01 March 2021

Five opportunities for children we must seize now

COVID-19 is the first truly global crisis we have seen in our lifetime. No matter where we live, the pandemic affects every person – children most of all. Millions are missing out on basic health services, education and protection simply because they were born into poverty or because of their ethnicity, religion or race. COVID-19 has widened this…, For vaccines to work, we must build trust,   History and science tell us vaccines are the best hope we have of ending this virus and rebuilding our lives and our livelihoods. Yet, as Ridhi reminds us, there is a real risk the  What you need to know about a COVID-19 vaccine COVID-19 vaccines  will not reach all who need it. Vaccine hesitancy will have a profound effect on our ability to…, Bridging the digital divide can help bring quality education for all,   Kamogelo is right. During the peak of school closures in early 2020, about 30 per cent of the world’s schoolchildren were unable to access remote learning. In fact, only just over half of households in a majority of countries around the world have access to the internet. These are the same children who are already unlikely to have access to…, COVID-19 has unlocked attention on global youth mental health,   Tulika is right: mental health is a big deal – just as important as physical health. This is especially true in childhood and adolescence, when we lay the foundations for our lifelong cognitive and learning ability, our emotional intelligence and our resilience in the face of stress. Again, the pandemic has highlighted just how vulnerable…, COVID-19 does not discriminate, but our societies do,   The coronavirus pandemic has affected everyone on the planet, but it is not affecting us all equally. In too many countries, your ethnicity, your colour or your wealth, may make you more likely to suffer the consequences. For  example , in the United States, African Americans represent 13 per cent of the population but roughly one fourth of…, Climate change is the other planetary crisis that won’t wait,   COVID-19 has taught us that planetary problems require planetary solutions. No one suffers more from a change in climate than a child. Children are vulnerable to the changes in the air they breathe, the water they drink and the food they eat. We know children are more vulnerable to life-threatening water and food scarcity and waterborne diseases…
26 January 2021

What you need to know about a COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccines for COVID-19 are critical tools for helping bring the pandemic under control when combined with effective testing and existing prevention measures. With several promising vaccine candidates in the pipeline, some under review for approval and the Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines approved for use by a number of…, When will a COVID-19 vaccine be ready?, Developing a safe and effective vaccine takes time, but thanks to the unprecedented investment in research and development and global cooperation, scientists have been able to develop a vaccine against COVID-19 in record time, while still maintaining robust, evidence-based and rigorous regulatory standards. On 31 December 2020, WHO listed the…, How are COVID-19 vaccines being developed?, Vaccines work by mimicking an infectious agent – viruses, bacteria or other microorganisms that can cause a disease. This ‘teaches’ our immune system to rapidly and effectively respond against it.  Traditionally, vaccines have done this by introducing a weakened form of an infectious agent that allows our immune system to build a memory of it.…, Will coronavirus vaccines be safe?, Each country has regulatory bodies that oversee vaccine safety and efficacy before they are used widely. Globally, the WHO coordinates a number of independent technical bodies that review the safety of vaccines prior to and even after they have been introduced. Vaccines that are approved for use by the WHO have gone through rigorous tests and…, What is COVAX?, The  Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator  is a global collaboration to accelerate the development, production and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments and vaccines. COVAX, the vaccines pillar of the ACT-Accelerator, aims to accelerate the development and manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines, and to guarantee fair and equitable access…, When will a COVID-19 vaccine be available in my country?, Distribution of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines is underway in some countries including the US, Canada and the UK. For more information, please refer to the  CDC  (US),  Government of Canada  and  NHS  (UK). Once any of the current COVID-19 vaccine candidates have successfully undergone clinical trials, proved to be both safe and…, Who will have access to the coronavirus vaccine?, The current goal is to make 2 billion doses of the vaccine available for delivery under the COVAX plan by the end of 2021. UNICEF is calling for teachers, child protection workers and other workers who provide essential services for children to be prioritized to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, after frontline health care workers and high-risk…, Should my child get a COVID-19 vaccine?, Under the COVAX plan, the initial doses of vaccines sent to countries are intended for health workers, social care workers and people at high risk of severe illness from the virus, such as the elderly or those with underlying conditions, and are unlikely to be given to children. These populations have been prioritized to help reduce morbidity from…, How can I protect my family until we receive a COVID-19 vaccine?, Here are some precautions you and your family can take to help avoid infection: Wash your hands frequently  using soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub Keep at least 1 metre distance between yourself and others Seek medical care early if you or your child has a fever, cough, difficulty breathing or other symptoms of COVID-19 Avoid crowded…