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Jess Frampton

Africa’s vaccine cloning gamble

Less than a year after the world started putting COVID vaccines into people's arms, most regions have immunized at least half their populations, but Africa still lags behind. With industrialized nations hoarding jabs and the COVAX facility faltering, barely five percent of the African population is fully vaccinated.

Some enterprising South African scientists are now making a bold bid to change that, with an experiment that could benefit not only Africa's 54 nations and billion people, but the entire world: Afrigen Biologics and Vaccines, a Cape Town-based startup, has developed a plan to reverse-engineer Moderna's mRNA shot and manufacture it for priority distribution on the continent.

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NBA Player Sparks Backlash From China | Bolsonaro’s COVID Negligence | World In :60 | GZERO Media

NBA player sparks backlash from China; Bolsonaro's COVID negligence

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week with a look at the NBA's latest rift with China, Brazil's Senate investigation, and COVID booster shots.

China wipes Boston Celtics from NBA broadcast after the "Free Tibet" speech from Enes Kanter. Is NBA boxing itself into a corner?

Nice mixed sports metaphor there. NBA has some challenges because they are of course the most progressive on political and social issues in the United States among sports leagues, but not when it comes to China, their most important international market. And you've seen that with LeBron James telling everyone about we need to learn better from the Communist Party on issues like Hong Kong and how Daryl Morey got hammered for taking his stance in favor of Hong Kong democracy. Well, Enes Kanter's doing the same thing and he's a second-string center. Didn't even play yesterday and still the Chinese said that they were not going to air any Boston Celtics games. Why? Because he criticized the Chinese government and had some "Free Tibet" sneakers. This is a real problem for a lot of corporations out there, but particularly publicly, the NBA. Watch for a bunch of American politicians to make it harder for the NBA going forward, saying how dare you kowtow to the Chinese when you're all about "Black Lives Matter" inside the United States. No fun.

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A person holds a placard as supporters of the Economic Freedom Fighters march to demand a rollout of COVID vaccines, in Pretoria, South Africa.

REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

What We’re Watching: African vaccine hub, Russia woos Taliban

Moderna plans African vaccine hub: Vaccine maker Moderna will spend $500 million to build a new facility in Africa that can produce 500 million annual doses of the company's COVID jab, which along with Pfizer, uses complex mRNA technology that can't be easily transferred. (Pfizer is already constructing a similar vaccine hub for local production in South Africa). Indeed, this is great news for the continent, where barely 4 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated, due to lack of supplies coming in from wealthy donor countries and the COVAX facility. What's more, Moderna plans to use its hub to develop other vaccines against other infectious diseases rife across Africa like Zika or regular influenza. Still, the facility won't be ready for at least two more years, so in the near term African countries will continue relying on foreign suppliers to inoculate their populations against COVID, prolonging the pandemic.

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IMF Chief Kristalina Georgieva Expects 1 Billion COVID Vaccine Doses from G7 | GZERO Media

GZERO event highlights: IMF chief, G7 vaccine pledges, global health security

For IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva (above), a two-track pandemic means a two-track recovery that'll hurt the entire world in the long run. That's why she anticipates G7 leaders meeting this week will commit to sending about one billion doses of COVID vaccines to the developing world by the end of the year in new financing and shots unused by wealthy nations. Georgieva hopes it'll be a summit that gives all countries "a fair short in the arm, a fair shot at the future."

Georgieva was one of many experts who joined this week's two-part livestream discussion about post-pandemic health security hosted by GZERO Media in partnership with Flagship Pioneering, Beyond the Pandemic: A Radical New Approach to Health Security, presented in partnership with Flagship Pioneering.

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How Will We Deal with the Next Pandemic? | GZERO Media

How will we deal with the next pandemic?

While most of the world is still grappling with COVID, some countries — mostly wealthy ones with early access to vaccines — are thinking about preparing for the next pandemic. This sentiment ties into a wider debate about health security that was missing when the virus hit us all early last year.

Indeed, we should aspire to ensure the health security of our population instead of waiting for it to get sick, Flagship Pioneering CEO Noubar Afeyan said on June 9, during a live discussion, Stronger Partnerships for a Healthier World: Mutually Assured Protection — the second in GZERO Media's two-part discussion, Beyond the Pandemic: A Radical New Approach to Health Security, presented in partnership with Flagship Pioneering.

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Learning from COVID to Prevent the Next Pandemic | GZERO Media Live

Let's learn from COVID to prevent the next pandemic

Days before G7 leaders meet in the UK to talk about how to "build back better" after the pandemic, experts are warning them that they should not lose sight of the opportunity to learn from the experience of COVID to be more prepared when the next public crisis hits. Below are a few insights from a livestream discussion between political leaders, policy makers, health experts and scientists, entitled Beyond the Pandemic: A Radical New Approach to Health Security, hosted by GZERO Media in partnership with Flagship Pioneering.

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Watch our live event: global health beyond the pandemic

Could the biggest health crisis of our lifetimes actually lead to a healthier world? Watch the second part of our live event series about what public health will look like after the COVID-19 pandemic, presented in partnership with Flagship Pioneering, the bio-platform company that founded Moderna and dozens of other life sciences firms.

Days before world leaders G7 meeting, we will bring political leaders and policy makers together with health experts and scientists to discuss lessons learned from and the latest innovations to preempt both COVID-19 variants and future infectious disease pandemics.

Attendance is free and open to the public. Please register to attend.

The virtual event will be hosted by Noubar Afeyan, founder & CEO of Flagship Pioneering, and Ian Bremmer, president and founder of Eurasia Group and GZERO Media.

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The Race to Vaccinate | Biden COVID-19 Adviser, Dr. Atul Gawande | GZERO World

The race to vaccinate: Dr. Atul Gawande provides perspective

Can the US vaccinate enough of its population to prevent hundreds of thousands of deaths before new and more contagious COVID-19 variants take hold? And will these vaccines even be effective against more adaptable mutations of the virus? Surgeon and public health expert Dr. Atul Gawande, most recently of the Biden/Harris COVID-19 Transition Task Force, joins Ian Bremmer on GZERO World to discuss the latest in the global effort to vaccinate our way out of this pandemic. He also explains why people should get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine if offered the chance, despite its lower overall efficacy rate compared to the mRNA-based vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna.

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