World Greta Thunberg joins fight for coronavirus vaccine equity
Australia needs to rethink its Covid-19 vaccine rollout, doctor says
Epidemiologist professor Nancy Baxter says the Federal Government won't reach its target to have the entire population vaccinated by the end of the year if they continue on the current trajectory. 'We need to do it faster than we were hoping before, if we're hoping to get everyone vaccinated by the end of the year,' she told Weekend Today. Her doubts come after several setbacks to the vaccine program, which include a delayed rollout and advice, from the country's chief immunisation authority, against the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg has urged governments, vaccine developers and the world to “step up their game” to fight vaccine inequity after the richest countries snatched up most COVID-19 vaccine doses and those in poorer nations have gone lacking.
Her comments on Monday came as the World Health Organization announced 5.2 million new confirmed virus cases during the latest week, the largest weekly count yet, according to the UN health agency.
It’s Not Over for the J&J Vaccine
A pause is just that—a pause—in which health officials can reevaluate the data at hand.Experts haven’t yet conclusively determined whether J&J’s vaccine is directly causing these strange clots, or how frequently the condition might be occurring, because they’re relying largely on people reporting their health conditions to federal agencies. Roughly 7 million doses of the vaccine have been administered so far in the United States; among them were about 1 million women under the age of 50. “I think it’s reasonable to say it is a rare event, but I don’t think we should go into false precision in this kind of situation,” Saad Omer, a vaccine expert at Yale, told me.
The Swedish teen who inspired the “Fridays for Future” climate change movement chipped in 100,000 euros ($120,000) from her charitable foundation to the WHO Foundation to help buy COVID-19 vaccines for countries where they are needed – especially in poor countries.
“It is completely unethical that high-income countries are now vaccinating young and healthy people if that happens at the expense of people in risk groups and on the front lines in low- and middle-income countries,” said Thunberg, who was invited as a guest for a WHO briefing.
While Thunberg hailed the development of COVID-19 vaccines in “record time,” she cited estimates that one in four people in high-income countries have received them so far, while only one in 500 in middle- and lower-income countries have.
Hispanics are being vaccinated at lower rates nationwide. Nevada is trying to change that.
Access barriers have created a Hispanic vaccination gap.Hispanics in Nevada had already suffered disproportionately from the virus: They are more likely to test positive for Covid-19 than any other ethnic or racial group in the state and have experienced high levels of unemployment as the state’s tourism-reliant economy was shut down.
“The international community, governments and vaccine developers must step up their game and address the tragedy that is vaccine inequity,” she said.
“Just with the climate crisis, those who are the most vulnerable need to be prioritised and global problems require global solutions.”
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said new COVID-19 cases rose for an eighth straight week around the globe and deaths have risen for a fifth straight week.
“We have the tools to bring this pandemic under control in a matter of months, if we apply them consistently and equitably,” he said.
However, he also expressed concern about the “alarming rate” at which COVID-19 is spreading in those aged 25-59 worldwide, possibly due to much more contagious variants.
“It took nine months to reach one million deaths; four months to reach two million, and three months to reach three million.”
Got a COVID vaccine question? Ask our medical experts in the ABC coronavirus blog
To bring you up to speed, here's a rundown of common COVID vaccines and where they fit into Australia's vaccination rollout.Associate professor Hassan Vally from La Trobe University and the ABC's national medical reporter Sophie Scott will be answering questions in the COVID blog from 11:00am AEST.
The global death toll from COVID-19 passed three million last week and more than 141 million have been infected, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University, but experts have said both numbers understate the true toll of the pandemic.
Thunberg drew a direct link between the pandemic and the environmental destruction that she said made it much easier for dangerous viruses to leap from animal populations to humans.
“Science shows we will experience more frequent, devastating pandemics unless we drastically change our ways and the ways we treat nature … We are creating ideal conditions for diseases to spill over from one animal to another and to us,” she said.
A leading WHO epidemiologist, Maria van Kerkhove, told the same briefing that the latest surge in COVID-19 infections worldwide included increases among age groups previously less affected by the pandemic.
“We are seeing increased rates of transmission across all age groups,” she said. “We are seeing a slight age shift in some countries, driven by social mixing,” she added.
Inside the Warped World of COVID Vaccine Death-Hunters .
As soon as the United States authorized the use of the first COVID-19 vaccine in mid-December, a small but vocal group of skeptics and conspiracy theorists, baselessly convinced that the jabs were lethal, started hunting for dead people. At first their efforts were relatively small-bore and haphazard—although far from innocuous. But as the scale and sophistication of America’s vaccine rollout have exponentially ramped up over the last three months, so have efforts to hunt down alleged vaccine fatalities.