- This daily round-up brings you a selection of the latest news and updates on the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, as well as tips and tools to help you stay informed and protected.
- Top stories: Moderna planning vaccine plant in Africa; UN head calls for $8 billion to support equitable vaccination; Italy further eases COVID-19 restrictions.
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1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe
Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have passed 236.7 million globally, according to Johns Hopkins University. The number of confirmed deaths stands at more than 4.83 million. More than 6.41 billion vaccination doses have been administered globally, according to Our World in Data.
Malaysia has given conditional approval for the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to be used as a booster shot.
US President Joe Biden has called on more US businesses to obligate workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Japan has struck a deal with Pfizer for an additional 120 million COVID-19 vaccine doses from January 2022.
The coronavirus incidence rate in Spain has dropped below 50 cases per 100,000 people, reaching the Health Ministry's 'low risk' threshold for the first time in a year.
Panama will also purchase an additional 3 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.
Confirmed new COVID-19 cases in the UK hit 40,701 yesterday, up 12% on a week before and the biggest total since 6 September.
Italy has increased the maximum attendance at cultural and sporting venues. It's part of its progressive easing of COVID-19 curbs for those that show proof of immunity.
2. Call for $8 billion for equitable vaccination
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has called for $8 billion to support the global COVID-19 vaccination drive and reach 40% of people in all countries by the end of the year.
It comes as the World Health Organization launched a plan to inoculate 70% of the world by mid next year.
"Not to have equitable distribution of vaccines is not only a question of being immoral, it is also a question of being stupid," Guterres said at a joint news conference with WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
More than half of the world has yet to receive at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to Our World in Data, and less than 5% of Africans have been fully vaccinated, according to the continent's top public health official.
3. Moderna plans vaccine plant in Africa
Moderna has announced plans to invest up to $500 million to build a factory in Africa to make up to 500 million doses of mRNA vaccines every year - including its COVID-19 shot.
African countries and the World Health Organization (WHO) have been urging drugmakers for months to set up vaccine plants on the continent to help it secure supplies of COVID-19 shots that have been largely purchased by wealthier nations.
"We expect to manufacture our COVID-19 vaccine as well as additional products within our mRNA vaccine portfolio at this facility," CEO Stephane Bancel said in a statement.
John Nkengasong, director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, said he had not seen the statement and had not been consulted on the move. However, he welcomed efforts to address the medium- and long-term needs of the continent - but more work was needed now to secure COVID-19 vaccine doses.
India’s leading COVID-19 last-mile responders
Each of our Top 50 social enterprise last mile responders and multi-stakeholder initiatives is working across four priority areas of need: Prevention and protection; COVID-19 treatment and relief; inclusive vaccine access; and securing livelihoods. The list was curated jointly with regional hosts Catalyst 2030’s NASE and Aavishkaar Group. Their profiles can be found on www.wef.ch/lastmiletop50india.
Top Last Mile Partnership Initiatives to collaborate with:
#BackTheFrontline - Dasra
Covid Action Collab
Covid Livelihoods Coalition – CoLive
Migrants Resilience Collaborative
Rapid Rural Community Response (RCRC)
Rural Access Coalition
Saath Nirbhar - vartaLeap Coalition and ComMutiny
Sanjha Collective - Goonj
Top 50 Last Mile Responders to get behind:
Barefoot College International
Center for Wildlife Studies
Society Of Development Alternatives
Doctors For You
Dream a Dream
Eleutheros Christian Society
Every Infant Matters
Healing Fields Foundation
Indian Society of Agribusiness Professionals
MAHAN Trust, Melghat
Mann Deshi Foundation
Mission Oxygen - Democracy
SEWA Cooperative Federation
Spandan Samaj Seva Samiti
Study Hall Educational Foundation (SHEF)
Sustainable Environment and Ecological Development Society (SEEDS)
Transforming Rural India Foundation
Ziqitza Health Care Limited