina Faso [in French]
:: Riposte contre le COVID-19 au Burkina Faso : L’OMS offre au ministère de la santé un…
22 mai 2020

Myanmar
:: Weekly Situation Report 6 – 19 May 2020 pdf, 335kb
HIGHLIGHTS
:: A total of 191 COVID-19 positive cases have been reported in Cox’s Bazar district (including Rohingya camps) as of 17 May 2020 as per Civil Surgeon Office, Cox’s Bazar. From the laboratory confirmed cases, the average age is 33.9 years (median 31, range 2-90) and around 75% of them are male
:: Five confirmed cases have been reported in Rohingya camps as of 17 May 2020. A total of 80 individuals are in institutional quarantine in the camps
:: Partners who are managing health facilities were briefed on “Home-based care for mild and moderate COVID-19 symptoms and isolation support” initiative on 11 May 2020. Partners expressed their willingness to support the activity in the event of widespread community transmission in the camps

Angola – No new digest announcements identified
Afghanistan – No new digest announcements identified
Burundi – No new digest announcements identified
Cameroon – No new digest announcements identified
Central African Republic – No new digest announcements identified
Ethiopia – No new digest announcements identified
Iran – No new digest announcements identified
Iraq – No new digest announcements identified
Libya – No new digest announcements identified
Malawi – No new digest announcements identified
Measles in Europe – No new digest announcements identified
MERS-CoV – No new digest announcements identified
Niger – No new digest announcements identified
occupied Palestinian territory – No new digest announcements identified
Sudan – No new digest announcements identified
Ukraine – No new digest announcements identified
Zimbabwe – No new digest announcements identified

::::::

WHO Grade 1 Emergencies [to 23 May 2020]

Chad – No new digest announcements identified
Djibouti – No new digest announcements identified
Kenya – No new digest announcements identified
Mali – No new digest announcements identified
Namibia – viral hepatitis – No new digest announcements identified
Tanzania – No new digest announcements identified

::::::
::::::

UN OCHA – L3 Emergencies
The UN and its humanitarian partners are currently responding to three ‘L3’ emergencies. This is the global humanitarian system’s classification for the response to the most severe, large-scale humanitarian crises. 
Syrian Arab Republic
:: Syrian Arab Republic: COVID-19 Response Update No. 04 – 18 May 2020
:: Syrian Arab Republic: COVID-19 Update No. 10 – 16 May 2020

Yemen – No new digest announcements identified

:::::

UN OCHA – Corporate Emergencies
When the USG/ERC declares a Corporate Emergency Response, all OCHA offices, branches and sections provide their full support to response activities both at HQ and in the field.
CYCLONE IDAI and Kenneth
:: 20 May 2019 Mozambique: Cyclone Idai & Floods Situation Report No. 22 (As of 20 May 2019)
:: 21 May 2020 Zimbabwe Situation Report, 21 May 2020

:: EBOLA OUTBREAK IN THE DRC – No new digest announcements identified

::::::
::::::

Announcements

Announcements
 
 
Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group    [to 23 May 2020]
https://alleninstitute.org/what-we-do/frontiers-group/news-press/
News
News from The Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group: May 2020
May 20, 2020
Highlights include an important message for our research community, a face mask that detects coronavirus, our new video series #ScienceMatters, and more.
 
 
BARDA   [to 23 May 2020]
https://www.phe.gov/about/barda/Pages/default.aspx
BARDA News​​
May 21, 2020: Trump Administration’s Operation Warp Speed Accelerates AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine to be Available Beginning in October
 
 
May 19, 2020: HHS, Industry Partners Expand U.S.-Based Pharmaceutical Manufacturing for COVID-19 Response
 
 
BMGF – Gates Foundation  [to 23 May 2020]
http://www.gatesfoundation.org/Media-Center/Press-Releases
MAY 21, 2020
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Appoints Three New Members to Executive Leadership Team
SEATTLE, May 21, 2020 – Today the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation named three new members to its Executive Leadership Team (ELT). Ankur Vora will become Chief Strategy Officer, Gargee Ghosh will become President, Global Policy & Advocacy, and Susan Byrnes will become Chief Communications Officer. Each will assume their new roles effective June 1, 2020.
 
