Allergic Reactions Including Anaphylaxis After Receipt of the First Dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine

JAMA
February 23, 2021, Vol 325, No. 8, Pages 705-798
https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/currentissue

 

Clinical Update
Allergic Reactions Including Anaphylaxis After Receipt of the First Dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine
Tom Shimabukuro, MD, MPH, MBA; Narayan Nair, MD
free access has active quiz has audio
JAMA. 2021;325(8):780-781. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.0600
This JAMA Insights review provides clinical details of anaphylactic reactions reported to and verified by the CDC in the first week of use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in the US, December 14-23, 2020.

Evidence‐based Chinese medicine for the response to public health emergencies: The Guangzhou declaration

Journal of Evidence-Based Medicine
Volume 14, Issue 1 Pages: 1-81 February 2021
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/toc/17565391/current

 

EDITORIAL
Evidence‐based Chinese medicine for the response to public health emergencies: The Guangzhou declaration
Xiaojia Ni et al for the Evidence‐based Traditional and Integrative Medicine Responding to Public Health Emergencies Working Group
Pages: 3-4
First Published: 07 February 2021

Evidence‐based traditional Chinese medicine research: Two decades of development, its impact, and breakthrough

Journal of Evidence-Based Medicine
Volume 14, Issue 1 Pages: 1-81 February 2021
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/toc/17565391/current

 

REVIEW
Evidence‐based traditional Chinese medicine research: Two decades of development, its impact, and breakthrough
Guihua Tian et al
Pages: 65-74
First Published: 22 February 2021

From hydroxychloroquine to ivermectin: what are the anti-viral properties of anti-parasitic drugs to combat SARS-CoV-2?

Journal of Travel Medicine
Volume 28, Issue 2, March 2021
https://academic.oup.com/jtm/issue

 

Systematic Review
Editor’s Choice
From hydroxychloroquine to ivermectin: what are the anti-viral properties of anti-parasitic drugs to combat SARS-CoV-2?
S Rakedzon, MD, A Neuberger, MD, A J Domb, Professor, N Petersiel, MD, E Schwartz

SARS-CoV-2 testing to assure safety in air travel

Journal of Travel Medicine
Volume 28, Issue 2, March 2021
https://academic.oup.com/jtm/issue

 

SARS-CoV-2 testing to assure safety in air travel
Lin H Chen, MD, Robert Steffen, MD
Journal of Travel Medicine, Volume 28, Issue 2, March 2021, taaa241, https://doi.org/10.1093/jtm/taaa241
To support the resumption of travel, rational and consistent testing and quarantine guidelines will be critical. Uniformity in the documentation of COVID-19 test results and vaccination will also be important. We discuss evidence to support standardized testing and quarantine requirements and propose a strategy to allow ease in travel planning.

50 years of the inverse care law

The Lancet
Feb 27, 2021 Volume 397 Number 10276 p767-852, e7
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/issue/current

 

Editorial
50 years of the inverse care law
The Lancet
“The availability of good medical care tends to vary with the need for it in the population served. This inverse care law operates more completely where medical care is most exposed to market forces, and less so where such exposure is reduced.”
These understated opening lines of Julian Tudor Hart’s paper, The Inverse Care Law, are as relevant now (50 years to the day since publication) as in 1971. The paper is one of the landmark publications in The Lancet’s near 200-year history, and the resonance of Tudor Hart’s definition of the inverse care law has global and timeless importance. Simply expressed, Tudor Hart observed that disadvantaged populations need more health care than advantaged populations, but receive less…

The inverse care law re-examined: a global perspective

The Lancet
Feb 27, 2021 Volume 397 Number 10276 p767-852, e7
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/issue/current

 

Health Policy
The inverse care law re-examined: a global perspective
Richard Cookson, Tim Doran, Miqdad Asaria, Indrani Gupta, Fiorella Parra Mujica
Summary
An inverse care law persists in almost all low-income and middle-income countries, whereby socially disadvantaged people receive less, and lower-quality, health care despite having greater need. By contrast, a disproportionate care law persists in high-income countries, whereby socially disadvantaged people receive more health care, but of worse quality and insufficient quantity to meet their additional needs. Both laws are caused not only by financial barriers and fragmented health insurance systems but also by social inequalities in care seeking and co-investment as well as the costs and benefits of health care. Investing in more integrated universal health coverage and stronger primary care, delivered in proportion to need, can improve population health and reduce health inequality. However, trade-offs sometimes exist between health policy objectives. Health-care technologies, policies, and resourcing should be subjected to distributional analysis of their equity impacts, to ensure the objective of reducing health inequalities is kept in sight.
and threaten an upswing in armed conflict.

Approval of artificial intelligence and machine learning-based medical devices in the USA and Europe (2015–20): a comparative analysis

Lancet Digital Health
Mar 2021 Volume 3 Number 3 e135-e203
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/landig/issue/current

 

Health Policy
Approval of artificial intelligence and machine learning-based medical devices in the USA and Europe (2015–20): a comparative analysis
Urs J Muehlematter, Paola Daniore, Kerstin N Vokinger
Summary
There has been a surge of interest in artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML)-based medical devices. However, it is poorly understood how and which AI/ML-based medical devices have been approved in the USA and Europe. We searched governmental and non-governmental databases to identify 222 devices approved in the USA and 240 devices in Europe. The number of approved AI/ML-based devices has increased substantially since 2015, with many being approved for use in radiology. However, few were qualified as high-risk devices. Of the 124 AI/ML-based devices commonly approved in the USA and Europe, 80 were first approved in Europe. One possible reason for approval in Europe before the USA might be the potentially relatively less rigorous evaluation of medical devices in Europe. The substantial number of approved devices highlight the need to ensure rigorous regulation of these devices. Currently, there is no specific regulatory pathway for AI/ML-based medical devices in the USA or Europe. We recommend more transparency on how devices are regulated and approved to enable and improve public trust, efficacy, safety, and quality of AI/ML-based medical devices. A comprehensive, publicly accessible database with device details for Conformité Européene (CE)-marked medical devices in Europe and US Food and Drug Administration approved devices is needed.

