UK News Protesters call for AstraZeneca to share Covid vaccine technology
THIRD jab for ALL over-50s before winter
Early findings from trials have raised hopes in the UK Government that the two approaches can nullify the threat from existing and new variants, it is understood. It is also believed that only higher risk Britons such as those over 50 and those with underlying health conditions will need a third jab. One possible way of administering the jab would be alongside the annual flu jab, with separate injections given in each arm. A senior government minister said: 'We will have a lot to say about the booster programme soon. It's looking really positive so far.
Protesters demanding that AstraZeneca share its Covid-19 vaccine technology have held a loud demonstration outside the pharmaceutical firm’s Cambridge headquarters.
A protester, who held held a sign which read “human life not profit,” chained himself to a door while others climbed on to the roof of the entryway and unfurled a banner which read “people’s vaccine not profit vaccine”.
Supporters played drums during the protest organised by Global Justice Now, which is calling for the British-Swedish company to commit to sharing the technology with the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Two thirds of Black Caribbean Brits have had a vaccine, data shows
Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures released today show 66.8 per cent of black Caribbean people over 50 in England had a first dose between December 8 to April 12. For people identifying as black African the estimated rate is 71.2 per cent, with rates of 78.4 per cent and 86.9 per cent for people from Pakistani and Bangladeshi backgrounds, respectively. For comparison, the rate among white British adults was 93.7 per cent. The ONS report, which analysed data from 18.5million vaccinated people, also found uptake rates were lowest in people who had the poorest English skills.
Uniformed officers could be seen nearby.
Global Justice Now said the action, which coincided with AstraZeneca’s annual general meeting, also seeks to persuade Oxford University to make all of its future medical innovations open-licensed.
Oxford University and AstraZeneca have previously pledged to provide the vaccine at a not-for-profit basis across the world for the duration of the pandemic.
Nick Dearden, director of Global Justice Now, said: “Scientists at Oxford University, a publicly-funded institution, developed this lifesaving vaccine through a research and development process that was 97% publicly funded.
Vaccine rollout in N Ireland set for delay after AstraZeneca advice change
The head of the programme Patricia Donnelly said such logistical challenges were inevitable.Patricia Donnelly outlined the consequences of the new advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) that people under 40 should be offered an alternative to AstraZeneca due to a link to rare blood clots.
“The resulting vaccine should have been openly accessible to everyone, but AstraZeneca swooped in and privatised it.
“The UK is reaping the benefits of the highly effective vaccines that are now available, but people in low and middle-income countries are still dying daily by the thousands from Covid-19.
“AstraZeneca like to portray themselves as the good guys, but they’ve boycotted attempts to pool the vaccine knowledge they control just like all the other pharma giants – and now claim they have no time to share this knowledge globally.
“Today, we’re demanding AstraZeneca pool this publicly created knowledge so the whole world can ramp up production of these vaccines.”
The social justice organisation claims that AstraZeneca has not yet joined the WHO’s Covid-19 Technology Access Pool, which facilitates the sharing of technology for vaccines and treatments.
It comes as the group put up posters at bus stops across the UK over the weekend to highlight the level of public investment in vaccine research and development and the profits made by pharmaceutical companies.
When the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca announced the final clinical trial results for the vaccine in November 2020, they pledged to offer the vaccine on a not-for-profit basis across the world for the duration of the pandemic.
The organisations also committed to offering the vaccine to low and middle income countries on a not-for-profit basis “in perpetuity”.
AstraZeneca has been contacted for comment.
India's Covid crisis hits Covax countries with 140m vaccine shortfall .
India is the largest manufacturer for the Covax scheme, but the country stopped exports of the vaccine in March in order to vaccinate its own population amid a surge in cases. For three months, the Serum Institute of India has not shipped the vaccine for Covax, leaving a 140 million dose shortfall - and that number is expected to rise to 190 million by the end of June. A devastating surge of coronavirus in India has seen nearly 25 million people infected and a staggering 274,390 deaths. The second wave had meant the country is now focusing its vaccine efforts at home.