 
Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute    [to 23 May 2020]
https://www.gatesmri.org/
The Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute is a non-profit biotech organization. Our mission is to develop products to fight malaria, tuberculosis, and diarrheal diseases—three major causes of mortality, poverty, and inequality in developing countries. The world has unprecedented scientific tools at its disposal; now is the time to use them to save the lives of the world’s poorest people
No new digest content identified.
 
 
CARB-X   [to 23 May 2020]
https://carb-x.org/
CARB-X is a non-profit public-private partnership dedicated to accelerating antibacterial research to tackle the global rising threat of drug-resistant bacteria.
05.18.2020
CARB-X funds Facile Therapeutics to develop a new treatment to prevent recurring C. difficile bacterial infections
CARB-X is awarding Facile Therapeutics, based in Belmont, California, USA, up to $1.26 million to develop a new orally bioavailable drug to treat recurring infections caused by Clostridium difficile. Facile could receive up to $17 million more in additional funding from CARB-X if the project achieves certain development milestones, for a potential total of $18.26 million.
 
 
CEPI – Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations  [to 23 May 2020]
http://cepi.net/
Latest News
No new digest content identified.
 
 
Clinton Health Access Initiative, Inc. (CHAI)  [to 23 May 2020]
https://clintonhealthaccess.org/
News & Press Releases
No new digest content identified.
 
 
EDCTP    [to 23 May 2020]
http://www.edctp.org/
The European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) aims to accelerate the development of new or improved drugs, vaccines, microbicides and diagnostics against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria as well as other poverty-related and neglected infectious diseases in sub-Saharan Africa, with a focus on phase II and III clinical trials
Latest news
18 May 2020
World HIV Vaccine Day 2020
 
 
Emory Vaccine Center    [to 23 May 2020]
http://www.vaccines.emory.edu/
[Undated]
No new digest content identified.
 
 
European Medicines Agency  [to 23 May 2020]
http://www.ema.europa.eu/ema/
News & Press Releases
Press release: Global regulators commit to cooperate on observational research in the context of COVID-19
Last updated: 20/05/2020
News: Global regulators work towards alignment on policy approaches and regulatory flexibility during COVID-19 – update #2
Last updated: 18/05/2020
 
 
European Vaccine Initiative  [to 23 May 2020]
http://www.euvaccine.eu/news-events
Latest News
No new digest content identified.
 
 
FDA [to 23 May 2020]
https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/default.htm
Press Announcements
May 22, 2020 – Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: Daily Roundup May 22, 2020
May 21, 2020 – Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: Daily Roundup May 21, 2020
May 21, 2020 – Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: FDA Provides Promised Transparency for Antibody Tests
May 20, 2020 – Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: Daily Roundup May 20, 2020
May 19, 2020 – USDA, FDA Strengthen U.S. Food Supply Chain Protections
May 19, 2020 – Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: Daily Roundup May 19, 2020
May 19, 2020 – Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: FDA Collaborations Promote Rigorous Analyses of Real-World Data to Inform Pandemic Response

Today, we are announcing another step in our effort to harness diverse streams of data to understand and respond to COVID-19. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has entered into an agreement with Aetion to collaborate on advanced analytical techniques to answer urgent coronavirus disease (COVID-19) research questions. The FDA and Aetion aim to answer questions about the use of diagnostics and medications in the pandemic, and risk factors for COVID-19-related complications in different patient populations. We believe that this work has the potential to contribute to the scientific evaluation of potential diagnostics and interventions for COVID-19…
May 18, 2020 – Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: Daily Roundup May 18, 2020
 
 
Fondation Merieux  [to 23 May 2020]
http://www.fondation-merieux.org/
News, Events
No new digest content identified.
 
