World Will US lift vaccine patents? -- Coronavirus Fact vs. Fiction
From scarcity to abundance: US faces calls to share vaccines
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) — Victor Guevara knows people his age have been vaccinated against COVID-19 in many countries. His own relatives in Houston have been inoculated. But the 72-year-old Honduran lawyer, like so many others in his country, is still waiting. And increasingly, he is wondering why the United States is not doing more to help, particularly as the American vaccine supply begins to outpace demand and doses that have been approved for use elsewhere in the world, but not in the U.S., sit idle. “We live in a state of defenselessness on every level,” Guevara said of the situation in his Central American homeland.
As India's explosive outbreak spills beyond its borders, the West and its drug companies are underto waive intellectual property rights to Covid-19 vaccines and treatments so more countries can start making them.
On Sunday, the US acknowledged those calls, with White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain tellingthat US Trade Representative Katherine Tai would hold talks with the World Trade Organization "on how we can get this vaccine more widely distributed, more widely licensed, more widely shared."
This comes as India's devastating virus surge, which is edging towards 20 million confirmed cases (though the real number is suspected to be far higher), turns into a regional problem.a hospital bed shortage due to rising cases, oxygen supplies are running low in Pakistan, and Bangladesh diverted industrial oxygen supplies to hospitals last week, fearing shortages for Covid-19 patients.
Vaccines aplenty but some Californians struggle to get one
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Hearing of excess vaccine and unfilled appointments frustrates Dr. Aaron Roland, a family physician who has been lobbying for doses to inoculate his patients, many of whom are low-income, immigrants or elderly. The San Francisco Bay Area doctor has more than 200 patients who have inquired when he will offer inoculations against the coronavirus. One patient, who is 67, said he walked into a Safeway supermarket because signs said doses were available.
"There is very real risk that this will now ripple out, west of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, north to Nepal, east Myanmar & hence Southeast Asia," Wellcome Trust directorsaid on Twitter. "There are many links between South Asia into East Africa and hence a continued risk to the [African] continent despite massive efforts to date."
India is also one of the world's biggest suppliers of vaccines and the cornerstone to the global vaccine sharing initiative COVAX, which has struggled to secure vaccines due to wealthy nations snapping up supplies. For example, the US has bought or contracted to buy more than. That's enough to fully vaccinate the US population at least twice, with plenty left over.
The world is in the midst of its worst Covid crisis so far. It didn't have to be this way
A year ago, when the Covid-19 pandemic was still in its relative infancy, the head of the World Health Organization stressed that a global approach would be the only way out of the crisis. © Fariha Farooqui/Getty Images MUMBAI, INDIA - APRIL 29: People line up to receive their Covid-19 vaccines at a mass vaccination center on April 29, 2021 in Mumbai, India. With recorded cases crossing 380,000 a day and 3000 deaths in the last 24 hours, India has more than 2 million active cases of Covid-19, the second-highest number in the world after the U.S.
But now the Indian government has prioritized Indian-made vaccines for its own citizens -- a move which spells trouble for the many. While understandable, India's move "obviously will have consequences for other countries, particularly those in the poorer parts of the world that have barely vaccinated any parts of their population yet," Michael Head, senior research fellow in global health at the University of Southampton, told CNN.
"That will essentially sustain the pandemic for a bit longer than we'd hoped," he added.
YOU ASKED. WE ANSWERED.
Q. Will the vaccine give me Covid-19?
A: It's literally impossible to get Covid-19 from any of the vaccines used in the US because none of them contains even a piece of real coronavirus.
Virus-sniffing dog, Vegas boom, vaccine hecklers: News from around our 50 states
How the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting every stateStart the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.
. Are you a health care worker fighting Covid-19? Message us on WhatsApp about the challenges you're facing: +1 347-322-0415.
