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Weekly Roundups

COVID-19 Vaccine Patents Under the Spotlight

By Miriam Bello | Thu, 05/06/2021 - 15:20

For vaccination to move forward, leaders across the globe have proposed a vaccine patent waive, with the US stating that “unprecedented times require unprecedented actions.” While the subject is sorted, Mexico continues its COVID-19 vaccination campaign and begins clinical trials for another watershed vaccine.

Find out more on The Week in Health!

COVID-19 Vaccination and Local Outbreak

-Pfizer began exporting COVID-19 vaccines to Mexico. It is the first time that the pharmaceutical company has made foreign deliveries from its facilities in the US. This was only possible because restrictions imposed by former US President Donald Trump’s administration expired at the end of March, Reuters reported.

-Mexico detected the first case of the Indian variant of COVID-19 in San Luis Potosi in a 40-year-old person who is already being cared for and remains in isolation. The Ministry of Health has stated that this is no reason for concern as the variant alone did not cause the massive COVID-19 outbreak that India is currently facing.

-Vaccination for people between 50-59 years old has begun in some parts of Mexico. This phase is being carried out alongside the vaccination of educational staff.

A Potential HIV Vaccine

-Mexico will join phase 3 clinical trials to evaluate the efficacy of an experimental HIV vaccine. The study, named Mosaico, will test whether the first HIV vaccine developed in the 40 years of the epidemic is able to prevent infection.

COVID-19 Vaccine Patents

-The WTO is proposing temporary patent waiving on COVID-19 vaccines in order to improve global vaccination. The initiative has been supported by the US, which was the first country to vocally express its will to join. Moreover, this was also a campaign promise of US President Joe Biden, a move that at the time was harshly criticized by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. France has also spoke in favor of the decision while the rest of the EU countries have expressed their openness to discuss the matter. According to a BBC report, pharmaceutical companies have called the decision by the US to back the sharing of IP for vaccinations short-sighted, citing a lack of understanding of the production process, particularly in the case of the new breed of mRNA vaccines –such as Pfizer and Moderna’s–.

Women in healthcare

-Belén Garijo has been named as CEO of Merck Group. She is the first female CEO of the multinational pharmaceutical. Her job has been praised for her success in leading the areas of oncology, immunology and immuno-oncology. Garijo repositioned Merck’s portfolio, reorganized its R&D lines and realigned the pharmaceutical’s commercial model. In addition, she forged two major global alliances that further contributed to the value of Merck’s healthcare portfolio.

J&J Vaccine out of Denmark

-Denmark has rejected the use of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine citing its “severe secondary effects.” This is the second time the country turns down a COVID-19 vaccine for the same reason, the first one being AstraZeneca’s back in April. 

Enhancing Healthcare Access

-This week, MBN shared the input of Fernando Cruz, Country President and Head of Corporate Affairs and Communication of Novartis Group Mexico. He spoke about the company’s actions to enhance medicine access in Mexico, which has placed the company as a leader in permeating innovation.

-Shared knowledge is healthcare most valuable asset to have strong, effective systems. José Solís-Padilla, Senior Administrator for International Business Development at Mayo Clinic, explained to MBN how one of the most important global healthcare centers has achieved excellence on performance and a leadership position on the industry.

Looking Ahead

-Mexico’s reopening marked the beginning of an economic recovery. Medical devices and pharmaceutical production in particular will play a role helping the country transition towards the new normal. What is the role of the Mexican health industry on this reactivation efforts?

Photo by:   Mat Napo on Unsplash
Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Journalist and Industry Analyst