Vaccines and Global Health: The Week in Review is a weekly digest summarizing news, events, announcements, peer-reviewed articles and research in the global vaccine ethics and policy space. Content is aggregated from key governmental, NGO, international organization and industry sources, key peer-reviewed journals, and other media channels. This summary proceeds from the broad base of themes and issues monitored by the Center for Vaccine Ethics & Policy in its work: it is not intended to be exhaustive in its coverage. You are viewing the blog version of our weekly digest, typically comprised of between 30 and 40 posts below all dated with the current issue date
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. David R. Curry, MS Executive Director Center for Vaccine Ethics and Policy
On World TB Day, WHO calls for an urgent investment of resources, support, care and information into the fight against tuberculosis (TB). Although 66 million lives have been saved since 2000, the COVID-19 pandemic has reversed those gains. For the first time in over a decade, TB deaths increased in 2020. Ongoing conflicts across Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East have further exacerbated the situation for vulnerable populations.
Global spending on TB diagnostics, treatments and prevention in 2020 were less than half of the global target of US$ 13 billion annually by 2022. For research and development, an extra US$ 1.1 billion per year is needed. “Urgent investments are needed to develop and expand access to the most innovative services and tools to prevent, detect and treat TB that could save millions of lives each year, narrow inequities and avert huge economic losses,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “These investments offer huge returns for countries and donors, in averted health care costs and increased productivity.”
Investments in TB programmes have demonstrated benefits not just for people with TB but for health systems and pandemic preparedness. Building on lessons learnt from COVID-19 research, there is a need to catalyse investment and action to accelerate the development of new tools, especially new TB vaccines.
Progress towards reaching the 2022 targets set in the UN High Level Meeting political declaration and the WHO Director-General’s Flagship Initiative Find.Treat. All is at risk mainly due to lack of funding. Between 2018–2020, 20 million people were reached with TB treatment. This is 50% of the 5-year target of 40 million people reached with TB treatment for 2018-2022. During the same period 8.7 million people were provided TB preventive treatment. This is 29% of the target of 30 million for 2018-2022.
The situation is even worse for children and adolescents with TB. In 2020, an estimated 63 % of children and young adolescents below 15 years with TB were not reached with or not officially reported to have accessed life-saving TB diagnosis and treatment services; the proportion was even higher – 72% – for children under 5 years. Almost two thirds of eligible children under 5 did not receive TB preventive treatment and therefore remain at risk of illness.
COVID-19 has had a further negative and disproportionate impact on children and adolescents with TB or at risk, with increased TB transmission in the household, lower care-seeking and access to health services. WHO is sounding the alarm on World TB Day for countries to urgently restore access to TB services, disrupted due to COVID-19 pandemic for all people with TB, especially children and adolescents.
“Children and adolescents with TB are lagging behind adults in access to TB prevention and care”, said Dr Tereza Kasaeva, Director of WHO’s Global TB Programme. “The WHO guidelines issued today are a gamechanger for children and adolescents, helping them get diagnosed and access care sooner, leading to better outcomes and cutting transmission. The priority now is to rapidly expand implementation of the guidance across countries to save young lives and avert suffering”…
Global Fund Calls for Renewed Urgency in Fight to End TB
22 March 2022
GENEVA – On World TB Day, 24 March, the Global Fund is urgently calling for the world to reignite the fight to end tuberculosis (TB) by 2030. The COVID-19 pandemic has upended years of progress in the fight against TB. Deaths from the disease rose for the first time in more than a decade, fueled by a surge in undiagnosed and untreated cases.
“If we fail to step up the fight against TB, we must accept that we are effectively abandoning the 2030 goal to end the disease as a public health threat,” said Peter Sands, Executive Director of the Global Fund. “We must mount a massive effort to diagnose people quickly and get them the necessary treatment. TB is deadly and is the top infectious disease killer after COVID-19.”…
The overall situation continues to deteriorate across Ukraine. To date, over 18 million people have been affected by the conflict. According to the latest government data compiled by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), over three million refugees have now left Ukraine for surrounding countries, with 59% of them in Poland followed by Romania (15%). It is estimated that over four million people could leave Ukraine and seek protection and support across the region.
We all want to move on from the pandemic. But no matter how much we wish it away, this pandemic is not over. Until we reach high vaccination coverage in all countries, we will continue to face the risk of infections surging, and new variants emerging that evade vaccines. Even as some high-income countries propose a second booster dose, one third of the world’s population remains unvaccinated.
But there are some promising signs of progress. In Nigeria, for example, vaccine uptake was dramatically increased when supply stabilized, and planning was done on how to effectively distribute vaccines.
WHO’s target remains to vaccinate 70% of the population of every country by the middle of this year, with priority given to health workers, older people and other at-risk groups. Achieving that target is essential to save lives, prevent the risk of long COVID, protect health systems and increase population immunity.
Other tools, including testing, sequencing and contact tracing, also remain essential, and it’s vital that countries don’t abandon the capacities they have built over the past two years.
WHO continues to support countries with the tools they need…
=== Finally, tomorrow is World TB Day.
Tuberculosis kills more than 1.5 million people each year. Ending this debilitating disease remains a priority for WHO, and in recent years, we have made encouraging progress.
More than 66 million people received access to TB services since the year 2000. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to disruptions that reversed years of progress. And the war in Ukraine is also jeopardising progress in that country.
