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COVID-19 Forecasts: Cases

2019 Novel Coronavirus (CDC) - Wed, 07/07/2021 - 07:00
Learn about COVID-19 forecasts and modeling for new cases.
Categories: C.D.C. (U.S.)

WHO recommends life-saving interleukin-6 receptor blockers for COVID-19 and urges producers to join efforts to rapidly increase access

WHO news - Tue, 07/06/2021 - 22:28

The World Health Organization (WHO) has updated its patient care guidelines to include interleukin-6 receptor blockers, a class of medicines that are lifesaving in patients who are severely or critically ill with COVID-19, especially when administered alongside corticosteroids. 

These were the findings from a prospective and a living network meta-analysis initiated by WHO, the largest such analysis on the drugs to date. Data from over 10 000 patients enrolled in 27 clinical trials were considered. 

These are the first drugs found to be effective against COVID-19 since corticosteroids were recommended by WHO in September 2020. 

Patients severely or critically ill with COVID-19 often suffer from an overreaction of the immune system, which can be very harmful to the patient’s health. Interleukin-6 blocking drugs – tocilizumab and sarilumab – act to suppress this overreaction.  

The prospective and living network meta-analyses showed that in severely or critically ill patients, administering these drugs reduce the odds of death by 13%, compared to standard care. This means that there will be 15 fewer deaths per thousand patients, and as many as 28 fewer deaths for every thousand critically ill patients. The odds of mechanical ventilation among severe and critical patients are reduced by 28%, compared with standard care. This translates to 23 fewer patients out of a thousand needing mechanical ventilation. 

Clinical trial investigators in 28 countries shared data with WHO, including pre-publication data. Researchers worldwide compiled and analyzed the data. With the support of these critical partnerships, WHO has been able to issue a rapid and trustworthy recommendation for the use of interleukin-6 receptor blockers in severe and critical COVID-19 patients.

“These drugs offer hope for patients and families who are suffering from the devastating impact of severe and critical COVID-19. But IL-6 receptor blockers remain inaccessible and unaffordable for the majority of the world,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

“The inequitable distribution of vaccines means that people in low- and middle-income countries are most susceptible to severe forms of COVID-19. So, the greatest need for these drugs is in countries that currently have the least access. We must urgently change this.” 

To increase access and affordability of these life-saving products, WHO calls on manufacturers to reduce prices and make supplies available to low- and middle-income countries, especially where COVID-19 is surging. 

WHO also encourages companies to agree to transparent, non-exclusive voluntary licensing agreements using the C-TAP platform and the Medicines Patent Pool, or to waive exclusivity rights.

In addition, WHO has launched an expression of interest for prequalification of manufacturers of interleukin-6 receptor blockers. Prequalification of innovator and biosimilar products aims to expand the availability of quality-assured products and to increase access through market competition and reduce prices to meet urgent public health needs.

WHO pledges extensive commitments towards women’s empowerment and health

WHO news - Mon, 07/05/2021 - 18:07

The World Health Organization announced multiple commitments to drive change for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in all their diversity at the Generation Equality Forum, held last week in Paris. The WHO commitments focused on ending gender-based violence; advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights; and supporting health workers as well as feminist movements and leadership. These commitments shape a progressive and transformative blueprint for advancing gender equality, health equity, human rights and the empowerment of women and girls globally.

The Forum, marking the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action on Women, came at a critical moment, with COVID-19 having exacerbated existing gender inequalities. WHO led in two key areas of the Forum: the Action Coalition on Gender-Based Violence (co-led with UN Women and other partners) and the Gender Equal Health and Care Workforce Initiative between France, Women in Global Health and WHO.

Recognizing the health sector has an important role to play in preventing and responding to gender-based violence against women and girls, WHO committed to:

WHO will partner with Wellspring, Ford Foundation, UN Women and the Government of the United Kingdom, in the launch of the Shared Agenda Advocacy Accelerator (the Accelerator) to advocate for increasing resources for preventing violence against women and girls. WHO will support the implementation of the International Labour Organization Convention No. 190 on Eliminating Violence and Harassment in the World of Work including by providing training to staff on a new internal policy, Preventing and Addressing Abusive Conduct. 