WHAT'S IMPORTANT TODAY
Social media is a lifeline for desperate Indians, but a threat for Modi
Over the last couple of weeks, as India's Covid-19 crisis has deepened, American social media giants have become platforms of hope for millions of people. With authorities struggling to provide adequate information, distressed patients and their families have turned to Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram or LinkedIn, begging for help, Diksha Madhok reports. But Prime Minister Narendra Modi seems to be cracking down on the major platforms in an attempt to stifle dissent.
This comes as his right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was defeated in a state election in West Bengal, widely considered a test on whether the devastating second wave would impact Modi's popularity. Despite the defeat, the BJP made substantial gains and became the main opposition party. Its tally in the state legislature went to nearly 80 seats, compared to just three seats won in the last state election in 2016.
EU willing to discuss waiving vaccine patents
The bloc says it is open to talks after the US backed a plan to boost Covid vaccine production.It marked a shift in position from the EU, which has previously opposed the waiver. But some member states went further, with France's president among those to give it their full support.
Last year, three in 10 adults worldwide said they wouldn't get a Covid-19 vaccine, Gallup poll finds
Nearly 1.3 billion adults globally in 2020 said they would not get a Covid-19 vaccine if one were offered to them at no cost, according to a Gallup poll released on Monday, which also found that as many as 1.7 billion adults temporarily stopped working during the pandemic last year.
The poll, which surveyed more than 300,000 people across 117 countries last year, showed that 29% of adults worldwide would opt-out of taking a vaccine offered to them for free while 68% would take it -- a figure which falls below the estimated 70% to 85% vaccine uptake range required for herd immunity to the virus.
Two parties in a pandemic
Crowds of revelers descended on the English city of Liverpool on Friday for a live music event held without masks or social distancing. The party was part of the British government's Events Research Program (ERP) and will provide scientific data to help officials plan how nightclubs and live events might return to the UK this summer.
Days later, Prince Harry received a standing ovation as he praised the world's frontline medical workers at a concert in Los Angeles, only attended by thousands of vaccinated people, PA Media reports. The concert, which featured appearances from Selena Gomez, Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck, was taped on Sunday and will stream on May 8. It was organized by advocacy group Global Citizen, which hopes to boost vaccine confidence and raise funds for vaccination efforts worldwide.
Germany is not happy with Biden's support for waiving COVID-19 vaccine patents, predicting 'severe complications'
Joe Biden's announcement in support of waiving COVID-19 vaccine patents has raised eyebrows in other nations with powerful pharmaceutical industries.A spokesperson for the German government said waiving patents would cause "severe complications" for vaccine production in an emailed statement to Bloomberg.
ON OUR RADAR
- The level of care at a makeshift pandemic facility on the outskirts of New Delhi is so bad that patients are begging to leave. In the cavernous, warehouse-style facility, some patients lie on beds made of cardboard. There is limited medicine, and patients complain of seeing a doctor only
- A Chinese Communist Party-linked account on Weibo mocked India's Covid-19 crisis on social media. It backfired, becoming the latest example of how a clumsy attempt to stoke nationalism
- The Australian government has been accused of racism after threatening five-year prison sentences for citizens who breach a temporary ban on travel
- Republicans are seizing on the controversy over masks to bolster their wider narrative that US President Joe Biden and the Democrats are too politically correct, and using the power of government to infringe
- Many European families have been separated from loved ones living in non-European Union countries for a year or even longer due to pandemic border restrictions. News that vaccinated Americans can enter the EU this summer has exacerbated feelings of outrage and isolation that have been
TODAY'S TOP TIP
The coronavirus is ravaging India. Here's how you can help
India is experiencing the world's worst coronavirus outbreak. Grieving families are struggling to keep themselves and their loved ones safe amid an overwhelmed health care system, and medical workers are stretched thin as some hospitals run out of oxygen and supplies.
The global community is rallying to help India push back against the pandemic, and you can help, too.
NHL's COVID protocol-related absences for May 8, 2021 .
Players in the protocol are: Colorado's Devan Dubnyk and Washington's Evgeny Kuznetsov.Calgary – TBA