WHO guidance on ethics in outbreaks and the COVID-19 pandemic: a critical appraisal

Journal of Medical Ethics
June 2021 – Volume 47 – 6


COVID-19 current controversies
WHO guidance on ethics in outbreaks and the COVID-19 pandemic: a critical appraisal (31 March, 2021) Free
Abha Saxena, Paul André Bouvier, Ehsan Shamsi-Gooshki, Johannes Köhler, Lisa J Schwartz
In 2016, following pandemic influenza threats and the 2014–2016 Ebola virus disease outbreaks, the WHO developed a guidance document for managing ethical issues in infectious disease outbreaks. In this article, we analyse some ethical issues that have had a predominant role in decision making in response to the current COVID-19 pandemic but were absent or not addressed in the same ways in the 2016 guidance document. A pandemic results in a health crisis and social and political crises both nationally and globally. The ethical implications of these global effects should be properly identified so that appropriate actions can be taken globally and not just in national isolation. Our analysis, which is a starting point to test the broader relevance of the 2016 WHO document that remains the only available guidance document applicable globally, concludes that the WHO guidance should be updated to provide reasoned and thoughtful comprehensive ethics advice for the sound management of the current and future pandemics.

A cross-sectional survey on community pharmacists readiness to fight COVID-19 in a developing country: knowledge, attitude, and practice in Lebanon

Journal of Pharmaceutical Policy and Practice
[Accessed 12 Jun 2021]


A cross-sectional survey on community pharmacists readiness to fight COVID-19 in a developing country: knowledge, attitude, and practice in Lebanon
Authors: Rony M. Zeenny, Ahmad Dimassi, Hala Sacre, Ghada El Khoury, Aline Hajj, Rita Farah, Hind Hajj, Nathalie Lahoud, Marwan Akel, Souheil Hallit and Pascale Salameh
Content type: Research
11 June 2021

Prevalence and predictors of vaccine hesitancy among expectant mothers in Enugu metropolis, South-east Nigeria

Journal of Public Health Policy
Volume 42, issue 2, June 2021


Prevalence and predictors of vaccine hesitancy among expectant mothers in Enugu metropolis, South-east Nigeria
Authors: Daniel C. Ogbuabor, Ada C. Chime
Content type: Original Article
Published: 10 February 2021
Pages: 222 – 235

Vaccine Hesitancy and Differential Susceptibility to Media Coverage: A Critical Documentary Led to Substantial Reductions in Human Papillomavirus Vaccine Uptake in Denmark

Medical Decision Making (MDM)
Volume 41 Issue 5, July 2021


Original Research Articles
Vaccine Hesitancy and Differential Susceptibility to Media Coverage: A Critical Documentary Led to Substantial Reductions in Human Papillomavirus Vaccine Uptake in Denmark
Maria Knoth Humlum, Niels Skipper, Peter Rønø Thingholm
First Published April 24, 2021; pp. 550–558

Swarm Learning for decentralized and confidential clinical machine learning

Volume 594 Issue 7862, 10 June 2021


Article Open Access Published: 26 May 2021
Swarm Learning for decentralized and confidential clinical machine learning
Stefanie Warnat-Herresthal, Hartmut Schultze, […]Joachim L. Schultze
Nature volume 594, pages 265–270 (2021)
Fast and reliable detection of patients with severe and heterogeneous illnesses is a major goal of precision medicine1,2. Patients with leukaemia can be identified using machine learning on the basis of their blood transcriptomes3. However, there is an increasing divide between what is technically possible and what is allowed, because of privacy legislation4,5. Here, to facilitate the integration of any medical data from any data owner worldwide without violating privacy laws, we introduce Swarm Learning—a decentralized machine-learning approach that unites edge computing, blockchain-based peer-to-peer networking and coordination while maintaining confidentiality without the need for a central coordinator, thereby going beyond federated learning. To illustrate the feasibility of using Swarm Learning to develop disease classifiers using distributed data, we chose four use cases of heterogeneous diseases (COVID-19, tuberculosis, leukaemia and lung pathologies). With more than 16,400 blood transcriptomes derived from 127 clinical studies with non-uniform distributions of cases and controls and substantial study biases, as well as more than 95,000 chest X-ray images, we show that Swarm Learning classifiers outperform those developed at individual sites. In addition, Swarm Learning completely fulfils local confidentiality regulations by design. We believe that this approach will notably accelerate the introduction of precision medicine.

Comprehensive analysis of 2.4 million patent-to-research citations maps the biomedical innovation and translation landscape

Nature Biotechnology
Volume 39 Issue 6, June 2021


Patents | 10 June 2021
Comprehensive analysis of 2.4 million patent-to-research citations maps the biomedical innovation and translation landscape
A citation map connecting patents to biomedical publications provides insights that can be used to better evaluate productivity, diversity and translational impact.
Anoop Manjunath
Hongyu Li, Ishan Kumar

Ending AIDS as a public health threat by 2030: Time to reset targets for 2025

PLoS Medicine
(Accessed 12 Jun 2021)


Ending AIDS as a public health threat by 2030: Time to reset targets for 2025
Paul R. De Lay, Adèle Benzaken, Quarraisha Abdool Karim, Sani Aliyu, Carolyn Amole, George Ayala, Kalipso Chalkidou, Judy Chang, Michaela Clayton, Aleny Couto, Carl Dieffenbach, Mark Dybul, Wafaa El Sadr, Marelize Gorgens, Daniel Low-Beer, Smail Mesbah, Jorge Saveedra, Petchsri Sirinirund, John Stover, Omar Syarif, Aditia Taslim, Safiatou Thiam, Lucy Wanjiku Njenga, Peter D. Ghys, Jose Antonio Izazola-Licea, Luisa Frescura, Erik Lamontagne, Peter Godfrey-Faussett, Christopher Fontaine, Iris Semini, Shannon Hader
Perspective | published 08 Jun 2021 PLOS Medicine

Which public health interventions are effective in reducing morbidity, mortality and health inequalities from infectious diseases amongst children in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs): An umbrella review

PLoS One
[Accessed 12 Jun 2021]


Which public health interventions are effective in reducing morbidity, mortality and health inequalities from infectious diseases amongst children in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs): An umbrella review
Elodie Besnier, Katie Thomson, Donata Stonkute, Talal Mohammad, Nasima Akhter, Adam Todd, Magnus Rom Jensen, Astrid Kilvik, Clare Bambra
Research Article | published 10 Jun 2021 PLOS ONE

Core Concept: Herd immunity is an important—and often misunderstood—public health phenomenon

PNAS – Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
May 25, 2021; vol. 118 no. 21


Core Concepts
A brief introduction to emerging topics in science
Core Concept: Herd immunity is an important—and often misunderstood—public health phenomenon
Amy McDermott
PNAS May 25, 2021 118 (21) e2107692118; https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2107692118

Old vaccines for new infections: Exploiting innate immunity to control COVID-19 and prevent future pandemics

PNAS – Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
May 25, 2021; vol. 118 no. 21


Old vaccines for new infections: Exploiting innate immunity to control COVID-19 and prevent future pandemics
Konstantin Chumakov, Michael S. Avidan, Christine S. Benn, Stefano M. Bertozzi, Lawrence Blatt, Angela Y. Chang, Dean T. Jamison, Shabaana A. Khader, Shyam Kottilil, Mihai G. Netea, Annie Sparrow, and Robert C. Gallo
PNAS May 25, 2021 118 (21) e2101718118; https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2101718118

‘Landmark’ African vaccine trial faces impasse

11 June 2021 Vol 372, Issue 6547


In Depth
‘Landmark’ African vaccine trial faces impasse
By Jon Cohen
Science11 Jun 2021 : 1135-1136 Full Access
The questions are urgent, and the funding is in place. But a highly anticipated, $130 million clinical trial, meant to test the efficacy of the novel messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines for COVID-19 against a key variant of the pandemic coronavirus as well as in people living with HIV and pregnant women, is stalled. It is ready to launch in eight countries in sub-Saharan Africa, yet neither maker of the vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna, wants to participate—or even provide their vaccines.
A group of prominent HIV advocates and activists in South Africa has written a letter complaining about the delay to U.S. government officials, including Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which agreed to pay for the study. They stress that COVID-19 strikes people living with HIV especially hard, and that dangerous variants of SARS-CoV-2 evolve in them because many have weakened immune systems. “We believe this will be a landmark study for this region and … the world,” they wrote. “We respectfully ask that you do all in your power to enable this study to take place.”..

