Global Health

The world runs on vaccines, looks like: Global health newsletter – 6

By Megha Kaveri

Hello everyone, 

We begin with some great news in this week’s newsletter: The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that three vaccine candidates have been identified to combat Ebola virus (Sudan strain) and clinical trials on all three of them are set to start soon. 

Though the global health agency has not announced a date for it, it has received signed confirmations from vaccine suppliers committing to ensure enough supply of doses to conduct the trials. The clinical trials are scheduled to be conducted in Uganda, where Ebola has killed at least 77 people. Read more about the announcement and the details here.

As WHO and other global health agencies gear up to tackle Ebola, Covid-19 pandemic continues to exist. This is our bi-monthly reminder that the pandemic is not over yet! With the flu season around the corner, we advise you to mask up and protect yourselves. Get those flu shots if necessary! 

At least two major investigations (in the global health realm) have been published in the last two weeks – one about the Covid-19 vaccine waiver and the other one on the clinical trials on India’s indigenous vaccine, Covaxin. 

By now, we are familiar with where the demands for Covid-19 vaccine waiver at the World Trade Organization (WTO) stands. An explosive investigation by Politico has brought to light the direct access some pharma company chiefs enjoyed with the governments of wealthy countries and how they worked to derail the original proposal of the TRIPS waiver submitted by countries like India and South Africa. While the “tldr” version of this story remains that the pharma industry and rich countries worked actively against Covid-19 vaccine equity during a public health emergency, the “behind the scenes” details are not to be missed.

The other investigation we want to bring to your attention is the one by Stat news that has caused a backlash in India, mainly from the government and the pharma company involved. The Stat news investigation says that there are discrepancies in the clinical trial data of Covaxin and that the trial was expedited for political reasons. This was said on record by Bharat Biotech, the company’s top executive. Interestingly, this is the first time the company has even responded to these allegations. Indian journalists have been raising this issue since 2020 and all they got in return was lawsuits from the company, accusing them of defamation. Read the story here to know more about the grand bungle up. 

Meanwhile, Covid continues to wreak havoc on people’s wellbeing. This story gives an inside picture of the impact the viral disease has had on primary care doctors.  

Access to vaccines (and by extension medicines and therapeutics) has always been a contentious issue in global health. As the WHO continues to shine light on newer and much needed health interventions like the HPV vaccines, the access issues remain unsolved. Devex has a good story on the topic. 

To wrap up the story section, here’s a piece on a recently approved treatment regime for drug-resistant tuberculosis which can help governments save millions of dollars annually.   

ICYMI reads: 

Family Planning: Global Disparities Persist – Think Global Health

How racism skewed estimates of heart disease in women –

What Videos Show About the Extremes of China’s ‘Zero Covid’ Policy – New York Times

Who Is Dying from COVID Now, and Why – Scientific American

‘Excessive’: North Korea’s COVID curbs blamed for food crisis – Al Jazeera


BBC Health Check has released two wonderful episodes. One on how South Africa is using psychology to draw more people living with HIV into treatment regimes. Listen to the episode here

The other episode on BBC Health Check is about the collapse of vital public health infrastructure in Lebanon and a personal account of how the abortion ban in the US has practical implications on the ground. (Not that we didn’t know this already!) Check out the episode here.  


Global impact of COVID-19 on childhood tuberculosis: an analysis of notification data – Lancet Global Health (Open Access)

Building an integrated serosurveillance platform to inform public health interventions: Insights from an experts’ meeting on serum biomarkers – PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases (Open Access)

Call for papers concerning diagnostics in global health – PLOS Global Public Health – More details here


Webinar: Digital justice: How social media is transforming young people’s health and rights? November 22, 2022; 1400hrs to 1530hrs (CET); Organised by the Global Health Centre, Geneva Graduate Institute. Register here. 

We hope you liked our curation of selected news pieces for you. We aim to improve our choices in the coming days. Global Health Initiative is a student initiative at Geneva Graduate Institute where students passionate about global health policy meet and network. For more information about us, check us out on Instagram @graduateinstitute_ghi

Photo by Maxim Ilyahov on Unsplash (URL:

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