Global Vax Efforts Slipping As Rich Countries Slow Cash Supply
Meanwhile, in China, reports say an ongoing covid outbreak is worsened by a lack of home-produced mRNA vaccines, and in Mexico, the government said that covid is now an endemic problem, rather than pandemic. Also: Tennis star Novak Djovovic can play at Wimbledon even though he's unvaxxed.
The Boston Globe:
Wealthy Nations Falter On Global Vaccine Commitments
The West’s pandemic promises were grand, its goals ambitious, and from the early days of the virus’s spread, those commitments were trumpeted to the international community in a tone of solidarity. President Biden promised the United States would be an “arsenal of vaccines” for the developing world. United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson called on G-7 world leaders to pool their financial firepower to immunize the world against COVID-19 by 2022. And in her State of the European Union Address, European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen portrayed the EU as a champion of vaccine equity, pledging to invest millions into protecting the global poor from the virus on behalf of Team Europe. (Baskar, 4/26)
China Covid Situation Worsened By Lack Of Local MRNA Vaccine
“Worldwide data clearly indicates mRNA is the gold standard,” says Joerg Wuttke, president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, which wrote to the Chinese government in April urging it to allow the shots. “Why waste time and wait, for what?” The wait, many analysts believe, is for a local company to come up with its own mRNA vaccine. Since the start of the pandemic, Xi’s government has touted self-reliance in fighting Covid, promoting domestic vaccines based on inactivated versions of the virus and barring all foreign ones from the market. Slightly more than 88% of China’s 1.4 billion people have received two doses of those shots. (4/26)
Mexico Says Coronavirus Now Endemic, Not Pandemic
The Mexican government said Tuesday that COVID-19 has passed from a pandemic to an endemic stage in Mexico, meaning authorities will treat it as a seasonally recurring disease. Mexico never enforced face mask requirements, and the few partial shutdowns of businesses and activities were lifted weeks ago. ... About 90% of adult Mexicans have recieved at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. (4/27)
Djokovic Can Play At Wimbledon; No Vaccination Required
Novak Djokovic will be allowed to defend his title at Wimbledon, despite not being vaccinated against COVID-19, because the shots are not required to enter Britain, All England Club chief executive Sally Bolton said Tuesday. Djokovic, a 34-year-old Serb who is ranked No. 1, missed the Australian Open in January after being deported from that country because he was not vaccinated against the illness caused by the coronavirus that has led to the deaths of millions during the pandemic that began in 2020. (Fendrich, 4/26)
In news about avian flu and polio —
China Reports World's First Human H5N8 Avian Flu Infection
China's National Health Commission (NHC) today announced the first known human infection from H3N8 avian influenza, a strain known to have infected different animals before, but not people. The patient is a 4-year-old boy from Zhumadian City in Henan province, located in the central part of the country, according to the statement in Chinese, which was first translated and posted by Avian Flu Diary (AFD), an infectious disease news blog. ... An investigation found that there were chickens and wild ducks around the boy's home. (4/26)
Vaccine-Derived Polio Is On The Upswing. Can A New Vaccine Stop The Spread?
The world has spent billions of dollars over the last 15 years in an effort to wipe out the virus through vaccination efforts – with encouraging results. Rates plunged from an estimated 350,000 cases in 1988 to just several dozen by 2016. But in recent years, polio incidence has started to inch back up. The reason has to do with the type of vaccine used in many parts of the world, primarily in low- and middle-income countries. While the United States and other Western countries inject an inactivated virus that poses no risk of spread and are now polio-free, other countries rely on an oral vaccine. It's cheap, it's easy to administer and two or more doses confer lifelong immunity. But it's made with living, weakened virus. And that poses a problem. (Daniel, 4/26)