Continuous health monitoring: An opportunity for precision health

Science Translational Medicine
09 June 2021 Vol 13, Issue 597


Continuous health monitoring: An opportunity for precision health
By Sanjiv S. Gambhir, T. Jessie Ge, Ophir Vermesh, Ryan Spitler, Garry E. Gold
Science Translational Medicine09 Jun 2021 Restricted Access
Continuous health monitoring and integrated diagnostic devices, worn on the body and used in the home, will help to identify and prevent early manifestations of disease. However, challenges lie ahead in validating new health monitoring technologies and in optimizing data analytics to extract actionable conclusions from continuously obtained health data.

Plasmodium falciparum Pf77 and male development gene 1 as vaccine antigens that induce potent transmission-reducing antibodies

Science Translational Medicine
09 June 2021 Vol 13, Issue 597


Research Articles
Plasmodium falciparum Pf77 and male development gene 1 as vaccine antigens that induce potent transmission-reducing antibodies
By Abhai K. Tripathi, Miranda S. Oakley, Nitin Verma, Godfree Mlambo, Hong Zheng, Scott M. Meredith, Edward Essuman, Ankit Puri, Richard A. Skelton, Kazuyo Takeda, Victoria Majam, Isabella A. Quakyi, Emily Locke, Merribeth Morin, Kazutoyo Miura, Carole A. Long, Sanjai Kumar
Science Translational Medicine09 Jun 2021 Restricted Access
Two Plasmodium falciparum vaccine candidates, Pf77 and PfMDV-1, have multistage expression and induce antibodies that reduce parasite transmission.

Using existing systematic reviews for developing vaccination recommendations: Results of an international expert workshop

Volume 39, Issue 23 Pages 3103-3224 (27 May 2021)


Conference info Abstract only
Using existing systematic reviews for developing vaccination recommendations: Results of an international expert workshop
Catherine L. Jo, Helen Burchett, Magdalena Bastías, Pauline Campbell, … Thomas Harder
Pages 3103-3110

Implementation of the World Health Organization recommendation on the use of rotavirus vaccine without age restriction by African countries

Volume 39, Issue 23 Pages 3103-3224 (27 May 2021)


Short communication Abstract only
Implementation of the World Health Organization recommendation on the use of rotavirus vaccine without age restriction by African countries
Inácio Mandomando, Mutale Mumba, Joseph Nsiari-muzeyi Biey, Gilson Kipese Paluku, … Jason M. Mwenda
Pages 3111-3119

Pertussis vaccine effectiveness and duration of protection – A systematic review and meta-analysis

Volume 39, Issue 23 Pages 3103-3224 (27 May 2021)


Review article Abstract only
Pertussis vaccine effectiveness and duration of protection – A systematic review and meta-analysis
Krista Wilkinson, Christiaan H. Righolt, Lawrence J. Elliott, Sergio Fanella, Salaheddin M. Mahmud
Pages 3120-3130

Attitude towards Vaccination among Health Science Students before the COVID-19 Pandemic

Vaccines — Open Access Journal


(Accessed 12 Jun 2021)
Open Access Article
Attitude towards Vaccination among Health Science Students before the COVID-19 Pandemic
by Pérez-Rivas Francisco Javier, Del Gallego-Lastra Ramón, Esteban-Garcimartín Ana, Marques-Vieira Cristina Maria Alves and Ajejas Bazán María Julia
Vaccines 2021, 9(6), 644; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9060644 (registering DOI) – 12 Jun 2021
Health science students are tomorrow’s health professionals, the duties of whom could include vaccination. This work examines the general attitude towards vaccination in students attending the Faculty of Nursing, Physiotherapy and Chiropody at a university in Madrid, Spain, using the ‘Attitudes and Behaviour [..

Attitude towards Vaccination among Health Science Students before the COVID-19 Pandemic

Vaccines — Open Access Journal


Open Access Article
Attitude towards Vaccination among Health Science Students before the COVID-19 Pandemic
by Pérez-Rivas Francisco Javier, Del Gallego-Lastra Ramón, Esteban-Garcimartín Ana, Marques-Vieira Cristina Maria Alves and Ajejas Bazán María Julia
Vaccines 2021, 9(6), 644; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9060644 (registering DOI) – 12 Jun 2021
Health science students are tomorrow’s health professionals, the duties of whom could include vaccination. This work examines the general attitude towards vaccination in students attending the Faculty of Nursing, Physiotherapy and Chiropody at a university in Madrid, Spain, using the ‘Attitudes and Behaviour [..

Knowledge, Vaccination Status, and Reasons for Avoiding Vaccinations against Hepatitis B in Developing Countries: A Systematic Review

Vaccines — Open Access Journal


Open Access Review
Knowledge, Vaccination Status, and Reasons for Avoiding Vaccinations against Hepatitis B in Developing Countries: A Systematic Review
by Putri Bungsu Machmud, Saskia Glasauer, Cornelia Gottschick and Rafael Mikolajczyk
Vaccines 2021, 9(6), 625; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9060625 – 09 Jun 2021
(1) Background: The coverage of hepatitis B vaccination remains low in developing countries to date. This systematic review thus analyzes the determinants of people’s knowledge and vaccination status as well as the reasons why people in developing countries chose not to receive the […

Global Vaccine Hesitancy Segmentation: A Cross-European Approach

Vaccines — Open Access Journal


Open Access Article
Global Vaccine Hesitancy Segmentation: A Cross-European Approach
by Almudena Recio-Román, Manuel Recio-Menéndez and María Victoria Román-González
Vaccines 2021, 9(6), 617; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9060617 – 08 Jun 2021
Vaccine-preventable diseases are global mainly in a globalized world that is characterized by a continuous movement of people and goods across countries. Vaccine hesitancy, the reluctance or refusal to vaccinate despite the availability of vaccines, is rising worldwide. What if the problem of […]

Media/Policy Watch

Media/Policy Watch
This watch section is intended to alert readers to substantive news, analysis and opinion from the general media and selected think tanks and similar organizations on vaccines, immunization, global public health and related themes. Media Watch is not intended to be exhaustive, but indicative of themes and issues CVEP is actively tracking. This section will grow from an initial base of newspapers, magazines and blog sources, and is segregated from Journal Watch above which scans the peer-reviewed journal ecology.
We acknowledge the Western/Northern bias in this initial selection of titles and invite suggestions for expanded coverage. We are conservative in our outlook in adding news sources which largely report on primary content we are already covering above. Many electronic media sources have tiered, fee-based subscription models for access. We will provide full-text where content is published without restriction, but most publications require registration and some subscription level.
The sheer volume of vaccine and pandemic-related coverage is extraordinary. We will strive to present the most substantive analysis and commentary we encounter.