A scorecard of progress towards measles elimination in 15 west African countries, 2001–19: a retrospective, multicountry analysis of national immunisation coverage and surveillance data

Lancet Global Health
Mar 2021 Volume 9 Number 3 e218-e371
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/langlo/issue/current

 

Articles
A scorecard of progress towards measles elimination in 15 west African countries, 2001–19: a retrospective, multicountry analysis of national immunisation coverage and surveillance data
Oghenebrume Wariri, et al.

The direct effect of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines on invasive pneumococcal disease in children in the Latin American and Caribbean region (SIREVA 2006–17): a multicentre, retrospective observational study

Lancet Infectious Diseases
Mar 2021 Volume 21 Number 3 p297-438, e36-e63
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/issue/current

 

Articles
The direct effect of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines on invasive pneumococcal disease in children in the Latin American and Caribbean region (SIREVA 2006–17): a multicentre, retrospective observational study
Clara Inés Agudelo, et al. and the the SIREVA Working Group

The scientific and ethical feasibility of immunity passports

Lancet Infectious Diseases
Mar 2021 Volume 21 Number 3 p297-438, e36-e63
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/issue/current

 

Personal View
The scientific and ethical feasibility of immunity passports
Rebecca C H Brown, Dominic Kelly, Dominic Wilkinson, Julian Savulescu
Summary
There is much debate about the use of immunity passports in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some have argued that immunity passports are unethical and impractical, pointing to uncertainties relating to COVID-19 immunity, issues with testing, perverse incentives, doubtful economic benefits, privacy concerns, and the risk of discriminatory effects. We first review the scientific feasibility of immunity passports. Considerable hurdles remain, but increasing understanding of the neutralising antibody response to COVID-19 might make identifying members of the community at low risk of contracting and transmitting COVID-19 possible. We respond to the ethical arguments against immunity passports and give the positive ethical arguments. First, a strong presumption should be in favour of preserving people’s free movement if at all feasible. Second, failing to recognise the reduced infection threat immune individuals pose risks punishing people for low-risk behaviour. Finally, further individual and social benefits are likely to accrue from allowing people to engage in free movement. Challenges relating to the implementation of immunity passports ought to be met with targeted solutions so as to maximise their benefit.

Host genetics and infectious disease: new tools, insights and translational opportunities

Nature Reviews Genetics
Volume 22 Issue 3, March 2021
https://www.nature.com/nrg/volumes/22/issues/3

 

Review Article | 04 December 2020
Host genetics and infectious disease: new tools, insights and translational opportunities
Infectious diseases are an ever-present global threat. In this Review, Kwok, Mentzer and Knight discuss our latest understanding of how human genetics influence susceptibility to disease. Furthermore, they discuss emerging progress in the interplay between host and pathogen genetics, molecular responses to infection and vaccination, and opportunities to bring these aspects together for rapid responses to emerging diseases such as COVID-19.
Andrew J. Kwok, Alex Mentzer & Julian C. Knight

Research in the Context of a Pandemic

New England Journal of Medicine
February 25, 2021 Vol. 384 No. 8
http://www.nejm.org/toc/nejm/medical-journal

 

Editorial
Research in the Context of a Pandemic
H. Clifford Lane, M.D., and Anthony S. Fauci, M.D.
The current literature on the treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) is filled with anecdotal reports of therapeutic successes in clinical trials with small numbers of patients and observational cohort studies claiming efficacy with little regard to the effect of unrecognized confounders. For the field to move forward and for patients’ outcomes to improve, there will need to be fewer small or inconclusive studies and more studies such as the dexamethasone trial now reported by the RECOVERY Collaborative Group1 in this issue of the Journal…

Assessment of the Effects of Active Immunisation against Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) using Decision-Analytic Models: A Systematic Review with a Focus on Vaccination Strategies, Modelling Methods and Input Data

PharmacoEconomics
Volume 39, issue 3, March 2021
https://link.springer.com/journal/40273/volumes-and-issues/39-3

 

Assessment of the Effects of Active Immunisation against Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) using Decision-Analytic Models: A Systematic Review with a Focus on Vaccination Strategies, Modelling Methods and Input Data
Marina Treskova, Francisco Pozo-Martin, Thomas Harder,
Content type: Systematic Review
Published: 19 January 2021

Impact of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine on invasive pneumococcal disease in children under 5 years of age in the Czech Republic

PLoS One
http://www.plosone.org/
[Accessed 27 Feb 2021]

 

Impact of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine on invasive pneumococcal disease in children under 5 years of age in the Czech Republic
Jana Kozakova, Pavla Krizova, Marek Maly
Research Article | published 26 Feb 2021 PLOS ONE
https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0247862

Implementing WHO guidance on conducting and analysing vaccination coverage cluster surveys: Two examples from Nigeria

Implementing WHO guidance on conducting and analysing vaccination coverage cluster surveys: Two examples from Nigeria
John Ndegwa Wagai, Dale Rhoda, Mary Prier, Mary Kay Trimmer, Caitlin B. Clary, Joseph Oteri, Bassey Okposen, Adeyemi Adeniran, Carolina Danovaro-Holliday, Felicity Cutts
Research Article | published 26 Feb 2021 PLOS ONE
https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0247415

PLoS One
http://www.plosone.org/
[Accessed 27 Feb 2021]

 

Implementing WHO guidance on conducting and analysing vaccination coverage cluster surveys: Two examples from Nigeria
John Ndegwa Wagai, Dale Rhoda, Mary Prier, Mary Kay Trimmer, Caitlin B. Clary, Joseph Oteri, Bassey Okposen, Adeyemi Adeniran, Carolina Danovaro-Holliday, Felicity Cutts
Research Article | published 26 Feb 2021 PLOS ONE
https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0247415

Knowledge, attitude and practice of vaccinators and vaccine handlers on vaccine cold chain management in public health facilities, Ethiopia: Cross-sectional study

PLoS One
http://www.plosone.org/
[Accessed 27 Feb 2021]

 

Knowledge, attitude and practice of vaccinators and vaccine handlers on vaccine cold chain management in public health facilities, Ethiopia: Cross-sectional study
Solomon Ahmed Mohammed, Birhanu Demeke Workneh, Mesfin Haile kahissay
Research Article | published 25 Feb 2021 PLOS ONE
https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0247459

Optimizing age-specific vaccination

Science
26 February 2021 Vol 371, Issue 6532
http://www.sciencemag.org/current.dtl

 