WHO also committed to investing in the evidence base for sexual and reproductive health and rights, including delivering comprehensive sexuality education outside school settings; improving access to quality and rights-based family planning in 14 middle-income countries ; supporting 25 countries in increasing adolescents’ access to and use of contraception; disseminating updated guidelines on safe abortion; and building knowledge among adolescents of their entitlements and ability to advocate for their needs. 

Together with UNFPA and UNICEF, WHO committed to work to end harmful practices like female genital mutilation and child, early and forced marriages. The health sector will be supported to end medicalization of female genital mutilation and provide quality health services to women and girls living with female genital mutilation and married girls.  

At a high-level event focusing on the Gender Equal Health and Care Workforce Initiative, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus reiterated WHO’s commitment to advocating for decent and safe work conditions for all health and care workers, especially women. Several countries and organizations announced commitments towards the four pillars of the Initiative: gender equal leadership; equal pay; protection against sexual harassment and violence; decent and safe working conditions. The Gender Equal Health and Care Workforce Initiative will convene again during the United Nations General Assembly in September 2021.

WHO along with other UN agencies declared solidarity with and support to feminist movements and women human rights defenders, committing to expand an open, safe and inclusive civic space for their work. This commitment is closely linked to the UN Secretary-General's Call to Action for Human Rights and the recently published UN Guidance on Promoting and Protecting Civic Space. WHO will:

  • Update its gender policy, strategy and roadmap;
  • Open specific internship opportunities for individuals with feminist leadership experience;
  • Promote civil society participation in health systems, COVID-19 response and recovery activities;
  • Promote and encourage gender parity in World Health Assembly delegations, WHO panels and advisory groups; and
  • Facilitate menstrual hygiene and promote awareness.

WHO, as part of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, also committed to  support countries to address gender-related barriers to polio vaccination, collect and analyse sex-disaggregated data to ensure girls and boys are reached equally, and to increase women’s meaningful participation and decision-making across all levels of the programme.

WHO has committed to accelerating and scaling up its efforts to prevent and respond to sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment. An organization-wide task team, headed by a Director reporting to the Director-General, will bring together WHO’s accountability functions that deal with these issues within WHO programmes and operations the field. The aim is to increase policy coherence, address gaps, and ensure that implementation of policy and procedures has sufficient impact to protect women, their families and communities.

There will be a priority focus on how allegations and cases are managed, and practical measures on how emergency and programmatic operations can safeguard people more effectively from sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment.

The Task Team will work with partners on the ground to empower communities to prevent and respond to sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment. They will also prioritize engagement with the UN systems, international partners and external experts to move this important work forward. Some of the activities currently being scaled up include awareness raising in communities; engaging female and male community focal points to empower women to be alert to and use community-based complaint mechanisms safely; and measures to strengthen survivor-based services for women through the health system and in the community.

 

New recommendations for screening and treatment to prevent cervical cancer

WHO news - Mon, 07/05/2021 - 17:45

Too many women worldwide – particularly the poorest women – continue to die from cervical cancer; a disease which is both preventable and treatable. Today, WHO and HRP have launched a new guideline to help countries make faster progress, more equitably, on the screening and treatment of this devastating disease.

Ending suffering from cervical cancer

Last year, in 2020, more than half a million women contracted cervical cancer, and about 342 000 women died as a result – most in the poorest countries. Quick and accurate screening programmes are critical so that every woman with cervical disease gets the treatment she needs, and avoidable deaths are prevented.

WHO’s global strategy for cervical cancer elimination– endorsed by the World Health Assembly in 2020 –  calls for 70% of women globally to be screened regularly for cervical disease with a high-performance test, and for 90% of those needing it to receive appropriate treatment. Alongside vaccination of girls against the human papillomavirus (HPV), implementing this global strategy could prevent more than  62 million deaths from cervical cancer in the next 100 years.

Effective and accessible cervical screening and treatment programmes in every country are non-negotiable if we are going to end the unimaginable suffering caused by cervical cancer,” says Dr Princess Nono Simelela, Assistant Director-General for Strategic Programmatic Priorities: Cervical Cancer Elimination. “This new WHO guideline will guide public health investment in better diagnostic tools, stronger implementation processes and more acceptable options for screening to reach more women –  and save more lives.”