The Atlantic
Accessed 12 Jun 2021
[No new, unique, relevant content]


Accessed 12 Jun 2021
[No new, unique, relevant content]


The Economist
Accessed 12 Jun 2021
The rule of six
More evidence emerges of India’s true death toll from covid-19
New surveys corroborate earlier estimates that the number is some six times higher
Asia Jun 12th 2021 edition


Financial Times
Accessed 12 Jun 2021
G7’s vaccine pledge for poor nations branded inadequate by campaigners
Offer of 1bn jabs is not enough to close supply divide and stem pandemic’s spread, say critics
Michael Peel in Brussels, Jasmine Cameron-Chileshe in Cornwall and David Pilling in London
June 11, 2021
Top of Form
Bottom of Form


Accessed 12 Jun 2021
Jun 11, 2021
A Pivot Point For Global Leadership On Covid-19
The United States has finally taken the lead in the global fight to control the Covid-19 pandemic and delivering vaccines to all those in need.
By William A. Haseltine Contributor


Foreign Affairs
Accessed 12 Jun 2021
Essay July/August 2021
The Forever Virus
Global herd immunity is now unreachable. How should governments’ strategy in the fight against COVID-19 change in response?
Larry Brilliant, Lisa Danzig, Karen Oppenheimer, Agastya Mondal, Rick Bright, and W. Ian Lipkin
It is time to say it out loud: the virus behind the COVID-19 pandemic is not going away. SARS-CoV-2 cannot be eradicated, since it is already growing in more than a dozen different animal species. Among humans, global herd immunity, once promoted as a singular solution, is unreachable. Most countries simply don’t have enough vaccines to go around, and even in the lucky few with an ample supply, too many people are refusing to get the shot. As a result, the world will not reach the point where enough people are immune to stop the virus’s spread before the emergence of dangerous variants—ones that are more transmissible, vaccine resistant, and even able to evade current diagnostic tests. Such supervariants could bring the world back to square one. It might be 2020 all over again.
Rather than die out, the virus will likely ping-pong back and forth across the globe for years to come. Some of yesterday’s success stories are now vulnerable to serious outbreaks. Many of these are places that kept the pandemic at bay through tight border controls and excellent testing, tracing, and isolation but have been unable to acquire good vaccines. Witness Taiwan and Vietnam, which experienced impressively few deaths until May 2021, when, owing to a lack of vaccination, they faced a reversal of fortune. But even countries that have vaccinated large proportions of their populations will be vulnerable to outbreaks caused by certain variants. That is what appears to have happened in several hot spots in Chile, Mongolia, the Seychelles, and the United Kingdom. The virus is here to stay. The question is, What do we need to do to ensure that we are, too?…


Foreign Policy
Accessed 12 Jun 2021
Vaccine Diplomacy Boosts China’s Standing in Latin America
Beijing has increased its leverage in the region—but Washington can still stage a comeback.
By Oliver Stuenkel, an associate professor of international relations at the Getulio Vargas Foundation in São Paulo.
June 11, 2021, 9:17 AM


New Yorker
Accessed 12 Jun 2021
Annals of Medicine
Heidi Larson, Vaccine Anthropologist
The world’s richest countries are now its most vaccine-hesitant. Can we learn to trust our shots before the next pandemic?
By Danielle Ofri June 12.2021


New York Times
Accessed 12 Jun 2021
F.D.A. details failures at a Baltimore plant that led to unusable vaccine doses.
The F.D.A. advised Johnson & Johnson on Friday that it should throw out the equivalent of 60 million doses produced at the Baltimore plant.
By Sharon LaFraniere June 12, 2021

Russia scrambles to contain a new surge, as most of its people appear to be avoiding the Sputnik vaccine.
Moscow’s mayor said the city’s situation had “sharply worsened” in the past week.
By Anton Troianovski June 12, 2021

Without a big boost, many African nations may not meet a vaccination goal.
The World Health Organization set a target that each country should be able to give shots to at least 10 percent of its people by September.
By Abdi Latif Dahir June 10, 2021

Guest Essay
What I Learned in 33 Years at the C.D.C.
June 10, 2021

By Anne Schuchat
Dr. Schuchat is the principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She’s retiring from the agency at the end of June after 33 years.

Nearly 15 years ago, during a ceremony in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Atlanta campus auditorium, I was promoted to rear admiral in the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service. My father, a veteran of World War II and the Korean War, positioned my new gold epaulets on the shoulders of my service dress blue uniform while my mother, a cultural anthropologist, observed the ritual from the audience. I said to the people gathered, “Public service is a privilege. For me, it has also been a joy.” After 33 years, I’m retiring from the agency, and that’s the same message I would like to send to the American public.

My father, like many in his generation, enlisted in the U.S. Navy after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Another call to national service, for another generation, followed President John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address. My route to public service was more private and less intentional than those. I initially planned to apply my medical training to clinical practice. But the C.D.C.’s disease detective program — the Epidemic Intelligence Service — got me hooked on public health.

Public service is difficult. The past year and a half left many among our ranks exhausted, threatened, saddened and sometimes sidelined. The Covid-19 pandemic is not the first time the U.S. public health system has had to surge well beyond its capacity, but with the worst pandemic in a century and, initially, a heavily partisan political context, the virus collided with a system suffering from decades of underinvestment. A recent report from the National Academy of Medicine revealed that state and local public health departments have lost an estimated 66,000 jobs since around 2008.

With prior responses — including the hantavirus outbreak and bioterrorist anthrax, pandemic H1N1 influenza and the Ebola and Zika epidemics — the public health front line has been the little engine that could. For each of those responses, state and local public health departments absorbed the initial shock until emergency funding came through — and then repeatedly watched resources ebb as the crisis abated. Over the past few decades, public health experienced a progressive weakening of our core capacities while biomedical research and development accelerated into the future. With Covid-19, we were the little engine that couldn’t.

Infections, hospitalizations and deaths are declining in the United States, thanks to extraordinary vaccination efforts. These recent improvements might make it too easy to forget just how much we have collectively been through. But I hope that it has become clear to the nation and its policymakers that when we don’t invest in public health, everyone is vulnerable.

The nation’s public health system needs major upgrades. We need to modernize our data systems, enhance our laboratory capacities for detection and genomic sequencing of infectious threats like viruses and better integrate public health’s information and response efforts with clinical, commercial and academic sectors. America needs a renewed and expanded public health work force that reflects advanced skills as well as the diversity of the communities we serve.

The C.D.C. and public health departments are now receiving critical financial resources on an emergency basis. But these investments and improvements must be sustained. Long-term commitments to resources and innovation are essential. The Covid-19 pandemic will not be the last major threat our nation will face.
Public service is deeply meaningful. In my first several years at the C.D.C., I conducted surveillance and epidemiologic studies of an infection, group B strep, that harms newborns. It is passed to infants from women during childbirth. Although research during the 1980s identified the benefit of providing antibiotics to high-risk women during labor, the practice was not put in place. I spearheaded the C.D.C.’s efforts, leading to the 1995 meeting where we brought together obstetric and pediatric organizations as well as parents who had lost babies to the infection. In 1996, the C.D.C., the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Academy of Pediatrics issued the first consensus guidelines that made prevention of group B strep a standard of care for the nation.

Because of this new practice standard and the updated guidance requiring prenatal group B strep screening of all women during pregnancy, over 100,000 of those life-threatening infections have been prevented. A generation of babies has been born since then, and public health efforts (not a new biomedical discovery) protected most of them from this condition. I was lucky early in my career to meet several parents whose personal losses reminded me why our work matters and how urgently our

Public service is also joyful. Ask the people who have been administering Covid-19 vaccinations what they feel as one recipient after another experiences the relief of getting an immunization that offers high-level protection and the promise of getting their lives back. The teams carrying out data analysis and field investigations and launching communication drives or laboratory studies have experienced the joy of knowing their collective efforts can achieve something none of them could do on their own.

I have experienced that kind of joy over and over — where my limited skills were complemented by team members with the full breadth of disciplines that public health requires — and where we eventually achieved so much progress. I felt this joy when, with the College of Medical and Allied Health Sciences in Sierra Leone, our team successfully carried out a clinical trial in Sierra Leone called STRIVE to introduce a vaccine to protect against Ebola during the devastating epidemic that began in 2014.

Public health successes usually take place out of the spotlight and under the radar, which for most of us in this field is just fine; victory often means preventing something bad from happening. If no one knows about it, that is often an indication of success. I was not a student athlete, though we have some superstars at the C.D.C. who were. Being part of the public health team provided the most cherished aspect of my 33 years at the C.D.C. We did not always win, but we always showed up. We celebrated one another’s efforts and remained humble in the face of threats to the public’s health, some opponents, like SARS-CoV-2, proving more devastating than others.

The Covid-19 pandemic has been as large a disrupter as a world war, and its effect on life expectancy exceeds any threat we have faced since the last “great” pandemic of 1918. Nevertheless, I hope this is also a moment when a new generation is called to action, to experience the difficulty and meaning and joy of public service. Our world needs you.


