Only 2 African countries have vaccinated more than 40% of their population, says @DrTedros at #Covid19 presser.
“That's not because African countries don't have the capacity or the experience to roll out vaccines. It's because they have been left behind by the rest of the world."
@DrTedros “More than 5.7 billion doses have been administered globally, but only 2% of those have been administered in Africa”, says @drtedros
"This leaves people at high risk of disease and death exposed to a deadly virus against which many other people around the world enjoy protection."
@DrTedros "This does not only hurt the people of Africa. It hurts all of us”, says @drtedros.
"The longer vaccine inequity persists, the more the virus will keep circulating and changing, the longer the social and economic disruption will continue."
@DrTedros #COVAX has shipped more than 260 million doses to 141 countries, says @DrTedros.
But it “has also faced several challenges with manufacturers prioritizing bilateral deals, and many high-income countries tying up the global supply of vaccines."
@DrTedros Partners from COVAX and the African #COVID19 Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVAT) have met the last two days, says @drtedros.
“Vaccine inequity is a solvable problem”, he says. "We call on manufacturers to prioritize #COVAX and AVAT"
@DrTedros In Africa, a continent of 1.3 billion people, only 3.5% of the eligible population are fully vaccinated, says @JNkengasong.
“We will not be able to achieve 60% of our population fully immunized" without “the power of cooperation, and the power of solidarity”, he says.
@DrTedros @JNkengasong ”Vaccines are the only solution for us to get out of this pandemic collectively and that has to be done quickly”, says @JNkengasong.
"I've always stated that the quickest way to get out of this pandemic is to vaccinate quickly as a continent."
@DrTedros @JNkengasong 60% immunisation goal means doses for 800 million people, Strive Masiyiwa, @_AfricanUnion’s special envoy on #covid19 explained just before @JNkengasong. (That includes the Caribbean region, for which the AU is also negoatiating.)
@DrTedros @JNkengasong @_AfricanUnion So far, 400 million doses of J&J vaccine had been secured over the next 12 months, Masiyiwa explained.
@DrTedros @JNkengasong @_AfricanUnion “One month of lockdowns on the continent costs $29 billion of production that was lost”, says @UN's @SongweVera.
”When we say that COVID-19 is an economic issue and we need to respond to it, to be able to recover and reset our economies, it is real."
@DrTedros @JNkengasong @_AfricanUnion @UN @SongweVera COVAX has been asked to contribute half of the vaccine doses needed to reach 60% vaccination goal in Africa, says @GaviSeth.
"We expect to meet that goal in February of 2022 and if the goal is increased to 70% we believe we can meet that goal by March of 2022."
@DrTedros @JNkengasong @_AfricanUnion @UN @SongweVera @GaviSeth “Today we are poised to embark on the busiest period of what is the largest and most complex vaccine rollout in the history”, says @GaviSeth.
"270 million doses have been delivered through this mechanism. 70 million of these have come in the last month."
@DrTedros @JNkengasong @_AfricanUnion @UN @SongweVera @GaviSeth “We're seeing deliveries accelerate further”, says @GaviSeth.
“This year we expect to have a total of 1.4 billion doses available for delivery”, enough to protect 20% of the population in the 91 eligible lower income countries.
@DrTedros @JNkengasong @_AfricanUnion @UN @SongweVera @GaviSeth “By March this number will rise to 2.6 billion which is enough to protect 37% of the population in these countries”, says @GaviSeth.
"I think we've demonstrated that COVAX can work at scale. But it's really time for the world to get behind it."
@DrTedros @JNkengasong @_AfricanUnion @UN @SongweVera @GaviSeth “Do African countries have the capacity to absorb vaccines, when they get them? My colleagues and I believe the answer is yes, although as Seth said, we're working very hard to make sure that their preparedness is up to speed”, says @MoetiTshidi.
@DrTedros @JNkengasong @_AfricanUnion @UN @SongweVera @GaviSeth @MoetiTshidi "The continuous challenge is that global supplies are just not being shared in ways that will get all of us in the world, out of this pandemic in time”, says @MoetiTshidi. "African countries are standing by to hugely ramp up their roll-out."
