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After COVID Vaccines, Time to Use mRNA Tech Against Other Infectious Diseases | GZERO Media

After COVID vaccines, time to use mRNA tech against other infectious diseases

Using mRNA technology to develop effective COVID vaccines has been a scientific breakthrough.

But that's just the tip of the iceberg, Melanie Saville, head of vaccine development at the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, said during a livestream discussion on equitable vaccine distribution hosted by GZERO Media in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. "

There's still a lot that should be done with the technology moving forward" on other infectious diseases like HIV, malaria, or TB. Still, she said that vaccines are only the beginning.

Local manufacturing and distribution is as important — as is future equitable access to the mRNA tech itself.

Can the World Learn Lessons From Vaccine Inequity? | Missed Shot | GZERO Media

Can the world learn lessons from vaccine inequity?

GZERO Media and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation convened leading experts in public health, research, development, and philanthropy on Thursday to discuss the uneven state of global recovery from health and economic perspectives. Participants included moderator Natasha Kimani of Africa No Filter; Eurasia Group President Ian Bremmer; José Manuel Barroso, chair of Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance; Dr. John Nkengasong, director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control; Melanie Saville, director of vaccine research and development for CEPI; and Mark Suzman, CEO of The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. They discussed vaccine equity and how we can end the COVID pandemic in a way that better equips the world for similar challenges in the future.

On many streets in the UK and US, it’s almost possible to forget that there’s an ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. With so many westerners double vaccinated and boosted, the threat of the omicron variant has eased. In fact, the CDC just lifted mask recommendations for much of the US. But that doesn’t mean the pandemic is over. For many countries, that’s far from the case.

Moderator Natasha Kimani, the research and media programs lead at Africa No Filter, kicked off the discussion by asking where things stand today as the world marks the second anniversary of the pandemic.

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Omicron and the Undoing of China’s COVID Strategy | GZERO World with Ian Bremmer

Omicron & the undoing of China's COVID strategy

Omicron is here. The bad news is that it's more contagious. The good news is that mRNA vaccines work against death and hospitalization. COVID may soon become endemic in some parts of the world.

Not in China, where Xi Jinping's zero-COVID approach faces its toughest test to date with omicron. Why? Because China lacks mRNA jabs, and so few Chinese people have gotten COVID that overall protection is very low.

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Laura Yasaitis: China’s Pandemic Playbook Will Fail With Omicron | Top Risks 2022 | GZERO Media

China’s pandemic playbook will fail with Omicron — Laura Yasaitis

China's zero-COVID strategy was a major success story in 2020-21. But it won't work with the new omicron variant, according to Eurasia Group healthcare consultant Laura Yasaitis.

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L-R: Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Josef Stalin with their advisers at Yalta, in the Crimea, where the Allies decided the future of post-Second World War Europe.

REUTERS

What We’re Watching: No Yalta in 2022, Kazakh turmoil worsens, China needs mRNA jabs

EU warns the US and Russia. EU officials look to be getting nervous about meetings next week between Russia, the US, and NATO. Though NATO representatives from EU member states will be part of the talks, the EU itself was not invited to join. During a visit to Ukraine this week, the EU’s top diplomat warned that “We are no longer in Yalta times,” a reference to the 1945 Yalta agreement among the US, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union that helped to divide post-war Europe into eastern and western blocs. “In this dialogue, there are not two actors alone, not just the US and Russia,” Josep Borrell added. Russia has massed 100,000 troops along its border with Ukraine, and Vladimir Putin has demanded guarantees that NATO not expand to include Ukraine or other former Soviet states. The EU’s comments are intended, in part, to reassure Ukraine that it will not be abandoned to Russian domination. But it’s also a sign that officials in Brussels don’t fully trust US President Joe Biden to protect European rights and interests in bargaining with Putin.

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Ian Bremmer: Zero COVID No Longer Works, and China Will Pay a Price | Top Risks 2022 | GZERO Media

Ian Bremmer: Zero COVID no longer works, and China will pay a price

For Ian Bremmer, China has the strongest political governance of any major economy today. Sometime that's good, and has allowed China to become the world's second largest economy.

But there's also a downside we're going to see this year, Bremmer said during a livestream conversation to launch Eurasia Group's annual Top Risks report. China's zero-COVID policy, which worked incredibly well in 2020 to respond to the pandemic, no longer works because the virus has changed.

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