Research Roundup: A global COVID-19 summit, a new EU health agency, and an effective typhoid vaccine
The Biden administration plans to host a virtual summit Wednesday on the global COVID-19 response, during which President Joe Biden will call on leaders from around the world to make new commitments to fight the pandemic. The summit’s goals, similar to those laid out by the World Health Organization (WHO) and other global health experts, include vaccinating at least 70 percent of the world’s population by next September; providing billions of dollars in tests, oxygen, and other supplies to low- and middle-income countries; setting up a financing system to pay for the global health response by next year; and more worldwide objectives to end the pandemic. The event will be the first in a series of planned summits intended to hold participants accountable for their commitments.
The European Union will fund a new agency intended to bolster the region’s health preparedness and rapid response for future crises, the European Commission confirmed last week. The Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA) will establish new, adaptable production capacities and secure supply chains to ensure critical equipment, medicines, and vaccines are available when needed. The agency will receive EUR€30 billion, or around US$35 billion, in funding from the European Union over the next six years, in addition to potential financing from individual member nations or the private sector. The overall total could reach EUR€50 billion, or US$59 billion, by 2027. HERA should be fully operational as of early next year.
A single dose of typhoid conjugate vaccine is safe and 84 percent effective in protecting against the infection, according to a study conducted in Malawi. The results, part of a five-year, multi-country project to accelerate introduction of the vaccine, are the first efficacy results from Africa and will be critical as typhoid is increasing as a public health threat across the continent due to the emergence and spread of multidrug-resistant strains. WHO recommended the vaccine in 2017 for children six months of age and older in typhoid endemic settings, making it the only approved typhoid shot for children and infants less than two years old.