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‘A good day for global health’: US to join COVAX program, fulfill obligations to WHO

The United States under President Joe Biden intends to join the COVAX vaccine facility that aims to deliver vaccines to poor countries, his chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci has told the World Health Organisation. WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus welcomed the announcement to the WHO executive board, saying: “This is a good day for WHO and a good day for global health.” “President Biden will issue a directive later today which will include the intent of the United States to join COVAX and support the ACT-Accelerator to advance multilateral efforts for COVID-19 vaccine, therapeutic, and diagnostic distribution, equitable access, and research and development,”

For Covid-19 Vaccines, Some Are Too Rich — and Too Poor

"CAPE TOWN — A few months from now, a factory in South Africa is expected to begin churning out a million doses of Covid-19 vaccine each day in the African country hardest-hit by the pandemic. But those vials will probably be shipped to a distribution center in Europe and then rushed to Western countries that have pre-ordered them by the hundreds of millions. None have been set aside for South Africa. The country, which will help manufacture the vaccine and whose citizens have enrolled in clinical trials, does not expect to see the first trickle of doses until around the middle of next year. By then, the United States, Britain and Canada may already have vaccinated more than 100 million people. The first year of the Covid-19 pandemic revealed that a country’s wealth would not spare it from the virus. Overconfidence, poor planning and ignored warnings felled some of the world’s richest nations. But now, money is translating into undeniable advantages. Over the past few months, rich nations like the United States and Britain have cut deals with multiple drug manufacturers and secured enough doses to vaccinate their citizens multiple times over. China and Russia have conducted their own trials and begun mass vaccination programs. Yet countries like South Africa are in a singular bind because they cannot hold out hope for charity. Although its government is nearly insolvent and half of its citizens live in poverty, South Africa is considered too rich to qualify for cut-rate vaccines from international aid organizations. “Where you’re not rich enough but you’re not poor enough, you’re stuck,” said Salim Abdool Karim, an epidemiologist who leads the country’s coronavirus advisory council."

European Parliament votes to strongly endorse new WHO’s COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP), de-linkage mechanisms, transparency, and compulsory licensing

On Friday, 10 July 2020, the European Parliament adopted a resolution entitled, *The EU’s public health strategy post-COVID-19* <https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/TA-9-2020-0205_EN.html>, by 526 votes to 105 and 50 abstentions. This resolution paves the way for the creation of a European Health Union and the establishment of a European Health Response Mechanism; the resolution contains strong language in support of WHO’s COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP), de-linkage mechanisms, transparency, and compulsory licensing.