Washington Post
Accessed 12 Jun 2021
The Latest: WHO chief says vaccine need outstrips G7 pledges
By Associated Press
June 12, 2021 at 3:25 p.m. EDT
FALMOUTH, England — The head of the World Health Organization has welcomed the vaccine-sharing announcements coming out of the Group of Seven summit but says “we need more, and we need them faster.”
“The challenge, I said to the G-7 leaders, was that to truly end the pandemic, our goal must be to vaccinate at least 70% of the world’s population by the time the G-7 meets again in Germany next year,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters Saturday at the summit in southwest England.
“To do that, we need 11 billion doses,” Tedros said, adding that it was “essential” for countries to temporarily waive intellectual property protections for coronavirus vaccines.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the summit’s host, has said the group would pledge at least 1 billion doses, with half that number coming from the United States and 100 million from Britain over the next year.

Think Tanks et al

Think Tanks et al
Accessed 12 Jun 2021
Social and economic impact of COVID-19
Eduardo Levy Yeyati and Federico Filippini
Tuesday, June 8, 2021
Center for Global Development [to 12 Jun 2021]
[No new digest content identified]
Chatham House [to 12 Jun 2021]
Accessed 12 Jun 2021
[No new digest content identified]

Accessed 12 Jun 2021
Podcast Episode
Upcoming Event
The Reality of Rolling Out Covid-19 Vaccines
June 21, 2021

Open Letter to G7 Leaders: A G7 Action Plan to Ensure the World is Vaccinated Quickly and Equitably
June 7, 2021


Kaiser Family Foundation
Accessed 12 Jun 2021
June 11, 2021 News Release
Who Remains Unvaccinated? A COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor Analysis
As more people across the country get at least an initial dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, public health officials are increasingly trying to reach the shrinking pool of unvaccinated adults – now roughly a third of all adults. The latest KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor report explores this group’s demographic profile…

Vaccines and Global Health: The Week in Review :: 05 June 2021

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

.– 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: 

– 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

Milestones :: Perspectives :: Research

Milestones :: Perspectives :: Research

Editor’s Note:

As is obvious to all, the sheer volume of strategic announcements, regulatory actions, country program decisions, commentary, and, indeed, misinformation around COVID response continues at extraordinary levels. Our weekly digest strives to present a coherent and comprehensive snapshot, but cannot be exhaustive, If you recognize a missed strategic development, a new source of rigorous analysis, or an insight/commentary that would benefit our common understanding, please advise me…we will review all suggestions and consider for inclusion in a subsequent edition: david.r.curry@ge2p2global.org

World Health Assembly

World Health Assembly

Seventy-fourth World Health Assembly   #WHA74

24 May to 1 June 2021

Theme: Ending this pandemic, preventing the next: building together a healthier, safer and fairer world.

:: Provisional agenda

:: Documents

The Seventy-fourth World Health Assembly closes

31 May 2021   News release

[Editor’s text bolding]

More than 30 resolutions and decisions were adopted at this year’s World Health Assembly in different areas of public health: decisions on diabetes, disabilities, ending violence against children, eye care, HIV, hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections, local production of medicines, malaria, neglected tropical diseases, noncommunicable diseases, nursing and midwifery, oral health, social determinants of health and strategic directions for the health and care workforce.

In his closing remarks, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus reminded delegates that the theme of this Assembly was “Ending this pandemic, preventing the next: building together a healthier, safer and fairer world”…That’s why the one recommendation that I believe will do most to strengthen both WHO and global health security is the recommendation for a treaty on pandemic preparedness and response.”

Dr Tedros echoed the message that a strong WHO needs to be properly financed as it has been amplified by all the expert reviews that reported to this Assembly. Dr Tedros urged Member States to seize this pivotal moment and chart a course to a sustainable financial model.

Strengthening WHO preparedness for and response to health emergencies 

…Member States today agreed to meet again in November, at a special session of the World Health Assembly, to consider developing a WHO global agreement.

“We need a generational commitment that outlives budgetary cycles, election cycles and media cycles, that creates an overarching framework for connecting the political, financial and technical mechanisms needed for strengthening global health security,” he said. Such a treaty would “foster improved sharing, trust and accountability, and provide the solid foundation on which to build other mechanisms for global health security.”

Member States also agreed on a Resolution reaffirming WHO’s role as the directing and coordinating authority in health during emergencies and beyond, and to aid governments towards achieving resilient health systems and universal health coverage.  

The Resolution provides recommendations to WHO to strengthen current and future work notably via convening a Member States’ Working Group on Strengthening WHO preparedness and response to health emergencies, open to all Member States, to review recommendations from the various reports received at this Assembly. The Working  Group is tasked with reporting to next year’s Assembly.   

The Resolution calls on Member States to provide WHO with sustainable financing, while continuing their response to the pandemic and strengthening preparedness capacities, including strengthening their workforce, research activities, surveillance systems, while adopting a One Health Approach; while continuing to work in a spirit of global cooperation, sharing reliable information, countering infodemics and stigmatization; and ensuring response efforts do not exacerbate other health challenges…

COVID: Joint statement: IMF, WHO, World Bank Group, WTO

COVID: Joint statement: IMF, WHO, World Bank Group, WTO

A new commitment for vaccine equity and defeating the pandemic

Kristalina Georgieva [IMF], Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus [WHO] , David Malpass [World Bank Group] and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala [WTO]

1 June 2021   [Editor’s text bolding]

As preparations are made for the G7 Summit in the UK next week, top of the agenda is how to end the COVID-19 pandemic and secure the global recovery. Urgent challenges face us.

By now it has become abundantly clear there will be no broad-based recovery without an end to the health crisis. Access to vaccination is key to both. 

There has been impressive progress on the vaccination front. Scientists have come up with multiple vaccines in record time. Unprecedented public and private financing has supported vaccine research, development and manufacturing scale-up. But a dangerous gap between richer and poorer nations persists.

In fact, even as some affluent countries are already discussing the rollout of booster shots to their populations, the vast majority of people in developing countries — even front-line health workers — have still not received their first shot. The worst served are low-income nations which have received less than 1 percent of vaccines administered so far. 

Increasingly, a two-track pandemic is developing, with richer countries having access and poorer ones being left behind.

Inequitable vaccine distribution is not only leaving untold millions of people vulnerable to the virus. It is also allowing deadly variants to emerge and ricochet back across the world. As variants continue to spread, even countries with advanced vaccination programs have been forced to reimpose stricter public health measures, and some have implemented travel restrictions. In turn, the ongoing pandemic is leading to deepening divergence in economic fortunes, with negative consequences for all.  

It need not be this way. That is why we are calling today for a new level of international support for — and implementation of — a stepped up coordinated strategy, backed by new financing, to vaccinate the world.

A recent proposal from IMF staff puts forward a plan with clear targets, pragmatic actions, and at a feasible cost. It builds on and supports the ongoing work of WHO, its partners in the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator initiative and its global vaccine access programme COVAX as well as the work of the World Bank Group, the WTO and many others.

At an estimated $50 billion, it will bring the pandemic to an end faster in the developing world, reduce infections and loss of lives, accelerate the economic recovery, and generate some $9 trillion in additional global output by 2025. It is a win for all — while around 60 percent of the gains will go to emerging markets and developing economies, the remaining 40 percent will benefit the developed world. And this is without taking into account the inestimable benefits on people’s health and lives.

What does it entail?

First, increasing our ambition and vaccinating more people faster: WHO and its COVAX  partners have set a goal of vaccinating at least 30 percent of the population in all countries by the end of 2021. But this can reach even 40 percent through other agreements and surge investment, and at least 60 percent by the first half of 2022. 

To do so requires additional financing for low- and middle-income countries, with a very significant proportion in the form of grants and concessional financing. To urgently get more shots in arms, doses need to be donated immediately to developing countries synchronized with national vaccine deployment plans, including through COVAX. Cooperation on trade is also needed to ensure free cross-border flows and increasing supplies of raw materials and finished vaccines.

