‘No One Is Safe Unless We Are All Safe’: Africa Pleads For More Covid Jabs
Other global news is from the United Kingdom, Canada and elsewhere.
'Vaccine Apartheid': Africans Tell UN They Need Vaccines
As wealthy countries begin to consider whether to offer their populations a third COVID-19 shot, African nations still waiting for their first gave this stark reminder to world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday: “No one is safe unless we are all safe.” That message was repeated throughout the day as the inequity of vaccine distribution came into sharp focus. As of mid-September, fewer than 4% of Africans have been fully immunized and most of the 5.7 billion vaccine doses administered around the world have been given in just 10 rich countries. (Sarkar, 9/23)
Battling COVID In Africa Takes More Than Vaccines. It Takes "Flying Doctors," And Even They Need Help.
As dawn breaks, pilot Matthew Monson makes the final checks on his small plane and gets ready for a busy day. He'll spend it flying health workers on the front line of the fight against the coronavirus pandemic to the most remote parts of the tiny African nation of Lesotho. Dubbed "The Mountain Kingdom" for good reason, the towering peaks and deep river valleys make many parts of Lesotho incredibly hard to reach. That's why the work being done by the Lesotho Flying Doctor Services is so vital. Thanks in part to donations from the U.S., the country has all the vaccine doses needed to inoculate its entire adult population — but acquiring them was only the first challenge. Now it must get them to the people. (Patta, 9/23)
COVID-19 Summit Nets Several More Vaccine Pledges
In a statement today summing up major announcements that came at the summit, the WHO said Sweden pledged an additional $243 million in cash contributions and vaccine that it will make available in 2021 and 2022.Other dose donations came from Japan, with a pledge of 60 million doses, Italy with 30 million, and Spain with 7.5 million. Denmark announced at the UN General Assembly that it would double its dose donation, which will now total 6 million. In another development, Team Europe added to its previous pledge, which now totals 500 million vaccine doses by the middle of 2022. (Schnirring, 9/23)
In other global news —
Woman With Down’s Syndrome Loses UK Abortion Law Case
A woman with Down’s syndrome who took Sajid Javid to court over the UK’s abortion law has lost her case in the high court. Heidi Crowter, who brought the case alongside Máire Lea-Wilson, whose son Aidan has Down’s syndrome, and a child with Down’s syndrome identified only as A, had argued that allowing pregnancy terminations up to birth if the foetus has Down’s syndrome is discriminatory and stigmatises disabled people. They challenged the Department of Health and Social Care over the Abortion Act 1967, which sets a 24-week time limit for abortions unless there is “substantial risk” of the child being “seriously handicapped”. (Topping, 9/23)
Canadian Man Punches Nurse In The Face Multiple Times After His Wife Is Vaccinated For Covid-19 Without His Consent
Police are looking for a man in Canada they say punched a nurse in the face multiple times, knocking her to the ground after she administered a Covid-19 vaccine to his wife without his permission. On Monday, around 9:15 a.m., a man walked into a Brunet Pharmacy in Sherbrooke, a city in southern Quebec, and accused a nurse in her 40s, who police have not named, of vaccinating his wife, Sherbrooke Police spokesman Martin Carrier told CNN. (Ebrahimji, 9/23)
UN Summit Seeks To Fix Food's Many Problems, But Draws Fire
Nations, companies and foundations pledged billions of dollars to feed the world in connection with an ambitious United Nations food summit Thursday, while some grassroots anti-hunger groups and food experts blasted the event as too corporate, tech-focused and top-down. Held as part of the annual U.N. General Assembly meeting of world leaders, the “food systems summit” aimed to tackle the life-and-death puzzle of hunger, nutrition, environmental sustainability and inequality. Worldwide, more than 2 billion people don’t have enough to eat, while 2 billion are overweight or obese, and nearly a third of the food that gets produced ends up discarded, according to the U.N. (Peltz, 9/23)