@DrTedros @JNkengasong @_AfricanUnion @UN @SongweVera @GaviSeth @MoetiTshidi "African countries have done this before, although perhaps not quite at this scale successfully implementing huge vaccination campaigns against polio, yellow fever and cholera”, says @MoetiTshidi. “Of the doses already received three quarters have already been administered."
@DrTedros @JNkengasong @_AfricanUnion @UN @SongweVera @GaviSeth @MoetiTshidi "As AVATT in the African Union, we want to buy vaccines. We're not asking for donations. You can donate to us if you so wish, but our basis is not a donation”, says Masiyiwa.
Says restrictions of exports are a huge problem, both on finished vaccines or ingredients.
@DrTedros @JNkengasong @_AfricanUnion @UN @SongweVera @GaviSeth @MoetiTshidi "These restrictions are even more urgent for us today, than intellectual property, because the IP doesn't deliver vaccine to us tomorrow, but an export ban lifted in the US, in Japan, in China, in South Korea, India, will give us vaccines immediately”, says Masiyiwa.
@DrTedros @JNkengasong @_AfricanUnion @UN @SongweVera @GaviSeth @MoetiTshidi Africa was sympathetic to India putting in place an export ban given massive #covid19 surge there, says Masiyiwa.
"But we do now urge our colleagues to show sympathy to us because we are the ones facing difficulty now. We need to see some of those vaccines begin to come through.”
@DrTedros @JNkengasong @_AfricanUnion @UN @SongweVera @GaviSeth @MoetiTshidi Last week at a press conference, @IFPMA "basically said, there's enough doses for everybody”, says @GaviSeth.
“The question we ask is: Where are those doses if there are enough for everybody?"
@DrTedros @JNkengasong @_AfricanUnion @UN @SongweVera @GaviSeth @MoetiTshidi @IFPMA “One lesson we learnt from this, is you can't run around looking for money, in the midst of a crisis”, says Masiyiwa.
"The world needs to understand we always knew that a crisis like this could emerge.”
A permanent structure is needed for pandemic response finding, he says.
@DrTedros @JNkengasong @_AfricanUnion @UN @SongweVera @GaviSeth @MoetiTshidi @IFPMA Masiyiwa says @_AfricanUnion will call for a permanent structure:
“We strongly believe that the pledge architecture, where countries gather together and make pledges, which are then subject to subject to subject to until it is next year, and the crisis is done, has had its day."
@DrTedros @JNkengasong @_AfricanUnion @UN @SongweVera @GaviSeth @MoetiTshidi @IFPMA "Vaccine sharing is good, but we shouldn't have to be relying on vaccine sharing, particularly when we can come to the table, put structures in place, and say we also want to buy. We want to buy from the same manufacturers”, says Masiyiwa.
@DrTedros @JNkengasong @_AfricanUnion @UN @SongweVera @GaviSeth @MoetiTshidi @IFPMA “Those manufacturers know very well that they never gave us proper access“, says Masiyiwa. “They had a moral responsibility to ensure that others also had access. And we find this very sad. It's very sad. We could have addressed this very differently."
@DrTedros @JNkengasong @_AfricanUnion @UN @SongweVera @GaviSeth @MoetiTshidi @IFPMA "We as Africa will now address this, through setting up our own manufacturing capabilities”, says Masiyiwa. That means intellectual property rights on the vaccines should be waived.
"It was a great miracle to have these vaccines. Now let this miracle be available to all mankind"
@DrTedros @JNkengasong @_AfricanUnion @UN @SongweVera @GaviSeth @MoetiTshidi @IFPMA WHO supports the call for TRIPS waiver, says @drtedros in closing.
“If it cannot be used now during this unprecedented situation, then when? This is a time when it can be used. Otherwise why did we even have the provision in the first place?"

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More from @kakape

16 Sep
A new preprint by @PeterDaszak, @nycbat and others attempts to show where the next coronavirus pandemic is most likely to begin and argues that there may be 400,000 hidden infections with SARSr-CoVs every year.

Story is here (thread to come):…
@PeterDaszak @nycbat First of all:
Yes, that is a really big number. And yes there is HUGE uncertainty in that.
The confidence interval goes all the way down to a single case and all the way up to more than 35 million!