Policy Forum
Optimizing age-specific vaccination
By Meagan C. Fitzpatrick, Alison P. Galvani
Science26 Feb 2021 : 890-891 Full Access
Vaccination strategies are not one-size-fits-all
Summary
Efficacious vaccines against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have been developed, tested, and approved for emergency use with unprecedented speed. Deployment of multiple vaccines was initiated in several countries less than 1 year after identification of the virus. Although vaccine production is being rapidly scaled up, demand will exceed supply for the next several months. Consequently, an urgent challenge is the optimization of vaccine allocation to maximize public health benefit. On page 916 of this issue, Bubar et al. (1) demonstrate that vaccination of older people is the optimal age-based strategy to alleviate the burden of COVID-19. Although vaccination of younger adults is projected to avert the greatest incidence, vaccinating older adults will most effectively reduce mortality. In addition, they assess targeted vaccination that was based on serological status, finding that vaccinating seronegative individuals improves efficiency especially in settings where seroprevalence is high.

Model-informed COVID-19 vaccine prioritization strategies by age and serostatus

Science
26 February 2021 Vol 371, Issue 6532
http://www.sciencemag.org/current.dtl

 

Report
Model-informed COVID-19 vaccine prioritization strategies by age and serostatus
By Kate M. Bubar, Kyle Reinholt, Stephen M. Kissler, Marc Lipsitch, Sarah Cobey, Yonatan H. Grad, Daniel B. Larremore
Science26 Feb 2021 : 916-921 Open Access
To minimize mortality, vaccinate seronegative persons most at risk of death: those with comorbidities and those 60+ years of age.

Effectiveness of the live-attenuated herpes zoster vaccine 2 years after its introduction in Australia

Vaccine
Volume 39, Issue 10 Pages 1473-1546 (5 March 2021)
https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/vaccine/vol/39/issue/10

 

Research article Abstract only
Effectiveness of the live-attenuated herpes zoster vaccine 2 years after its introduction in Australia
Jialing Lin, Timothy Dobbins, James G. Wood, Carla Bernardo, … Bette Liu
Pages 1493-1498

Social amplification of risk and “probable vaccine damage”: A typology of vaccination beliefs in 28 European countries

Vaccine
Volume 39, Issue 10 Pages 1473-1546 (5 March 2021)
https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/vaccine/vol/39/issue/10

 

Research article Abstract only
Social amplification of risk and “probable vaccine damage”: A typology of vaccination beliefs in 28 European countries
Simona – Nicoleta Vulpe, Cosima Rughiniş
Pages 1508-1515

Internal and External Validity of Social Media and Mobile Technology-Driven HPV Vaccination Interventions: Systematic Review Using the Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, Maintenance (RE-AIM) Framework

Vaccines — Open Access Journal
http://www.mdpi.com/journal/vaccines
(Accessed 27 Feb 2021)

 

Open Access Review
Internal and External Validity of Social Media and Mobile Technology-Driven HPV Vaccination Interventions: Systematic Review Using the Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, Maintenance (RE-AIM) Framework
by Matthew Asare, Braden Popelsky, Emmanuel Akowuah, Beth A. Lanning and Jane R. Montealegre
Vaccines 2021, 9(3), 197; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9030197 – 26 Feb 2021
Abstract
Social media human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination interventions show promise for increasing HPV vaccination rates. An important consideration for the implementation of effective interventions into real-world practice is the translation potential, or external validity, of the intervention. To this end, we conducted a systematic […]

Who Should Get COVID-19 Vaccine First? A Survey to Evaluate Hospital Workers’ Opinion

Vaccines — Open Access Journal
http://www.mdpi.com/journal/vaccines
(Accessed 27 Feb 2021)

 

Open Access Article
Who Should Get COVID-19 Vaccine First? A Survey to Evaluate Hospital Workers’ Opinion
by Lucia Craxì, Alessandra Casuccio, Emanuele Amodio and Vincenzo Restivo
Vaccines 2021, 9(3), 189; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9030189 – 25 Feb 2021
Abstract
Prospective planning of COVID-19 vaccines allocation will be essential to maximize public health and societal benefits while preserving equity. Decisions about how to allocate limited supplies of vaccines need to be clear about the criteria used in setting priorities, with a specific commitment […]

Public Health and Economic Benefits of Influenza Vaccination of the Population Aged 50 to 59 Years without Risk Factors for Influenza Complications in Mexico: A Cross-Sectional Epidemiological Study

Vaccines — Open Access Journal
http://www.mdpi.com/journal/vaccines
(Accessed 27 Feb 2021)

 

Open Access Article
Public Health and Economic Benefits of Influenza Vaccination of the Population Aged 50 to 59 Years without Risk Factors for Influenza Complications in Mexico: A Cross-Sectional Epidemiological Study
by Miguel Betancourt-Cravioto, Jorge Abelardo Falcón-Lezama, Rodrigo Saucedo-Martínez, Myrna María Alfaro-Cortés and Roberto Tapia-Conyer
Vaccines 2021, 9(3), 188; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9030188 – 24 Feb 2021
Abstract
The Mexican influenza vaccination program does not include a recommendation for people aged 50–59 years without risk factors for influenza complications, and there are limited data regarding the cost-effectiveness of vaccinating this population. To explore the clinical and economic effects of including this […]

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 Atlantic
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/
Accessed 27 Feb 2021
Ideas
Overcaution Carries Its Own Danger to Children
Incessant pessimism about the coronavirus is hard to kick, but the vaccines are banishing any doubt about reopening schools.
27 Feb 2021
Monica Gandhi, Professor of medicine at UCSF

 

BBC
http://www.bbc.co.uk/
Accessed 27 Feb 2021
[No new, unique, relevant content]

 

The Economist
http://www.economist.com/
Accessed 27 Feb 2021
Feb 27th 2021
The Economist explains
Is SARS-CoV-2 evolving to become more lethal?
Most viruses become less deadly as they mutate. This one may be different

 

Financial Times
https://www.ft.com/
Accessed 27 Feb 2021
Coronavirus:
Ecuador’s health minister quits over handling of pandemic
February 26, 2021

Melinda Mills
Vaccine passports are a technical and ethical minefield
February 26, 2021

Coronavirus:
Chinese jabs arrive in Argentina as ‘vaccine diplomacy’ grows
February 26, 2021

