I regularly donate to UNICEF.I don't know the reputation of UNICEF in Australia but saw this on Twitter.
Is India a rich nation? Is China wrong to distribute? Etc etc. This is a mess. Most rich countries can’t deal with COVID. Everyone forgets? Reading this article, it doesn’t seem possible to do the right thing. I urge my Senators and representative (Dems) to do the right thing, they try, and the Republicans do everything they can to sabotage it. I give money to all sorts of world organizations for COVID, and mainly what I hear is how they just can’t get it done. But this is typical of reaction to so many world wide medical issues, and even if there’s a successful campaign, there are always groups who fight it, and things that should be dormant spring back. I’d like to think we can adapt, but as this ^^^ points out, I fear we can’t. Power is elsewhere. Right now, destruction is power. I hope that changes.The COVAX scheme aimed to deliver two billion COVID vaccines to developing countries this year. It's well off-target
3 hours ago
The global vaccine rollout is behind in many parts of the world, most notably in Africa.(AP: Brian Inganga)
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The global COVAX scheme launched with a lofty goal: Deliver two billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines, largely to the developing world, by the end of 2021.
Even accounting for that ambitious target, actual progress has been lacklustre. With less than two months until the end of the year, only about a quarter of those two billion doses have actually been shipped.
At the same time, countries in the developed world have moved beyond their initial vaccine rollouts to administering booster doses at home.
The poorest nations have not just been left in the dust, they've been lapped: More booster shots have now been administered in high income countries than the total number of doses given to low income countries since the pandemic began.
And the World Health Organisation has been very critical of the way boosters are being offered.
"The WHO had called for a moratorium on boosters until the end of the year, so we could move those vaccine doses to those countries and to those populations that are still below 4-5 per cent coverage," Chief Scientist Dr Soumya Swaminathan said last month.
"Even the frontline workers have not been fully covered."
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COVAX deliveries were sluggish for a very long time, and only really sped up in the second half of the year.
More than a quarter of the doses delivered to date were sent out just in the month of October.
That slow beginning was largely caused by the Indian Delta variant outbreak that led the Indian government to prevent exports from manufacturers, which COVAX was relying on for much of its supply.
"The vaccines that they've been producing have all gone to Indians and we don't resent that necessarily, but it has meant that we are well behind in other parts of the world, most notably in Africa," says COVAX co-chair and chair of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations Jane Halton.
"There's a whole swathe of countries where we've made little difference yet in terms of vaccinating those people."
Jane Halton hopes Australia will continue manufacturing vaccines for the global vaccination effort.(Four Corners)
Unequal negotiating power
Another problem was that COVAX struggled against the first world in negotiating contracts.
"We couldn't get the funding we needed fast enough to actually be in the queue early enough, as opposed to some of these high income countries," Halton says.
"If we can fix that, then we can have a purchasing mechanism for low to middle income countries — they can compete on an even footing with the big wealthy countries and that will actually give those countries much more equitable access to vaccines."
One of the countries that has been waiting a very long time is the east African nation of Burundi, which only received its first COVID-19 vaccine doses last month.
"We have been waiting for this ceremony for a long time," the WHO's representative in Burundi, Xavier Crespin, said when the vials arrived. "We thank the donors."
But that donation didn't come through COVAX. The 500,000 Sinopharm vaccines gladly welcomed by Burundi came direct from the Chinese government.
Australia generous on pledges, but slow to deliver
Outside of COVAX, China has been sending its vaccines across the developing world, distributing hundreds of millions in donations and selling hundreds of millions more.
According to the Lowy Institute, it's an approach that Australia has also adopted.
"Australia has been quite generous in terms of the promises that we've made," says Roland Rajah, the Institute's International Economics Program Director.
"Australia is committed to providing roughly two doses for every Australian. That places us second in the world on a per capita basis, only second to the United States, which is promising to provide three doses per American."
But none of those doses are being administered by COVAX, with the Australian government instead making direct donations largely to countries in our region.
"The Australian Government is pretty aware of the national interest case in helping our own region," Rajah says.
"The Pacific Islands are a very vulnerable part of the world ... and of course, looming in the background of all of this is the desire to compete for influence ... with China, which is engaged in its own kinds of vaccine diplomacy throughout the region.