A shift in care

The new guideline include some important shifts in WHO’s recommended approaches to cervical screening. 

In particular, it recommends an HPV DNA based test as the preferred method, rather than visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA) or cytology (commonly known as a ‘Pap smear’), currently the most commonly used methods globally to detect pre-cancer lesions.

HPV-DNA testing detects high-risk strains of HPV which cause almost all cervical cancers. Unlike tests that rely on visual inspection, HPV-DNA testing is an objective diagnostic, leaving no space for interpretation of results.

Although the process for a healthcare provider obtaining a cervical sample is similar with both cytology or HPV DNA testing, HPV DNA testing is simpler, prevents more pre-cancers and cancer, and saves more lives than VIA or cytology. In addition, it is more cost-effective.

More access to commodities and self-sampling is another route to consider for reaching the global strategy target of 70% testing by 2030. 

WHO suggests that self-collected samples can be used when providing HPV DNA testing. Studies show that women often feel more comfortable taking their own samples, for instance in the comfort of their own home, rather than going to see a provider for screening. However, women need to receive appropriate support to feel confident in managing the process.

Recommendations respond to the link between HPV and HIV

Women who are immunocompromised, such as those living with HIV, are particularly vulnerable to cervical disease; they are more likely to have persistent HPV infections and more rapid progression to pre-cancer and cancer. This results in a six-fold higher risk of cervical cancer among women living with HIV.

In recognition of this, the new guideline include recommendations which are specific for women living with HIV. This includes using an HPV DNA primary screening test followed by a triage test if results are positive for HPV, to evaluate the results for risk of cervical cancer and need for treatment. The global recommendations also advise that screening start at an earlier age (25 years of age) than for the general population of women (30 years of age). Women living with HIV also need to be retested after a shorter time interval following a positive test and following treatment than women without HIV. 

With these new guidelines, we must leverage the platforms already developed for HIV care and treatment to better integrate cervical cancer screening and treatment to meet the health needs and rights of the diverse group of women living with HIV to increase access, improve coverage, and save lives” Dr. Meg Doherty, Director, WHO Department of Global HIV, Hepatitis and Sexually Transmitted Infections Programmes.

Every intervention counts to eliminate cervical cancer

Data showing where countries around the world currently stand in relation to their burden of cervical cancer and coverage for screening and treatment, are due to be published by the end of 2021. These country profiles can help ministries of health identify where their programmes need strengthening and measure progress towards the 2030 targets.

For a cervical cancer prevention and control programme to have impact, strengthening patient retention and ensuring rapid treatment of women who screen positive for HPV or cervical pre-cancer is a fundamental priority.

Cost-effectiveness of screening tests is important for scaling up programmes, but other aspects of the public health approach to eliminating cervical cancer are also vital,” said Dr Nathalie Broutet, WHO Department of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Research and HRP. “What matters most is the coherence of every country’s programme in ensuring the continuum of care: that all women have access to screening, health care providers are informed in a timely manner about the results of the screening test and can in turn share this information with their client, and that women can access appropriate treatment or referral if needed.” 

WHO calls for all women to ensure they get regular cervical cancer screening tests in line with the recommendations of their local health authority.

Summary recommendation for the general population of womenSummary recommendation for women living with HIV

WHO suggests using either of the following strategies for cervical cancer prevention:

  • HPV DNA detection in a screen-and-treat approach starting at the age of 30 years with regular screening every 5 to 10 years.
  • HPV DNA detection in a screen, triage and treat approach starting at the age of 30 years with regular screening every 5 to 10 years.

WHO suggests using the following strategy for cervical cancer prevention among women living with HIV:

  • HPV DNA detection in a screen, triage and treat approach starting at the age of 25 with regular screening every 3 to 5 years.

 

 

Older Adults

2019 Novel Coronavirus (CDC) - Sat, 07/03/2021 - 07:00
Older adults, 65 years and older, are at higher risk for severe illness. COVID-19 is a new disease and we are learning more about it every day.
Categories: C.D.C. (U.S.)