 
Gavi [to 23 May 2020]
https://www.gavi.org/
News releases
Virtual Conference
4 June 2020
The UK government will host Gavi’s third donor pledging conference to mobilise at least US$ 7.4 billion in additional resources to protect the next generation with vaccines, reduce disease inequality and create a healthier, safer and more prosperous world.
22 May 2020
At least 80 million children at risk of disease as COVID-19 disrupts vaccination efforts, warn Gavi, WHO and UNICEF
[See Milestones above]
 
 
GHIT Fund   [to 23 May 2020]
https://www.ghitfund.org/newsroom/press
GHIT was set up in 2012 with the aim of developing new tools to tackle infectious diseases that No new digest content identified.
 
 
 
Global Fund  [to 23 May 2020]
https://www.theglobalfund.org/en/news/
Sourcing & Management of Health Products
Voices
During COVID-19, HIV Medication in Ukraine Arrives by Post
19 May 2020
Video
Building Resilient and Sustainable Systems for Health
19 May 2020
Updates
Resources for Community-Based Monitoring
18 May 2020
 
 
Hilleman Laboratories   [to 23 May 2020]
http://www.hillemanlabs.org/
No new digest content identified.
 
 
Human Vaccines Project   [to 23 May 2020]
http://www.humanvaccinesproject.org/media/press-releases/
No new digest content identified.
 
 
IAVI  [to 23 May 2020]
https://www.iavi.org/newsroom
Press Releases
No new digest content identified.
 
 
International Coalition of Medicines Regulatory Authorities [ICMRA]
http://www.icmra.info/drupal/en/news
Selected Statements, Press Releases, Research
No new digest content identified.
 
 
International Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association [IGBA]
https://www.igbamedicines.org/
News
No new digest content identified.
 
 
IFFIm
http://www.iffim.org/
Press Releases
No new digest content identified.
 
 
IFRC   [to 23 May 2020]
http://media.ifrc.org/ifrc/news/press-releases/
Selected Press Releases, Announcements
Africa, Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda
East Africa: Red Cross raises the alarm over a “triple menace” of floods, COVID-19 and locusts
Nairobi/Geneva, 20 May 2020—A series of mutually exacerbating disasters is unfolding in East Africa, on a scale rarely seen in decades, warned the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). Ongoing heavy rain—which has kil …
20 May 2020
 
 
IVAC  [to 23 May 2020]
https://www.jhsph.edu/research/centers-and-institutes/ivac/index.html
Updates
No new digest content identified.
 
 
IVI   [to 23 May 2020]
http://www.ivi.int/
Selected IVI News & Announcements
IVI to strengthen COVID-19 surveillance in sub-Saharan Africa with support from Sweden
  IVI will leverage its network of infectious disease surveillance sites to conduct epidemiological studies of COVID-19 in Madagascar and Burkina Faso
   Sida’s contribution will significantly build in-country capacity to proactively respond to the pandemic
May 21, 2020 – SEOUL, South Korea – The International Vaccine Institute (IVI) announced today that the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) has contributed an additional 6,200,000 SEK (approx. 630,000 USD) to IVI to support national responses to COVID-19 in Madagascar and Burkina Faso…
 
 
JEE Alliance  [to 23 May 2020]
https://www.jeealliance.org/
Selected News and Events
No new digest content identified.
 
 
MSF/Médecins Sans Frontières  [to 23 May 2020]
http://www.msf.org/
Latest [Selected Announcements]
Nigeria
MSF statement on inquiry in Borno, Nigeria
Statement 22 May 2020
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has taken note of the first public communication from the Committee set up by the Governor of Borno state, Nigeria, regarding the inquiry into the COVID-19 index case…
 
 
Yemen
Catastrophe unfolding in Aden’s only COVID-19 treatment centre
Press Release 21 May 2020
 
 
South Sudan
Renewed violence in Pieri kills and wounds dozens, including MSF staff
Press Release 19 May 2020
 
 
Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic
MSF opens a COVID-19 treatment centre in Haiti
Project Update 18 May 2020
 
 
Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic
Five things we can do to protect people on the move during COVID-19
Project Update 18 May 2020
 
 
National Vaccine Program Office – U.S. HHS  [to 23 May 2020]
https://www.hhs.gov/vaccines/about/index.html
NVAC 2020 Meetings
June 9-10, 2020 NVAC Meeting
September 23-24, 2020 Meeting (Virtual)
 