"The only other major donor that looks similar to us in terms of that profile, operating outside of COVAX so much, is China."
That's not necessarily the "best way" of going about things from a "global equity perspective", Rajah adds: "And also, it's not necessarily the most efficient way to bring an end to a global pandemic."
Australia has been slow to deliver on its pledges compared to other nations, Rajah says, with just 8 per cent of its promised doses dispatched to date.
"It's a bit hard to explain why we should be that low when you consider that we've had all this AstraZeneca basically sitting within the national health system going unused."
Australia's local manufacturing of coronavirus vaccines is also set to end when the current 50 million dose contract with CSL is completed.
"I would actually hope that Australia would continue to manufacture and produce vaccine for this global effort," Halton says.
"It may be that we can get enough vaccine from the very large global manufacturers ... but I do think we need to assess this going forward: if we're not hitting the targets we need to hit into the new year, I think we should give that some more thought."
Can we vaccinate the world?
Now that India is allowing vaccine exports again, and COVAX has diversified its vaccine suppliers, things are ramping up quickly. Halton says she hopes that by the end of the year, COVAX will have delivered more than 800 million doses, which would increase "rapidly" in the first three months of 2022.
Several countries have upped their pledges to the scheme recently, including the United States and Canada, which promised an extra 200 million doses to COVAX at last month's G20 summit.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation has set a new target to achieve global vaccine coverage of 70 per cent by mid-2022.
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WHO blames 'greed' for prolonging the COVID-19 pandemic
About 51 per cent of the world population has received at least one dose of a vaccine, according to figures collated by Our World In Data.
"Between now and the end of this year, we're going to make another three billion doses of vaccine," Dr Bruce Aylward, a senior advisor with the World Health Organisation, said in late October.
"Can we take 550 million doses of that ... and make sure it goes into COVAX and the other mechanisms that can get the equitable distribution that by the end of this year will see more lives saved, more livelihoods on track?"
Another challenge is that many people in the developed world are now just keen to put the pandemic behind them.
"There is a risk that the world basically moves on," Rajah says. "The rich world vaccinates itself, a lot of the upper middle income countries also get vaccinated and everyone forgets right until another problem ... explodes onto the world stage.
"I think we will probably eventually get there. The question is whether or not we get there fast enough and have that sense of urgency."
Rich countries acting like the pandemic is over may have the effect of prolonging the pain for everyone.
They are moral imbeciles. (Quoting John Drake, ‘Danger Man’)Meh...good try.
Jabs are easy to get, highly effective with a low incremental cost once developed and most people can tolerate them whereas solving obesity is hard, the causes myriad, and the treatment expensive and difficult. Solving gun deaths in the US is only partially political because the majority are suicides. Treating mental health issues is hard and expensive.
So jabs are cheap, easy, effective and many are already mandatory...so why not?
I thought you folks were all about cost/benefit?
It’s sad that you have to hunt around for the right people for this, of all things. But on our way to the mass booster site this am, in crappy weather, there were unmasked anti vaccers about. <_<Yep will contact our local surgery (4 miles away) directly so see what they can do..
1 minute ago, The Q said:
Certainly out of county, it's one one occasion taken us 7 hours to reach a place nearby...At the other end of the country then?
Initial vaccinations were freed up to all adults in the US fairly early in the process. Not sure why you had to go to Puerto Rico.I had to go to Puerto Rico for the booster so that my travel documents are up to date
In the us I wasn’t old enough, sick enough , special enough to qualify
the same routine for the initial vaccination ..in the US I didn’t qualify , so I went to Puerto Rico
think of this when they tell you about vaccine hesitancy
You are out of touchInitial vaccinations were freed up to all adults in the US fairly early in the process. Not sure why you had to go to Puerto Rico.
Boosters have similarly been freed up in a lot of states now.
Anyone else get some small joy from reading the karma that the universe has bestowed upon our often inane, bigoted, and self-righteous member?The same routine with the booster
I flew from Madrid to Baltimore
While in Baltimore I tried to register for the booster online
not available , I visited the pharmacy and asked in person
I called Puerto Rico … yes , Tuesday’s and Thursday’s