Second, insuring against downside risks such as new variants that may necessitate booster shots. This means investing in additional vaccine production capacity by at least one billion doses, diversifying production to regions with little current capacity, sharing technology and know how, scaling up genomic and supply-chain surveillance, and contingency plans to handle virus mutations or supply shocks.

All blockages to expanding supply must be removed, and we call on WTO members to accelerate negotiations towards a pragmatic solution around intellectual property. A number of low- and middle-income countries are also making moves to invest in their own local manufacturing capacity, which is key not to just end this pandemic but to prepare for the next one.

Third, immediately boosting testing and tracing, oxygen supplies, therapeutic and public health measures, while ramping up vaccine deployment, and the ACT-Accelerator initiative. WHO, UNICEF, the World Bank and Gavi have been conducting vaccine readiness assessments in over 140 developing countries, and providing on-the-ground support and financing to prepare for vaccine rollout. 

What about the cost? 

Of the $50 billion, there is a strong case for grants of at least $35 billion. G20 governments have sent positive signals, recognizing the importance of providing about $22 billion in additional funding for 2021 to the ACT-Accelerator.

Additional financing of about $13 billion is needed to boost vaccine supply in 2022 and further scale up testing, therapeutics and surveillance. The remainder of the overall financing plan — around $15 billion — could come from national governments supported by multilateral development banks, including the World Bank’s $12 billion financial facility for vaccination.

For the plan to work, there are two additional requirements: speed and coordination. 

It calls for upfront financing, upfront vaccine donations, and upfront precautionary investments and planning — rather than commitments that may be slow to materialize. It is essential that all of this is made available as soon as possible.

It also requires coordinated global action, grounded in full transparency in the procurement and delivery process. The success of the strategy depends on all parties — public, private, international financial institutions, foundations — moving in tandem.

Investing $50 billion to end the pandemic is potentially the best use of public money we will see in our lifetimes. It will pay a huge development dividend and boost growth and well-being globally. But the window of opportunity is closing fast — the longer we wait, the costlier it becomes, in human suffering and in economic losses. 

On behalf of our four organizations, today we announce a new commitment to work together to scale up needed financing, boost manufacturing and ensure the smooth flow of vaccines and raw materials across borders to dramatically increase vaccine access to support the health response and economic recovery, and to bring needed hope.

Our institutions are stepping up to turn this hope into reality:

:: The IMF is preparing an unprecedented Special Drawing Rights (SDR) allocation to boost the reserves and liquidity of its members.

:: The WHO is seeking to identify financing so that the urgent needs of its Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan and the ACT-Accelerator partnership can be met, with COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) incentivizing the sharing of know-how and technology.

:: The World Bank will have vaccine projects up and running in at least 50 countries by mid-year — with the International Finance Corporation working to mobilize the private sector to boost vaccine supply for developing countries.

:: And the WTO is working on freeing up supply chains for the plan to succeed. 

Ending the pandemic is a solvable problem that requires global action — now.  Let’s all pull together and get the job done.

Gavi COVAX AMC Summit/Japan – “One World Protected”

Gavi COVAX AMC Summit/Japan – “One World Protected”

World leaders unite to commit to global equitable access for COVID-19 vaccines

News Releases

2 June 2021 

:: The Gavi COVAX AMC Summit “One World Protected” virtual event, hosted today by the Government of Japan and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, raised US$ 2.4 billion from nearly 40 donor governments, the private sector and foundations, exceeding the funding target and bringing the total pledged to the COVAX AMC to US$ 9.6 billion to date

:: Japan demonstrated its commitment to ending the acute phase of the pandemic by pledging US$ 800 million at the Summit, making their total contribution to the COVAX AMC US$ 1 billion. Their leadership made way for other donors to help COVAX fulfill its financial ask

:: The funds raised will enable Gavi to secure 1.8 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines for lower-income countries participating in the COVAX Facility

:: The vaccines, to be delivered in 2021 and early 2022, will enable COVAX to protect almost 30% of the population in 91 AMC economies

:: In addition, five countries made new commitments to donate more than 54 million vaccine doses to lower-income countries, including through COVAX, to bridge short-term supply challenges. This brings the total number of doses shared to more than 132 million

:: Suga Yoshihide, Prime Minister, Japan – “I made the decision on our contribution, hoping to deliver vaccines, a ray of hope, to as many people as possible, and as early as possible, throughout the world, in an equitable manner. It is our responsibility to overcome the current pandemic crisis and prepare for future health crises, thereby leading the world to ‘build back better’.”

:: José Manuel Barroso, Chair, Gavi Board – “Thanks to all our donors, we can now protect not only health care workers, the elderly and other vulnerable people but broader sections of the population, increasing our chances further of bringing the pandemic under control.”

Tokyo / Geneva, 2 June 2021 – World leaders joined forces today at the “One World Protected” – Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC) Summit hosted by Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide and Gavi Board Chair José Manuel Barroso to pledge their support to the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC), securing US$ 2.4 billion, reaching a total of US$ 9.6 billion for COVID-19 vaccine procurement. In addition, donors have pledged US$ 775 million for vaccine delivery.

This funding will allow the COVAX AMC to secure 1.8 billion fully subsidised doses for delivery to lower-income countries and economies in 2021 and early 2022. This is enough to protect nearly 30% of the adult population in AMC-eligible economies. The funds raised will also support COVAX to diversify its vaccine portfolio in times of supply uncertainty and new variant emergence, and to plan the scenarios and strategy for public health needs for 2022 and beyond…

   … Alongside the financial pledges, first dose-sharing donations were announced by Belgium, Denmark and Japan, as well as additional pledges from Spain and Sweden, boosting short-term supplies by over 54 million vaccine doses.  

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has stepped up to support African Union countries with EUR 300 million financing to access vaccines via the COVAX cost-sharing scheme – leveraging domestic resources to procure safe and efficacious vaccines through COVAX.

This EIB EUR 300 million financing announcement is the path forward towards an aggregate commitment of US$ 1 billion from multilateral development banks and international financing institutions to support a cost-sharing initiative enabling AMC-eligible economies to use domestic resources to purchase additional vaccines through COVAX. This will facilitate them to take advantage of COVAX’s global logistics system, globally negotiated volume and prices, and other critical benefits such as the COVAX No-Fault Compensation Scheme Programme.

Elsewhere in the Summit programme, commitments were made to free up supply chains and remove bottlenecks that restrict or slow down the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, raw materials and components. Vaccine manufacturers have reaffirmed their support to COVAX as the only global solution to ending the acute phase of the pandemic.


New financial commitments to the Gavi COVAX AMC

At the event today, a number of donor governments announced significant new commitments worth a total of US$ 2.4 billion towards the 2021 goal. This includes:

  • US$ 800 million from Japan
  • AU$ 50 million from Australia
  • EUR 2.6 million from Austria
  • CAD 220 million from Canada
  • EUR 70’000 from Estonia
  • EUR 10 million from Finland
  • EUR 100 million from France
  • ISK 500 million from Iceland
  • US$ 40 million from Kuwait
  • CHF 100’000 from Lichtenstein
  • EUR 1 million from Luxembourg
  • EUR 40’000 from Malta
  • US$ 2’500 from Mauritius
  • US$ 250’000 from Mexico
  • US$1 million from Oman
  • EUR 750’000 from Poland
  • US$ 1 million from Philippines
  • EUR 50 million from Spain
  • CHF 125 million from Switzerland
  • US$ 500’000 from Viet Nam
  • In addition, the autonomous communities of Basque Country, Catalonia and Extremadura of the Kingdom of Spain have collectively pledged almost EUR 1 million to the Gavi COVAX AMC

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation today announced a US$ 50 million commitment to both: the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC), to purchase COVID-19 vaccines; and to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to support the delivery of these vaccines to lower-income countries and economies. In addition to these, private sector partners also mobilised significant new resources totalling more than US$ 300 million for the Gavi COVAX AMC. New partners such as UBS Optimus Foundation and Twilio joined COVAX, and existing partners such as Google.org, Mastercard and Visa Foundation increased their commitments in support of vaccine equity. Individuals also contributed to COVAX through the Vaccine Forward Initiative and the Go Give One campaign.

