WTO conference delay over Omicron a blow to global vaccine planning

WTO conference delay over Omicron a blow to global vaccine planning

2021-11-30 03:14:00 AM

WTO conference delay over Omicron a blow to global vaccine planning

However, delegations continue negotiations on IP waiver proposal by India and SA

Philip BlenkinsopNew WTO director-general Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. Picture: REUTERS/JOSHUA ROBERTSBrussels —  The postponement of the World Trade Organization's ministerial conference this week all but guarantees months of deadlock on fishing subsidies and a bid to spread Covid-19 vaccines more widely.

Expectations of breakthroughs were already muted ahead of the gathering, which was postponed late on Friday  after new Swiss travel restrictions due to the Omicron variant meant many planned face-to-face meetings could not happen.No new date has been set.

Dmitry Grozoubinski, executive director of the Geneva Trade Platform think-tank, said ministerial meetings were key to any agreements because they put together political decision-makers and created deadlines.“It's a significant blow. The gaps on issues such as fisheries and IP parts of Covid-19 are political gaps. It's not a fatal blow though as they do plan to reconvene,” he said. headtopics.com

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WTO director-general Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said negotiations should not stop and that delegations in Geneva should seek to close as many gaps as possible.“This new variant reminds us once again of the urgency of the work we are charged with,” she said.Delegations did set to work on Monday to debate a proposal by India and SA to waive intellectual property (IP) rights for Covid-19 vaccines and treatments and an EU counterproposal to use flexibilities in existing WTO rules.

Medecins Sans Frontieres said that the world could not waste more time, with millions of lives at stake.Barry Schoub, chair of the ministerial advisory committee on vaccines, talks to a Bloomberg panel about the Covid-19 variant Omicron.“We call on countries opposing and diluting this waiver to today halt the stalling tactics and take urgent measures to adopt a comprehensive waiver,” it said.

The Omicron discovery supports one of the arguments of waiver proponents that failing to supply vaccines to the globe increases the risk of potentially dangerous new variants of the coronavirus emerging.US President Joe Biden reiterated his belief in a waiver of IP protections for vaccines, saying the news of the new variant raised the importance of moving quickly.

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Omicron unlikely to reduce vaccine efficacy against hospitalisation and death: Prof Salim Abdool KarimIt could take between two and four weeks to nail down the facts about Omicron itself, but according to Prof Salim Abdool Karim, “current vaccines’ effectiveness against hospitalisation and disease is likely to remain strong”. Why a need for a booster if thats the case.

Omicron unlikely to reduce vaccine efficacy against hospitalisation and death: Prof Salim Abdool KarimIt could take between two and four weeks to nail down the facts about Omicron itself, but according to Prof Salim Abdool Karim, “current vaccines’ effectiveness against hospitalisation and disease is likely to remain strong”. This man s still there, omicron is not working; maybe omega will

Vaccine efficiency against Omicron likely to be strong, health expert saysThe new Covid-19 variant is spreading quickly but most people admitted to hospital have been unvaccinated We don't care if vaccine efficacy is strong, we don't trust vaccines.

Vaccine efficiency against Omicron likely to be strong, health expert saysThe new Covid-19 variant is spreading quickly but most people admitted to hospital have been unvaccinated Really? So we manufactured a vaccine, that was ineffective for variant 1 to 3, so we have to wait for variant 4 for it to be effective? No-one can see the irony of this? Amazing that just over a week ago we had an oversupply of vaccines, so now we have a variant and will mandate vaccines to take up the overflow - is anyone watching or everyone blind? Its clear that scientists want us all 2 be vaccinate& that's commendable BUT 'likely' is not assuring, esp. with the amount of fake vaccine 'info' that's flooding social media. Its OK to say just get vaccinate but this 'most likely' & 'there's enough support' is not assurances.

Britain expands vaccine booster programme as more Omicron cases emergeScotland, Sweden and Portugal report new cases of the Covid-19 variant

BioNTech working to adapt its Covid-19 vaccine for Omicron variantBioNTech SE is working to adapt its Covid-19 vaccine to address the omicron variant and expects to have a new version ready within 100 days if necessary.