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THE GLOBAL HEALTH DESK – MARCH 2021

Center for Global Health Working Group Addresses Anti-racism and Decolonization

Amber Hathcock, MD, MPH, Professor, Assistant Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Center for Global Health, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine

COVID-19 vaccination has started in earnest in several countries. With nearly 1.3 billion people, India has the world’s second largest population. It is also has the second highest number of COVID-19 cases, second only to the United States. As there are no specific modalities of treatment for this disease, there is global reliance on prevention. To date, preventive measures have primarily included wearing masks, washing hands frequently with soap and water, and maintaining a minimum of 6 feet of physical distance from others. However, since early December five countries have approved vaccines against COVID-19. The United States approved the mRNA-based Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. China approved an inactivated virus vaccine produced by Sinopharm. Russia approved Sputnik V which was produced by the Gamaleya Center and is the first approved human adenovirus-based vaccine.The United Kingdom approved several vaccines including a chimpanzee adenovirus-based vaccine produced by Astra Zeneca.  Last week, Indian authorities approved two vaccines: Covishield, which was produced by the Serum Institute and is similar to the United Kingdom-approved Astra Zeneca vaccine, and COVAXIN, an indigenous inactivated virus vaccine produced by Bharath Biotech. These developments have raised hopes for effectively containing the pandemic and restoring normalcy to the entire world.

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