18 July 2021

• Britain’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, changes his mind after announcing that he wouldn’t isolate after being contacted by the country’s test and trace program – agreeing to isolate after facing public outrage and political opposition. Source

• UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson says people must learn to live with coronavirus. But the Delta variant is driving a surge of cases across the country, and scientists worry about the increasing numbers of people who could develop long COVID after restrictions are lifted, since just over 52 percent of the population is fully vaccinated. Source

• The UK’s National Institute for Health Research announced 20 million pounds ($27.5 million) to fund studies on the causes and physical and mental health impacts of long COVID. Source

• A pair of Olympic athletes from South Africa’s football team test positive for COVID-19. Source

• Strive Masiyiwa, the African Union’s envoy for vaccine acquisition, describes the current state of vaccine inequity as “…a deliberate global architecture of unfairness,” like being in a famine in which “the richest guys grab the baker” in an Associated Press report which details the reasons why poorer countries have not gotten their fair share of the shots. Global public health is coming second to intellectual property rights; export restrictions in high-income, vaccine-producing nations – which faced the epidemic first – prevented other countries from purchasing them; a flawed, underfunded global purchase plan for poorer countries has been unable to compete in cutthroat competition for vaccines, as rich countries began vaccinating younger and younger people instead of donating doses to where they are urgently needed. The article notes that although the disparity inevitable in some ways, “…the scale of the inequity, the stockpiling of unused vaccines, the lack of a viable global plan to solve a global problem has shocked health officials.” Source

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