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Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1080/17441692.2020.1860249

COVID-19 vaccines and treatments nationalism: Challenges for low-income countries and the attainment of the SDGs.

04 Mar 2021-Global Public Health (Glob Public Health)-Vol. 16, Iss: 3, pp 319-339
Abstract: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (AfSD) has the vision to leave no one behind, particularly low-income countries. Yet COVID-19 seems to have brought up new rules and approaches. Through document and critical discourse analysis, it emerges that there has been a surge in COVID-19 vaccines and treatments nationalism. Global solidarity is threatened, with the USA, United Kingdom, European Union and Japan having secured 1.3 billion doses of potential vaccines as of August 2020. Vaccines ran out even before their approval with three candidates from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca having shown good Phase III results in November 2020. Rich countries have gone years ahead in advance vaccines and treatments purchases. This is a testimony that the 2030 AfSD, especially SDG 3 focusing on health will be difficult to achieve. Low-income countries are left gasping for survival as the COVID-19 pandemic relegates them further into extreme poverty and deeper inequality. The paper recommends the continued mobilisation by the World Health Organisation and other key stakeholders in supporting the GAVI vaccine alliance and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (COVAX) global vaccines initiative that seeks to make two billion vaccine doses available to 92 low and middle-income countries by December 2021.

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Topics: European union (53%), Extreme poverty (51%)
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Open accessPosted Content
Abstract: Scientists from across the globe are racing to develop effective vaccines and therapeutics for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Plans are beginning to emerge for ensuring the equitable worldwide distribution of vaccines and therapeutics resulting from biomedical innovations. Absent broad agreement and buy-in on those plans, governments may prioritize their own populations, resulting in inequitable distribution of medical products both within and among countries. During the 2009 influenza A(H1N1) pandemic, wealthy nations bought virtually all vaccine supplies. Even after the WHO appealed for donations, supplies for low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) were limited. The White House may have already sought exclusive access to a COVID-19 vaccine candidate. European and Asian countries have imposed export controls on personal protective equipment and ventilators, with similar export controls likely to extend to COVID-19 vaccine and therapeutic stocks. The development and widespread distribution of COVID-19 medical treatments are a common global interest. Here we offer a proposal for global cooperation to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines and therapies for COViD-19.

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28 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1038/S41591-021-01301-0
01 Apr 2021-Nature Medicine
Abstract: Examination of the vaccine strategies and technical platforms used for the COVID-19 pandemic in the context of those used for previous emerging and reemerging infectious diseases and pandemics may offer some mutually beneficial lessons. The unprecedented scale and rapidity of dissemination of recent emerging infectious diseases pose new challenges for vaccine developers, regulators, health authorities and political constituencies. Vaccine manufacturing and distribution are complex and challenging. While speed is essential, clinical development to emergency use authorization and licensure, pharmacovigilance of vaccine safety and surveillance of virus variants are also critical. Access to vaccines and vaccination needs to be prioritized in low- and middle-income countries. The combination of these factors will weigh heavily on the ultimate success of efforts to bring the current and any future emerging infectious disease pandemics to a close.

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Topics: Emerging infectious disease (59%), Pandemic (52%), Dengue vaccine (51%) ... show more

20 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/J.WORLDDEV.2021.105527
01 Sep 2021-World Development
Abstract: The COVID-19 epidemic provides yet another reason to prioritize inclusive development. Current response strategies of the global community and countries expose a low level of solidarity with poorer nations and poorer people in all nations. Against this background, this paper addresses the question: What are the development challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic lays bare and what lessons can be learnt for the way recovery processes are designed? Using an inclusive development and DPSIR lens to assess the literature, our study finds that, first, the current response prioritises the ‘state’ and ‘impact’ concerns of wealthier classes at the expense of the remainder of the world population. Second, responses have ignored underlying ‘drivers’ and ‘pressures’, instead aiming at a quick recovery of the economy. Third, a return to business-as-usual using government funding will lead to a vicious cycle of further ecological degradation, socio-economic inequality and domestic abuse that assist in exacerbating the drivers of the pandemic. We argue instead for an inclusive development approach that leads to a virtuous cycle by emphasizing human health, well-being and ecosystem regeneration. We conclude that the lost years for development did not commence in 2020 with the onset of COVID-19; the downward trend has actually been waxing over the past three decades. From this perspective, COVID-19 may be the shock needed to put the last first and transform vicious into virtuous cycles of inclusive development.

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8 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.3390/VACCINES9060538
21 May 2021-Vaccine
Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has evidenced the chronic inequality that exists between populations and communities as regards global healthcare. Vaccination, an appropriate tool for the prevention of infection, should be guaranteed by means of proportionate interventions to defeat such inequality in populations and communities affected by a higher risk of infection. Equitable criteria of justice should be identified and applied with respect to access to vaccination and to the order in which it should be administered. This article analyzes, as regards the worldwide distribution of anti-COVID-19 vaccines, the various ways the principle of equity has been construed and applied or even overlooked. The main obstacle to equal access to vaccines is vaccine nationalism. The perception of equity varies with the differing reference values adopted. Adequate response to needs appears to be the principal rule for achieving the criterion of equity in line with distributive justice. Priorities must be set equitably based on rational parameters in accordance with current needs. The entire process must be governed by transparency, from parameter identification to implementation. The issue of equal access to vaccination affects the entire world population, necessitating specific protective interventions. In light of this, the World Health Organization (WHO) has devised the COVAX plan to ensure that even the poorest nations of the world receive the vaccine; certain initiatives are also supported by the European Union (EU). This pandemic has brought to the fore the need to build a culture of equitable relationships both in each country's own domain and with the rest of the world.