 
NIH  [to 23 May 2020]
http://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases
Selected News Releases
Peer-reviewed data shows remdesivir for COVID-19 improves time to recovery
May 22, 2020 — Preliminary results from NIH clinical trial published.
NIH-funded study to investigate pregnancy outcomes resulting from COVID-19 pandemic
May 19, 2020 — Researchers to evaluate medical records of 21,000 pregnant women
NIH Director: Defeating COVID-19 requires unprecedented action and collaboration
May 18, 2020 — ever has a public-private biomedical research effort of this scope and scale come together with such speed and determination. Viewpoint published today in JAMA
[See Milestones above for detail]
 
 
PATH  [to 23 May 2020]
https://www.path.org/media-center/
Selected Announcements
PATH and partners coordinate COVID-19 global respiratory care response
Seattle, WA, May 20, 2020 – PATH and a coalition of partners will support low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) in the development and execution of a comprehensive respiratory care plan to respond to COVID-19. The initiative will also pursue strategies to help prioritize and improve access to oxygen therapy and other essential equipment involved in respiratory care as an integral part of health systems strengthening, beyond the pandemic response.
Studies have shown that approximately 41 percent of confirmed COVID-19 patients—and in severe cases, more than 60 percent—received oxygen therapy to support breathing. In many health facilities across LMICs, oxygen therapy—including diagnosis, generation, and delivery equipment—is not reliably available, and, without careful planning and coordination, the rapid deployment of COVID-19 resources can quickly overwhelm existing health care systems.
A primary goal of the initiative is to coordinate tools, resources, and capabilities to ensure that those who need respiratory care due to COVID-19, or beyond, receive it. Immediate steps in that strategy will include supporting rapid respiratory care capacity assessments, supplier landscaping and outreach, global respiratory care response coordination, and informed decision-making on procurement and use of respiratory care products…
 
 
Sabin Vaccine Institute  [to 23 May 2020]
http://www.sabin.org/updates/pressreleases
Statements and Press Releases
No new digest content identified.
 
 
UNAIDS [to 23 May 2020]
http://www.unaids.org/en
Selected Press Releases/Reports/Statements
22 May 2020
UNAIDS and civil society helping stranded people living with HIV
21 May 2020
Mapping community responses to COVID-19 and HIV in eastern Europe and central Asia
21 May 2020
Communities strengthening the AIDS response in Nepal
20 May 2020
Kenyan sex workers abandoned and vulnerable during COVID-19
19 May 2020
The high possible cost of COVID-19 on new HIV infections among children
19 May 2020
Gender-based violence and COVID-19—“When we are silent, we allow these crimes to multiply”
 
 
UNICEF  [to 23 May 2020]
https://www.unicef.org/media/press-releases
Selected Press releases/Announcements
Statement
Remarks by Henrietta Fore UNICEF Executive Director at joint press briefing on immunization with WHO and Gavi, 22 May
22/05/2020
Press release
At least 80 million children under one at risk of diseases such as diphtheria, measles and polio as COVID-19 disrupts routine vaccination efforts, warn Gavi, WHO and UNICEF
Agencies call for joint effort to safely deliver routine immunization and proceed with vaccination campaigns against deadly vaccine-preventable diseases.
22/05/2020
Press release
Surge in violent attacks during COVID-19 lockdown puts children’s lives at risk in eastern Ukraine
UN Children’s Agency calls for all parties to the conflict to join global ceasefire and end more than six years of fighting
22/05/2020
Press release
COVID-19: Dangers mount for migrant children forcibly returned to northern Central America and Mexico during pandemic
Virus fears compound existing discrimination and violence for returned migrant children, leaving them doubly at risk, UNICEF warns
21/05/2020
Press release
At least 19 million children at imminent risk as Cyclone Amphan makes landfall in Bangladesh and India
Cyclone and COVID-19 present dual threats to children and families in the region, warns UNICEF
20/05/2020
Press release
UNICEF and Airtel Africa announce partnership to support children and families affected by COVID-19
As millions of children are affected by school closures due to COVID-19, Airtel Africa will help provide access to online learning and better enable cash transfers for children and their families in sub-Saharan Africa
20/05/2020
Press release
Escalating violence in eastern DRC is straining humanitarian assistance to women and children
20/05/2020
Press release
Over quarter of a million children in Libya are at risk from vaccine-preventable diseases
Joint UNICEF & WHO Press Release
19/05/2020
 
