A fair, global distribution of #covid19 vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics is important for public health and moral reasons, but it is also in our own interest, says German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier at virtual joint press conference with @DrTedros.
@DrTedros If we deny the needed solidarity, other countries may well use that vacuum for their own interests, says Steinmeier. “The pandemic is also a geopolitical moment with huge consequences for our future and the role we will play in the world after the pandemic."
@DrTedros Some high-income countries are approaching vaccine manufacturers to secure more vaccines reducing vaccine allocated to COVAX, says @DrTedros. “If you cannot use the money to buy vaccines, having the money doesn't mean anything."
@DrTedros High-income countries have to respect the deals that COVAX did, says @DrTedros, "and before they ask any manufacturers for additional vaccines to make sure that whether their request undermines the COVAX deal or not. But I don't think they're asking that question."
@DrTedros Very clear words from @DrTedros in this presser, calling out the hypocrisy of high-income countries pledging money for poorer countries to buy vaccines but then buying up those vaccines:
"Okay I give you money and then it's up to you… That doesn't help."

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More from @kakape

22 Feb
“Currently, some high income countries are entering contracts with vaccine manufacturers that undermine the deals that COVAX has in place and reduce the number of doses COVAX can buy”, says @DrTedros at @WHO’s #covid19 presser.
@DrTedros @WHO Great that countries are pledging money for buying vaccines, @DrTedros says, echoing comments from earlier today. But: “Money is not the only challenge we face. If there are no vaccines to buy, money is irrelevant."
@DrTedros @WHO "Even if we have the funds, we can only deliver vaccines to poorer countries if high income countries cooperate in respecting the deals COVAX has done, and the new deals, it's doing”, says @DrTedros. “This is not a matter of charity. It's a matter of epidemiology."
Read 25 tweets
19 Feb
Wir sind wieder da! :)
In der ersten Folge @pandemiapodcast fürs neue Jahr geht es noch einmal um Gelbfieber. Dieses Mal: Impfstoff ist knapp und was passiert, wenn das Virus nach Asien gelangt?
Die letzten zwei Monate waren für mich vor allem wegen der Berichterstattung über #b117 und andere Varianten von #SARSCoV2 unglaublich intensiv und anstrengend. Aber ich habe das Podcasten und meine Kolleginnen und euch die Hörer vermisst.
Für die nächsten Wochen und Monate haben wir schon eine Menge spannende Themen geplant. Aber für Vorschläge, Fragen, Kritik etc. sind wir immer dankbar.
Read 4 tweets
17 Feb
I’m really struggling with this idea of a race to vaccinate everyone HERE now. Yes, we all want vaccine asap. But while we are discussing how soon we can immunize everyone in Germany or the US, health workers are dying in countries with zero doses so far.

In Zimbabwe, one of the top doctors and HIV/AIDS researchers, James Hakim, died in late January.
As his colleague and former student Leolin Katsidzira told me: "people like James are people who keep the system going”.
Here is one of many tributes: kcl.ac.uk/news/tribute-t…
Hakim’s death came within hours of the death of David Katzenstein, another important HIV/AIDS researcher and voice for global health, in the same hospital in Harare.
Here is a good piece on him and his work:
Read 9 tweets
15 Feb
"The number of reported cases of #COVID19 globally has now declined for the fifth consecutive week”, says @drtedros at @WHO presser.
"The number of weekly reported cases has fallen by almost half” in 5 weeks, from more than 5 million to 2.6 million cases."
@DrTedros @WHO "What matters now is how we respond to this trend”, says @DrTedros.
"The fire is not out, but we have reduced its size. If we stop fighting it on any front, it will come roaring back."
@DrTedros @WHO Good news:
"Today, @WHO gave emergency use listing to two versions of the Oxford-AstraZeneca #COVID19 vaccine, giving the green light for these vaccines to be rolled out globally through COVAX”, says @drtedros.
Read 24 tweets
12 Feb
“I wish to confirm that all hypotheses remain open and require further analysis and studies”, says @drtedros about origin of #covid19 at @WHO presser. Calls the origins mission "a very important scientific exercise in very difficult circumstances”.
@DrTedros @WHO "The expert team is working on a summary report which we hope will be published next week”, says @DrTedros.
“The full final report will be published in the coming weeks.”
@DrTedros @WHO “The number of reported cases of #COVID19 globally has declined for the 4th week in a row and the number of deaths also fell for the 2nd consecutive week” says @DrTedros. "This decline appears to be due to countries implementing public health measure more stringently."
Read 13 tweets
11 Feb
Good news (again) from the UK’s impressive Recovery trial:

Tocilizumab reduced deaths from #COVID19 by about 4% and that was on top of dexamethasone.
It means that giving 25 people this drug on top of the standard of care will lead to one saved life.
Tocilizumab also reduced the need for a mechanical ventilator and shortened the hospital stay.

All of this is from press release for now: recoverytrial.net/news/tocilizum…
Manuscript is working its way through medrxiv right now.
Tocilizumab is an anti-inflammatory drug, an antibody that targets the IL-6 receptor, dampening the immune system. It is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.

It is also about 100x as expensive as dexamethasone, so it will probably increase the global inequities of this pandemic.
Read 4 tweets

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