For the first time in over a decade, WHO has reported an increase in TB deaths. This is a very dangerous trend that we must arrest. We call on all countries to invest in expanding access to effective tools against tuberculosis, and in new tools to End TB.
African countries scale back on COVID-19 measures
24 March 2022 -WHO AFRO
Brazzaville – With new COVID-19 cases significantly dropping, many countries are increasingly curtailing COVID-19 surveillance and quarantine measures. While the need to reopen economies and resume social life is important, the World Health Organization (WHO) is calling for caution and consideration of the risks involved.
Contact tracing is a key strategy for curbing the spread of the virus and reducing mortality. In August 2020, 23 out of 54 countries on the continent were conducting comprehensive contact tracing, which entails listing and following all the contacts of a confirmed case. With the evolution of the pandemic, countries have moved towards prioritized contact tracing, where only contacts at high risk of infection or falling severely ill are followed. Based on analysis of open-source data, WHO finds that by 15 March 2022, 13 countries were conducting comprehensive surveillance, while 19 countries were carrying out prioritized contact tracing. Twenty-two African countries were no longer carrying out any kind of contact tracing.
“It is a matter of concern that nearly half of all countries in Africa have stopped tracing the contacts of cases,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “This, along with robust testing, is the backbone of any pandemic response. Without this critical information, it is difficult to track the spread of the virus and identify new COVID-19 hotspots that may be caused by known or emerging variants.”
Aside from contact tracing, testing is a critical surveillance strategy. The WHO benchmark for countries with a good testing rate is 10 tests per 10 000 population per week. In the first quarter of 2022, only 27% of countries were achieving this weekly target, indicating a concerning decrease in testing rates compared with 2021, when 40% of countries reached the benchmark. Aside from polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing and antigen rapid diagnostic tests, WHO is also recommending self-testing using antigen-detection rapid tests to expand access to diagnostics and has published guidelines.
While COVID-19 cases have declined across the continent since the peak of the Omicron-driven fourth wave in early January 2022, vaccination coverage remains far behind the rest of the world. About 201 million people or 15.6% of the population are fully vaccinated compared with the global average of 57%.
However, with cases low and pressure mounting to open up the economy, countries are not only cutting back on surveillance but a raft of other measures. A WHO survey conducted in March 2022 found that seven out of 21 countries reporting no longer required quarantine for people exposed to the virus. One country did not require isolation of confirmed cases, while four required isolation for only symptomatic cases…
Commissioner Urpilainen said: “The European Union and WHO share a common ambition to boost local production capacity and access to quality, safe, effective and –importantly – affordable medicines and vaccines. Under the Team Europe initiative for local manufacturing in Africa, today with Dr. Tedros we agreed on stepping up support to our African partners in tackling some of the main barriers to access and availability, with concrete projects financed with at least €24.5 million from the EU budget. Together, we are strengthening the foundations of resilient health systems, universal health coverage and health security for now and in the future.”
The EU–WHO partnership will assist the African Union in reaching its target of increasing local vaccine production, in Africa and for Africa. It will also support the achievement of African Union objectives in areas such as jobs and growth, trade, and scientific cooperation.
The financial contribution of €24.5 million from the EU supports three main categories of action: regulatory strengthening (€11.5 million), technology transfer (€12 million), and demand consolidation and strategic purchasing (€1 million).
Technology transfer: WHO is facilitating technology transfer for local production in Sub-Saharan Africa, in close cooperation with national, continental, and global stakeholders (COVAX Manufacturing Task Force). The EU will support the mRNA technology transfer hub in South Africa, technology transfer across the region, and the development of the workforce. Total EU and Member States’ support to the hub reaches €40 million.
Regulatory strengthening: The EU and WHO will support African partners, at national, regional and continental levels in strengthening regulatory frameworks and functions. This is part of a broader package of support for regulatory strengthening to create an enabling and innovative environment for the local manufacturing of vaccines, medicines and health technologies. This will reinforce the African Medicines Regulatory Harmonization (AMRH) initiative and the African Medicines Agency…
UNICEF procurement of nirmatrelvir/ritonavir (PAXLOVID™) is dependent on country demand, clinical recommendations and necessary approvals.
In December 2021, the US Food and Drug Administration issued an Emergency Use Authorization for the use of nirmatrelvir/ritonavir (PAXLOVID™) for the treatment of mild to moderate cases of COVID-19. Nirmatrelvir/ritonavir (PAXLOVID™) is currently under assessment by the World Health Organization (WHO).
This agreement will help ensure that low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) have timely access to this novel COVID-19 therapeutic. Supply will be made available for procurement and delivery to 95 LMICs, which includes some upper-middle income countries. UNICEF will work closely with WHO and Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A) partners such as The Global Fund and Unitaid to ensure equitable access to nirmatrelvir/ritonavir (PAXLOVID™).
UNICEF continues to work with ACT-A partners and industry to facilitate equitable access to COVID-19 therapeutics.
Nirmatrelvir is an oral antiviral co-administered with ritonavir for non-hospitalized mild-to-moderate COVID-19 patients at highest risk of developing severe forms of the disease. According to a study conducted by Pfizer, the new medicine can notably avert progression to severe illness and reduce the risk of hospitalization and death when administered in early stages of the infection. The oral outpatient antiviral is currently under assessment by the World Health Organization.
