Letters: Texans need to vaccinate
Tdap vaccinations, basic vaccinations that protect Texas kindergarteners against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, are down by 3%. But parents need the facts about the power of vaccines to protect their kids. Today, outbreaks of measles, meningitis and pertussis occur so much more infrequently because of wellness vaccines, including “back to school” vaccines. Some people purport to have full faith that “God will provide.” Yet many believe they need all manner of firearms to protect themselves. Demand picks up after pandemic, prices go up.myrgv.com
Gangs strangle Haiti's capital as deaths, kidnappings soar
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — It was about 6 a.m. when Venique Moïse flung open the door of her house and saw dozens of people running — their children in one hand and scant belongings in the other — as gunfire intensified. Minutes later, she joined the crowd with her three kids and fled their neighborhood in Haiti’s capital as fires burned nearby, collapsing homes where hours later the bodies of nearly 200 men, women and children shot or mutilated with machetes by warring gangs were found alongside skulls and bones of victims set ablaze in late April. Gangs are fighting each other and seizing territory in the capital of Port-au-Prince with a new intensity and brutality.news.yahoo.com
East and Horn of Africa prep for worst drought in decades
Agricultural workers in the east and Horn of Africa are preparing for their most severe drought in forty years, as authorities warn that higher temperatures and less than normal rainfall was recorded by weather agencies in March and April this year.
Kim orders tougher virus steps after N. Korea shuns vaccines
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ordered officials to wage a tougher epidemic prevention campaign in “our style” after he turned down some foreign COVID-19 vaccines offered via the U.N.-backed immunization program. During a Politburo meeting Thursday, Kim said officials must “bear in mind that tightening epidemic prevention is the task of paramount importance which must not be loosened even a moment,” the official Korean Central News Agency reported Friday. While stressing the need for material and technical means of virus prevention and increasing health workers' qualifications, Kim also called for “further rounding off our style epidemic prevention system,” KCNA said.news.yahoo.com
Report: Gang violence displaces thousands in Haiti's capital
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Escalating gang violence has pushed nearly 8,500 women and children from their homes in Haiti’s capital in the past two weeks, according to a UNICEF report. Officials say the gangs' fight over territory in Port-au-Prince has forced hundreds of families to abandon burned or ransacked homes in impoverished communities, with many of them staying in gymnasiums and other temporary shelters that are running out of water, food and items like blankets and clothes. Bruno Maes, Haiti’s representative for the U.N.’s children agency that issued the report late Monday, compared the effect to guerrilla warfare, “with thousands of children and women caught in the crossfire.”news.yahoo.com
U.S. and other wealthy countries confronted by calls for larger effort in global vaccine exports
President Joe Biden's plan to share an additional 20 million COVID-19 vaccine doses overseas brings the U.S. total exports to 80 million. But experts and some policymakers say it's not enough. Driving the news: The world has reached a situation of "vaccine apartheid", World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday, saying "the big problem is a lack of sharing."Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with Axios Markets. Subscribe for freeThe big picture: The low U.S. export numbers were at first defended as a strategy to ensure Americans are vaccinated first. But now the administration is being confronted by calls for a stronger involvement of vaccine diplomacy as domestic demand diminishes.80 million doses is a "drop in the bucket," and the U.S. should pledge to manufacture and export 4-to-5-billion doses by the end of the year, Peter Hotez, professor of pediatrics and dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, told CNN. G7 countries and the European Union can afford to donate more than 150 million vaccines to countries in need without compromising their own goals, UNICEF said on Monday.By the numbers: The U.S. has received more than four dozen requests for vaccine donations from countries across the world. China and Russia have exported larger shares of its vaccine production than the U.S., an analysis from Airfinity shows.China has shipped 252 million doses overseas, or 42% of its total production. The European Union has exported 111 million doses — more than a third of its total. Still, the announcement of 60 million doses was already a major boost to the severely strained global supply, Axios' Dave Lawler notes, considering the COVAX initiative has distributed about 45 million doses globally.Some Republicans — and Democrats — have become increasingly vocal in the U.S.’s vaccine diplomacy efforts, highlighting concerns lower-income countries are looking to U.S. competitors Russia and China for doses. "The U.S. should set a goal of vaccinating more than one billion people around the world by Thanksgiving—and without dumping intellectual property," Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) writes in a Monday op-ed to WSJ. Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) tweeted: "I’m glad that @POTUS has answered my calls to distribute extra U.S. COVID vaccines to our allies across the globe. As the Administration crafts its excess vaccine distribution plan, I again urge them to consider the people of Venezuela and the Bahamas."What to watch: The administration has yet to announce how the doses will be shared or which countries will receive them.Like this article? Get more from Axios and subscribe to Axios Markets for free.news.yahoo.com
Nigeria receives nearly 4 million vaccines from COVAX
COVID-19 vaccines are offloaded from a plane at Lagos airport, Tuesday March 2, 2021. Nigeria received vaccines acquired through the United Nations-backed COVAX initiative with a delivery of the AstraZeneca vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India. With more than 150,000 Nigerians infected with the virus and over 1,800 lives lost, the path to recovery for the people of Nigeria can finally begin,” said Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Nigeria Country Representative. “This is a very significant occasion -- the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccines into Nigeria is critical in curbing the pandemic. Nigeria is among 92 countries worldwide that will receive vaccines for free through the COVAX initiative.
