Pfizer and BioNTech on Thursday announced plans to donate 500 million doses to the US government for distribution to 92 low-income countries and the African Union.
The news confirms Wednesday’s report on President Joe Biden’s upcoming announcement at the G-7 summit.
Vaccine inequality has become an increasingly pressing concern, and the World Health Organization has warned of a “two-way pandemic” as rich countries inoculate large parts of their populations and developing countries are exposed to the ravages of the coronavirus.
“COVID-19 has affected everyone, everywhere, and to win the battle against this pandemic, we must ensure accelerated access to vaccines for all,” said Thursday Albert Bourla, Chairman and CEO of Pfizer. been our pole star since day one and we are proud to do our part to help immunize the world, a huge but achievable endeavor. “
In a June 3 report, Oxfam International said of the 1.77 billion doses administered worldwide at that time, 28% went to people in G-7 countries and only 0.3% to low-income countries. Such a disparity could prolong the pandemic and allow dangerous variants to emerge as the virus continues to spread.
Also in the news:
► Ohio has two other Vax-a-Million winners: Mark Cline of Richwood in Union County won $ 1 million and Sara Afaneh of Sheffield Lake in Lorain County won a four-year college scholarship, the Ohio Lottery Commission announced Wednesday night.
►Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine triggers several types of immune responses, according to a new study, allowing it to be extremely protective in the United States as well as in South Africa and Brazil, where a handful of viral variants different circulate.
► Australia’s second largest city, Melbourne, will emerge from its fourth pandemic lockdown on Friday. State officials say the lockdown is over after two weeks after a single new case of the coronavirus was detected in the last 24-hour period linked to the Melbourne cluster. The new case brings the number of infections in the cluster to 68.
►Philadelphia will end its indoor mask tenure and the 11:00 p.m. last call for restaurants on Friday.
►California to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines on masks for those vaccinated when it lifts its order of masks on June 15, state health officials say said Wednesday.
►Iowa will no longer allow its residents to view their or their children’s vaccination history on the state’s website, saying it wants to prevent employers from checking the vaccination status of their workers without permission.
Today’s numbers: The United States has more than 33.6 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus and at least 598,700 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Global totals: Over 174.3 million cases and over 3.75 million deaths. Nearly 140.8 million Americans have been fully immunized, or 42.5% of the population, according to the CDC.
What we read: As Americans get vaccinated against the coronavirus, a report released Wednesday found that teens and adults may have missed millions of routine vaccinations recommended by the CDC in 2020.
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California regulators remove controversial work mask rules
California workplace regulators reversed for the second time in a week.
They withdrew controversial pending mask regulations on Wednesday evening.
This will give them time to consider a rule that aligns more closely with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s promise that the state will fully reopen the pandemic on Tuesday.
The California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board’s revised rule would only have allowed workers to forgo masks if every employee in a room was fully immunized against the coronavirus. This contrasts with the state’s broader plan to remove virtually all masking requirements for those vaccinated, along with the CDC’s latest recommendations.
The withdrawal of this worksite rule allows the board of directors to consider changes at its meeting on June 17 and possibly bring them into force by the end of the month.
The goal, said board chairman David Thomas, is to change workplace regulations “to match the CDC and the California Department of Public Health, so we’re all on the line. same wavelength. That’s what it is, so we’re not out of step with everyone.
Two cities on the west coast are in a neck-and-neck race for the country’s highest vaccination status, and each can claim to keep the lead.
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan on Wednesday said hers was the first major city in the United States with 70% of its residents aged 12 and over having completed their COVID-19 vaccinations, edging San Francisco by one point. percentage.
“Now that we have achieved community protection, we can lead the nation to reopen and safely recover,” Durkan said in a statement.
However, San Francisco is slightly ahead with the country’s best rate of residents aged 12 and older who have received at least one vaccine, 79-78%, and could advance in the race for herd immunity.
“I think we are on our way to being the first city to achieve collective immunity,” said Dr Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease expert at the University of California at San Francisco. Chronicle of San Francisco.
“Our high levels of immunity mean that we are not susceptible to new infections, even while traveling here,” she said.
Contribution: The Associated Press