COVID-19 Testing Overview

2019 Novel Coronavirus (CDC) - Fri, 07/02/2021 - 07:00
If you are a close contact of someone with COVID-19 or you are a resident in a community where there is ongoing spread of COVID-19 and develop symptoms of COVID-19, call your healthcare provider and tell them about your symptoms and your exposure.
Categories: C.D.C. (U.S.)

Help Stop the Spread of COVID-19 in Children

2019 Novel Coronavirus (CDC) - Fri, 07/02/2021 - 07:00
Help Stop the Spread of COVID-19 in Children
Categories: C.D.C. (U.S.)

Coronavirus Self-Checker

2019 Novel Coronavirus (CDC) - Fri, 07/02/2021 - 07:00
Coronavirus Self-Checker is a tool to help you make decisions on when to seek testing and appropriate medical care.
Categories: C.D.C. (U.S.)

Joint COVAX Statement on the Equal Recognition of Vaccines

WHO news - Thu, 07/01/2021 - 13:57

COVAX was built on the principle of equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines to protect the health of people all across the globe. That means protecting their lives and livelihoods, including their ability to travel and conduct trade. As travel and other possibilities begin to open up in some parts of the world, COVAX urges all regional, national and local government authorities to recognise as fully vaccinated all people who have received COVID-19 vaccines that have been deemed safe and effective by the World Health Organization and/or the 11 Stringent Regulatory Authorities (SRAs) approved for COVID-19 vaccines, when making decisions on who is able to travel or attend events.

Any measure that only allows people protected by a subset of WHO-approved vaccines to benefit from the re-opening of travel into and with that region would effectively create a two-tier system, further widening the global vaccine divide and exacerbating the inequities we have already seen in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. It would negatively impact the growth of economies that are already suffering the most.

Such moves are already undermining confidence in life-saving vaccines that have already been shown to be safe and effective, affecting uptake of vaccines and potentially putting billions of people at risk. At a time when the world is trying to resume trade, commerce and travel, this is counter-effective, both in spirit and outcome.

COVAX commends countries that have already shown commitment to equity as well as safety by accepting travelers protected by all vaccines validated by WHO Emergency Use Listing (EUL) and/or the 11 Stringent Regulatory Authorities (SRAs) approved for COVID-19 vaccines. We call on other nations and regions to do the same.  

 

Notes to editors

About COVAX

COVAX, the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, is co-convened by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance Gavi) and the World Health Organization (WHO) – working in partnership with UNICEF as key implementing partner, developed and developing country vaccine manufacturers, the World Bank, and others. It is the only global initiative that is working with governments and manufacturers to ensure COVID-19 vaccines are available worldwide to both higher-income and lower-income countries.

CEPI’s role in COVAX

CEPI is leading on the COVAX vaccine research and development portfolio, investing in R&D across a variety of promising candidates, with the goal to support development of three safe and effective vaccines which can be made available to countries participating in the COVAX Facility. As part of this work, CEPI has secured first right of refusal to potentially over one billion doses for the COVAX Facility to a number of candidates, and made strategic investments in vaccine manufacturing, which includes reserving capacity to manufacture doses of COVAX vaccines at a network of facilities, and securing glass vials to hold 2 billion doses of vaccine. CEPI is also investing in the ‘next generation’ of vaccine candidates, which will give the world additional options to control COVID-19 in the future.

Gavi’s role in COVAX

Gavi leads on procurement and delivery at scale for COVAX: designing and managing the COVAX Facility and the Gavi COVAX AMC and working with its traditional Alliance partners UNICEF and WHO, along with governments, on country readiness and delivery. As part of this role, Gavi hosts the Office of the COVAX Facility to coordinate the operation and governance of the mechanism as a whole, holds financial and legal relationships with 193 Facility participants, and manages the COVAX Facility deals portfolio: negotiating advance purchase agreements with manufacturers of promising vaccine candidates to secure doses on behalf of all COVAX Facility participants. Gavi also coordinates design, operationalisation and fundraising for the Gavi COVAX AMC, the mechanism that provides access to donor-funded doses of vaccine to 92 lower-income economies. As part of this work, Gavi provides funding and oversight for UNICEF procurement and delivery of vaccines to all AMC participants – operationalising the advance purchase agreements between Gavi and manufacturers – as well as support for partners’ and governments work on readiness and delivery. This includes tailored support to governments, UNICEF, WHO and other partners for cold chain equipment, technical assistance, syringes, vehicles, and other aspects of the vastly complex logistical operation for delivery. Gavi also co-designed, raises funds for and supports the operationalisation of the AMC’s no fault compensation mechanism as well as the COVAX Humanitarian Buffer.