With COVID-19 vaccine coverage still limited in low resource settings, oral outpatient treatments can play a critical role in the management of COVID-19, with a potential to save lives and ease the pressure on healthcare systems. But challenges in equitable access remain and global efforts are needed to support production of generic versions of medicines and ensure systems are in place for these products to be promptly prequalified and adopted.
This is a significant step for the work the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator’s therapeutics pillar partners are leading, working closely with the MPP, originator and generic companies, to rapidly introduce new treatments in LMICs, alongside adequate testing, and ensure rapid and affordable access to those products…
The first peer-reviewed clinical trial evidence that a Covid-19 vaccine provided robust protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection was published in the Journal in December 2020,1 less than a year after the sequence of the viral genome was reported. This unprecedentedly rapid development of vaccines was a scientific triumph. In the year since, about 62% of the world’s population has received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, and 54% have completed the primary vaccine series.2 This would appear to be a landmark success in global health mobilization.
Figure 1. Covid-19 Vaccine Doses Administered in Countries Categorized by Income Level, December 2, 2020, through February 20, 2022.
The truth, of course, is very different. The availability of Covid-19 vaccines differs vastly across the globe (Figure 1). While several wealthy countries have exceeded 90% vaccine coverage, only about 11% of all people in low-income countries have received at least one dose, and only 25% of our health care colleagues in Africa were fully vaccinated by November, before the omicron wave.3 Approximately three billion people worldwide have not received a single dose. The gulf in vaccination rates according to national income is overwhelming, despite the fact that a number of the pivotal phase 3 trials that led to vaccine licensing were conducted in part in some less developed countries. Poorer countries with no capacity to manufacture vaccines joined the end of the queue, as countries with manufacturing capacity prioritized local supply and wealthier countries purchased the vaccines. We should not be surprised by vaccine nationalism; company CEOs and boards have a fiduciary responsibility to maximize their stock price, and politicians are elected to prefer the interests of their voters over populations in other nations, despite cogent arguments to prioritize vaccinations globally for the vulnerable and for health care workers.4
And a new challenge to the global vaccine supply has emerged: data from multiple in vitro and real-world studies published in the Journal have shown that antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 wane over a matter of months after vaccination, findings that underscore the need for a booster to restore high antibody levels both to reduce infection with new variants and to minimize hospitalization and death.5 In developed countries, the rapid emergence of the omicron variant has increased the urgency of these booster doses. Israel, a front-runner in providing booster doses, is now testing the efficacy of yet a fourth vaccine dose, and further boosters and redesigned vaccines are likely to be needed over time. These developments guarantee that existing vaccine supplies will be directed to rich countries, further delaying their availability in poor countries. Appeals from the World Health Organization (WHO) to delay booster doses in order to prioritize first doses to the world’s three billion unvaccinated people have gone unheeded in countries that see boosters as the way to open their economies and end unpopular social interventions. There is also the risk that “old vaccines” will be dumped on poorer countries as the rich shift to second-generation redesigned vaccines.
The COVAX (Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access) program, set up as part of the ACT (Access to Covid-19 Tools) Accelerator and led by GAVI (the Vaccine Alliance), CEPI (the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations), and the WHO to support equitable access, was established in anticipation of this problem. But COVAX’s impact has been muted by supply-chain issues, vaccine nationalism, the decision by some countries to halt the export of vaccines, and queue-jumping by wealthy countries, which caused its initial projections of vaccine availability to be cut substantially.6 The two largest countries in the world, China and India, improved the situation by vaccinating their populations through their national production. But the majority of countries have no local production capacity and are entirely dependent on external purchases, vaccine diplomacy, or donations. Developed countries that send about-to-expire batches of vaccine to poorer countries do little to address inequities.
Furthermore, different vaccines have different efficacy against illness, and the half-life of that efficacy, along with supply, would ideally be factored into any global vaccination strategy, but this cannot happen when the different vaccines vary in price and availability. Fortunately, even one dose of most vaccines appears to adequately boost those who have had a primary infection, which suggests that even a single vaccination may be a beneficial bridge to completing a primary series in countries where the prevalence of antibodies due to primary infection is high.
It has become an article of faith that “no one is safe until everyone is safe,”7 but in countries that can vaccinate a very high proportion of their populations and supply boosters, and perhaps boosters-on-boosters, Covid-19 may become a controllable infection (although the emergence of immune-escape variants remains an ever-present threat and immunosuppressed people remain at risk). In countries with low vaccine coverage, however, SARS-CoV-2 will still cause major morbidity and mortality, strain health systems, sicken health workers, and cause economic disruption and will potentially provoke intermittent travel bans when new variants emerge. As developed countries stockpile boosters in response to virus variants, when will less-developed countries find a timely and secure supply of Covid-19 vaccines?
It is argued that the self-interest of rich countries should lead them to help vaccinate poorer countries because the uncontrolled spread of SARS-CoV-2 could foster the emergence of escape mutants that will unsettle their vaccine-induced protection against infection, hospitalization, and death. But although such unchecked viral replication and transmission increase the risk of new variants, SARS-CoV-2 evolution in immunosuppressed patients can create new variants anywhere, including the developed world.8 Since current vaccines do not provide sterilizing immunity against infection with new variants such as omicron, SARS-CoV-2 will continue to circulate, and perhaps mutate, even in highly vaccinated populations. The case for global vaccine equity cannot rest solely on a defense against escape mutants. Morality and social justice argue that Covid-19 morbidity and mortality and their impact on economic and health systems should be prevented in all countries, rich and poor, around the world.
