Countries urge drug companies to share vaccine know-how
But that knowledge belongs to the large pharmaceutical companies who have produced the first three vaccines authorized by countries including Britain, the European Union and the U.S. — Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca. AdThe deal-by-deal approach also means that some poorer countries end up paying more for the same vaccine than richer countries. AstraZeneca said the price of the vaccine will differ depending on local production costs and how much countries order. Pharmaceutical companies say instead of lifting IP restrictions, rich countries should simply give more vaccines to poorer countries through COVAX, the public-private initiative WHO helped create for more equitable vaccine distribution. “People are literally dying because we cannot agree on intellectual property rights,” said Mustaqeem De Gama, a South African diplomat involved in the WTO discussions.
WHO says Moderna vaccine is ‘not recommended’ for pregnant women
In a status report released Tuesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) advised against pregnant women receiving Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine. WHO officials are recommending that pregnant women not get the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine unless they face a high risk of exposure, such as health workers. “While pregnancy puts women at a higher risk of severe COVID-19, the use of this vaccine in pregnant women is currently not recommended, unless they are at risk of high exposure,” the official WHO status report reads. The organization provided no further details in regards to their recommendation against pregnant women receiving the vaccine. According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are limited data available on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines for pregnant women.
EXPLAINER: Scientists trying to understand new virus variant
Scientists say there is reason for concern and more to learn but that the new variants should not cause alarm. Worry has been growing since before Christmas, when Britain’s prime minister said the coronavirus variant seemed to spread more easily than earlier ones and was moving rapidly through England. A: New variants have been seen almost since the virus was first detected in China nearly a year ago. Scientists are still working to confirm whether the variant in England spreads more easily, but they are finding some evidence that it does. A: Scientists believe current vaccines will still be effective against the variant, but they are working to confirm that.
Lesson not learned: Europe unprepared as 2nd virus wave hits
Europes second wave of coronavirus infections has struck well before flu season even started. Spain this week declared a state of emergency for Madrid amid increasing tensions between local and national authorities over virus containment measures. “I have to say clearly that the situation is not good," the Czech interior minister, Jan Hamacek, acknowledged this week. “We are in the fall wave without having resolved the summer wave,” she told an online forum this week. Half of Campania’s 100 ICU virus beds are now in use.
WHO experts to visit China as part of COVID-19 investigation
BEIJING Two World Health Organization experts will spend the next two days in the Chinese capital to lay the groundwork for a larger mission to investigate the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 120 nations called for an investigation into the origins of the virus at the World Health Assembly in May. China has insisted that WHO lead the investigation and for it to wait until the pandemic is brought under control. The last WHO coronavirus-specific mission to China was in February, after which the teams leader, Canadian doctor Bruce Aylward, praised Chinas containment efforts and information-sharing. An Associated Press investigation showed that In January, WHO officials were privately frustrated over the lack of transparency and access in China, according to internal audio recordings.
World Health Organization weighs in on facts, myths about COVID-19
There is a lot of information coming out each day about the novel coronavirus COVID-19, but amid the pandemic, there are also a lot of myths. The World Health Organization is setting straight some invalid things you might have seen or heard about COVID-19. There are no specific medicines to prevent or treat the COVID-19 virus. COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in hot and humid climates. This specific virus, because it’s so new and different, will need its own vaccine.
What does COVID-19 stand for, anyway? A complete coronavirus glossary
Does anyone else feel like we’re in the midst of some pretty unsettling times? Even if you’re trying to keep a level head about where things stand with the coronavirus pandemic, it’s easy to turn on the TV or open social media and start to feel pretty overwhelmed, pretty quickly. For some, you can’t go out to eat, you’re now working from home and your kids aren’t even going to school. And with that, we thought we’d provide the following playbook. Yes, there is some science jargon involved here, but we tried to break it down for you in a way that’s easy to read and digestible.