Image credits: Fusion Medical Animation on Unsplash
/
Weekly Roundups

Was the COVID-19 Pandemic Preventable? WHO Explains

By Miriam Bello | Thu, 05/13/2021 - 15:08

In Mexico, vaccination of 50–59 year-olds, pregnant women and educational staff move forward as the US begins vaccinating children and adolescents. Meanwhile, WHO reports that the COVID-19 pandemic could have been prevented and has been mismanaged.

May is Mental Health Awareness month. Find out the importance of awareness and how tech is acting as an ally in addressing diverse mental issues.

This and more on The Week in Health!

Back to School is Finally Happening

-Veracruz Governor Cuitláhuac García said that the state will return to in-person classes in a staggered and voluntary manner as of May 24. Coahuila, Chiapas, Nayarit, Tamaulipas and Veracruz will return to in-person classes in the coming weeks, reported the Ministry of Public Education (SEP). The advance of vaccination among teaching staff will allow Coahuila to send students back to the classroom starting on May 17. The other four states will do so on May 24.

What Happened with the COVID-19 Third Wave?

-After spring break, national concerns over a third COVID-19 wave intensified, however the wave never appeared. What are the reasons behind this positive, yet unexpected change? Read this article to find out more.

Vaccination Options Keep Arising

-Russia requested authorization for the emergency use of its Sputnik vaccine in Mexico. This is a single dose vaccine that showed an efficacy of almost 80 percent, according to the Fund for Direct Investments of Russia (FIDR).

An Allowed Pandemic?

-A WHO review panel revealed that the COVID-19 pandemic was preventable. Moreover, the crisis was mismanaged by global governments and the organization itself. The comments came after the release of the “COVID-19: Make it the Last Pandemic” report made by the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response. The report concluded that WHO waited too long to declare COVID-19 a public health emergency of international concern. It detailed that countries let February pass, which worsened the spread of the virus. "The combination of poor strategic choices, unwillingness to tackle inequalities, and an uncoordinated system created a toxic cocktail which allowed the pandemic to turn into a catastrophic human crisis," said WHO.

Experts Explain

-During the pandemic, supply chain disruption has been a reality, for the pharmaceutical industry, this needs urgent addressing. Read our interview with Américo García, Director General of Mexico and Latin America of Apotex, for his input on a vertical supply chain integration.

-Public-private collaboration can improve Mexico’s health system. Patrick Devlyn, President of CCE, shared the essential actions to be done to spur health access through these joint efforts.

Other news

-After a virtual reunion with US Vice President Kamala Harris, President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador confirmed that the US is willing to send doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to Mexico. The US is currently not using this vaccine as it is undergoing a further approval process by the FDA. Mexico, however, has approved and applied this vaccine during immunization campaigns.

-This week, Mexico celebrated Mother’s Day but the country still to address its high maternal mortality rates, which worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic. Find more about the subject here.

-The US began vaccinating adolescents and children of 12-15 years old (which represent 17 million people). The announcement came after Pfizer and BioNTech revealed that their vaccine is safe and effective on this group of the population.

-Cuba begins vaccination campaigns against COVID-19. The country has reportedly developed five vaccines but it is using only during this first phase. The antigen-based development is called Abdala, which has already been applied to 70,000 people.

Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Journalist and Industry Analyst