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Weekly Roundups

Diplomacy Can Also Solve A Health Crisis

By Miriam Bello | Thu, 04/29/2021 - 13:53

COVID-19 is here to stay but the healthcare sector continues to fight. This week, the sector demonstrated that global collaboration will rise up to the challenge and protect the health of all people. In Mexico, vaccination campaigns have met their first goal: to apply at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of April to everyone over 60 years old. However, vaccination is still pending for essential groups such as medical professionals working in the private sector.

Despite the enormous challenge of COVID-19, Mexico has also advanced in expanding women’s health rights.

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Vaccination Campaigns

-Vaccination for people aged 50 to 59 years will start the first week of May, announced Mexico’s National Center for Preventive Programs and Disease Control (CENAPRECE).

Vaccination for medical professionals working in the private sector is still lagging, however. Find out the government’s approach to vaccinate PAMO’s doctors’ on our interview with Santiago González, Operations Director of Farmacias YZA.

Vaccine Diplomacy

-The US announced that it will ship 60 million AstraZeneca vaccines to other countries. The shipment will begin after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorizes its emergency use in the coming weeks.

-Mexico’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marcelo Ebrard, visited Russia this week to strengthen collateral relations between both countries. The agenda included vaccine collaboration and both countries agreed that Mexico would bottle Sputnik V vaccines starting in May.

-Vaccine tourism has become a reality between Mexico and the US, as Mexicans are flying to the US to get vaccinated against COVID-19. To date, Mexico has vaccinated around 4 percent of its population, whereas the US has vaccinated 30 percent.

-WHO is asking people around the world to donate US$7 per vaccine dose through an online platform in order to support the COVAX mechanism on vaccine distribution. The platform will be available first in the UK, US, Israel and Kenia.

Oxygen Shortages

-Current oxygen shortages led Argentina to cancel its export. Carla Vizzotti, Minister of Health of Argentina, said the country will prioritize local supply of this vital resource as it faces a serious state of emergency after a second COVID-19 wave. Argentina’s current oxygen demand is two-three times higher than at its highest peak last year.

-India began facing oxygen shortages this month as it deals with its deathliest COVID-19 crisis. India is currently experiencing its second COVID-19 wave, which caused the highest death toll the country has seen and the largest number of daily cases. COVID-19 deaths in India now represent almost half of global deaths from the virus. The country went from a 3 percent contagion rate to 36 percent in less than a month, with 300,000 official infections per day. Moreover, an Indian variant has been identified as more contagious and fatal than regular COVID-19. As a result, hospitals are overflowing, supplies are scarce and people are dying on the streets.

The situation also reshaped India’s exports plans regarding COVID-19 vaccines. The country’s largest vaccine manufacturer temporary cancelled vaccine exports to supply local demand first. With a 10 percent advancement in its vaccination campaign, India plans so accelerate vaccination in order to prevent the COVID-19 variant to escalate and undermine vaccines’ effectiveness. Consequently, this devastating crisis has delayed the delivery on 90 million doses to underdeveloped and developing countries, which were part of the COVAX initiative.

To support India during this crisis, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador indicated that Mexico would be canceling an order of vaccines from the South Asian country.

Menstruation is a Health Right

-The Chamber of Deputies approved the Dignified Menstruation (Menstruacion Digna) ruling, which seeks to facilitate free access to menstrual management products in basic and upper secondary public schools. Now, the initiative must be discussed in the Senate.

Abortion Has a Public Health Matter

-In Ecuador has now decriminalized abortion in cases of rape. The country’s previous abortion law only allowed the procedure when the pregnancy resulted from a sexual assault on a woman with a mental disability.

A Neglected Pharmaceutical Concern

-Nitrosamine has become a throbbing concern for pharmaceutical companies after its cancerogenic components drove the FDA and EMA to remove ranitidine from the market. While its presence its more prominent in foods and beverages, its occurrence in drugs has been deemed unacceptable. Read more about the subject on this article. 

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
MBN, NYT
Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Journalist and Industry Analyst