In the short term, poorer countries will have to compete for the purchase of vaccines in the global marketplace and hope that the COVAX mechanism can radically speed up and augment deliveries, despite the COVAX CEO’s assessment that “what we do not have today are the resources to help countries adapt to the new challenges that we know Covid-19 will create in 2022.”9 Meanwhile, one potential solution, a World Trade Organization TRIPS waiver of intellectual property rights due to a public health emergency, has been stymied for over 18 months, despite endorsements from the WHO, the U.S. president, and over 100 governments,10 including those of India, South Africa, Russia, and China. The Oxford–AstraZeneca ChAdOx1-nCoV-19 vaccine and some others have been voluntarily licensed to multiple countries for scaled-up production. Baylor College of Medicine has made publicly available the formula for a protein subunit vaccine that has received Emergency Use Authorization in India.11 But the mRNA vaccine strategy that can most flexibly accommodate antigenic changes remains fiercely protected by the companies involved, despite being based on research funded for decades from the public purse. In the early months of vaccine production, the argument that supply chains for the 280 ingredients necessary for mRNA vaccine manufacture would be disrupted by any change might have made sense. But continuing exclusivity has meant that little public funding has gone into scaling up the production of those ingredients, a situation that perpetuates these limitations in the supply chains. It is long past time to break this impasse.
The medium-to-long-term solution is clear. Less developed and smaller countries need access to local or regional capacity to manufacture vaccines, because they cannot rely on the excess production capacity of richer countries for vaccine supplies in this or future pandemics. A report in 2017 estimated that over 99% of the vaccines used in Africa were imported, and astonishingly, although in 1997 about 55 countries had vaccine manufacturing capacity, by 2015 commercial and regulatory pressures had reduced that number to fewer than 20.12 This situation contrasts with aims of the Global Action Plan for influenza vaccines developed by the WHO, which has emphasized and supported regional manufacture of flu vaccines.13 CEPI plans to develop an international network that will reduce the time needed to produce a vaccine against a new epidemic pathogen to 100 days,14 but the immediate test case is how to ramp up the production of the most effective Covid-19 vaccines today.
A sustained effort to develop and increase regional vaccine-production capacity is needed to reduce reliance on the business plans of a handful of commercial entities. This should include licensing and technology transfer arrangements such as those developed by the WHO and the Medicines Patent Pool, which have successfully made antiretroviral treatments widely and cheaply available to treat AIDS, even in the poorest countries. The WHO has gone further, creating vaccine hubs, such as the mRNA vaccine hubs in South Africa and five other African countries,15 that hold the promise of locally developed and manufactured vaccines for Covid-19 and future pandemics. The chair of the International Monetary Fund maintains that financing vaccine production in Africa is “good for the world,” since the investment needed is tiny as compared with the global economic impact of Covid-19.16 An alternative, giving poor countries loans to purchase Covid-19 vaccines, only perpetuates indebtedness. Finally, as new vaccines are developed, regulatory mechanisms must adapt to changing circumstances; where a high proportion of people have partial immunity from natural infection, vaccination, or both, phase 3 trials that aim to show the superiority of a new Covid-19 vaccine become impossibly large, making noninferiority studies the preferred option in order to increase the diversity of licensed vaccines.
Vaccine inequity is symptomatic of the failure of global governance of the pandemic. The haphazard way in which vaccines are currently distributed must be addressed as part of a global vaccine strategy that includes a system of intellectual-property management, manufacturing, and distribution that ensures that vaccines are made available equitably around the world. Vaccines against pandemic diseases, and the ability to manufacture them, must not be a sequestered asset that maximizes the return to pharmaceutical company executives and shareholders or increases the electability of politicians. They must be a global public good.
Weekly Epidemiological and Operational updates Last update: 25 Mar 2022 Confirmed cases :: 476 374 234 Confirmed deaths :: 6 108 976 Vaccine doses administered: 10 925 055 390
Weekly epidemiological update on COVID-19 – 22 March 2022 Overview After a consistent decrease since the end of January 2022, the number of new weekly cases rose for a second consecutive week, with a 7% increase reported during the week of 14 through 20 March 2022, as compared to the previous week. The number of new deaths has continued a decreasing trend (-23% as compared to the previous week). Across the six WHO regions, over 12 million cases and just under 33 000 deaths were reported.
As of 20 March 2022, over 468 million confirmed cases and over 6 million deaths have been reported globally.
At the regional level, the number of new weekly cases increased in the Western Pacific region (+21%), remained stable in the European region, and decreased in the Eastern Mediterranean (-41%), Africa (-33%), South-East Asia (-23%) and Americas (-17%) regions.
In this edition, we provide an update on the geographic distribution of circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs), including the prevalence and summary of current evidence of the Omicron variant. We also provide updates on vaccine effectiveness for the Delta and Omicron variants…
Moderna Press Releases
March 24, 2022 Moderna Announces Clinical and Program Updates at 3rd Annual Vaccines Day
COVID-19 vaccine Phase 2/3 study in children 6 months to under 6 years has successfully met its primary endpoint with robust neutralizing antibody titers similar to adults. Moderna is moving forward with global regulatory submissions for mRNA-1273 for primary vaccination of children 6 months to under 6 years of age.
Moderna has initiated a submission to the FDA for emergency use authorization of mRNA-1273 in children 6 to under 12 years of age; mRNA-1273 is approved for use in this age group in Europe, Canada, and Australia.