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Topics: European union (54%), Equity (economics) (54%), Economic Justice (52%) ... show more

8 Citations


Open accessPosted ContentDOI: 10.1101/2021.03.31.437960
01 Apr 2021-bioRxiv
Abstract: Coagulopathy is recognized as a significant aspect of morbidity in COVID-19 patients. The clotting cascade is propagated by a series of proteases, including factor Xa and thrombin. Other host proteases, including TMPRSS2, are recognized to be important for cleavage activation of SARS-CoV-2 spike to promote viral entry. Using biochemical and cell-based assays, we demonstrate that factor Xa and thrombin can also directly cleave SARS-CoV-2 spike, enhancing viral entry. A drug-repurposing screen identified a subset of protease inhibitors that promiscuously inhibited spike cleavage by both transmembrane serine proteases as well as coagulation factors. The mechanism of the protease inhibitors nafamostat and camostat extend beyond inhibition of TMPRSS2 to coagulation-induced spike cleavage. Anticoagulation is critical in the management of COVID-19, and early intervention could provide collateral benefit by suppressing SARS-CoV-2 viral entry. We propose a model of positive feedback whereby infection-induced hypercoagulation exacerbates SARS-CoV-2 infectivity.

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Topics: Viral entry (58%), Proteases (56%), Thrombin (55%) ... show more

7 Citations


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33 results found


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1038/NRD.2017.243
Abstract: mRNA vaccines represent a promising alternative to conventional vaccine approaches because of their high potency, capacity for rapid development and potential for low-cost manufacture and safe administration. However, their application has until recently been restricted by the instability and inefficient in vivo delivery of mRNA. Recent technological advances have now largely overcome these issues, and multiple mRNA vaccine platforms against infectious diseases and several types of cancer have demonstrated encouraging results in both animal models and humans. This Review provides a detailed overview of mRNA vaccines and considers future directions and challenges in advancing this promising vaccine platform to widespread therapeutic use.

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1,067 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1021/ACSCENTSCI.0C00489
Abstract: The global pandemic of SARS-CoV-2, the causative viral pathogen of COVID-19, has driven the biomedical community to action—to uncover and develop antiviral interventions. One potential therapeutic ...

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343 Citations


Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1038/D41586-020-01221-Y
28 Apr 2020-Nature
Abstract: Eight ways in which scientists hope to provide immunity to SARS-CoV-2 . Eight ways in which scientists hope to provide immunity to SARS-CoV-2 .

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Topics: Coronavirus (64%), Betacoronavirus (53%)

255 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/J.TIPS.2020.03.006
Mark P. Lythgoe1, Paul M. Middleton1Institutions (1)
Abstract: COVID-19 has rapidly developed into a worldwide pandemic with a significant health and economic burden. There are currently no approved treatments or preventative therapeutic strategies. Hundreds of clinical studies have been registered with the intention of discovering effective treatments. Here, we review currently registered interventional clinical trials for the treatment and prevention of COVID-19 to provide an overall summary and insight into the global response.

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Topics: Pandemic (54%), Coronavirus (52%)

250 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(20)31252-6
06 Jun 2020-The Lancet
Abstract: Vaccine development is typically a long game. The US Food and Drug Administration only approved a first vaccine against Ebola virus last year, 43 years after the deadly virus was discovered. Vaccinologists have made little headway with HIV or respiratory syncytial virus, despite huge investments. On average, it takes 10 years to develop a vaccine. With the COVID-19 crisis looming, everyone is hoping that this time will be different. It might be. Already, ten vaccines against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-COV-2) are in clinical trials (table), and researchers at the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca hope to have the first phase 3 data in hand this summer. Although many infectious disease experts argue that even 18 months for a first vaccine is an incredibly aggressive schedule, a few optimists believe that hundreds of millions of doses of vaccine might be ready for roll-out by the end of 2020. “What’s happened so far has been nothing short of amazing”, says Penny Heaton, a vaccinologist and chief executive officer (CEO) of the Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute. Previous investments in new vaccine technology platforms made this possible, she adds. Indeed, several of the most advanced vaccine candidates make use of emerging technology platforms. Moderna’s mRNA-1273, which entered into clinical trials just 66 days after SARS-CoV-2 was first sequenced, showcases the potential for nucleotidebased vaccines. Like traditional livevirus vaccines, these vaccines deliver a genetic sequence into a host cell, and co-opt host machinery to express antigens of interest. However, rather than using a weakened SARS-CoV-2 to transport the code, Moderna’s vaccine uses a synthetic lipid nanoparticle to carry mRNA templates. Like most other COVID-19 vaccines in development, Moderna’s candidate attempts to train the immune system to recognise SARS-CoV-2’s spike protein, which the virus uses to bind to and enter host cells.

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Topics: Betacoronavirus (51%)

155 Citations


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