Vaccine inequality laid bare at UN General Assembly

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Speaking to far fewer crowds than usual due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, Biden on Tuesday urged heads of state to take swift action to rein in a pandemic that has killed and revived millions Gaya.

“We need a collective act of science and political will,” he said To a hybrid audience of UN delegations virtual and in person. “We need to act now to get shots into weapons as quickly as possible and to expand access to oxygen, testing, treatments to save lives around the world.”
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But the ongoing debate over how to address the widening gap in vaccine access is boiling at the United Nations, with national leaders condemning vaccine abundances in rich countries like the US and drip-feeding the rest of the world. Feed given.

President Rodrigo Duterte The Philippines on Tuesday accused rich countries of hoarding COVID vaccines, while poor “wait for deceit” and developing countries consider half the dose to cover much of their population. The Philippines has one of the lowest COVID vaccination rates in Asia, with only 17% being fully vaccinated.

The divide, Duterte said in a pre-recorded speech, is “shocking beyond belief – it must be condemned, a selfish act that can neither be justified rationally nor morally.”

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Speaking to Granthshala on Sunday, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres highlighted Biden’s COVID-19 summit on the sidelines of the UNGA and an International Monetary Fund proposal to create a $50 billion vaccine program for poor countries. saying these were “positive signs” that wealthy nations were starting to work together to tackle vaccine inequality.

“But let’s be clear: it’s all too little, too late,” he said.

Of the six billion doses administered worldwide, only 2% Lived in low income countries. Guterres said discussions about how many traveling diplomats can still go without being vaccinated remain “how dramatic” the disparity in distribution remains. Reuters. In a new take on vaccine diplomacy, a free COVID-19 test and vaccination van aimed at avoiding the super-spreader phenomenon welcomed world leaders and delegates to the United Nations.
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A so-called “honor system” calling for foreign delegations to be vaccinated before entering the Assembly Hall was broken on the very first day of the General Assembly.

President of Brazil without vaccination Jair Bolsonaro The United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday doubled down on its defense of using “off-label” drugs against Covid-19 – saying he was among those recovering after using the anti-malarial drug, which were found to be ineffective in treatment. Disease.

“History and science will hold everyone accountable,” said Bolsonaro, who has been widely criticized for his handling of the pandemic in Brazil. The South American country has the highest number of deaths in the world after the United States.

In a live social media broadcast before the United Nations General Assembly, Bolsonaro said he would only decide whether to vaccinate “after everyone in Brazil has been vaccinated” – an uncompromising voice as the General Assembly this year on immunizations around the world. insists on raising the rates. , cajoling rich countries to share more doses with poorer ones.

On Tuesday, Brazilian Health Minister Marcelo Quiroga, part of Bolsonaro’s delegation in New York City, tested positive for Covid-19. He had earlier said that he had been vaccinated against the Chinese-made CoronaVac vaccine.

you asked We answered.

Q: Countries around the world are starting to consider booster shots. But who should have them, and why do we need them?

a: Vaccine Advisor to the US Food and Drug Administration The agency has declined to recommend approving a COVID-19 booster dose for all people who were vaccinated six months or more ago. However, he recommended a more limited step: emergency use authorization for people age 65 and older, and for those at high risk of serious infection.
US health officials explain the decision, saying joint statement That the COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the US are “remarkably effective in reducing the risk of serious illness, hospitalization, and death, even against the widely circulating delta variant.” But he said available data shows that protection against COVID-19 tends to diminish over time, especially for people at high risk who were vaccinated during the earlier phases of the rollout.

“For this reason, we conclude that a booster shot will be needed to maximize vaccine-induced protection and prolong its durability,” he said.

Officials also said booster shots would be needed for those who received Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Vaccine And were expecting more data in the coming weeks. J&J said on Tuesday that the two-dose version of its coronavirus vaccine provides 94% protection against symptomatic infection – making the two-dose dose of J&J’s Janssen vaccine the equivalent of Moderna’s or Pfizer’s two-dose dose. Is.
send your questions here. Are you a health care worker fighting COVID-19? Message us on WhatsApp about the challenges you are facing: +1 347-322-0415.

reading of the week

What America’s plan to ease travel restrictions means to you

The United States plans to ease travel restrictions on all fully vaccinated foreign visitors starting in November, the White House said on Monday, relaxing a patchwork of restrictions that are beginning to spark fury in Europe. and replaced them with more similar requirements for inbound international air passengers.

NS new rules White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Gents said all foreign nationals arriving in the United States would be required to show proof of vaccination. The lifting of blanket restrictions on travel from some countries to the United States would be welcome news for the thousands of foreign nationals with families in the United States who have been isolated for almost the entire pandemic.
marnie hunter looks at what the changes mean for travelers, who will be able to enter the US more easily and whose travel just got tougher.

These countries are adopting “living with kovid” model

After months of lockdown, parts of Southeast Asia are moving towards living with the virus – despite warnings from experts that it may be too early to do so. Covid-19 swept across the region this summer, fueled by the highly contagious Delta variant, with cases climbing sharply in July and peaking in most countries by August. Now, governments including Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam are looking to revive their economies – especially the important tourism industry – by reopening borders and public spaces. But experts worry that low vaccination rates in much of the region, and widespread use of low-effectiveness vaccines, including China’s Sinovac, could be catastrophic, write Jesse Young and Ben Westcott.
Other countries have already adopted the “living with Covid” model. Some have adequate vaccination rates, while others have decided that the costs of continued economic and social sanctions outweigh the benefits. Laura Smith-Spark Looks at the strategies of five countries easing sanctions.

A 4-year-old sheds light on the human cost of China’s zero-Covid policy

A picture of a young child covered head-to-toe in a white hazmat suit went viral on Chinese social media last week with a bag half the size of his body and walking alone in a hospital aisle.

The clip serves as a stark reminder of the human cost of China’s zero-Covid policy, which has helped the country avert several resurgences of the virus, Nectar Gan and Steve George Write. The elimination playbook includes placing entire neighborhoods under lockdown, testing millions of residents in a matter of days, and rapidly isolating infected people and their close contacts in designated facilities.

In the city of Putian, the epicenter of China’s latest delta version of the outbreak, strict measures have been imposed on school children – among whom the infection was first detected before the rapid spread. According to local officials, 57 of the 129 recently reported cases of Putin are under the age of 12. To prevent further transmission, infected children of kindergarten age are separated from their parents and isolated in hospital.

top tip

Have an open conversation with your children about vaccines.

On Monday morning, Pfizer announced that its COVID-19 vaccine is safe for children ages 5 to 11 and has resulted in a strong antibody response. It was news that many parents have been eagerly waiting for, but kids can still be nervous about getting the shot.

Granthshala’s Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta asked elementary students in Atlanta questions about the vaccine. “Is this really going to help protect us?” A boy of fifth grade asked. Gupta explained that this would not only help in keeping the children safe, but would also safeguard the safety of others, including their vulnerable or elderly family members. Watch the full clip for more tips on how to talk to your kids about getting vaccinated.
And, for parents wondering when COVID-19 shots might be available for young children, Granthshala Medical Analyst Doctor. lena veno There are some answers.

listen to our podcast

Kovid-19 taught the world a hard lesson: If we are not prepared for the viral threat, the consequences can be dire. But what does it really mean to be ready? The question becomes more urgent now that public health officials have warned that many of us could experience another pandemic in our lifetimes. Dr. Sanjay Gupta turns to former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb, who anticipated our current crisis, for specific recommendations on how to prevent the next one. listen to that episode here.

Granthshala’s Isabel Jani-Friend contributed to this report.

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