February 18, 2022

COVID-19 Weekly Newsletter: International News

In this edition of the COVID-19 weekly newsletter, we take a look at a number of international COVID-19 news items.

U.S. Doses Turned Away Due to Logistical Hurdles

The U.S. has donated and shipped 437 million doses overseas, more doses than any other country. In a vaccine summit last fall, President Biden called for a global approach to vaccinate 70% of the world population by September 2022. However, this week Secretary of State Antony Blinken indicated that the vaccination rates aren’t on pace to meet that goal. Operational challenges — including the need to transport vaccines to remote areas, securing adequate supplies to administer the vaccines and storage requirements — are causing donated doses to be turned away.

Global mRNA Technology Transfer Hub Shared With Six African Countries

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced the first technology recipients of mRNA vaccine hub — Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia. This hub was established in 2021 as a platform for information to be shared to help empower low- and middle-income countries to produce their own vaccines.

Vaccination After COVID-19 Reduces Risk of Reinfection

A retrospective analysis of electronic medical records for almost 150 000 patients in Israel revealed that those who recovered from a SARS-CoV-2 infection and received at least one dose of an mRNA vaccine had a much lower risk of reinfection compared to those who recovered from COVID-19 but didn’t get vaccinated. The difference was especially stark in 16- to 64-year-olds, compared to those over 65.

A separate study from the U.K. found that those who recovered from infection and were subsequently vaccinated maintain their protection against reinfection for over a year after the initial infection — or longer than six months after vaccination.

FDA Collaborations With International Organizations

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) is engaged in wide-ranging international collaborations. Using mechanisms that had been in place before the pandemic as well as newly created pathways, the relevant regulatory agencies and public institutions exchange information about facilities inspections, regulatory approaches, SARS-CoV-2 variants, emerging threats and adverse events observed through various monitoring networks around the world.

National Academies Call for Better Respiratory Protection From Airborne Hazards

The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine have published a joint report calling for a system of personal respiratory protection that would serve everyone rather than workers in select occupations.

Additional Resources

Global COVID-19-Related Patent Office Status and Deadline Extension Updates

Information regarding the status of each foreign patent office and the availability of extensions of time in each jurisdiction.

Government Actions: COVID-19

Tracking executive orders, legislation, and other government actions related to COVID-19 by state and major locality across the U.S.

Faegre Drinker’s Coronavirus Resource Center is available to help you understand and assess the legal, regulatory and commercial implications of COVID-19.
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