Africa will pay more for Russian Covid vaccine than ‘western’ jabs
…The African Union will pay three times more for Russia’s Sputnik V jab than it is paying for the Oxford/AstraZeneca and Novavax vaccines, according to people familiar with the procurement process. The…
February 25, 2021
Top of Form
Bottom of Form

Top of Form
Bottom of Form

 

Forbes
http://www.forbes.com/
Accessed 27 Feb 2021
Feb 27, 2021
There Are Libertarians In A Pandemic, And For Good Reason
Someday, when people compile the definitive documents about the Covid-19 pandemic, I hope his work gets a special place—particularly his post “Free Market Vaccines,” which was later revised and published by National Review (I have previously used Cochrane’s post here and here).
By Art Carden Contributor

 

Foreign Affairs
http://www.foreignaffairs.com/
Accessed 27 Feb 2021
China Must Stop Hiding Its Vaccine Data
Beijing Is Undermining Confidence in a Vaccine the World Desperately Needs
By Eyck Freymann and Justin Stebbing
February 26, 2021

 

Foreign Policy
http://foreignpolicy.com/
Accessed 27 Feb 2021
Doctors Struggle to Convince Pakistanis to Get Their Vaccine Shot
The country has too few shots, a stubborn public, and little experience—but the program may still work.
Argument | Jalal Baig

 

Don’t Let Drug Companies Create a System of Vaccine Apartheid
To avoid repeating the pitfalls of the HIV/AIDS crisis, governments and the WTO must make COVID-19 vaccination a public good by temporarily waiving intellectual property rights and compelling emergency production.
Argument | Fatima Hassan

 

The Guardian
http://www.guardiannews.com/
Accessed 27 Feb 2021
[No new, unique, relevant content]

 

New Yorker
http://www.newyorker.com/
Accessed 27 Feb 2021
[No new, unique, relevant content]

 

New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/
Accessed 27 Feb 2021
Middle East
Palestinians Go Into New Lockdown While Awaiting Vaccines
Covid cases are surging again in the West Bank amid a dispute over Israel’s obligations toward the Palestinians in the occupied territories.
By Isabel Kershner
PRINT EDITION February 28, 2021

Politics
Younger Military Personnel Reject Vaccine, in Warning for Commanders and the Nation
About one-third of the troops have declined to take the vaccine. Many say they worry the vaccines are unsafe or were developed too quickly. Others want a sense of independence, even in uniform.
By Jennifer Steinhauer
PRINT EDITION February 28, 2021

Europe
Amid Slow Vaccine Deliveries, Desperate E.U. Nations Hunt for More
Countries eager to augment the troubled E.U. buying program are eyeing offers from each other, from Russia and China, and from private brokers, some of whom are fraudsters.
By Matina Stevis-Gridneff
PRINT EDITION Desperate E.U. Nations Hunt for Vaccine Supply | February 27, 2021, Page A4

Magazine – Americas
‘V.I.P. Immunization’ for the Powerful and Their Cronies Rattles South America
A wave of corruption scandals is exposing how the powerful and well-connected in South America jumped the line to get vaccines early. Public dismay is turning into anger.
By Mitra Taj, Anatoly Kurmanaev, Manuela Andreoni and Daniel Politi
PRINT EDITION Fury as V.I.P.s Cut Line For Their Inoculations| February 26, 2021, Page A1

 

Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/
Accessed 27 Feb 2021
Texas vaccination site turned away undocumented immigrants over their status, against state policy
Andrea Salcedo · Morning Mix · Feb 26, 2021

Mexico is vaccinating its poorest citizens first — against the advice of health experts
Kevin Sieff and Paulina Villegas · Feb 26, 2021

Vaccination ‘passports’ may open society, but inequity looms
Feb 26, 2021

Think Tanks et al

Think Tanks et al

Brookings
http://www.brookings.edu/
Accessed 27 Feb 2021
TechStream
How to build more equitable vaccine distribution technology
Laura Moy and Yael Cannon
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
 
 
Center for Global Development [to 27 Feb 2021]
http://www.cgdev.org/page/press-center
Publication
February 23, 2021
Who Gets a COVID-19 Vaccine and Who Pays? The Need for Economic Analysis
In 2020, epidemiological modelling went from relative obscurity to being central in helping governments, and the public, understand COVID-19 as it spread around the world. In 2021, with the emergence of effective COVID-19 vaccines, Health Technology Assessment (HTA) will be critical to making the best possible decisions in bringing the pandemic under control, particularly in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs). In this blog we look at the potential of HTA to inform how much vaccine countries should buy, who should pay, and how vaccines can be most effectively delivered.
Tom Drake et al.

February 23, 2021
How an Allocation of IMF SDRs To Africa Could Be Supported by A Multilateral Reallocation Initiative
A general SDR allocation has the potential to provide rapidly additional liquidity to African economies, thereby enhancing prospects for crisis mitigation and recovery.
Daouda Sembene
 
 
Chatham House [to 27 Feb 2021]
https://www.chathamhouse.org/
Accessed 27 Feb 2021
Beijing’s Vaccine Diplomacy Goes Beyond Political Rivalry
China has been accused of using its vaccine to expand its influence, but for many struggling economies it is filling a gap left by Western states and donors.
Expert Comment
22 February 2021
Tin Hinane El Kadi Associate Fellow, Middle East and North Africa Programme
Sophie Zinser Schwarzman Academy Fellow, Asia-Pacific Programme, Middle East North Africa (MENAP) Programme

 
 
CSIS
https://www.csis.org/
Accessed 27 Feb 2021
Upcoming Event
A Conversation with Dr. Anthony Fauci and Professor Paul Kelly
March 9, 2021

 
 

Council on Foreign Relations
http://www.cfr.org/
Accessed 27 Feb 2021
Pharmaceuticals and Vaccines
What to Know About the Global COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout So Far
Several countries stand out for their success in delivering coronavirus vaccinations, while most of the world is struggling to figure out how to get immunizations into more arms.
In Brief by Claire Felter

 
 

