10 July 2021

• Russia reports 752 daily deaths from COVID-19, its highest total to date, as the country’s cases surpass 5.75 million. Source

• Ursula von der Leyen, head of the European Commission, announces that the EU has delivered enough coronavirus vaccines (330 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine; 100 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, 50 million doses of Moderna’s vaccine and 10 million doses of the J & J single-shot vaccine) to reach its target of fully vaccinating 70 percent of the bloc’s adults. “But COVID-19 is not yet defeated,” she said.  “We are prepared to deliver more vaccines, including against new variants.” Source 

• As a record-breaking surge of coronavirus ripples across the country, Myanmar’s coup leader, General Min Aung Hlaing, says that Russia will begin to deliver two million doses of coronavirus vaccines, and that it will send a delegation to help the country begin producing its own vaccine supply. Source

• The New England Journal of Medicine publishes a perspective on vaccine injustice which notes that as high-income countries have more than twice the amount of coronavirus vaccine doses needed to cover their residents, low-income countries have just begun to immunize their population. The authors suggest immediate-term vaccine sharing to save the lives of frontline workers and vulnerable groups, which would help to end the pandemic, stop the spread of variants and help the global economy. At the same time, local vaccine production in Africa, Asia and Latin America could be enabled by technology transfer and temporary suspension of  intellectual property rules on all COVID-19 countermeasures. In the medium-term, as countries negotiate access, they must also invest in the “… scientific and industrial capacity that give such rules teeth.” 

The authors note the amount of public funding that has already gone into vaccine research and advance purchase agreements to de-risk vaccine development, saying that it is “…past time to renegotiate society’s contract with the pharmaceutical industry for combating pandemics: if taxpayers bear the lion’s share of risks and costs, private companies should price the resulting products affordably and openly share the data, technology, and know-how that have been subsidized.” Source

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