In an interim analysis of a Phase 2 study of influenza vaccine candidate mRNA-1010, no significant safety concerns were identified, and the immunogenicity data is consistent with a potential for superiority to standard dose vaccine for influenza A strains.
Moderna is advancing vaccine candidates against five viruses that cause latent infections, three of which are in clinical trials. In a Phase 2 study, the CMV vaccine (mRNA-1647) was observed to be generally well tolerated and interim data demonstrates strong immunogenicity.
Moderna announces an increase in signed Advance Purchase Agreements for 2022 from $19 billion announced on February 24, 2022, to $21 billion.
The BRICS Vaccine R&D Center Launched SINOVAC Actively Responds to Common Initiatives
In order to implement the consensus of the BRICS leaders’ meeting on the early launch of the BRICS Vaccine R&D Center, on March 22, 2022, the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology held an online launch ceremony of the BRICS Vaccine R&D Center and the Vaccine Cooperation Workshop. Leaders from science and technology and health departments of BRICS countries and representatives from each country’s center witnessed the launch of the center and discussed vaccine cooperation…
Vector State Research Centre of Viralogy and Biotechnology Home – No new digest announcements identified
COVID-19 Global Targets and Progress Tracker – IMF The COVID-19 Global Targets and Progress Tracker presents a consolidated view of the progress towards global COVID-19 targets, barriers in access to COVID-19 tools, and delivery of donor pledges.
The global targets presented in the Tracker are based on an alignment of the targets identified in the IMF Pandemic Proposal, ACT-A Strategic Plan & Budget, and the US-hosted Global C19 Summit, and as such have been reaffirmed by multilateral institutions and global leaders. We will continue to enhance the tracker as we improve our data collection efforts.
Global Dashboard on COVID-19 Vaccine Equity The Dashboard is a joint initiative of UNDP, WHO and the University of Oxford with cooperation across the UN system, anchored in the SDG 3 Global Action Plan for Healthy Lives and Well-being for All.
Duke – Launch and Scale Speedometer The Race for Global COVID-19 Vaccine Equity A flurry of nearly 200 COVID-19 vaccine candidates are moving forward through the development and clinical trials processes at unprecedented speed; more than ten candidates are already in Phase 3 large-scale trials and several have received emergency or limited authorization. Our team has aggregated and analyzed publicly available data to track the flow of procurement and manufacturing and better understand global equity challenges. We developed a data framework of relevant variables and conducted desk research of publicly available information to identify COVID vaccine candidates and status, deals and ongoing negotiations for procurement and manufacturing, COVID burden by country, and allocation and distribution plans. We have also conducted interviews with public officials in key countries to better understand the context and challenges facing vaccine allocation and distribution [accessed 24 July 2021] See our COVID Vaccine Purchases research See our COVID Vaccine Manufacturing research See our COVID Vaccine Donations & Exports research
COVID-19 Data Explorer: Global Humanitarian Operations COVID-19 Vaccine Roll-out 26 Mar 2022 | COVAX (WHO,GAVI,CEPI), UNDESA, Press Reports | DATA Global COVID-19 Figures: 476M total confirmed cases; 6.1M total confirmed deaths Global vaccines administered: 11.1B
Number of Countries: 28
COVAX Allocations Round 4-9 (Number of Doses): 170M
COVAX Delivered (Number of Doses): 270M
Other Delivered (Number of Doses): 260M
Total Delivered (Number of Doses): 530M
Total Administered (Number of Doses): 380M
Multilateral Leaders Task Force on COVID-19 [IMF, World Bank Group, WHO, WTO] https://data.covid19taskforce.com/data A global effort to help developing countries access and deliver COVID-19 vaccines, testing, and therapeutics, as they work to end the pandemic and boost economic recovery. The International Monetary Fund, World Bank Group, World Health Organization and World Trade Organization have joined forces to accelerate access to COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics by leveraging multilateral finance and trade solutions, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. Website accessed 26 Mar 2022: https://data.covid19taskforce.com/data The global view below is complemented by country-specific dashboards here.
USAID Provides Nearly $64 Million in Emergency Food Assistance for Vulnerable People Affected by the Crisis in Lebanon
March 23, 2022
In response to growing food security needs in Lebanon, the United States, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is providing nearly $64 million in additional humanitarian assistance to help feed vulnerable people in Lebanon. Lebanon is facing increased food insecurity amid the country’s ongoing economic crisis, as well as prolonged impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the August 2020 Beirut port blast. This situation is exacerbated by Putin’s war against Ukraine due to Lebanon’s reliance on imported wheat, primarily from Ukraine. USAID remains concerned that increasing prices of staple foods and fuel in Lebanon will worsen food insecurity. The U.S. government is committed to providing much-needed assistance to the most vulnerable populations in Lebanon.
Administrator Samantha Power on Designation of Atrocities Against Rohingya as Genocide
March 21, 2022
Today, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken announced that the United States has determined that the Burmese military committed genocide and crimes against humanity against the Rohingya people. All of us are grateful for the committed and forceful advocacy of Rohingya survivors of this genocide—survivors who have already demonstrated unimaginable resilience and bravery in the face of horror—as well as a range of organizations who have worked to document the Burmese military’s crimes.
