MSF: Following full FDA approval, Pfizer-BioNTech must share COVID-19 vaccine technology to boost global supply

Earlier this week the Food and Drug Administration gave full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in the US. The following is a media release from Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) addressing the COVID-19 crisis in Africa and the devastating lack of vaccines.

Calling on Canada to back WHO Moratorium on Booster Shots and Donate Vaccines

The following article is adapted from the website of the Global Strategy Lab (GSL), a joint initiative of York University and the University of Ottawa. It excerpts from an August 16 opinion article in the Toronto Star by GSL Research Fellow Dr. Roojin Habibi, GSL Director Dr. Steven Hoffman and University of Toronto Professor Dr. Lisa Forman.

COVID-19 vaccine boosters: is a third dose really needed?

RNAO is considering the question of a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine. The following article from Sheena Cruickshank reflects our current thinking on the matter. Basically, we believe it is too early to launch a vaccine booster program in Canada, except for immunodeficient persons and adults 80 years and older.

The world is at risk of 'vaccine apartheid'

This week we consider the shocking status of vaccine inequity from a global perspective. World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said recently that the world is at risk of 'vaccine apartheid'. The WHO chief highlighted that at least 63 million doses of vaccines have been shipped to 124 countries and economies, but they represent just 0.5 per cent of the combined population of those nations. He also noted that the basic problem of vaccine inequity was a lack of sharing by the wealthy countries that have accumulated most of the vaccine supplies.

Canada is virtue signalling while waffling on global access to COVID-19 vaccines

This article addresses the shocking contrast between Canada's declarations of concern with the global distribution of vaccines, and the poor reality of its actions. Joel Lexchin, Professor Emeritus of Health Policy and Management, York University, Emergency Physician at University Health Network, Associate Professor of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto tackles this question.

Global herd immunity remains out of reach because of inequitable vaccine distribution – 99% of people in poor countries are unvaccinated

As we reach enormously successful levels of COVID-19 inoculation in Canada and other rich countries, the disparities with the rest of the world become starker. This article considers the enormous cost in lives of leaving most of the global population unvaccinated. It draws lessons on how we can do better from the effort to provide lifesaving drugs for HIV-AIDS in the 1990s. This June 22 article is by Maria De Jesus, Associate Professor and Research Fellow at the Center on Health, Risk, and Society, American University School of International Service.

Vaccine passports may be on the way – but are they a reason for hope or a cause for concern?

As the vaccination rollout advances, the discussion on vaccine passports intensifies. This is a complex issue with no easy answers, and RNAO intends to address it in the months to come from a perspective of equity and health for all. The following is an introductory article by Yara M. Asi, Post-Doctoral Scholar, Health Management and Informatics, University of Central Florida, originally published March 12.

Vaccine engagement as a tool to address marginalization and exclusion

RN Amanda Ottley is a registered nurse and RNAO member working in the field of disability management. She is one of the founders of the Save Toronto Carnival community group and in this article, she introduces us to an inspiring grassroots effort. Thank you deeply for your work, Amanda!

After a year of pain, here's how the COVID-19 pandemic could play out in 2021 and beyond

Even during the COVID crisis in Ontario, we should not forget that this is a global calamity. The massive third wave in Ontario is driven by COVID variants of concern that appeared in other parts of the world where the virus ran unchecked. In the most literal sense, we are all in this together. Unfortunately, we don’t behave as if that is the case. With the goal of increasing our awareness and actions on COVID-19 global justice, I am posting another article, dated March 10, by Michael Toole, a Professor of International Health at the Burnet Institute in Australia.