COVAX Rolls But Not Fast Enough

Africa’s vaccine rollout is moving—with 32 countries vaccinating high-risk population groups using vaccines from COVAX and other sources, according to a WHO press conference this morning.
But that momentum is at risk—and must be widened beyond high-risk groups, warned Richard Mihigo of the WHO Regional Office for Africa.
Yet COVAX provides only 20% coverage of immunization needs for low- and middle-income countries, note members of a newly established International AIDS Society–Lancet Commission on Health and Human Rights in a Lancet commentary

  • 78% of 447 million COVID-19 vaccine doses deployed went to just 10 countries as of March 21.

  • Nearly a quarter of the world might not have access before 2023.

The Quote: “What citizen, health-care provider, or public health official of a wealthy nation would find 20% vaccine coverage acceptable?” ask the authors.

Moe vaccine News: AstraZeneca maintains that its COVID-19 vaccine offers strong protection, lowering its efficacy analysis from 79% to 76% after it was accused of cherry-picking data, theAP reports

  • The new analysis included 49 more COVID-19 cases from its 32,000-participant trial than shared earlier this week—bringing the total to 190. The new numbers appear to support claims that the vaccine is especially protective against the worst outcomes.

COVID-19 infections stayed very low in a real-world test of vaccinated California health care workers, CIDRAP reports, describing findings shared in a New England Journal of Medicine research letter.

  • 379 (1.0%) of 36,659 vaccinated health workers tested positive for COVID-19 1 or more days after their first vaccine dose. The count fell to 37 for 28,184 workers who received dose 2 (up to 15 days post-vaccine).


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