This is what vaccine inequity looks like

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CVS pharmacies and some hospitals across the United States will begin administering Pfizer-BioNTech injections to 12 to 15 year olds today, following a recommendation from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

This is yet another major step on the road to America’s exit from the pandemic. Although serious illnesses from Covid-19 are relatively rare in adolescents, they can still spread the virus – and their inclusion in the vaccination schedule is key to any hope of achieving herd immunity.

But while the focus in the United States turns to inoculating young people and the belief of those who are reluctant to get vaccinated, much of the rest of the world is struggling to get vaccinated, even for those who do. need them most, including vulnerable people and healthcare workers. .

India, which is struggling to contain its worst coronavirus outbreak, yesterday suspended vaccinations for people aged 18 to 44 in two states and in the Union Territory of Delhi, due to shortages.

The announcement is all the more concerning given that India is the world’s largest vaccine maker and a key supplier of COVAX, the vaccine-sharing initiative that provides free and low-cost doses to low-income countries.

At the end of March, in a desperate attempt to curb the infection, the Indian government restricted the export of Covid-19 vaccines from its giant manufacturing centers, to meet some of the country’s most urgent needs.

The struggle is now having ripple effects in the developing world. The World Health Organization said last week that COVAX needed 20 million doses by the end of June to cover the deficit.

YOU ASKED. WE HAVE ANSWER.

Q: What is the difference between eradication, elimination and herd immunity?

A: The long war against Covid-19 is at a critical stage. The hope of eradication or elimination is an imposing aspiration. Collective immunity, meanwhile, is a moving target that takes a lot of things to do – and stay well – say experts.

Here’s what the terms mean:

Collective immunity requires a certain percentage of people to be infected or vaccinated to stop the spread, but experts say it depends on the herd or community, as well as its density, number of susceptible people and other factors.

Eradication is the unicorn of infectious diseases. This has only been done twice: with rinderpest and smallpox.

Elimination is more common. This is when cases are reduced to zero or near zero in a specific area, due to continued efforts to prevent transmission. In the United States, examples of diseases that have been largely eliminated include measles, rubella, and diphtheria. The key word is “largely”. Measles demonstrates the temporary nature of elimination if control measures are not maintained.

Send your questions here. Are you a health worker fighting Covid-19? Message us on WhatsApp about the challenges you are facing: +1 347-322-0415.

WHAT IS IMPORTANT TODAY

Nepal’s Covid-19 Crisis Worsens

Scenes in India, of funeral pyres and people lining up outside hospitals, recur in Nepal, where hospitals lack oxygen and refuse patients.

Just a month ago, the Himalayan nation of 31 million people was reporting around 100 cases of Covid-19 per day. On Tuesday, it reported 9,483 new cases and 225 deaths linked to the virus, according to its health ministry – the highest number of deaths in a day since the start of the pandemic.

Critics say public complacency and government inaction have likely exacerbated the coronavirus outbreak in Nepal. Public anger has now forced the country’s prime minister to resign. KP Sharma Oli – who touted unproven coronavirus cures and witnessed crowded events even as cases rose – was removed from office after losing a vote of confidence on Monday.

Covid-19 vaccine mix linked to more side effects, first UK data shows

People who have received mixed doses of the coronavirus vaccine – receiving a second type of vaccine different from the first dose – appear to be more likely to experience mild side effects such as fever, chills, fatigue or headache, reported British researchers yesterday.

But the side effects after the mix-and-match vaccinations were short lived and there were no other safety concerns, the researchers reported in the Lancet Medical Journal.

Olympic host cities in Japan cancel agreements to welcome athletes

Dozens of Olympic “host cities” have canceled deals to host athletes for the upcoming Summer Olympics in Tokyo due to Covid-19 concerns. At least 35 of the 528 host cities have withdrawn from their agreements, Yasuhiro Omori, an official at the Cabinet Office for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, told CNN.

The anti-Olympic campaign is gaining ground in Japan. An online petition calling for the games to be canceled garnered nearly 200,000 signatures in just a few days. However, the International Olympic Committee said they were moving forward as planned.

A & quot;  No Olympics & quot;  The banner is displayed during a protest against the Tokyo 2021 Games.
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ON OUR RADAR

  • The Covid-19 pandemic “could have been avoided” if the world had acted sooner, according to a report commissioned by the WHO.
  • The CDC has received reports of fewer than 10,000 “breakthrough” Covid-19 infections in people who have been vaccinated.
  • California Governor Gavin Newsom has said the state will effectively end the mask’s tenure when it fully reopens next month.
  • New Zealand could open its borders to vaccinated travelers before it completes its own vaccine rollout, according to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
  • People in Taiwan are rushing to get vaccinated after Covid-19 cases in the country peak in 16 days.
  • The Maldives has temporarily suspended arrivals from countries in South Asia.
  • The risk of dying from Covid-19 is 40 times higher than that of having a rare blood clot after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, according to a CNN analysis.

TODAY’S TOP TIP

As the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine becomes available to American teens, parents will decide whether to get their children vaccinated. We turned to CNN medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen for her advice and to answer some frequently asked questions parents asked about the vaccine.

Wen is an emergency physician and visiting professor of health policy and management at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health.

His first suggestion? “Talk to your child. More than likely, he or she has a strong opinion, ”she said.

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