New dose-sharing commitments to the Gavi COVAX AMC and lower-income countries and economies:

The Summit also saw a number of new dose-sharing commitments, amounting to 54 million, supporting the Gavi COVAX AMC in its immediate supply needs. These included:

  • 30 million vaccine doses to the COVAX Facility, other countries and economies produced in Japan
  • 4 million vaccine doses donated by Belgium to the COVAX Facility
  • 3 million vaccine doses donated by Denmark primarily to the COVAX Facility
  • 15 million vaccine doses donated by Spain to the COVAX Facility (on top of the 7.5 million previously pledged)
  • 2 million vaccine doses donated by Sweden to the COVAX Facility (on top of the 1 million previously pledged)

COVID Vaccines, Health Systems Response – Country Financing

COVID Vaccines, Health Systems Response – Country Financing

Remarks by World Bank Group President David Malpass at the World Health Organization Media Briefing on COVID-19 and Vaccine Equity

Speeches & Transcripts   June 1, 2021

I join my colleagues in expressing the urgency to quickly make approved vaccines available to everyone.  

My immediate priority is for countries that have sufficient supply to quickly release doses to countries that have vaccination deployment programs. 

The World Bank has $12 billion in vaccine financing available now, and more if needed, to help countries buy and distribute COVID-19 vaccines and encourage vaccinations. 

By the end of June, we will have approved vaccination operations in over 50 countries.  These countries can immediately use vaccines from COVAX, from manufacturers, and from donor countries themselves as soon as they are made available. 

It’s vital that we speed up the supply chain.  We need to shorten the time from the manufacturing of the vaccine to shots in arms.  At present, too many doses are waiting to be allocated.  They may be stuck in paperwork; sitting in inventory somewhere; or aren’t the type of vaccine the country is able to use.  In order to maximize the number of vaccinations, doses need to be matched to country programs as soon as they are manufactured. 

It’s important to share information about the allocations so countries can plan ahead.  The World Bank is providing transparent access to very detailed information about our projects through an online portal available at https://www.worldbank.org/vaccines.  We urge other development partners to publish detailed information about their vaccine financing and deployment programs and their delivery schedules.  

Our website also links to the 140 vaccine readiness assessments referred to in our op-ed.  These will help us fill capacity gaps and rapidly add more financing operations.  The financing can be available to countries immediately.  For the poorest countries, it is on grant or highly concessional terms.  

We’re also working to expand supply and will be making announcements of investments by IFC, the World Bank Group’s private sector development arm. 

Each day counts in providing vaccine supplies to developing countries with deployment programs in place.  I look forward to working closely with my colleagues on these vital tasks. 

Thank you.


Countries receiving World Bank support for vaccines

Updated June 2, 2021    
   This list of countries, project documents, and procurement notices and contracts will be updated as data becomes available.

Afghanistan  (Approval: March 18, 2021)
Project financing   |Project documents   | Procurement notices and contracts   

Bangladesh  (Approval: March 18, 2021)
Project financing   |Project documents  | Procurement notices and contracts 

Cabo Verde  (Approval: February 11, 2021)
Project financing   | Project documents   | Procurement notices and contracts

Congo (Approval: June 2, 2021)
Project financing   | Project documents   | Procurement notices and contracts

Côte d’Ivoire  (Approval: April 16, 2021)Project financing   | Project documents  | Procurement notices and contracts  

Ecuador  (Approval: April 1, 2021)
Project financing   | Project documents  | Procurement notices and contracts  

El Salvador  (Approval: April 16, 2021)Project financing   | Project documents  | Procurement notices and contracts   

Eswatini  (Approval: April 16, 2021)
Project financing   | Project documents  | Procurement notices and contracts   

Ethiopia  (Approval: March 26, 2021)
Project financing   | Project documents  | Procurement notices and contracts  

The Gambia  (Approval: December 18, 2020)
Project financing   | Project documents  | Procurement notices and contracts   

Honduras  (Approval: April 16, 2021)
Project financing   | Project documents  | Procurement notices and contracts   

Lebanon (restructured project)(Approval: June 26, 2017)
Project financing  | Project documents   |  Procurement notices and contracts

Lesotho (Approval: June 1, 2021)
Project financing  | Project documents   |  Procurement notices and contracts

Moldova  (Approval: April 23, 2021
Project financing   | Project documents  | Procurement notices and contracts  

Mongolia  (Approval: February 11, 2021)
Project financing   | Project documents  | Procurement notices and contracts   

Nepal  (Approval: March 18, 2021)
Project financing   | Project documents  | Procurement notices and contracts  

Pakistan (restructured project) (Approval: May 13, 2021)
Project financing   | Project documents  | Procurement notices and contracts  

Philippines  (Approval: March 11, 2021)
Project financing   | Project documents  | Procurement notices and contracts
(restructured project) (Approval: March 11, 2021)
Project financing   | Project documents  | Procurement notices and contracts

 (Approval: April 16, 2021)
Project financing  | Project documents  | Procurement notices and contracts  

São Tomé e Príncipe (Approval: May 13, 2021)
Project financing  | Project documents  | Procurement notices and contracts  

Sierra Leone (Approval: May 28, 2021)
Project financing   | Project documents  | Procurement notices and contracts

Sri Lanka  (Approval: April 27, 2021)
Project financing   | Project documents  | Procurement notices and contracts

 (Approval: February 11, 2021)
Project financing   | Project documents  | Procurement notices and contracts  

Tunisia  (Approval: March 26, 2021)
Project financing   | Project documents  | Procurement notices and contracts  

Ukraine  (Approval: May 10, 2021)
Project financing   | Project documents  | Procurement notices and contracts  

COVID Vaccines – Certificates/Passports/Customs/Cross-border Movement/Regulations

COVID Vaccines – Certificates/Passports/Customs/Cross-border Movement/Regulations

EU Digital COVID Certificate: EU Gateway goes live with seven countries one month ahead of deadline

Press release  1 June 2021

   Today, the EU Digital COVID Certificate has reached another important milestone with the go-live of the technical system at EU level, which allows to verify certificates in a secure and privacy-friendly way.

Ethiopia Updates Travel Advisory: African Union COVID-19 Pass Now Required for Entry and Exit

2 June 2021

Revised scope and direction for the Smart Vaccination Certificate and WHO’s role in the Global Health Trust Framework

4 June 2021

During the seventh meeting of the International Health Regulations (IHR) Emergency Committee regarding the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic on 15th April 2021, the Emergency Committee’s advice to the WHO secretariat stated that the WHO secretariat should:  

“Continue to update the WHO interim position on the considerations regarding requirements of proof of vaccination and to produce interim guidance and tools related to standardization of paper and digital documentation of COVID-19 travel-related risk reduction measures (vaccination status, SARS-CoV-2 testing and COVID-19 recovery status) in the context of international travel.”  

Given this recommendation from the IHR Emergency Committee meeting, the Smart Vaccination Certificate Secretariat has expanded the scope of the initiative to develop guidance that includes SARS-CoV-2 testing and COVID-19 recovery status. Accordingly, the Smart Vaccination Certificate specification will be renamed as the “Digital Documentation of COVID-19 Certificates (DDCC)” specification. The resulting guidance will be published in a series of three separate documents, which will guide Member States on how to digitally document COVID-19 vaccination status, SARS-CoV-2 test results, and COVID-19 recovery status. These guidance documents will include critical components such as the minimum datasets, expected functionality of digital systems, and preferred terminology code systems. They will also include a section on national digital architecture, recognizing that Member States are still expected to decide how they want to implement these systems. The DDCC specifications will include an HL7 FHIR Implementation Guide (IG), including example software implementations. 

These guidance documents will make no reference to the specific circumstances under which these certificates should be used. Such guidance will be made available in separate guidance documents published by WHO (e.g. DG temporary recommendations to States Parties after IHR Emergency Committees; WHO’s interim guidance documents on considerations for the implementation of public health and social measures; WHO’s interim guidance documents on considerations for a risk-based approach to international travel in the context of COVID-19; etc.).   