Kaiser Family Foundation
https://www.kff.org/search/?post_type=press-release
Accessed 27 Feb 2021
February 26, 2021 News Release
Most Americans Now Say They’ve Gotten At Least One Dose of a COVID-19 Vaccine or Want to Get Vaccinated As Soon As Possible, with Enthusiasm Rising Across Racial, Ethnic and Partisan Groups
While Enthusiasm Rises, a Persistent Minority Say They Definitely Will Not Get Vaccinated; Republicans, Rural Residents, and Essential Workers Outside Health Care Are Most Reluctant Groups More than half of Americans (55%) now say they want to get vaccinated as soon as possible (37%) or have already received at least…

February 26, 2021 News Release
States Have Made Progress in Vaccinating Older Adults Against COVID-19 in Recent Weeks, But No State Has Vaccinated At Least Half of its Older Population
Twenty-two states and the District of Columbia have vaccinated at least one-third of their residents who are 65 and older against COVID-19, an updated KFF analysis finds, but no state has crossed the threshold of vaccinating 50 percent or more of its older population. The share of adults 65 and older…

February 24, 2021 News Release
COVID-19 Cases and Deaths Among Nursing Home Residents Have Declined Markedly Following the Introduction of Vaccines
The number of residents contracting and dying of COVID-19 in nursing homes has declined markedly following the introduction of vaccination efforts in long-term care facilities, a KFF analysis finds. Resident deaths from COVID-19 in nursing homes have decreased by two-thirds (66%) since vaccination efforts began in late December. New cases…
 
 
World Economic Forum [to 27 Feb 2021]
https://agenda.weforum.org/news/
Media
[No new relevant content]

Vaccines and Global Health: The Week in Review :: 20 February 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

Ebola – Guinea

Milestones :: Perspectives :: Research

 

Ebola – Guinea

Ebola virus disease – Guinea
WHO – Disease outbreak news
17 February 2021
On 14 February 2021, the Ministry of Health (MoH) of Guinea informed WHO of a cluster of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) cases in the sub-prefecture of Gouécké, Nzérékoré Region, Guinea between 18 January and 13 February 2021. The cases showed symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting and bleeding after attending the burial of another relative (a 51 year-old nurse) on 1 February 2021…

Public health response
On 14 February 2021, following the declaration of the EVD outbreak, the MoH of Guinea convened a crisis meeting. The MoH , WHO, Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN) partners, have initiated measures to control the outbreak and prevent further spread…

WHO support for the Guinean authorities
:: WHO will help supply vaccines, therapeutics, reagents and personal protective equipment.
:: WHO will be part of the partner coordination.
:: WHO will be involved in all pillars of the response, and will help to strengthen response in each area
WHO will recruit and deploy human resources to N’Zérékoré region to support investigation, contact tracing and vaccination.
:: In coordination with partners, WHO will work to reinforce risk communication and community engagement by deploying communicators and socio anthropologists.
:: WHO will provide logistic support, hygiene kits and IPC materials, where they are needed.

WHO risk assessment
WHO considers the risk of spread in the country as very high given the unknown size, duration and origin of the outbreak; potentially large number of contacts; potential spread to other parts of Guinea and neighboring countries; limited response capacity currently on the ground; and unknown virus strain. In addition, there are ongoing challenges for the public health system due to the COVID-19 epidemic, and recent yellow fever and measles outbreaks.
WHO assess the risk for the region as high. The Nzérékoré Region of Guinea shares borders with Sierra Leone and Liberia, where EVD outbreaks occurred previously. Despite some movement restrictions across official border-crossings due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a significant proportion of cross-border movement continues to take place and poses a risk of EVD spread. It is therefore essential that neighboring countries assess their preparedness capacities and implement readiness/response measures…

More than 11,000 Ebola vaccines expected in Guinea this weekend
By Aaron Ross
February 18, 2021 DAKAR (Reuters) – Guinea expects to receive more than 11,000 Ebola vaccines this weekend, with more to follow, and inoculations could start as soon as Monday, a health ministry official and the World Health Organization said on Thursday.

COVID Vaccines – UN Security Council

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COVID Vaccines – UN Security Council

Secretary-General, Addressing Security Council, Pledges Full Support for Creating Emergency Task Force to Prepare Global COVID-19 Vaccine Plan
17 February 2021
SG/SM/20583
Following are UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ remarks, as delivered, to the Security Council open meeting:  “Equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines in contexts affected by conflict and insecurity”, today:
I thank the United Kingdom for organizing this meeting and for reinforcing my call for a global ceasefire to ease suffering, create space for diplomacy and enable humanitarian access — including for the delivery of vaccines worldwide.

COVID-19 continues its merciless march across the world — upending lives, destroying economies and undermining the Sustainable Development Goals.  The pandemic is exacerbating all the factors that drive instability — hindering our efforts to implement Security Council resolution 2532 (2020) for the cessation of hostilities, conflict prevention and resolution.

Defeating COVID-19, now that we have begun to have the scientific capacity to do so, is more important than ever.  The rollout of COVID-19 vaccines is generating hope.  At this critical moment, vaccine equity is the biggest moral test before the global community.  We must ensure that everybody, everywhere, can be vaccinated as soon as possible.

Yet, progress on vaccinations has been wildly uneven and unfair.  Just 10 countries have administered 75 per cent of all COVID-19 vaccines.  Meanwhile, more than 130 countries have not received a single dose.  Those affected by conflict and insecurity are at particular risk of being left behind.

When pandemic strikes, we are only safe if everyone is safe.  If the virus is allowed to spread like wildfire in the Global South, or parts of it, it will mutate again and again.  New variants could become more transmissible, more deadly and, potentially, threaten the effectiveness of current vaccines and diagnostics.  This can prolong the pandemic significantly, enabling the virus to come back to plague the Global North.  It will also delay the world economic recovery.

We have come together to create the COVAX facility — the one global tool to procure and deliver vaccines for low- and middle-income countries.  COVAX requires to be fully funded.  But we must do even more.  Our efforts need to be comprehensive and well-coordinated everywhere.  The world urgently needs a global vaccination plan to bring together all those with the required power, scientific expertise and production and financial capacities.

 

I believe the G20 is well placed to establish an emergency task force to prepare such a global vaccination plan and coordinate its implementation and financing.  This task force should include all countries in which there is a capacity to develop vaccines or to produce them if licenses are available, together with the WHO [World Health Organization], Gavi, and other relevant technical organizations and the international financial institutions.  The task force would have the capacity to mobilize the pharmaceutical companies and key industry and logistics actors.

I am ready to galvanize the full United Nations System in support of this effort.  The G7 meeting later this week can help create the momentum to mobilize the necessary financial resources.  Together, we can ensure sufficient supply, fair distribution and vaccine confidence.

We can defeat this disease.  We can get our economies running again.  I am convinced it is possible.  Let’s make it happen, together.

UN Security Council session on COVID-19: IFRC warns of combined dangers of mistrust and vaccine inequity
New York, 17 February 2021 – The chief executive of the world’s largest humanitarian network has warned world leaders of the consequences of high levels of mistrust and persistent inequity in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines…
Mr Chapagain went on to share the IFRC’s deep concerns about pervasive inequality and inequity in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines worldwide. According to IFRC analysis, less than 1 per cent of COVID-19 vaccine doses globally have been administered in the 32 countries currently facing severe or very severe humanitarian crises.
Mr Chapagain said: “People trust us for our actions. They look at what we do, and they judge us for what we do not do. They see, clearly, the current high levels of vaccine inequity and inequality. “Equity is not something that happens on its own. History tells us this. Just as we need to ensure that all countries can access vaccines, we also need to make sure that those vaccines reach the arms of all the people who need them. Underserved, alienated, or isolated communities, including those living in areas not under the control of States, as well as detainees, IDPs and refugees, must be integrated in national vaccination efforts. Strong involvement of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and other local impartial organizations in vaccination activities can help ensure that these communities are not left behind.”…
17 February 2021

G7 Leaders’ statement, 19 February 2021

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G7 Leaders’ statement, 19 February 2021
European Council Statements and remarks [Editor’s text bolding]
We, the leaders of the Group of Seven, met today and resolved to work together to beat COVID-19 and build back better. Drawing on our strengths and values as democratic, open economies and societies, we will work together and with others to make 2021 a turning point for multilateralism and to shape a recovery that promotes the health and prosperity of our people and planet.

We will intensify cooperation on the health response to COVID-19. The dedication of essential workers everywhere represents the best of humanity, while the rapid discovery of vaccines shows the power of human ingenuity. Working with, and together to strengthen, the World Health Organisation (WHO), and supporting its leading and coordinating role, we will: 
:: accelerate global vaccine development and deployment;
:: work with industry to increase  manufacturing capacity, including through voluntary licensing;
:: improve information sharing,  such as on sequencing new variants; and,
:: promote transparent and responsible practices, and vaccine confidence.

We reaffirm our support for all pillars of the Access to COVID-19 Tools  Accelerator (ACT-A), its COVAX facility, and affordable and equitable access to vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics, reflecting the role of extensive immunisation as a global public good. Today, with increased financial commitments of over four billion USD to ACT-A and COVAX, collective G7 support totals seven and a half billion USD. We invite all partners, including the G20 and International Financial Institutions, to join us in increasing support to ACT-A, including to increase developing countries’ access to WHO-approved vaccines through the COVAX facility.

COVID-19 shows that the world needs stronger defences against future risks to global health security. We will work with the WHO, G20 and others, especially through the Global Health  Summit in Rome, to bolster global health and health security architecture for pandemic preparedness, including through health financing and rapid response mechanisms, by strengthening the “One Health” approach and Universal Health Coverage, and exploring the  potential value of a global health treaty.

We have provided unprecedented support for our economies over the past year totalling over $6 trillion across the G7. We will continue to support our economies to protect jobs and  support a strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive recovery. We reaffirm our support to  the most vulnerable countries, our commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals, and  our partnership with Africa, including to support a resilient recovery. We will work through  the G20 and with the International Financial Institutions to strengthen support for countries’ responses by exploring all available tools, including through full and transparent implementation of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative and the Common Framework.

Recovery from COVID-19 must build back better for all. Looking to UNFCCC COP26 and CBD COP15, we will put our global ambitions on climate change and the reversal of biodiversity  loss at the centre of our plans. We will make progress on mitigation, adaptation and finance  in accordance with the Paris Agreement and deliver a green transformation and clean energy  transitions that cut emissions and create good jobs on a path to net zero no later than 2050.  We are committed to levelling up our economies so that no geographic region or person, irrespective of gender or ethnicity, is left behind.

We will: champion open economies and societies; promote global economic resilience; harness the digital economy with data free  flow with trust; cooperate on a modernised, freer and fairer rules-based multilateral trading  system that reflects our values and delivers balanced growth with a reformed World Trade Organisation at its centre; and, strive to reach a consensus-based solution on international taxation by mid-2021 within the framework of the OECD. With the aim of supporting a fair  and mutually beneficial global economic system for all people, we will engage with others,  especially G20 countries including large economies such as China. As Leaders, we will consult  with each other on collective approaches to address non-market oriented policies and practices, and we will cooperate with others to address important global issues that impact all countries.

We resolve to agree concrete action on these priorities at the G7 Summit in the United Kingdom in June, and we support the commitment of Japan to hold the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 in a safe and secure manner this summer as a symbol of global unity in overcoming COVID-19.

COVAX – UPDATES

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COVAX – UPDATES

G7 backs Gavi’s COVAX Advance Market Commitment to boost COVID-19 vaccines in world’s poorest countries
:: Today G7 leaders announced a doubling of funding for Gavi COVAX AMC to support lower-income economies obtain life-saving vaccines against COVID-19, ensuring greater equity in fighting to end the acute phase of the pandemic.
:: New funding from the European Union, Germany and the United States will allow COVAX, the international COVID-19 vaccine mechanism, to secure more doses and further diversify its vaccine portfolio, advancing its goal to roll out at least 1.3 billion vaccine doses in world’s poorest economies in the next few months.
:: This comes alongside a number of recent pledges, including a pledge announced today by Ireland.
:: The announcement also includes securing doses for COVAX to support vital humanitarian work in places where populations face emergencies.
:: In addition, the UK and France announced commitments to share vaccine doses with lower-income economies, joining a number of other countries expressing the same goal, to further accelerate a coordinated international response and help put an end to the pandemic globally.

