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Weekly Roundups

Global Inequality to Slow Down Vaccination Progress

By Miriam Bello | Thu, 02/04/2021 - 14:11

Social and economic inequality are national and global challenges to tackle for an effective vaccination campaign. Catch up with the latest news on vaccine advancements. The Week in Health is here!

National

-Preliminary data from INEGI shows a 40 percent increase in deaths related to cancer, diabetes, infarctions and pneumonia. Many patients in need of regular treatment stopped their doctor’s appointment due to the pandemic. However, a year into this crisis, the healthcare sector is already working on solutions to address this potentially long-term obstacle. Industry representatives talk about this issue and propose a new road for health provision.

-During the first half of the year, Mexico is set to receive 6.4 million COVID-19 vaccine doses from AstraZeneca-Oxford through the COVAX coalition.

-As a result of COVID-19 vaccine distribution delays, the Mexican Association of Pharmacovigilance estimated that vaccination for medical professionals will be completed by May. The government’s original plans set this date by February.

-Inequality has worsened as a result of the crisis generated by COVID-19. Graciela Teruel explains to MBN the future effects that this crisis can have on a society that has battled with inequality for decades.

-Mexico has released an online registration webpage for adults over 60 years old to receive the vaccine. While inconsistent, the government has said to be increasing the capacity of this platform. Here is the link to the registry

COVID-19 Vaccines’ Status

  • The AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine showed 76 percent protection efficacy during a 22-day period after the first dose. Moreover, the vaccine results demonstrated that it reduces transmission by 67 percent.
  • Novavax reported its vaccine was 89 percent effective against COVID-19 in Phase 3 trials in the UK. However, the efficacy was 60 percent in South Africa, where most cases of the South African variant of the virus are found.
  • Johnson & Johnson announced that its single-dose vaccine was 66 percent effective in preventing moderate and severe COVID-19 infections during Phase 3 clinical trials. During Mexico Health Summit, hosted last week, Mario Sturion, Managing Director of Janssen Mexico, detailed the steps taken for the country to secure access to this vaccine.
  • The Russian Sputnik V vaccine is 91.6 percent effective against symptomatic COVID-19, according to an interim analysis of Phase 3 results published by The Lancet. Shortly after this announcement, Mexico approved the emergency use of this vaccine.
  • CureVac and GSK have allied to develop a messenger RNA vaccine targeting the emerging COVID-19 variants. According to their statement, the companies are investing US$180 million, hoping to have a concrete result by 2022.

International

-US President Joe Biden has said that illegal immigrants will have equal access to the COVID-19 vaccine. Biden has said that it is a “moral and public health imperative to ensure that all residents of the US have access to a vaccine.”

-China has said to be donating 10 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to developing countries through the COVAX coalition. This declaration came after WHO called on developed countries to “take action” on this task.

-After AstraZeneca-Oxford announced a delay in vaccine distribution, the EU pressured the alliance to restrict the mobilization of vaccines beyond EU countries. AstraZeneca’s production plants are located in Belgium and the Netherlands. Currently, Pfizer faces the same complications after announcing a delay due to an expansion at its facility in Belgium.  

-Israel heads the global vaccination efforts. To date, they country has vaccinated 36 percent of its population, while the US has vaccinated 8.5 percent of its population and Mexico 0.5 percent. This week, Israel announced the distribution of 5,000 doses to Palestinian frontline medical professionals. However, this action has been criticized by Human Rights Watch as insufficient and “falling short to the country’s obligations.”

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Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Journalist and Industry Analyst