Additionally, in line with the change in scope, WHO DDCC specifications will not include a section on global architecture for a Global Health Trust Framework. At point in this time, WHO does not intend to implement a Global Health Trust Framework to store the digital public keys of members states, to facilitate the validation and verification of digitally signed COVID-19 certificates (e.g., vaccination certificates, SARS-CoV-2 test certificates, and COVID-19 recovery status certificates) across borders.   

WHO acknowledges the importance of a Global Health Trust Framework, however, the DDCC guidance will not include details of a technical architecture for a Global Health Trust Framework. The scope and technical approach for an eventual WHO Global Health Trust Framework will be informed through further consultation with Member States, recognizing there are implications beyond the COVID-19 pandemic-related use cases. For the purposes of the use cases included in the DDCC, Member States and regional networks can establish trust via bilateral or multilateral agreements with other Member States, or join other existing multinational or regional trust frameworks, as needed.  

Furthermore, WHO understands the importance of the need to digitize the paper-based International Certificate for Vaccination and Prophylaxis (i.e. Yellow card) over time and has decided to take a longer-term view in this respect to examine the different technical possibilities.   

The scope and technical requirements for the Digital Documentation of COVID-19 Certificates (DDCC) is no longer aligned with the remit of the Smart Vaccination Certificate working group when it was established; thus, the “Smart Vaccination Certificate working group” in its current form will be dissolved. WHO would like to thank every member of this working group for their respective inputs and contributions to the work done so far, to achieve the Smart Vaccination Certificate: Release Candidate 1 specification. 

As this work will remain a Member State-driven process, WHO will continue to engage Member States and representatives of partner agencies regarding the DDCC specifications document. 

COVID Vaccines – Refugees

COVID Vaccines – Refugees

UNHCR urges stronger support for refugee vaccinations in Asia

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

01 June 2021   

[Editor’s text bolding]

With COVID-19 raging in many parts of the world, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is warning about shortages of vaccines in the Asia-Pacific region, including for refugees and asylum-seekers.

We urge immediate and stronger support for the COVAX initiative, a worldwide effort aimed at achieving equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. This is critical to save lives and curb the impact of the virus, particularly in developing nations. These countries host the vast majority of more than 80 million forcibly displaced people in the world. Yet so far, they have benefited from only a fraction of the world’s COVID-19 vaccines.

UNHCR stresses that no one can be left behind in the global effort against the coronavirus. The pandemic will be defeated only when vaccinations become available everywhere on an equitable basis.

We are particularly worried about the situation in the Asia and Pacific region, which in the past two months has experienced the largest increase in the number of cases globally. Over this period, there have been some 38 million recorded COVID-19 cases and more than half a million deaths.

The fragile health systems in many countries in this region have struggled to cope with this recent surge. The lack of hospital beds, oxygen supplies, limited intensive care unit (ICU) capacities and scarce health facilities and services have worsened outcomes for those infected with COVID-19, particularly in India and Nepal. The highly infectious variant of the virus which first emerged in India threatens to rapidly spread in the sub-region, including among refugee populations.

Refugees remain especially vulnerable to the spread of COVID-19. Overcrowded settings, coupled with limited water and sanitation facilities, can contribute to increased infection rates and an exponential spread of the virus.

In Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, where almost 900,000 Rohingya refugees are living in the single largest and most densely populated cluster of refugee camps in the world, the number of cases has increased considerably in the last two months. As of 31 May, there have been over 1,188 cases confirmed among the refugee population, with more than half of these cases recorded in May alone.

We have also seen a worrying increase in the number of COVID-19 cases among refugees and asylum-seekers in Nepal, Iran, Pakistan, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. While efforts are underway to mitigate the spread of the virus, these preventive measures need to be complemented with intensified vaccinations.

Some refugees, including in Nepal, have already received their first vaccine dose with COVAX-provided supplies. Among the Rohingya refugees in the camps in Bangladesh, not a single vaccine has been administered yet given the scarcity of supplies in the country.

The current delays in vaccine shipments, brought about by limited supplies to COVAX, mean that some of the world’s most vulnerable people remain susceptible to the virus.

UNHCR is adding its voice to the calls for countries with surplus doses to donate to COVAX, and for manufacturers to boost supplies to the COVAX facility.

UNHCR’s total financial requirements for COVID include $455m in supplementary needs and $469m in COVID-related activities that are included in its regular budget. To date, including projected contributions, UNHCR has received $252.8m or 27% of these requirements.

COVID Vaccines – OCHA:: HDX

COVID Vaccines – OCHA:: HDX

COVID-19 Data Explorer: Global Humanitarian Operations

COVID-19 Vaccine Roll-out

May 29, 2021 | COVAX (WHO,GAVI,CEPI), UNDESA, Press Reports | DATA

Global COVID-19 Figures:  172M total confirmed cases;  3.7M total confirmed deaths
Global vaccines administered: 2.05B  [1.81B]

Number of Countries: 26  [26]

COVAX First Allocations (Number of Doses): 73M [73M]

COVAX Delivered (Number of Doses): 15M [15M]

Other Delivered (Number of Doses): 33M [24M]

Total Delivered (Number of Doses): 49M [40M]

Total Administered (Number of Doses):327M [27M]

Coronavirus [COVID-19] – WHO

Coronavirus [COVID-19] – WHO

Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)



Weekly Epidemiological and Operational updates

Last update: 5 Jun 2021

Confirmed cases ::                         172 242 495    [week ago:   169 118 995]

Confirmed deaths ::                          3 709 397    [week ago:       3 519 175]  

Vaccine doses administered:    1 638 006 899    [week ago: 1 546 316 352]



Weekly epidemiological update on COVID-19 – 1 June 2021


   In the past week, the number of new COVID-19 cases and deaths continues to decrease, with over 3.5 million new cases and 78 000 new deaths reported globally. Although the number of global cases and deaths continued to decrease for a fifth and fourth consecutive week respectively, case and death incidences remain at high levels and significant increases have been reported in many countries in all regions.

   In this edition, special focus updates are provided on:

:: SARS-CoV-2 Variants of Interest (VOIs) and Variants of Concern (VOCs), including the introduction of new labels for public communications, updates on VOI and VOC classifications and the global geographical distribution of VOCs Alpha (B.1.1.7), Beta (B.1.351), Gamma (P.1) and Delta (B.1.617.2).

:: Lessons learned during the early phases of rolling out COVID-19 vaccines, with a particular focus on low-and-middle income countries (LMICs).

[Excerpt, p. 5]

Weekly operational update on COVID-19 31 May 2021


    In this edition of the COVID-19 Weekly Operational Update, highlights of country-level actions and WHO support to countries include:

:: Launch of “Strengthening Civil Society Engagement in the COVID-19 Response” in Guyana

:: Infection prevention and control (IPC) critical for COVID-19 care and recovery in India

:: Intra-Action Review (IAR) in Montenegro

:: Vanuatu the seventh country in the Pacific islands to receive COVID-19 vaccine doses from the COVAX Facility

:: Indian Sign Language course extends OpenWHO reach and accessibility amidst the COVID-19 pandemic

:: Utilizing message testing to ensure behavioural messages resonate with the intended audience and a global consultative meeting on Intra-Action Reviews (IARs) and simulation exercises

:: Regular updates on WHO’s resource requirements and funds received to support countries in implementing the COVID-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan (SPRP) 2021, WHO/PAHO procurement of critical supplies, and progress on a subset of indicators from the SPRP 2021 Monitoring and Evaluation Framework



Draft landscape and tracker of COVID-19 candidate vaccines

28 May 2021 | Publication

   The COVID-19 candidate vaccine landscape and tracker database compiles detailed information on COVID-19 vaccine candidates in development.

  The landscape is updated regularly – twice a week (Tuesday and Friday, 17:00 CET).