 
Unitaid  [to 23 May 2020]
https://unitaid.org/
Featured News
20 May 2020
World Health Assembly puts multilateral cooperation and equity at heart of COVID-19 response
Unitaid welcomes the adoption of a key Resolution by the World Health Assembly that sets out its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, that places multilateral cooperation and equity at its heart.
The Resolution calls for universal, timely and equitable access to and fair distribution of all quality, safe, efficacious and affordable essential health technologies and products as a global priority.
In particular Unitaid notes the call for collaboration to develop, test, and scale-up production of safe, effective, quality, affordable diagnostics, therapeutics, medicines and vaccines for the COVID-19 response, including, existing mechanisms for voluntary pooling and licensing of patents to facilitate timely, equitable and affordable access.
Speaking after the adoption of the Resolution, Dr Philippe Duneton, Unitaid Executive Director a.i. said, “Unitaid is committed to working with its partners in the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator initiative to ensure that innovations to detect, treat and prevent COVID-19 are adapted and available to the most vulnerable populations.”
He continues, “As highlighted in the Resolution, Unitaid encourages all partners to take advantage of existing mechanisms for voluntary pooling and licensing of intellectual property rights for these global public goods, in particular the Medicines Patent Pool. We also recognise the importance of involving civil society and communities in shaping and delivering the response.”
For the text of Resolution A73/CONF./1 Rev.1, adopted on 19 May 2020, please see here.
 
 
Vaccination Acceptance Research Network (VARN)  [to 23 May 2020]
https://vaccineacceptance.org/news.html#header1-2r
Announcements
No new digest content identified.
 
 
Vaccine Confidence Project  [to 23 May 2020]
http://www.vaccineconfidence.org/
Latest News & Archive
Child Vaccinations Plummet 63 Percent, a New Hurdle for New York City Schools
23 May 2020
 
 
 
Vaccine Education Center – Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia  [to 23 May 2020]
http://www.chop.edu/centers-programs/vaccine-education-center
No new digest content identified.
 
 
Wellcome Trust  [to 23 May 2020]
https://wellcome.ac.uk/news
Opinion | 21 May 2020
Open access: how COVID-19 will change the way research findings are shared
Robert Kiley, Head of Open Research Wellcome
During the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers and publishers have pulled together to publish their outputs at an unprecedented rate. So, how have they responded? And how will this change research culture and the way findings are disseminated in future?
 
 
The Wistar Institute   [to 23 May 2020]
https://www.wistar.org/news/press-releases
Press Releases
May. 20, 2020
Positive Results from Preclinical Testing Support Clinical Development 
of COVID-19 DNA Vaccine
PHILADELPHIA — (May 20, 2020) — The Wistar Institute, an international biomedical research leader in cancer, immunology and infectious disease, announces a study reporting initial immunogenicity of a synthetic DNA vaccine for SARS-CoV-2 developed in collaboration with Inovio Pharmaceutical, Inc., and other scientists. Published in Nature Communications, the report focuses on immune studies in animals, which show induction of functional antibody responses and T-cell responses following immunization. The vaccine, INO-4800, was advanced to phase 1 clinical testing in 10 weeks (clinicaltrials.gov NCT04336410).
 
 
WFPHA: World Federation of Public Health Associations  [to 23 May 2020]
https://www.wfpha.org/
Latest News
No new digest content identified.
 
 
World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)   [to 23 May 2020]
https://www.oie.int/en/for-the-media/press-releases/2020/
Press Releases
No new digest content identified.
 
 
::::::
 
 
ARM [Alliance for Regenerative Medicine]  [to 23 May 2020]
https://alliancerm.org/press-releases/
Press Releases
No new digest content identified.
 
 
BIO    [to 23 May 2020]
https://www.bio.org/press-releases
Press Releases
No new digest content identified.
 