European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en Latest Updates [Selected] News Tuberculosis remains one of the deadliest infectious diseases worldwide, warns new report Press release – 24 Mar 2022 According to the latest ECDC/WHO report on tuberculosis (TB) surveillance and monitoring in Europe, a sharp drop (24%) in reported tuberculosis cases between 2019 and 2020 was probably exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which hindered detection and reporting. Tuberculosis remains one of the world’s deadliest infectious diseases, second only to COVID-19, and drug resistant TB strains are still a major concern. In the fight against tuberculosis, urgent investment is critical, especially in the context of the ongoing pandemic
News ECDC: On Air – podcast on European epidemiology. Episode 17 out now! Podcast – 24 Mar 2022
News Epidemiological update: West Nile virus transmission season in Europe, 2021 Epidemiological update – 24 Mar 2022
Data Presentation: Tuberculosis situation in the EU/EEA, 2020 Presentation – 24 Mar 2022
Government of India – Press Information Bureau Latest Press Releases COVID – 19 Vaccination Update – Day 435 :: India’s cumulative vaccination coverage crosses 183.16 Crore :: More than 26 lakh Vaccine doses administered today till 7 pm :: More than 1.20 Crore Vaccine Doses administered to 12-14 age group so far Posted On: 26 MAR 2022 8:06PM by PIB Delhi
Polio this week as of 23 March 2022
:: Revised containment guidance (GAPIII) soon available for public consultation:On recommendation from the Containment Advisory Group (CAG), and through wide engagement of stakeholders, WHO’s Global Action Plan for Poliovirus Containment (GAPIII, 2015) has been revised. Following a period of critical review by the CAG, the document draft will be made available for public consultation 29 March – 1 May 2022. Revisions to the guidance have been made based on CAG recommendations, review of relevant biorisk management documents to determine alignment, scientific evidence and solicited stakeholder comments on various sections. WHO encourages feedback from containment stakeholders. Please check the GPEI website for information. For queries, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Summary of new WPV and cVDPV viruses this week (AFP cases and ES positives): – Côte d’Ivoire: one cVDPV2 positive environmental sample – Niger: two cVDPV2 cases – Nigeria: two cVDPV2 cases – Yemen: three cVDPV2 cases
Northern Ethiopia Ethiopia – Northern Ethiopia Humanitarian Update Situation Report, 25 March 2022 HIGHLIGHTS
The food distribution in Tigray has reached an all-time low since March 2021 as food stocks are almost depleted with only about 68,000 people assisted between 10 – 16 March.
To date, 221.8 MT of medical supplies have been airlifted to Tigray which represents only four per cent of the total medications required to meet health needs in Tigray.
Nearly 12,000 children in 22 schools in Wag Hemra Zone in Amhara benefited from feeding program and more than more than 9,300 students received exercise books during the week.
More than 10,000 people assisted with food in Zone 2 in Afar during the week, reaching 126,000 or 20 percent of the targeted population since last week of February in the region.
No amount of operational cash cleared to be transferred to Tigray since 10 March.
Ukraine Ukraine: Humanitarian Impact Situation Report (As of 12:00 p.m. (EET) on 25 March 2022)
:: [Excerpt] …Health situation and risks.
…COVID-19 vaccination and routine immunization campaigns have almost come to a halt across the country. Before 24 February, at least 50,000 people on average were being vaccinated against COVID-19 each day. Between 24 February and 15 March, however, only 175,000 people were vaccinated against the virus – around 40,790 fewer people on average being vaccinated daily. Between 23 February and 23 March, WHO reports that the seven-day average number of antigenrapid and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) COVID-19 tests fell by a staggering 88 and 96 per percent, respectively, suggesting considerable underreporting of COVID-19 cases and deaths. Over the same period, the number of beds available for COVID-19 patients decreased significantly as many were repurposed, with the largest decreases witnessed in Luhanska (east, 80 per cent), Volynska (north-west, 69 per cent) and Chernihivska (north, 56 per cent) oblasts…
New WHO Publications https://www.who.int/publications/i Selected Titles
25 March 2022 Report of the 7th virtual end TB strategy summit for the highest TB burden countries and countries on the WHO global watchlist, 16–17 November 2021 Overview
The 7th End TB summit of the highest TB burden countries and countries on the WHO Global TB Watchlist took place virtually from 16 to 17 November 2021 (3.5 hours per day). The overall objective of this summit was to facilitate discussions and an exchange of strategic information between National TB Programmes (NTPs), representatives of the WHO Civil Society Task Force, and partners on new ways of working to mitigate and reverse the COVID-19 impact on
TB and reinvigorate the global response to TB. Specific meeting objectives were as follows:
1. to reflect on key challenges and opportunities posted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic for NTPs, affected people and vulnerable populations;
2. to consider opportunities for strengthening quality TB case finding and prevention given innovations during the COVID-19 pandemic;
3. to share updates on the latest global situation for TB and exchange strategic information.
This report summarizes the sessions of the summit and provides links to background slides shared by speakers from the country, regional and global level. All slides are featured in the WHO End TB Forum.
Africa CDC [to 26 Mar 2022] http://www.africacdc.org/ News Outbreak Brief 114: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic
Date of Issue: 14 March 2022
… As of 6 p.m. East African Time (EAT) 21 March 2022, a total of 11,301,084 COVID-19 cases and 250,646 deaths (CFR: 2.2%) have been reported by the 55 African Union (AU) Member States (MS). This represents 2.4% of all cases and 4.1% of all deaths reported globally. Thirty-five (64%) AU MS are reporting CFRs higher than the global CFR. Since the detection of COVID-19 on the African continent in February 2020, 53 (96%) AU MS have experienced three COVID-19 waves, 47 (72%) countries have experienced four waves and nine countries have experienced five waves. One country (Mauritius) is currently experiencing a sixth wave… Despite a test positivity rate of 11.1%, the daily reported number of new cases across the continent is on a downward trend. In the past week, more than 572 thousand new tests were conducted, which is a 32% decrease in the number of tests conducted in week 11 compared to the previous week…
Careful readers will note that the number and range of organizations now monitored in our Announcements section below has grown as the impacts of the pandemic have spread across global economies, supply chains and programmatic activity of multilateral agencies and INGOs.
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
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
On this year’s World TB Day, EDCTP joins the global health community in a call to urgently raise investments to achieve the commitments to end TB made by global leaders. Although funding towards TB research and development did not decrease as significantly as expected during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is still below half of the $2 billion annual financing target committed to by governments at the United Nations General Assembly High-Level Meeting on TB in 2018. In recognition of this chronic underfunding, EDCTP has made substantial investments in TB research and, together with our partners, recently launched the Global TB vaccine R&D roadmap and published several tools to accelerate TB vaccines R&D.
On March 18, 2022, the stakeholders of the APRECIT project met in Madagascar and remotely for the project’s second steering committee for the improvement of the management of latent tuberculosis infection (LTI)…
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria commends the announcement by Minister Svenja Schulze on the occasion of World Tuberculosis Day to make available an additional EUR175 million to the Global Fund’s COVID-19 Response Mechanism, p…
Researchers and funders around the world rely on the COVID-19 Research Project Tracker and associated Living Mapping Review (LMR) to funnel resources where needs are greatest by tracking the latest COVID-19 research trends and gaps. For the first time, the LMR features an analysis of research projects on our Tracker mapped against the pillars and priorities outlined in the UN Research Roadmap for the COVID-19 Recovery…
Thank you to the Ambassador of Mexico for organising this meeting and thank you for the opportunity to join all of you today.Just yesterday the Security Council met to discuss Syria which has now entered its 11th year of conflict.
Peter Maurer, the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), has completed a two-day visit to Moscow where he continued ongoing humanitarian discussions with the Russian authorities.
ISC is a non-governmental organization with a unique global membership that brings together 40 international scientific Unions and Associations and over 140 national and regional scientific organizations including Academies and Research Councils.
So-called ‘predatory’ activities in academic publishing and conferences are on the increase worldwide and ‘risk becoming engrained in research culture’, according to a new InterAcademy Partnership report, which draws on a global survey of researchers.
Vaccination mandates and requirements can be effective in increasing COVID-19 vaccination rates but their success depends on being targeted and on building trust says a new rapid expert consultation which also outlines considerations for using incentives to promote booster uptake.
National Vaccine Program Office – U.S. HHS [to 26 Mar 2022]
Vaccines Federal Implementation Plan 2021-2025 On Wednesday March 2, 2022, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published a Request for Information (RFI) to solicit stakeholder written public comments on the draft Vaccines Federal Implementation Plan 2021-2025- PDF*. HHS values input from all stakeholders and will take all public comments into consideration before finalizing this document. We encourage your input or comments and ask that you circulate this information to others who may also wish to provide comments. Information about how to provide written public comment is found on HHS.gov and the deadline for submissions is 5 p.m. EST Tuesday March 29, 2022. The Vaccines Federal Implementation Plan is a companion document to the Vaccines National Strategic Plan 2021-2025 published in January 2021. This plan outlines the federal government’s broad national vaccination goals and offers a framework to eliminate vaccine-preventable diseases through safe and effective vaccination over the lifespan, for both federal agencies and external partners. The implementation plan focuses on the specific actions that federal agencies can take to further those same national vaccination goals.
Even in wealthy economies, access to medicines is increasingly affected by medicine shortages – an issue exacerbated with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of this paper was to examine the extent and nature of medicine shortages in OECD countries (pre-COVID-19) and explore the reasons for this growing global problem. Although differences in monitoring mechanisms make multi-country analyses challenging, a sample of 14 OECD countries reported a 60% increase in the number of shortage notifications over the period 2017-2019. While the complexity of pharmaceutical manufacturing and supply chains hampers root cause analyses, available literature suggests that shortages, as reported by marketing authorisation holders, are predominantly due to manufacturing and quality issues. Nevertheless, commercial factors – and the policy settings that influence them – may play an important role. Although several OECD countries have implemented policy measures to mitigate, monitor and prevent shortages, more robust data and further analyses of root causes and effective policy responses are needed. The way forward should involve a global approach that engages all relevant actors and looks beyond the health care sector alone.
The Vietnam Ministry of Health, the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, and PATH came together for the dissemination workshop of a project to internationalize Vietnam’s COVID-19 vaccine data and certificates.
Hanoi, Vietnam, March 22, 2022—The Vietnam Ministry of Health (MOH), the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), PATH, and implementing partners hosted the dissemination workshop for a six-month collaboration to support the development of Vietnam’s COVID-19 digital vaccination certification. The workshop was attended by the Deputy Minister of the Vietnam MOH, Tran Van Thuan; the British Ambassador to Vietnam, Gareth Ward; and representatives of implementing partners.