Download: https://cdn.who.int/media/docs/default-source/blue-print/28.05.2021-novel-coronavirus_landscape_covid-19.xlsx.zip?sfvrsn=e352acfa_3&download=true

Status of COVID-19 Vaccines within WHO EUL/PQ evaluation process  28 May 2021

   For 19 vaccine candidates, presents Manufacturer, Name of Vaccine, NRA of Record, Platform, EOI Accepted Status, Pre-submission Meeting Held Status, Dossier Accepted for Review, Status of Assessment; Anticipated/Completed Decision Date

[click on the link above for full scale view]

03 June 2021

WHO validates Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use and issues interim policy recommendations

1 June 2021   News release

WHO today validated the Sinovac-CoronaVac COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, giving countries, funders, procuring agencies and communities the assurance that it meets international standards for safety, efficacy and manufacturing. The vaccine is produced by the Beijing-based pharmaceutical company Sinovac.

“The world desperately needs multiple COVID-19 vaccines to address the huge access inequity across the globe,” said Dr Mariângela Simão, WHO Assistant-Director General for Access to Health Products. “We urge manufacturers to participate in the COVAX Facility, share their knowhow and data and contribute to bringing the pandemic under control.”…

In the case of the Sinovac-CoronaVac vaccine, the WHO assessment included on-site inspections of the production facility. 

The Sinovac-CoronaVac product is an inactivated vaccine. Its easy storage requirements make it very manageable and particularly suitable for low-resource settings.

WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) has also completed its review of the vaccine. On the basis of available evidence, WHO recommends the vaccine for use in adults 18 years and older, in a two-dose schedule with a spacing of two to four weeks. Vaccine efficacy results showed that the vaccine prevented symptomatic disease in 51% of those vaccinated and prevented severe COVID-19 and hospitalization in 100% of the studied population.

Few older adults (over 60 years) were enrolled in clinical trials, so efficacy could not be estimated in this age group. Nevertheless, WHO is not recommending an upper age limit for the vaccine because data collected during subsequent use in multiple countries and supportive immunogenicity data suggest the vaccine is likely to have a protective effect in older persons. There is no reason to believe that the vaccine has a different safety profile in older and younger populations. WHO recommends that countries using the vaccine in older age groups conduct safety and effectiveness monitoring to verify the expected impact and contribute to making the recommendation more robust for all countries…

COVID Vaccine Developer/Manufacturer Announcements [organizations from WHO EUL/PQ listing above]

COVID Vaccine Developer/Manufacturer Announcements [organizations from WHO EUL/PQ  listing above]


Press Releases – No new digest announcements identified 

Bharat Biotech, India

Press Releases  – Website not responding at inquiry [second week]

BioCubaFarma – Cuba

Últimas Noticias

Extienden a toda La Habana intervención sanitaria con el candidato vacunal Abdala
04/06/2021 16:15:31    |   BioCubaFarma

[Google translate: Health intervention with the vaccine candidate Abdala is extended to all of Havana

Health intervention with the vaccine candidate Abdala is extended to all of Havana.]

Comienza en Santiago de Cuba intervención sanitaria con candidato vacunal Abdala, en 464 sitios clínicos de cuatro municipios
31/05/2021 13:39:13

[Google translate: ” Health intervention begins in Santiago de Cuba with vaccine candidate Abdala, in 464 clinical sites in four municipalities”]


News   – No new digest announcements identified 

Clover Biopharmaceuticals – China

News  – No new digest announcements identified 

Curevac  [Bayer Ag – Germany]

News  – No new digest announcements identified 

Gamaleya National Center

Latest News and Events – No new digest announcements identified  [See Russia/RFID below]


Home  – No new digest announcements identified 


Press Releases  – No new digest announcements identified 


Press Releases

June 3, 2021

Moderna Announces Agreement to Supply the Republic of Botswana with its COVID-19 Vaccine

June 2, 2021

UNICEF and Moderna Announce Long Term Agreement to Supply Vaccine on Behalf of the COVAX Facility

June 1, 2021

Moderna Announces Agreement with Thermo Fisher Scientific for Fill/Finish Manufacturing of Moderna’s COVID-19 Vaccine

June 1, 2021

Moderna Announces Initiation of Rolling Submission of Biologics License Application (BLA) with U.S. FDA for the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine


Press Releases – No new digest announcements identified 


Recent Press Releases  – No new digest announcements identified 

Serum Institute of India

NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS  – No corporate announcements identified  [Last media release April 21.2021]


News  – No new digest announcements identified 


Press Releases  

World Health Organization Authorizes SINOVAC’s CoronaVac® for Emergency Use


Vector State Research Centre of Viralogy and Biotechnology

Home   – No new digest announcements identified 

Zhifei Longcom, China

[Anhui Zhifei Longcom Biologic Pharmacy Co., Ltd.]

[No website identified]



Press releases for media

27 May 2021 Sanofi and GSK initiate global Phase 3 clinical efficacy study of COVID-19 vaccine candidate

26 May 2021 GSK and Vir Biotechnology announce sotrovimab (VIR-7831) receives Emergency Use Authorization from the US FDA for treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in high-risk adults and paediatric patients

Government and Life Science Industry Join Forces on 100 Days Mission for Future Pandemics

Government and Life Science Industry Join Forces on 100 Days Mission for Future Pandemics
04 June 2021
:: Landmark collaboration between Government and life sciences industry leaders to join mission to protect against future pandemic threats and slash time to develop and deploy new diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines to 100 days.
:: Intention to work towards the ambition of a 100 Days Mission follows crucial discussions at UK-hosted G7 Health Ministers’ and life sciences meetings in Oxford.
:: CEOs and representatives of life science companies discussed the emerging recommendations in the pandemic preparedness partnership roadmap, which Sir Patrick Vallance and Melinda French Gates will present to G7 Leaders at the Carbis Bay Summit next week.

Life science industry leaders are joining forces with governments to step up collective efforts to save lives from diseases and tackle global pandemics, with a new commitment for partnership working to achieve the ambition of better pandemic preparedness announced today at the conclusion of the G7 Health event on life sciences.

Following discussions at the G7 Health Ministers’ Meeting – hosted by the UK Government as part of its G7 Presidency – CEOs and representatives of companies among those leading the efforts to develop COVID-19 diagnostics, vaccines and treatments backed the ambition of the 100 Days Mission set out by the pandemic preparedness partnership.

The Government and industry leaders agreed to work towards a plan to develop and deploy high-quality diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines in just 100 days after a new pandemic threat is identified. Success would take the great achievement of delivering COVID-19 vaccines in 326 days to the next level and protect people from potential future pandemics.

CEOs and representatives from some of the world’s largest life sciences companies participated in the UK’s G7 Health event on life sciences, which also included deliberations on how the public and private sectors can work together to combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

All the participants recognised the crucial importance of sustained political and industry leadership in between outbreaks and of the public and private sectors working together to tackle the most complex global health threats…

More information on the Pandemic Preparedness Partnership can be found here: https://www.g7uk.org/new-global-partnership-launched-to-fight-future-pandemics/

The following representatives from industry participated in the G7 event:
Dr Albert Bourla, CEO and Chairman of Pfizer
Dr Giovanni Caforio, CEO and Chairman of Bristol Myers Squibb
Marc Casper, CEO of Thermo Fisher Scientific
Thomas Cueni, DG, International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Association (IFPMA)
Robert Ford, CEO of Abbott
Lars Fruergaard Jorgensen, CEO of Novo Nordisk
Paul Hudson, CEO of Sanofi
Martin Meeson, CEO of Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies
Vas Narasimhan M.D., CEO of Novartis
Daniel O’Day, CEO of Gilead
Stefan Oelrich, Member of the Board of Management of Bayer AG and President Pharmaceuticals
Tom Polen, CEO of BD
David Ricks, CEO and Chairman of Eli Lilly & Company
Dr Severin Schwan, CEO of Roche
Paul Stoffels M.D. Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee and Chief Scientific Officer, Johnson &
Pascal Soriot, CEO of Astra Zeneca
Dame Emma Walmsley, CEO of GlaxoSmithKline
Christophe Weber, CEO of Takeda
Jean-Christophe Tellier, CEO of UCB & President of International Federation of Pharmaceutical
Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA)