World AIDS Day this year finds us in the throes of another pandemic — COVID-19. The coronavirus has swept across the world, devastating health systems and laying waste to economies as governments introduce drastic measures to contain the spread.
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A new pharmaceutical company ranking has said the industry is slowly improving access to medicine in low and middle-income countries. But it only mobilized on COVID once the pandemic threatened rich countries.
Officials say 60% of Africa's 1.3 billion people will need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to achieve continent-wide herd immunity. But with cases surging, governments are scrambling to secure supplies.
Mutated coronavirus strains could escape a weak immune response and make the pathogen more aggressive. That way, even people who have already recovered could get infected again — and the vaccines would need updating.
The German chancellor has urged wealthy countries to work together on fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. Nations, particularly in the developing world, have said they are struggling to acquire vaccination doses.
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