Richer countries are failing a “rudimentary” test of global solidarity by hoarding COVID vaccines, Amnesty International said Wednesday as it accused some countries of exploiting the pandemic to undermine human rights.
South African scientists are testing whether vaccines will be less effective against a COVID-19 variant first detected locally and hope for initial results within two weeks, a professor at the national communicable disease institute said.
Scientists in South Africa said there is a "reasonable concern" that the new variant of COVID-19 sweeping across the country might prove to be more resistant to current vaccines being rolled out in the UK and elsewhere, and warn that it makes the need for a global rollout of vaccines "even more critical".
India on Sunday authorized the emergency use of two coronavirus vaccines developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University and by local pharmaceutical firm Bharat Biotech, the country's drug regulator said, paving the way for one of the world's biggest inoculation drives.
Europe launched a mass COVID-19 vaccination drive on Sunday with pensioners and medics lining up to get the first shots to see off a pandemic that has crippled economies and claimed more than 1.7 million lives worldwide.
The first trial in Africa to test two new vaccines to protect against HIV got under way in Uganda this week, raising hopes of an end to the epidemic that affects millions of people across the continent.
With Americans, Britons and Canadians rolling up their sleeves to receive coronavirus vaccines, the route out of the pandemic now seems clear to many in the West, even if the rollout will take many months. But for poorer countries, the road will be far longer and rougher.