Geneva, 19 February 2021 – The virtual G7 Early Leaders’ Summit event saw the announcement of major new funding, including new pledges of EUR 980 million from Germany and EUR 500 million from the European Union, and an allocation of US$ 2 billion in funding by the United States for 2021, with an additional US$ 2 billion planned over 2021-2022. A number of other recent pledges bring funds raised for Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (Gavi COVAX AMC), the funding mechanism to finance doses of COVID-19 vaccines for 92 lower-income economies within the COVAX Facility, to a total of US$ 6.3 billion. In addition, the United Kingdom announced it would be sharing surplus doses with COVAX, providing an additional source of vaccines for the world…
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GERMANY ANNOUNCES LARGEST SINGLE PLEDGE TO SUPPORT GLOBAL HEALTH SECURITY
German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced an additional EUR 980 million contribution to COVAX at the virtual G7 Early Leaders’ Summit. This unprecedented commitment by Germany is the country’s largest single pledge to support global health security. It comes alongside a broader German commitment to support the international effort to end COVID-19, with a significant additional funding pledge to the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator. Alongside support for the Gavi COVAX AMC, new German funding will also support reinforcement of diagnostics, therapeutics and health systems to combat COVID-19 around the world – because no-one is safe until everyone is safe…
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EUROPEAN UNION PLEDGES FOR THE GAVI COVAX AMC
At the G7 virtual leaders’ meeting, President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen announced an additional EUR 500 million pledge to the Gavi COVAX AMC, which includes EUR 300 million in grant funding from the European Commission and EUR 200 million in guarantees through the European Investment Bank (EIB). This is in addition to EUR 100 million already pledged by the European Commission and EUR 400 million in guarantees from the EIB in December 2020. This brings the Commission’s financial support to COVAX to EUR 1 billion as part of Team Europe’s considerable support to the COVAX AMC…
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2021 UNITED STATES FUNDING FOR GAVI COVAX AMC
Using funds appropriated by a bipartisan Congressional vote in December 2020, the United States will provide an initial US$ 2 billion contribution to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance for the COVAX Advance Market Commitment, the innovative financing instrument of the COVAX Facility, which supports access to safe and effective vaccines for 92 low- and middle-income economies. The United States will also take a leadership role in galvanizing further global contributions to COVAX by releasing an additional US$ 2 billion through 2021 and 2022. In close cooperation with Gavi, this additional $2 billion in funding will serve to expand COVAX’s reach…
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IRELAND PLEDGES FUNDING FOR COVAX
Ireland also announced EUR 4 million in funding for COVAX today. Irish Minister of State for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora Colm Brophy TD added: “Ireland is delighted to allocate €4 million to the COVAX Facility, part of at least €50 million in Irish Aid support to global public health this year.  This will support developing countries, who most need vaccines and can least afford them, secure their share of global supply.”..
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SIGNIFICANT ADDITIONAL INTERNATIONAL FUNDING FOR THE GAVI COVAX AMC
These new announcements come on top of other recent pledges to Gavi’s COVAX AMC from a number of governments. These include additional pledges from Japan (US$ 70m), the Netherlands (EUR 25m) and Sweden (SEK100m) and new commitments from the Austrian Development Cooperation (EUR 2.4m), Belgium (EUR 4m), Iceland (ISK250m) and Luxembourg (EUR 1m).

The Thistledown Foundation, a private charitable foundation established in late 2019 by Tobias Lütke and Fiona McKean, has also pledged CAD 5 million to Gavi’s COVAX AMC to ensure equitable access of COVID-19 vaccines.
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UK AND FRENCH COMMITMENT TO SHARE SURPLUS DOSES WITH COVAX FOR DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
The UK Government has announced that the UK will share the majority of any future surplus coronavirus vaccines from its supply with the COVAX procurement pool to support developing countries, in addition to the UK’s £548 million existing funding for the COVAX AMC. This commitment allows the COVAX Facility to access an additional source of doses for participating economies.

This comes alongside a call by French President Emmanuel Macron for higher-income countries to reserve a percentage of their vaccine doses for lower-income economies. Gavi welcomes this renewed momentum created by President Macron, as dose sharing by countries in a position to do so can potentially add significant volumes of vaccines to the global effort to ending the acute phase of the pandemic. In addition to France and Norway as part of Team Europe, Canada has made a similar commitment.

 

::::::

Gavi signs memorandum of understanding with Novavax on behalf of COVAX Facility
:: The signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Gavi and Novavax is to make a cumulative volume of 1.1 billion doses of the Novavax vaccine candidate available to the COVAX Facility
:: This cumulative volume of doses will be provided to COVAX based on terms defined in the final advance purchase agreement with Novavax, once signed, and via an existing agreement with the Serum Institute of India (SII)
:: Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi: “This agreement helps the COVAX Facility close in on the goal of delivering two billion doses in 2021 and increases the range of vaccines available to us as we build a portfolio suitable for all settings and contexts.”

Geneva, 18 February 2021 – Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance announced today that it had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Novavax that, combined with a separate existing agreement with Serum Institute of India (SII), will provide a total of 1.1 billion doses of the company’s NVX-CoV2373 COVID-19 vaccine candidate to the COVAX Facility. The MoU lays the foundation for agreement on final terms via an advance purchase agreement and is a critical step toward making sure doses of the vaccine, if approved and licensed, will be made available to all countries and economies participating in the COVAX Facility…

 

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COVAX Statement on WHO Emergency Use Listing for AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 Vaccine
Geneva / New York / Oslo – 16 February 2021 – The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi) and the World Health Organization (WHO), as co-leads of the COVAX initiative for equitable global access to COVID-19 vaccines, alongside key delivery partner UNICEF, are pleased to welcome the news that two versions of the AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccine have been given WHO Emergency Use Listing (EUL). Yesterday’s announcement means that two versions of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine, produced by AstraZeneca-SK Bioscience (AZ-SKBio) and the Serum Institute of India (AZ-SII), are now available for global rollout through the COVAX Facility.

Building on the early information provided in the interim distribution forecast published on 3 February 2021, COVAX will now complete the process of final Q1/Q2 allocations of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine to Facility participants. Information on these final allocations will be communicated to all participants and published online the week of February 22nd.

