I’ve been disturbed by American selfishness — we seriously have swarms of people who are anti-vaccinations, and conspiracy theorists who believe the pandemic is a “plandemic” — and maybe we should look beyond our shores for the global perspective.
So, India…brace yourself for the horrific news.
On Friday, India reported more than 332,000 coronavirus cases in one day – the highest ever recorded by a single country.
Since the start of the pandemic, the country has recorded more than 16 million cases and 186,000 deaths, according to a tracker by Johns Hopkins University.
This means it has now overtaken Brazil, with the second-highest number of confirmed cases worldwide. The first remains the US.
The hospitals are full. People are dying in stretchers outside the hospital, waiting for care. And then, once they’ve died, they’re overwhelming the crematoria.
The unprecedented death rates are overwhelming the nation’s crematoriums.
“No one in Delhi would have ever witnessed such a scene. Children who were 5 years old, 15 years old, 25 years old are being cremated. Newlyweds are being cremated. It’s difficult to watch,” Jitender Singh Shunty, who runs a makeshift crematorium, told Reuters.
As the crematoriums are overrun, people are turning t mass burials in makeshift facilities like parking lots.
We have a moral obligation to make sure everyone in the world gets the best treatment. If you need a selfish reason, one of the reasons for the recent surge in India is the rise of new COVID variants.
How about some good news, though? We might have a successful malaria vaccine!
A vaccine against malaria has been shown to be highly effective in trials in Africa, holding out the real possibility of slashing the death toll of a disease that kills 400,000 mostly small children every year.
The vaccine, developed by scientists at the Jenner Institute of Oxford University, showed up to 77% efficacy in a trial of 450 children in Burkina Faso over 12 months.
Yes! This has the potential to be the biggest medical breakthrough of the 21st century. Defeating malaria would be huge.
Now we just have to get regulatory agencies to attach as high a priority to controlling tropical diseases as we do those that afflict temperate countries.
Hill said the institute might apply for emergency approval for the malaria vaccine just as it did for the Covid jab. “I’m making the argument as forcefully as I can, that because malaria kills a lot more people than Covid in Africa, you should think about emergency-use authorisation for a malaria vaccine for use in Africa. And that’s never been done before.”
The institute would probably ask the regulatory bodies in Europe or the UK for a scientific opinion on the vaccine and then apply to the World Health Organization for approval for use in Africa. “They did Covid in months – why shouldn’t they do malaria in a similar length of time as the health problem is an even greater scale in Africa?” Hill said.
They’ve arranged to have the vaccine mass produced by the Serum Institute of India…uh-oh. You might have guessed this: those facilities are overwhelmed right now by the need to churn out COVID-19 vaccines to deal with the pandemic surge.
Everything is interconnected! Wake up!