Weekly Roundups

Vaccination Campaigns Advance Amid Controversies

By Miriam Bello | Thu, 05/20/2021 - 14:14

Controversy continues surrounding vaccination campaigns and developments, while vaccine tourism and the vaccination of educational staff remain in the spotlight. Also concerning is the growing black market for vaccines.

This and more on the week in health!

National Vaccination Campaigns

-Liomont laboratories just delivered the first set of vaccines packaged in Mexico. This is the result of AstraZeneca’s agreement to manufacture the doses in Argentina and package them in Mexico. The doses are to be distributed in Mexico and exported to comply with AstraZeneca’s global contracts.

Alfredo Rimoch, Director General of Liomont, explained that AstraZeneca will supervise the first four lots, each of them to include between 970,000 and 1 million vaccines.

-President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said that all Mexicans would be vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 2021. To fulfill this promise, López Obrador said that the government would be opening more vaccination centers and training more staff.

-Mexico City is less than a month away from resuming in-person classes, said Governor Claudia Sheinbaum. Classes will resume on June 7, said Sheinbaum, on a voluntary basis. So far, Mexico City is on the third vaccination phase after fully vaccinating medical staff from the public healthcare sector and distributing at least one dose to adults over 60. The city is currently immunizing adults over 50.

Global vaccination progress

-The ongoing debate on patent waiving was rekindled after WTC’s President Ngoni Okonjo-Iweala warned that current measures will not be enough to close the inequality access gap. Okonjo-Iweala recommended a “holistic approach” to end the “vaccine apartheid.”

-COVID-19 variants have raised many concerns about vaccine effectiveness. But WHO stated that all approved vaccines are effective against the diverse variants. However, the organization did ask for prudence and calm as “the pandemic is still not over.”

-WHO continues to urge countries to donate vaccines to the COVAX initiative instead of vaccinating their youth. “In a handful of rich countries, which bought the majority of the vaccine supply, lower-risk groups are now being vaccinated,” said Tedros Adhanom, Director-General of the WHO. “I understand why some countries want to vaccinate their children and adolescents, but right now I urge them to reconsider and to instead donate vaccines to COVAX.”

-The US Center to Counter Digital Hate identified the anti-vaccine activists responsible for sharing 65 percent of misleading content about the COVID-19 vaccines on Facebook and Twitter. In total, the center identified 812,000 posts from this group in just a two-month period during 2021. While these social media companies have imposed control mechanism to track and stop fake news from spreading, the mechanisms have failed to be effective.

-The Sputnik Light vaccine, of a single dose, has been approved to be used in Mexico and Nicaragua. According to Russian Officials, this vaccine is 79.4 percent effective against COVID-19 infections.

-India’s ongoing COVID-19 crisis continues to register the highest death tolls on a single day. Also, cases rates are increasing while Prime Minister Narendra Modi faces severe criticism for his administration management of the pandemic.

-US President Joe Biden will send 20 million vaccine doses to foreign countries from companies Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, in addition to his earlier promise to share 60 million AstraZeneca doses.

-After severe controversy surrounding the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, countries in the EU such as Spain have decided to give the Pfizer vaccine as a second dose to those who initially received the AstraZeneca jab. This move came after some raised concerns of blood cloths supposedly linked to the vaccine.

Other news

-The wound and ostomy recovery process requires patient engagement to have a successful outcome. Lean how ConvaTec developed and shared an educational approach to empower patients during their recovery process.

Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Journalist and Industry Analyst