Covid-19 vaccines

WHO warns of 'catastrophic moral failure'

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said it was not fair for younger, healthy people in richer nations to get injections before vulnerable people in poorer states.

He said over 39 million vaccine doses had been given in 49 richer states - but one poor nation had only 25 doses.

Meanwhile, both the WHO and China were criticised for their Covid response.

An independent panel commissioned by the WHO said the UN public health body should have declared an international emergency earlier, and also rapped China for not taking public health measures sooner.

Islands move quickly on Covid-19 vaccine outreach

On a per capita basis, the islands have higher vaccine rates than many states in the US, said the Marshall Islands Health Secretary in Majuro.

In the first 10 days since receiving a small number of doses to start, the Marshall Islands injected first vaccines to over 600 healthcare workers and front line government employees who work in sea and airports.

The US government is providing the Moderna brand Covid-19 vaccines to the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia and Palau.

Africa secures 270m Covid-19 vaccine doses

All of the doses will be used this year, promises current AU head South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.

This is on top of 600 million doses already secured but is still not enough to vaccinate the whole region.

There are fears that poorer countries globally will wait far longer than richer nations to be inoculated.

Although infection numbers and death rates are comparatively lower across most of Africa, cases are spiking again in some areas.

A new variant of Covid-19 in South Africa is causing particular alarm and makes up most of the new cases.

UK targets 24/7 Covid-19 vaccine delivery as death toll soars

The reported daily number of deaths exceeded the 1325 recorded on 8 January and comes as Britain battles a new, more transmissible variant of the virus. The government figures showed there were another 47,525 cases, up from 45,533 new cases on Tuesday.

Britain is targeting a 24-hour, 7-day a week Covid-19 vaccination programme as soon as possible, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, as he bids to step up the pace of the rollout with daily coronavirus deaths at record levels.

Queen and Prince Philip receive vaccinations

A royal source said the vaccinations were administered on Saturday by a household doctor at Windsor Castle.

The source added the Queen decided to let it be known she had the vaccination to prevent further speculation.

The Queen, 94, and Prince Philip, 99, are among around 1.5 million people in the UK to have had at least one dose of a Covid vaccine so far.

People aged over 80 in the UK are among the high-priority groups who are being given the vaccine first.

Over 30 countries begin Covid-19 vaccinations

In a media briefing yesterday, (Tuesday), the World Health Organisation Director General, Dr Tedros Adhanom said, “The scientific community has set a new standard for vaccine development.”

“Now the international community must set a new standard for access.” 

“COVAX has been backed by 190 countries and economies and I want to see all manufacturers channel supply to COVAX quickly so that rollouts can begin and those at high-risk are protected around the world,” he said.

First batch of Covid vaccines arrive in Palau

Health minister Emais Roberts said 2,800 doses of the Moderna vaccine arrived on a special flight from the United States.

"Vaccines arrived," Roberts said in a text message.

He said the ministry would start using the vaccine from 3 January, with health workers first in line to receive the jabs. Following that, the ministry said it would look to vaccinate key officials and decision makers, then the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions.

Los Angeles to offer vaccine record on iPhones

The record will live in the Apple Wallet, usually used for payment cards, boarding passes, or event tickets.

Officials say it will first be used to remind people to get their second required dose of the vaccine.

But it could also be used as proof of vaccination in the Covid-19 hotspot of Los Angeles.

Bloomberg first reported news of the county's partnership with software firm Healthvana.

US approves Moderna as second Covid-19 vaccine

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorised the US-made jab about a week after approving a Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine which is now being distributed.

The US has agreed to purchase 200 million doses of Moderna, and six million may be ready to ship now.

The country has the world's highest numbers of Covid-19 deaths and cases.

It has recorded at least 311,529 deaths and 17,269,542 infections, according to Johns Hopkins University.

New Zealand to support Pacific neighbours in accessing Covid-19 vaccines

Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta confirmed $75 million had been earmarked to support Pacific and global vaccine access and roll-out. 

“New Zealand is pursuing a portfolio of potential Covid-19 vaccines to ensure we have flexibility and choice in the fast-moving global marketplace. 

"We want to make sure Pacific countries can also access suitable options, and have the support they need to run successful immunisation campaigns,” she says.