WHO’s role in COVAX

WHO has multiple roles within COVAX: It provides normative guidance on vaccine policy, regulation, safety, R&D, allocation, and country readiness and delivery. Its Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization develops evidence-based immunization policy recommendations. Its Emergency Use Listing (EUL) / prequalification programmes ensure harmonized review and authorization across member states. It provides global coordination and member state support on vaccine safety monitoring. It developed the target product profiles for COVID-19 vaccines and provides R&D technical coordination. WHO leads, together with UNICEF, the Country Readiness and Delivery workstream, which provides support to countries as they prepare to receive and administer vaccines. Along with Gavi and numerous other partners working at the global, regional, and country-level, the CRD workstream provides tools, guidance, monitoring, and on the ground technical assistance for the planning and roll-out of the vaccines. Along with COVAX partners, WHO has developed a no-fault compensation scheme as part of the time-limited indemnification and liability commitments

UNICEF’s role in COVAX

UNICEF is leveraging its experience as the largest single vaccine buyer in the world and working with manufacturers and partners on the procurement of COVID-19 vaccine doses, as well as freight, logistics and storage. UNICEF already procures more than 2 billion doses of vaccines annually for routine immunisation and outbreak response on behalf of nearly 100 countries. In collaboration with the PAHO Revolving Fund, UNICEF is leading efforts to procure and supply doses of COVID-19 vaccines for COVAX. In addition, UNICEF, Gavi and WHO are working with governments around the clock to ensure that countries are ready to receive the vaccines, with appropriate cold chain equipment in place and health workers trained to dispense them. UNICEF is also playing a lead role in efforts to foster trust in vaccines, delivering vaccine confidence communications and tracking and addressing misinformation around the world.

About ACT-Accelerator

The Access to COVID-19 Tools ACT-Accelerator, is a new, ground-breaking global collaboration to accelerate the development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines. It was set up in response to a call from G20 leaders in March and launched by the WHO, European Commission, France and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in April 2020.

The ACT-Accelerator is not a decision-making body or a new organisation, but works to speed up collaborative efforts among existing organisations to end the pandemic. It is a framework for collaboration that has been designed to bring key players around the table with the goal of ending the pandemic as quickly as possible through the accelerated development, equitable allocation, and scaled up delivery of tests, treatments and vaccines, thereby protecting health systems and restoring societies and economies in the near term. It draws on the experience of leading global health organisations which are tackling the world’s toughest health challenges, and who, by working together, are able to unlock new and more ambitious results against COVID-19. Its members share a commitment to ensure all people have access to all the tools needed to defeat COVID-19 and to work with unprecedented levels of partnership to achieve it.

The ACT-Accelerator has four areas of work: diagnostics, therapeutics, vaccines and the health system connector. Cross-cutting all of these is the workstream on Access & Allocation.

 

Overview of Testing for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19)

2019 Novel Coronavirus (CDC) - Thu, 07/01/2021 - 07:00
Overview of Testing for SARS-CoV-2
Categories: C.D.C. (U.S.)

COVID-19 Vaccine Communication Toolkit for Community-Based Organizations: Getting Started

2019 Novel Coronavirus (CDC) - Thu, 07/01/2021 - 07:00
The CDC has designed a toolkit to help community-based organizations (CBOs) educate communities about new COVID-19 vaccines.
Categories: C.D.C. (U.S.)

Cases & Deaths by County

2019 Novel Coronavirus (CDC) - Thu, 07/01/2021 - 07:00
Find national and local rates for COVID cases and deaths in the United States.
Categories: C.D.C. (U.S.)