US is 'gravely concerned' by reports of abuses in Ethiopia
Manuel Fontaine, UNICEF Director of the Office of Emergency Programmes, center, visits internally-displaced people in Adigrat Town, in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. Accounts of atrocities by Ethiopian and allied forces against residents of the country's northern region of Tigray were detailed in reports by The Associated Press and by Amnesty International. We are also deeply concerned by the worsening humanitarian crisis,” said Blinken in a statement issued Saturday. AdThose responsible for abuses in Tigray must be held accountable, Blinken added, calling for an independent, international investigation into the reports of human rights violations. The U.S. urged the immediate withdrawal from Tigray of troops from the neighboring country of Eritrea and from Amhara, the Ethiopian region bordering Tigray.
Ghana 1st nation to receive coronavirus vaccines from COVAX
This photograph released by UNICEF Wednesday Feb. 24, 2021, shows the first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines distributed by the COVAX Facility arriving at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra, Ghana. Ghana has become the first country in the world to receive vaccines acquired through the United Nations-backed COVAX initiative with a delivery of 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India. Ghana is among 92 countries that will receive vaccines for free through the initiative, which is led by the WHO; Gavi, a vaccine group; and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations. Neighboring Ivory Coast will be the next to receive vaccines, and also will roll them out starting next week. Even as it celebrated receiving the first doses, Ghana noted the long road ahead.
The Latest: India finds new cases of a coronavirus variant
(AP Photo/Channi Anand)NEW DELHI — Health officials in India say cases of the coronavirus variant first detected in South Africa and Brazil have been found in India. Over 150 cases of another variant first detected in the United Kingdom have previously been found in India. ___SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea is reporting 621 new coronavirus cases. State health officials on Tuesday reported 1,132 new COVID-19 cases and three additional deaths. Spain has officially reported more than 3 million virus cases -- just over 6% of the population -- and attributed more than 65,400 deaths to the virus.
Alarm as Ethiopia returns refugees who fled Tigray fighting
Tigray refugee children sing and dance inside a tent run by UNICEF for children's activities, in Umm Rakouba refugee camp in Qadarif, eastern Sudan, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020. The U.N, refugee agency said it hadn't been informed in advance of the Eritrean refugees' return. Aid groups say thousands of Eritrean refugees had fled to Addis Ababa and the Tigray capital, Mekele. It was not clear where, but the group also supports the Eritrean refugees. Tigray remains largely sealed off from the world five weeks after fighting erupted between Ethiopia’s government and the Tigray one following a months-long power struggle.
2 million stillbirths every year, pandemic might worsen toll
(AP) – The World Health Organization, UNICEF and partners said there are about 2 million stillbirths every year, mostly in the developing world, according to the first-ever global estimates published Thursday. The U.N. health agency said that last year three of every four stillbirths occurred in sub-Saharan Africa or Southern Asia. The report warned that the coronavirus pandemic could worsen the global toll, estimating that a 50% reduction in health services during the pandemic could result in an additional 200,000 stillbirths in the next year in 117 developing countries. About half of stillbirths in sub-Saharan Africa and central Asia occur during labour, versus about 6% in Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand. For example, in Canada, the report found that Inuit women suffer stillbirth rates nearly three times higher than the rest of Canada.
‘There was no such a thing as remote learning’ for at least 463 million children, UNICEF official says
At least a third of children couldn’t access remote learning when the COVID-19 pandemic closed schools, creating “a global education emergency,” the U.N. children’s agency said. At the height of lockdowns meant to curb the pandemic, nearly 1.5 billion children were affected by school closures, UNICEF said. “For at least 463 million children whose schools closed due to COVID-19, there was no such a thing as remote learning,” UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said. The highest number of children affection by region were in South Asia, at least 147 million, according to the report. The youngest children are also most likely to miss out on remote learning during critical years, the report said, largely due to challenges and limitations to online learning for young children and lack of assets at home.
Smile!: Katy Perry gives birth to a baby girl named Daisy
Katy Perry has given birth to a baby girl named Daisy Dove Bloom. The pop superstar and her partner, actor Orlando Bloom, got UNICEF to announce the news on its Instagram account. Both Perry and Bloom are goodwill ambassadors for the United Nations agency that helps children. The baby is Perrys first. Bloom and his former wife, Miranda Kerr, have a son, Flynn, who was born in 2011.
UNICEF: Millions of Yemeni children may starve amid pandemic
The U.N. childrens agency says that millions of Yemeni children could be pushed to the brink of starvation as the coronavirus pandemic sweeps across the war-torn Arab country amid a huge drop in humanitarian aid funding. UNICEF on Friday, June 26, 2020 released a new report, Yemen five years on: Children, conflict and COVID-19. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed, File)CAIRO Millions of children could be pushed to the brink of starvation as the coronavirus pandemic sweeps across war-torn Yemen amid a "huge" drop in humanitarian aid funding, the U.N. childrens agency warned Friday. International relief agencies are alarmed by the significant decline in humanitarian funding promised earlier by donor countries. Around 9.6 million children do not have sufficient access to safe water, sanitation, or hygiene and two-thirds of the countrys roughly 30 million people rely on food assistance.