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Weekly Roundups

Access to Innovation: Pandemic Dispute

By Miriam Bello | Thu, 02/25/2021 - 14:00

More states joined COVID-19 vaccination campaigns this week. To cover the demand, the government is receiving doses from the agreements it has established with developers already approved by COFEPRIS.

Find out more about global vaccination advances in the Week in Health!

NATIONAL

-Deputy Minister of Health, Hugo López-Gatell tested positive for COVID-19. During his public absence, vaccination campaigns have continued. The country is soon to reach the 2 million vaccination mark.

-This week, Mexico hosted Argentinian President Alberto Fernández, whose main goal was to ensure the strong commitment between the two countries and Fundación Slim to manufacture 250 million vaccine doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford join venture.

-During the week, Mexico received vaccines from: Pfizer (511,875 doses), Sinovac (200,000) and Russia’s Sputnik V (200,000).

-The Access to Medicine Index has revealed the advances from pharmaceutical companies to bring innovative drugs to low-income countries. Ten companies and their achievements were analyzed. Find out more in this article.

INTERNATIONAL

-New Zealand will provide free menstrual products in schools starting in June to eradicate menstrual poverty (the inability to purchase these products due to socioeconomic limitations) in the country.

-The US exceeded 500,000 deaths from COVID-19, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The figure is higher than the deaths in World War I, World War II and the Vietnam War combined.

-Germany approved three COVID-19 home tests. The companies behind these developments are Healgen Scientific, Xiamen Boson Biotech and Hangzhou Laihe Biotech. The country aims to begin mass testing to safely reactivate the economy and be able to fulfill the government’s promise of lifting lockdowns by Mar. 7, 2021. 

COVID-19 VACCINE

-The FDA announced that Johnson & Johnson's vaccine against COVID-19 is safe and 85 percent effective.

-As more countries begin vaccination, Pfizer and BioNTech launched a study in nine countries on the effects of their COVID-19 vaccine on pregnant women.

-Moderna expects to produce 700 million COVID-19 doses in 2021, hoping to raise US$18.4 billion for its production. As a secondary goal, Moderna expects to increase production and reach 1,000 million doses. The company began clinical trials of the vaccine against the COVID-19 South African variant, registered at the end of 2020.

-Israel is close to having half its population vaccinated against COVID-19. The country partnered with Pfizer and BioNTech for this mass vaccination campaign that has, so far, topped international charts. From its total population of 9.3 million, 6 million were eligible candidates to receive this specific vaccine. Early results of this campaign have showed the effectives of the vaccine in reducing infection risk by 92 percent. To further strengthen its universal vaccination goal, Israel’s parliament has authorized the Ministry of Health to reveal data from people who are not vaccinated yet.

-Ghana becomes the first country to receive COVID-19 vaccines from the COVAX mechanism. Controversy surrounding this initiative has surged after the Security Council meeting this week, where global leaders denounced a vaccine monopoly. Read our article to get all the details.

-Honduras has signed individual contracts with pharmaceutical companies to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine, as COVAX has delayed distribution times, which were supposed to begin in January for Latin America.

-Reuters has reported that a combination of the AstraZeneca/Oxford and the Sputnik V vaccines will begin in Ukraine. The aim is to determine if the efficiency of the doses can increase.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
El Economista, El Financiero, Reuters
Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Journalist and Industry Analyst