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

2019 Novel Coronavirus (CDC) - Thu, 07/01/2021 - 07:00
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Home Page
Categories: C.D.C. (U.S.)

First Meeting of the Task Force on COVID-19 Vaccines, Therapeutics and Diagnostics for Developing Countries

WHO news - Wed, 06/30/2021 - 22:42

The Heads of the World Bank Group, International Monetary Fund, World Health Organization, and World Trade Organization today convened for the first meeting of the Task Force on COVID-19 Vaccines, Therapeutics and Diagnostics for Developing Countries. They issued the following joint statement:

“As many countries are struggling with new variants and a third wave of COVID-19 infections, accelerating access to vaccines becomes even more critical to ending the pandemic everywhere and achieving broad-based growth. We are deeply concerned about the limited vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics, and support for deliveries available to developing countries. Urgent action is needed now to arrest the rising human toll due to the pandemic, and to halt further divergence in the economic recovery between advanced economies and the rest.

We have formed a Task Force, as a “war room” to help track, coordinate and advance delivery of COVID-19 health tools to developing countries and to mobilize relevant stakeholders and national leaders to remove critical roadblocks—in support of the priorities set out by World Bank Group, IMF, WHO, and WTO including in the joint statements of June 1 and June 3, and in the IMF staff’s $50 billion proposal.

At today’s first meeting, we discussed the urgency of increasing supplies of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics for developing countries. We also looked at practical and effective ways to track, coordinate and advance delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to developing countries.

As an urgent first step, we are calling on G20 countries to (1) embrace the target of at least 40 percent in every country by end-2021, and at least 60 percent by the first half of 2022, (2) share more vaccine doses now, including by ensuring at least  1 billion doses are shared with developing countries in 2021 starting immediately, (3) provide financing, including grants and concessional financing, to close the residual gaps, including for the ACT-Accelerator, and (4) remove all barriers to export of inputs and finished vaccines, and other barriers to supply chain operations.

In addition, to enhance transparency we agreed to compile data on dose requests (by type and quantity), contracts, deliveries (including through donations), and deployments of COVID-19 vaccines to low and middle-income countries—and make it available as part of a shared country-level dashboard. We also agreed to take steps to address hesitancy, and to coordinate efforts to address gaps in readiness, so countries are positioned to receive, deploy and administer vaccines.” 

Joint Statement by the Heads of the World Bank Group, International Monetary Fund, World Health Organization, and World Trade Organization on the First Meeting of the Task Force on COVID-19 Vaccines, Therapeutics and Diagnostics for Developing Countries

WHO news - Wed, 06/30/2021 - 22:23

The Heads of the World Bank Group, International Monetary Fund, World Health Organization, and World Trade Organization today convened for the first meeting of the Task Force on COVID-19 Vaccines, Therapeutics and Diagnostics for Developing Countries. They issued the following joint statement:

“As many countries are struggling with new variants and a third wave of COVID-19 infections, accelerating access to vaccines becomes even more critical to ending the pandemic everywhere and achieving broad-based growth. We are deeply concerned about the limited vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics, and support for deliveries available to developing countries. Urgent action is needed now to arrest the rising human toll due to the pandemic, and to halt further divergence in the economic recovery between advanced economies and the rest.

We have formed a Task Force, as a “war room” to help track, coordinate and advance delivery of COVID-19 health tools to developing countries and to mobilize relevant stakeholders and national leaders to remove critical roadblocks—in support of the priorities set out by World Bank Group, IMF, WHO, and WTO including in the joint statements of June 1 and June 3, and in the IMF staff’s $50 billion proposal.

At today’s first meeting, we discussed the urgency of increasing supplies of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics for developing countries. We also looked at practical and effective ways to track, coordinate and advance delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to developing countries.

As an urgent first step, we are calling on G20 countries to (1) embrace the target of at least 40 percent in every country by end-2021, and at least 60 percent by the first half of 2022, (2) share more vaccine doses now, including by ensuring at least  1 billion doses are shared with developing countries in 2021 starting immediately, (3) provide financing, including grants and concessional financing, to close the residual gaps, including for the ACT-Accelerator, and (4) remove all barriers to export of inputs and finished vaccines, and other barriers to supply chain operations.