 
DCVMN – Developing Country Vaccine Manufacturers Network  [to 23 May 2020]
http://www.dcvmn.org/
Events
Webinar: A breakthrough high-performance viral vaccines bio-manufacturing platform to countermeasure epidemic threats
26 May 2020
 
 
IFPMA   [to 23 May 2020]
http://www.ifpma.org/resources/news-releases/
Selected Press Releases, Statements, Publications
Pharma and other innovative health groups tell World Health Assembly it stands united with governments
Geneva, May 19, 2020: At the Seventy-Third World Health Assembly, IFPMA, the industry body representing the innovative biopharmaceutical industry delivered a joint statement on behalf of the global interests of broad innovative health industries, reasserting that they stand united with governments and global health stakeholders worldwide to combat COVID-19. The biopharmaceutical industry is joined by biotech, self-medication, diagnostic, and medical technology industries committed to the goal of accelerating development, production and equitable global access to safe, quality, effective, and affordable COVID-19 medical products and to ensure that in the fight against COVID-19, no one is left behind.
According to BioCentury, there are nearly 400 potential treatments and vaccines for COVID-19 in development. Much of the current COVID-19 R&D that has been deployed at an unprecedented speed is built upon products, expertise and research capacity that has been refined and developed by the private sector over many years and thanks to an ecosystem that    supports innovation, which is underpinned by solid intellectual property rights.
Thomas Cueni, Director General of the IFPMA said: “We understand accelerated development and production of new COVID-19 tools is not enough: we must also ensure equitable global access to safe, quality, effective, and affordable COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines – making sure no-one is left behind. Biopharmaceutical companies have publicly committed to, and are actively working with, governments, insurers, foundations and international organizations to make future COVID-19 products available and affordable to those that need them”…
 
 
Joint Statement – Innovative Health Industries @ WHA73
Published on: 18 May 2020
This Statement is made by the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations, the Global Diagnostic Imaging, Healthcare IT & Radiation Therapy Trade Association, the Global Self-Care Federation, the Global Medical Technology Alliance, and the International Council of Biotechnology Associations.
Our organizations believe that coordinated, inclusive, and multi-stakeholder action is the only possible solution to mitigate the impact of this unprecedented global health emergency, and believe the private sector must be an equal partner in coordination efforts. As WHO’s Director General has recently stated, “the private sector has an essential role to play in combating this public health crisis through their expertise, innovation, and resources.”…
 
 
ICBA – International Council of Biotechnology Associations   [to 23 May 2020]
https://internationalbiotech.org/
News
ICBA Joins Innovative Health Industries Network Statement on COVID-19 Ahead of World Health Assembly
May. 18 2020
 
 
PhRMA    [to 23 May 2020]
http://www.phrma.org/
Selected Press Releases, Statements
Clinical Trials Awareness Week: Recognizing unsung heroes in medical research
Richard Moscicki, M.D.   |     May 18, 2020
This week is Clinical Trials Awareness Week — an event to recognize the importance of clinical trials, raise public awareness of clinical research and honor clinical research professionals and importantly, volunteer participants for their roles in helping to develop safe and effective medicines.
The biopharmaceutical industry sponsors thousands of clinical trials each year to assess the safety and efficacy of medicines, vaccines and other therapies. Instrumental to these carefully designed studies is patient participation. According to most recent data, industry-sponsored clinical trials engage over 920,000 volunteers yearly to assess effectiveness for devastating conditions, like Alzheimer’s disease, rare diseases and cancers…
 
 
Industry Watch   [to 23 May 2020]
:: Sinovac Secures $15 Million in Funding to Accelerate COVID-19 Vaccine Development
May 22, 2020
Sinovac Biotech Ltd. (“Sinovac” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: SVA), a leading provider of biopharmaceutical products in China, today announced a transaction in which Advantech Capital and Vivo Capital ha…
 
 
:: Moderna Announces Positive Interim Phase 1 Data for its mRNA Vaccine (mRNA-1273) Against Novel Coronavirus
May 18, 2020
Moderna, Inc., (Nasdaq: MRNA) a clinical stage biotechnology company pioneering messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics and vaccines to create a new generation of transformative medicines for patients, toda…