UN calls for a global vaccination plan and EU orders 300 million doses from Moderna

The Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, requested on Wednesday a global vaccination plan against covid-19, while the European Union announced an order of 300 million supplementary doses to Modern Pharmaceuticals.

“The world urgently needs a global vaccination plan that brings together all those who have the necessary power, scientific experience, and production and financial capabilities,” Guterres said in a telematic meeting with the G20 countries, the main economies of the planet.

In Europe, the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, announced on Wednesday a new contract with the American laboratory Moderna for 150 million additional doses of its vaccine for this year and another 150 million for 2022.

The European executive, highly criticized for his management of the pandemic, also revealed that he was going to launch a plan to examine in more depth the mutations of the virus.

In general, vaccination proceeds much more slowly than anticipated. So far, more than 185 million doses of vaccines have been administered in at least 100 countries or territories, according to a tally by ..

The “high” and “upper middle” income countries (according to the World Bank) concentrate more than nine out of every ten administered doses, despite having only half of the world’s population.

– Japan and South Africa –

This Wednesday, Japan began vaccinating weeks behind most countries in the world despite having ordered the necessary doses for its 126 million inhabitants, as regulatory authorities demanded additional clinical studies.

The first to be vaccinated with the Pfizer / BioNTech drug will be 40,000 workers in the health sector and those over 65 will follow.

South Africa also started its vaccination campaign on Wednesday. A nurse at Khayelitsha hospital in Cape Town became the first to be vaccinated.

Vaccination in the country, the worst hit in Africa with 48,000 deaths and almost 1.5 million cases, was delayed due to doubts about the efficacy against the local variant of the AstraZeneca vaccine virus, the first acquired by the government. .

In this context of uncertainty and fatigue from months of pandemic and restrictions, the World Health Organization (WHO) had given good news on Tuesday, when it announced that the number of new cases of covid-19 registered in the world decreased by a 16% last week and that of deaths, 10%.

“We have not extinguished the fire but we have reduced its size,” congratulated its CEO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Covid-19 has already killed 2.4 million people worldwide and infected 110 million.

At this moment there are restrictions on all continents and new ones are added every day.

Sweden, for example, which opted to avoid confinement, announced that it plans to close gyms, hairdressers and restaurants before the third wave, which is predicted serious.

In the Brazilian state of Bahia (northeast), where 15 million people live, a curfew will take effect from Friday and for at least a week because the increase in cases is collapsing hospitals. In Brazil, more than 240,000 people have already died from coronavirus.

In Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, where a lockdown was instituted on Sunday night, authorities lifted the measure on Wednesday as the situation is under control.

– Two million cases in Mexico –

In the United States, the country hardest hit by the disease, with more than 488,000 deaths, President Joe Biden said that all citizens will have access to the vaccine before August.

“By next Christmas we will be in a very different circumstance,” predicted Biden, answering a question about when it will be possible to return to a fairly normal life.

In Latin America, where the pandemic has killed more than 645,000 people and infected 20 million, vaccination is progressing unevenly.

El Salvador receives a first batch of AstraZeneca vaccines this Wednesday and to Panama, where the health situation has improved in recent weeks, the second batch of the Pfizer drug arrived.

Argentina received a shipment of 580,000 vaccines from the Indian institute Serum, in addition to the 1.2 million doses of the Russian drug Sputnik V that it already has.

And in Mexico, the third country in the world with the most deaths from coronavirus with 176,000 deaths, the two million infections were exceeded on Tuesday, according to official figures, although experts believe that the real number is much higher.

burs-bl / mar / es / mb