In addition, to enhance transparency we agreed to compile data on dose requests (by type and quantity), contracts, deliveries (including through donations), and deployments of COVID-19 vaccines to low and middle-income countries—and make it available as part of a shared country-level dashboard. We also agreed to take steps to address hesitancy, and to coordinate efforts to address gaps in readiness, so countries are positioned to receive, deploy and administer vaccines.” 

Use of antibiotics in animals is decreasing

ECDC - News - Wed, 06/30/2021 - 15:00
Use of antibiotics has decreased and is now lower in food-producing animals than in humans, says the latest report published by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), and the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
Categories: C.D.C. (Europe)

WHO and Global Fund Sign Cooperation Agreement to Scale Up HIV, TB and Malaria Interventions and Strengthen Health Systems

WHO news - Wed, 06/30/2021 - 10:15

The World Health Organization and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria signed a cooperation and financing agreement to implement 10 strategic initiatives to accelerate the end of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria as epidemics and strengthen systems for health. This new agreement, which will cover the 2021-2023 implementation period, aims to address some of the persistent challenges that impede progress against the three diseases and protect hard-won gains from new pandemics like COVID-19.

In 2019, a total of 1.4 million people died from tuberculosis and an estimated 409,000 people died from malaria. In 2020, 690,000 people died from AIDS-related illnesses.

Through the new agreement, the strategic initiatives seek to:

  • Expand TB preventive treatment for people living with HIV in 9 countries across Africa;
  • Strengthen efforts to provide differentiated HIV service delivery;
  • Accelerate efforts to find people with TB missed by health systems in 20 countries;
  • Accelerate introduction of innovation for multi-drug resistant TB treatment through regional operational research in Eastern and Central Europe;
  • Support 26 countries and territories to eliminate malaria by 2025;
  • Improve country data collection and use to develop evidence-informed policy;
  • Foster the rapid uptake of service delivery innovations with South to South Learning;
  • Improve quality of care;
  • Encourage rapid uptake of procurement and supply chain management innovation; and
  • Increase program sustainability, facilitate the transition to domestic financing and improve program efficiency.


WHO and the Global Fund have a long and successful partnership working together to scale up HIV, TB and malaria interventions and strengthen health systems in many countries. Through focused efforts and catalytic investments, this collaboration has contributed to significantly reduce the disease burdens of HIV, TB and malaria worldwide, saving millions of lives since 2002.

“The COVID-19 pandemic, more than ever, reinforces the need to strengthen our partnership to achieve our shared goals of ending the epidemics,” said Dr Mubashar Sheikh, Director, Deputy Director-General’s Office, WHO. “This agreement supports countries to develop more effective responses to the HIV, tuberculosis and malaria epidemics and build the resilient health systems they need to reach the most vulnerable.”

“Together, WHO and the Global Fund have proven to be a powerful force that builds on strong in-country support and regional presence, technical leadership and financial resources to strengthen systems for health and accelerate the end of AIDS, TB and malaria as epidemics,” said Michael Byrne, Head of Technical Advice and Partnerships at the Global Fund. “This new agreement will help overcome the multiple challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, safeguard and expand HIV, TB and malaria programs.”

 

 

 

Testing Data in the U.S.

2019 Novel Coronavirus (CDC) - Wed, 06/30/2021 - 07:00
Testing in the U.S.
Categories: C.D.C. (U.S.)

Interim Guidance for Use of Pooling Procedures in SARS-CoV-2 Diagnostic, Screening, and Surveillance Testing

2019 Novel Coronavirus (CDC) - Wed, 06/30/2021 - 07:00
Guidance for laboratories on the appropriate use of pooling strategies for SARS-CoV-2 testing
Categories: C.D.C. (U.S.)

ECDC launches the report 'Countering online vaccine misinformation in the EU/EEA'

ECDC - News - Tue, 06/29/2021 - 15:00
On June 29, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) published the report ‘Countering online vaccine misinformation in the EU/EEA', with a focus on misinformation related to vaccination against measles (in combination with mumps and rubella), human papillomavirus (HPV), influenza, and COVID-19.
Categories: C.D.C. (Europe)

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