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A nurse administers a malaria vaccine to an infant at the health center in Datcheka, Cameroon January 22, 2024.

REUTERS/Desire Danga Essigue

Hard Numbers: Cameroon rolls out kids malaria vaccine, Gaza death toll hits grim milestone, Deadly winter weather grips US, Massive earthquake hits China, Benito the giraffe migrates south

250,000: Cameroon began rolling out the world’s first malaria vaccine program for children on Monday. The country aims to vaccinate roughly 250,000 kids throughout 2024 and 2025. The WHO-approved vaccine, Mosquirix, is 30% effective and requires four doses. But it’s being portrayed as an important new safeguard against the mosquito-borne illness, which infects roughly 250 million people in Africa each year.

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A mother holds her daughter's arm as a healthcare worker administers the child with Pfizer-BNT covid-19 vaccine in Taiwan.

Jui Kun Weng / SOPA Images/Sipa USA via Reuters Connect

COVID vaccine rollout: Taking stock 3 years on

It’s been almost three years since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic.

Since then, we have gone from the fear of greeting one another in public to the horrors of overcrowded ERs and morgues — to the remarkably fast development of a vaccine and its uneven rollout. Nearly 7 million people have died worldwide, and while the virus is still out there, most countries now have access to effective jabs.

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What is the real origin of the COVID-19 virus?
What Is the Real Origin of the COVID-19 Virus? | GZERO Media

What is the real origin of the COVID-19 virus?

A controversial new World Health Organization report on the origins of the coronavirus that suggests it likely originated from a bat but transferred to humans via an intermediary animal. Could the virus have emerged from a Chinese lab, as former CDC Director Robert Redfield recently suggested? That's the least likely scenario, says the WHO's chief scientist, Dr. Soumya Swaminathan. "The betacoronaviruses are very, very common in bats and there's a lot of genetic similarity between the SARS-CoV2 and many of the viruses in the...bat species," Dr. Swaminathan told Ian Bremmer in an interview on GZERO World, airing on US public television stations starting April 9. Check local listings.

Watch the episode: Vaccine nationalism could prolong the pandemic

Vaccine nationalism could prolong the pandemic
Vaccine Nationalism Could Prolong the Pandemic | GZERO Media

Vaccine nationalism could prolong the pandemic

Vaccine nationalism, where countries prioritize their own citizens before the rest of the world, has been effective for rich nations like the United States and Israel. But leaving behind so much of the global population isn't just a humanitarian issue. It could prolong the pandemic, according to the World Health Organization's Chief Scientist, Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, who argues that what the global vaccination effort most urgently lacks are doses, not dollars. In a wide-ranging interview with Ian Bremmer on GZERO World, she calls for a large increase in the global vaccine supply in order to prevent the rise of more dangerous and vaccine-evading super-variants. She also weighs in on a controversial new WHO report investigating the origins of COVID-19 and suggests we may be seeing alternative vaccine forms, like nasal sprays, sooner than we think.

Podcast: Dr. Fauci's Pandemic Prognosis

Transcript

Listen: The country's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, joins Ian Bremmer to talk vaccines, school re-openings, and when—and how—the pandemic could finally come end. He was last on GZERO World just weeks before the pandemic hit in the fall of 2019 and he described at the time what kept him up at night: a "pandemic-like respiratory illness." This time, he talks about how closely that nightmare scenario foreshadowed the COVID-19 pandemic. He also offers some guidance about what public health measures vaccinated Americans should continue to take in the coming months (hint: masks stay on).

Subscribe to the GZERO World Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or your preferred podcast platform to receive new episodes as soon as they're published.

What We're Watching: China charges Aussie journo, Palestinian election talks, WHO debunks COVID myths

Australian journalist charged in China: Australian journalist Cheng Lei was detained last August in China for allegedly passing state secrets to foreign actors. Now, the reporter — who worked for Chinese state broadcaster CGTN when she was arrested — has been formally charged with a national security crime, though Beijing has unsurprisingly remained mum on the details. Her family (including two young children in Melbourne) say that Lei is innocent, while the Australian government has pleaded with Beijing to ensure due process. But Canberra's ability to lobby for Lei's release is surely hampered by its increasingly fraught relations with Beijing: Australia has criticized Beijing's meddling in Australia's internal government affairs, its spying activities, and called for a probe into China's alleged COVID coverup — prompting China to hit back with a series of devastating tariffs on Australian goods. The Chinese government has also targeted Australian journalists, and the last two Aussie reporters in mainland China recently fled at Canberra's urging. For now, Lei remains behind bars. Is the Australian government powerless to respond?

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What We’re Watching: Hong Kong crackdown, Maduro tightens grip in Venezuela, WHO out of Wuhan

China cracks down (again) on Hong Kong democracy: In the largest crackdown since China introduced its Hong Kong security law six months ago, police arrested 53 members of the city's pro-democracy movement. The detainees — who had helped organize an unofficial primary vote for opposition candidates ahead of elections later this year — are accused of trying to overthrow the city's pro-Beijing government. One of those jailed is a US lawyer and American citizen. In the same operation, police also raided the home of Joshua Wong, a prominent activist who is already serving a one-year prison term for standing up to China's takeover of Hong Kong. China says the activists are backed by foreigners who want to use Hong Kong as a base to undermine China's stability and security, while the opposition argues that China is just using the new law to silence legitimate dissent. Now, with most pro-democracy figures behind bars or in exile, the mass street protests that prompted the passage of the security law are unlikely to return, and the future of democracy in the city is bleak.

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Mongolia records first local coronavirus transmission

November 11, 2020 2:49 PM

ULAANBAATAR, MONGOLIA (REUTERS) - Mongolia recorded its first domestic coronavirus transmission on Wednesday (Nov 11) following hundreds of imported cases, the country's health minister said during a briefing.

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