In letter to UN, nursing unions blame vaccine patents for deaths in developing world

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COVID Boosters , for All Adults Get FDA Approval, , Await CDC Review.On November 19, regulators in the United States approved COVID-19 booster shots for all adults, an expansion of the government's campaign to bolster protection. .AP reports that the latest action is meant to simplify the list of who is eligible to receive a booster and which one to get. .However, the measure has one more hurdle to pass, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still needs to approve it. .However, the measure has one more hurdle to pass, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still needs to approve it. .If the CDC approves the measure, tens of millions of Americans could be eligible for three doses of protection.According to the AP, all three COVID-19 vaccines protect against severe illness, hospitalization and death, but their efficacy wanes with time. .Until recently, boosters of Pfizer and Moderna's vaccines were available for vulnerable groups. .Last week, Pfizer cited new data from a study of 10,000 people and asked the FDA to expand availability to everyone. .Streamlining the eligibility criteria and making booster doses available to all individuals 18 years of age and older will also help to eliminate confusion about who may receive a booster dose and ensure booster doses are available to all who may need one, Dr. Peter Marks, FDA vaccine chief, via AP.AP reports that the FDA did not consult advisers before granting approval, saying that Pfizer and Moderna’s boosters, “do not raise questions that would benefit from additional discussion.”

On Monday, nursing unions across 28 countries filed a formal complaint with the United Nations over the refusal of the European Union, the United Kingdom and other countries to temporarily waive patents for COVID-19 vaccines, saying that this has caused thousands of people in developing countries their lives, according to reports.

The complaint letter was sent to the UN on behalf of unions representing more than 2.5 million healthcare professionals worldwide, The Guardian reported. The letter stated that medical staff has witnessed firsthand the “staggering numbers of deaths and the immense suffering caused by political inaction”.

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It also claimed, according to The Guardian, that certain countries’ failure to compromise on intellectual property rights for vaccines had led to “vaccine apartheid,” with wealthier countries obtaining at least 7 billion doses while lower-income countries obtaining just approximately 300 million.

The letter went on to say that not only was such distribution “grossly unjust,” but the widespread transmission of COVID-19 in developing countries increased the risk of new variants forming, such as Omicron, prompting the UK and other countries to tighten travel restrictions and other measures.

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Global Nurses United, a healthcare umbrella organization, coordinated the letter to the UN, highlighting the EU, UK, Norway, Switzerland, and Singapore as the “immediate threat to people’s right to health.” The letter was addressed to Tlaleng Mofokeng, a South African doctor and health activist who serves as the United Nations’ special rapporteur on physical and mental health, The Guardian reported.

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According to the letter, at least 115,000 healthcare and medical workers have died as a result of COVID-19, and while 40% of the world’s population has been properly immunized, the figure in Africa and the western Pacific is less than one in ten.

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