The World Health Organization has listed China’s Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, making it the eighth vaccine to receive the approval, and the second for China, after Sinopharm. The vaccine is already in use in a number of countries, but the WHO listing means it can now also be distributed to poorer nations as part of the COVAX program. Meanwhile, the World Bank is urging the U.S. to immediately free up excess doses of their COVID-19 vaccine supply to send to Latin America. The WHO said the region remains one of the worst affected in the world.
Dr. Michael Ryan: “Eight out of the top 10 countries reporting the highest mortality rates per population in the last week have been from the region of the Americas, and particularly from South America. South American countries represent four of the top 10 countries globally just in case incidents over the last week.”
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, officials say COVID-19 has killed at least 32 lawmakers, over 5% of its Parliament. Low levels of testing have made it difficult to get a clear picture of the true toll of the pandemic in the conflict-ravaged country of over 86 million.
In a major milestone, Britain — once the epicenter of the pandemic — announced no COVID deaths Tuesday for the first time since July of last year.