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World Health Organization (WHO)

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The Delta variant of COVID-19, first identified in India, is becoming the globally dominant variant of the disease, the World Health Organization's chief scientist said on Friday.

Soumya Swaminathan also voiced disappointment in the failure of CureVac's vaccine candidate in a trial to meet the WHO's efficacy standard, in particular as highly transmissible variants boost the need for new, effective shots.


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President Joe Biden announced Thursday the U.S. will swiftly donate an initial allotment of 25 million doses of surplus vaccine overseas through the United Nations-backed COVAX program, promising infusions for South and Central America, Asia, Africa and others at a time of glaring shortages abroad and more than ample supplies at home.

The doses mark a substantial — and immediate — boost to the lagging COVAX effort, which to date has shared just 76 million doses with needy countries.


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As millions continue to wait their turn for the COVID-19 vaccine, small but steady amounts of the precious doses have gone to waste across the country.

It’s a heartbreaking reality that experts acknowledged was always likely to occur. Thousands of shots have been wasted in Tennessee, Florida, Ohio and many other states. The reasons vary from shoddy record-keeping to accidentally trashing hundreds of shots.


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The U.N. health agency and its partners have found in a new study that nearly one in three women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual violence in their lifetimes, calling the results a “horrifying picture” that requires action by governments and communities alike.

The report released Tuesday from the World Health Organization, based on what the agency called the largest-ever study of the prevalence of violence against women, also found such violence starts early. It says a quarter of young women who have been in a relationship were found to have experienced violence by an intimate partner by the time they reach their mid-20s.


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The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday listed AstraZeneca and Oxford University’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, widening access to the relatively inexpensive shot in the developing world.

“We now have all the pieces in place for the rapid distribution of vaccines. But we still need to scale up production,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, told a news briefing.


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The World Health Organization’s chief scientist warned that even as numerous countries start rolling out vaccination programs to stop COVID-19, herd immunity is highly unlikely this year.

At a media briefing on Monday, Dr. Soumya Swaminathan said it was critical countries and their populations maintain strict social distancing and other outbreak control measures for the foreseeable future. In recent weeks, Britain, the U.S., France, Canada, Germany, Israel, the Netherlands and others have begun vaccinating millions of their citizens against the coronavirus.