The project is funded by the Vaccine Data Co-Lab, a component of the Frontier Technology program and an FCDO-led collaboration supporting actionable solutions that improve data-driven prioritization, allocation, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. In May 2021, the UK-funded program launched an open call for technical proposals to identify organizations working directly with local and national governments in low- and middle-income countries to ensure sustained capacity for vaccine deployment. PATH was the first organization to receive a grant from the Vaccine Data Co-Lab…
Geneva – In advance of World TB Day, 24 March, Unitaid reaffirms its commitment to bring innovative approaches to the fight against TB.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on health programmes worldwide, but tuberculosis (TB) efforts have been disproportionately affected. Disruptions and delays to crucial services caused deaths from TB to increase for the first time in over a decade.
“In a rapidly changing world, the need to confront new challenges with updated tools and strategies is more salient than ever,” said Dr Philippe Duneton, Executive Director of Unitaid. “The tuberculosis bacteria was identified 140 years ago. Yet it continues to cause 1.5 million deaths each year, and millions of people around the world still lack access to the best tools, treatments, and prevention.
“The COVID-19 pandemic puts this in a particularly stark light. Since it began just over two years ago, we have developed and deployed rapid at-home tests, several powerful vaccines, multiple treatments that avert severe disease and mobilized billions in financing. And though there remains much to do, we are hopeful that we’re starting to turn a corner…
Vaccine Equity Cooperative [nee Initiative] [to 26 Mar 2022]
Strengthened partnership aims to accelerate coordinated strategy on human, animal and ecosystem health
Rome/Paris/Geneva/Nairobi – Work to tackle the challenges of human, animal and ecosystem health using a more integrated approach has seen significant progress in the past year, leaders of three international organizations cooperating across these sectors said, as they expanded their group to include a fourth body, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).
At its annual executive meeting this week, the Tripartite partnership for One Health, bringing together the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE),formally became the Quadripartite as it signed a Memorandum of Understanding with UNEP.
The One Health approach aims to sustainably balance and optimize the health of people, animals, ecosystems and the wider environment. It mobilizes multiple sectors, disciplines and communities to work together to foster well-being and tackle threats to health and ecosystems. And it addresses the collective need for clean water, energy and air, safe and nutritious food, action on climate change, and contributing to sustainable development…
ARM [Alliance for Regenerative Medicine] [to 26 Mar 2022]
21 March 2022 – The global research-based pharmaceutical industry stands in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and condemns the invasion of their country and the suffering it continues to cause. Overcoming the challenges that this unprecedented humanitarian crisis poses for patients is our main concern.
We are united in our mission of providing treatments and vaccines to all those affected by the war, wherever they are. Safe passage of medical products remains a top priority.
The industry is working in a variety of ways to support those affected by the unfolding humanitarian crisis. This includes providing free essential medicines and giving financial support to NGOs on the ground. We are monitoring for supply chain disruptions and building supply capacity where it’s needed as well as working with the wider health community to address issues as they arise.
To learn more about individual company efforts, please visit the website set up by the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations’ (EFPIA), found here.
International Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association [IGBA]
Journal Watch Vaccines and Global Health: The Week in Review continues its weekly scanning of key peer-reviewed journals to identify and cite articles, commentary and editorials, books reviews and other content supporting our focu-s on vaccine ethics and policy. Journal Watch is not intended to be exhaustive, but indicative of themes and issues the Center is actively tracking. We selectively provide full text of some editorial and comment articles that are specifically relevant to our work. Successful access to some of the links provided may require subscription or other access arrangement unique to the publisher.
If you would like to suggest other journal titles to include in this service, please contact David Curry at: email@example.com
Tactical Health and Law Enforcement
Tactical health involves providing field-based clinical support to law enforcement operations during frontline crisis interventions and prehospital emergency care. Health professional skill can inform individual officers’ occupational health maintenance and help agents of the state navigate primary and secondary trauma and posttrauma experiences in field- and clinic-based settings. Tactical health expertise can also inform department- and agency-level policies, decisions, and responses to community health and safety threats. Ethical questions considered in this issue focus on the nature and scope of health professionals’ collaborations with law enforcement personnel during and following critical event preparation and responses.
Disease transmission and mass gatherings: a case study on meningococcal infection during Hajj Mass gatherings can not only trigger major outbreaks on-site but also facilitate global spread of infectious pathogens. Hajj is one of the largest mass gathering events worldwide where over two million pilgrim…
Authors: Laurent Coudeville, Amine Amiche, Ashrafur Rahman, Julien Arino, Biao Tang, Ombeline Jollivet, Alp Dogu, Edward Thommes and Jianhong Wu
Citation: BMC Infectious Diseases 2022 22:275
Content type: Research article Published on: 22 March 2022
Tools for assessing the scalability of innovations in health: a systematic review The last decade has seen growing interest in scaling up of innovations to strengthen healthcare systems. However, the lack of appropriate methods for determining their potential for scale-up is an unfortunate …
Authors: Ali Ben Charif, Hervé Tchala Vignon Zomahoun, Amédé Gogovor, Mamane Abdoulaye Samri, José Massougbodji, Luke Wolfenden, Jenny Ploeg, Merrick Zwarenstein, Andrew J. Milat, Nathalie Rheault, Youssoufa M. Ousseine, Jennifer Salerno, Maureen Markle-Reid and France Légaré
Citation: Health Research Policy and Systems 2022 20:34
Content type: Review Published on: 24 March 2022