In order for doses to be delivered via this first allocation round, several critical pieces must be in place:
:: All Facility participants must have given national regulatory authorisation for the vaccines in question, a process which can be expedited by issuing special authorisations for use based on granting of WHO EUL.
:: All Facility participants must have signed indemnity agreements with the manufacturers in question in order to receive doses through COVAX. The COVAX Facility is helping to facilitate the process of getting these agreements in place. In particular, COVAX is supporting AMC-eligible participants by negotiating a template indemnity agreement on their behalf – saving time and resources – and establishing a no-fault compensation mechanism and fund.
:: AMC-eligible economies must have submitted National Deployment and Vaccination Plans (NDVPs) through the COVID-19 Partners Platform, that have then been reviewed and validated by COVAX…

A universal coronavirus vaccine

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Science
19 February 2021 Vol 371, Issue 6531
http://www.sciencemag.org/current.dtl
Editorial
A universal coronavirus vaccine
By Wayne C. Koff, Seth F. Berkley
COVID-19 has already produced catastrophic social, economic, and public health consequences, with more than 107 million documented cases and 2.3 million deaths. Although this pandemic is far from over, we now have the tools to end it, with the largest and most rapid global deployment of vaccines under way. That we got this far so quickly is remarkable, but next time we might not be so lucky. More virulent and deadly coronaviruses are waiting in the wings. Thus, the world needs a universal coronavirus vaccine.

The speed with which safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines have been developed and made available is unprecedented, taking less than a year. However, if faced with a more virulent strain with a higher case fatality rate than severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), even this rapid time frame may not be enough to prevent a death toll on the scale of the 1918 influenza pandemic, which killed more than 50 million. Moreover, there is a continuing risk that the virus will mutate in ways that render existing COVID-19 vaccines less effective—as we’ve already seen for the B.1.351 variant first identified in South Africa—or even ineffective.

As with influenza, the case for a vaccine that protects all people against all forms of coronavirus is strong. SARS-CoV-2 belongs to a diverse group of viruses of which there are thousands capable of infecting a wide range of animals, from bats and pangolins to pigs and mink. SARS-CoV-1, which emerged in 2002, had a 10% fatality rate; Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in 2012 was 34% fatal.

The potential is increasing for other coronaviruses to jump species and cause more pandemics. The reasons are many. The animals that the viruses infect are ones that humans regularly come into contact with. Modern agricultural practices, viral evolution, and relentless human encroachment on the natural environment mean there is an increasing risk of people encountering previously isolated animal populations that harbor new strains with pandemic potential. With human migration, population growth, urbanization, rapid global travel, and climate change hastening the spread, it has never been easier for outbreaks to turn into epidemics and escalate into pandemics.

At the same time, the recent convergence of technological advances in biomedical, computing, and engineering sciences has ushered in a new era in antigen and vaccine discovery. High-performance supercomputing and machine learning, coupled with structural modeling, have the potential to greatly accelerate identification of common antigenic targets shared across coronaviruses. Databases of genetic sequences of animal isolates of coronaviruses can be used to model the evolutionary emergence of the viruses. Ongoing efforts to decode the principles of immunity in aging populations can enhance the effectiveness of vaccines for those most vulnerable. Collectively, studies now suggest that developing a universal coronavirus vaccine is scientifically feasible.

This must be a worldwide effort. A roadmap is needed to lay out the core scientific issues as well as a framework for funding and sharing of information, data, and resources. Early on, it will be essential to establish a global surveillance network for zoonotic coronaviruses like the World Health Organization’s Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System or the United States Agency for International Development’s PREDICT program (which was defunded last year). In addition, a global effort to identify coronavirus-specific broadly neutralizing antibodies is needed to facilitate cross-reactive coronavirus antigen discovery.

None of that can happen until all stakeholders, across governments, industry, academia, and nongovernmental organizations, recognize this as a global public health priority. With COVID-19, much of the groundwork has been laid. To wait until after this crisis passes could prove to be a missed opportunity. It is estimated that the current pandemic will end up costing between US$ 8 and 16 trillion globally, ∼500 times more than would be required for preventing the next pandemic.

That is not to say that this will be easy, and a stepwise approach from COVID-19 to pan-coronavirus to universal coronavirus vaccines may be required. SARS-CoV-2 is rapidly adapting to humans, and other novel coronaviruses are mutating, recombining, and replicating in bats and other animal species, positioning to jump species sometime in the future. If we choose to wait for the next coronavirus to emerge, it may be too late, as it was with COVID-19. Creating the tools for preventing the next coronavirus pandemic is within our means and should be considered a global health priority. We can either invest now or pay substantially more later.

Weekly Epidemiological and Operational updates

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Coronavirus [COVID-19] – WHO
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)
https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

 

Weekly Epidemiological and Operational updates
Last update: 23 January 2021
Confirmed cases :: 110 384 747 [week ago: 107 838 255] [two weeks ago: 104 956 439]
Confirmed deaths :: 2 446 008 [week ago: 2 373 398] [two weeks ago: 2 290 488
Countries, areas or territories with cases :: 223

 

Weekly epidemiological update – 16 February 2021
Overview
The number of global new cases reported has continued to fall, with 2.7 million new cases last week, a 16% decline compared to the previous week. The number of new deaths reported also fell, with 81 000 new deaths reported last week, a 10% decline as compared to the previous week. This brings the global cumulative numbers to 108.2 million cases and over 2.3 million cases since the start of the pandemic.
In this edition of the COVID-19 Weekly Epidemiological Update, special focus updates are provided on: the global influenza surveillance and response system as well as on SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern.

WHO lists two additional COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use and COVAX roll-out

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WHO lists two additional COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use and COVAX roll-out
AstraZeneca/Oxford-developed vaccines to reach countries in the coming weeks
15 February 2021
News release Geneva, Switzerland
Today WHO listed two versions of the AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, giving the green light for these vaccines to be rolled out globally through COVAX. The vaccines are produced by AstraZeneca-SKBio (Republic of Korea) and the Serum Institute of India.
WHO’s Emergency Use Listing (EUL) assesses the quality, safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines and is a prerequisite for COVAX Facility vaccine supply. It also allows countries to expedite their own regulatory approval to import and administer COVID-19 vaccines.
“Countries with no access to vaccines to date will finally be able to start vaccinating their health workers and populations at risk, contributing to the COVAX Facility’s goal of equitable vaccine distribution,” said Dr Mariângela Simão, WHO Assistant-Director General for Access to Medicines and Health Products…