We’ll get to that.
But let’s take a quick look at what the researchers did. Image
@PeterDaszak @nycbat They created a detailed map of the habitats of 23 bat species known to harbor SARSr-CoVs, then overlaid it with data on where humans live to create a map showing where the risk of spillover is highest: southern China, Vietnam, Cambodia, and on Java and other islands in Indonesia Image
Read 19 tweets
12 Sep
Last week I met Jeremy Farrar in Berlin and since then I’ve kept going over some of what he said, since it seems pretty crucial for the next phase of the pandemic in Europe. So a quick thread
(You can also hear him say some of this in our new @pandemiapodcast episode)
@pandemiapodcast At least in Europe, "what you're witnessing, I think at the moment is the shift from epidemic/pandemic state into an endemic state”, Farrar said.
“And none of us are really quite sure what that endemic state is going to look like.”
@pandemiapodcast The argument is simple: #SARSCoV2 is clearly not going away any time soon. As vaccines blunt some of the impact of the virus at the societal level, #covid19 may still be terrible and still cause disease and death but maybe at a level society can or will or has to accept.
Read 15 tweets
11 Sep
Earlier this year I was watching Denmark for signs of how the Alpha variant would behave. That was partly because their amazing sequencing effort gave such a clear view of what was happening.
Now I’m watching Denmark again, but for a different reason.
Yesterday, Denmark abandoned the last corona restrictions. With more than 95% of the over-60s vaccinated, the country hopes to be able to treat #covid19 more like the flu going forward. It’s an experiment and we will see how it plays out.
I will be watching it closely because Denmark will give us some clues to what “living with the virus” might look like. It could also give us important information on the speed at which immunity wanes and the frequency and seriousness of breakthrough infections.
Read 11 tweets
11 Sep
Gestern wurden in Dänemark die letzten Corona-Beschränkungen aufgehoben und das war für uns Anlass eine Folge @pandemiapodcast zum “Ende der Pandemie” aufzunehmen:
Was heißt eigentlich “Ende”? Was passiert in Dänemark jetzt? Und wie steht Deutschland da?
Die Masken wurden in Dänemark schon im vergangenen Monat abgelegt. Nun ist auch kein Impfnachweis mehr nötig für Konzerte und andere Großveranstaltungen. Das Leben ist weitgehend so wie vor Corona. Dänemark markiert damit den Übergang von der Pandemie in die Endemie.
Die Dänen sagen nicht, dass das Virus keine Rolle mehr spielt. Sie sagen, dass es nicht mehr eine so große Gefahr für die Gesellschaft birgt, dass es mit außergewöhnlichen Maßnahmen bekämpft werden muss.
Oder, wie @LoneSimonsen2 sagt: “Wir haben dem Virus die Zähne gezogen.”
Read 9 tweets
8 Sep
"Today, the #DRC declared an outbreak of meningitis in the north-eastern Tshopo Province, with 261 suspected cases and 129 deaths reported”, @DrTedros says at start of @WHO presser.
A reminder that #covid19 "is far from the only health threat to which WHO is responding”, he says
@DrTedros @WHO "Over 50,000 people have died with #COVID19 every week since October last year and for the past month, deaths have remained at almost 70,000 a week”, says @DrTedros.
Solutions to save lives are there, he says, “but those solutions are not being used well nor shared well."
@DrTedros @WHO "Some countries with the highest vaccine coverage are now seeing a decoupling of #COVID19 cases and deaths, which is allowing them to reopen their societies without their health systems being overwhelmed”, says @DrTedros.
Read 12 tweets
1 Sep
Since this question comes up quite a bit:
Once the @WHO runs out of Greek letters to name variants of #sarscov2 it plans to start using the names of stars or constellations such as say Virgo, Draco or Orion.
„They will be less common stars/constellations, easy to pronounce“, @mvankerkhove wrote me. „We are just checking internally with our regional colleagues to ensure none of them cause any offence or are common names in local languages.“
We will see what ends up on the list (examples in the first tweet were just from me to illustrate it). Probably best not to call a variant „sirius“ variant since that might lead to some misunderstandings ;)
Read 5 tweets

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