Achal Prabhala

Nota: Este archivo abarca los artículos publicados por el autor desde el 1 de agosto de 2007. Para fechas anteriores realice una búsqueda entrecomillando su nombre.

La solución pionera de Brasil para la escasez de vacunas

Se suponía que la Organización Mundial de Comercio iba a reunirse esta semana para considerar una propuesta que ha venido languideciendo desde hace un año: una exención temporaria de la propiedad intelectual farmacéutica durante la pandemia que permita que los países pobres realicen muchas de las mismas pruebas, tratamientos y vacunas que los países ricos han tenido durante la pandemia. Sin embargo, en un cruel recordatorio de la urgencia del problema, la reunión de la OMC se pospuso, debido a la aparición de la variante Ómicron, detectada por científicos en Sudáfrica (aunque el lugar preciso donde se originó todavía es incierto).…  Seguir leyendo »

Covishield vaccine administration in Gauhati, India. Refocusing on domestic supply has resulted in delays of global shipments under the Covax programme. Photograph: Anupam Nath/AP

As the UK’s vaccination programme was “knocked off course” due to a delay in receiving five million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from India, a far more chilling reality was unfolding: about a third of all humanity, living in the poorest countries, found out that they will get almost no coronavirus vaccines in the near future because of India’s urgent need to vaccinate its own massive population.

It’s somewhat rich for figures in Britain to accuse India of vaccine nationalism. That the UK, which has vaccinated nearly 50% of its adults with at least one dose, should demand vaccines from India, which has only vaccinated 3% of its people so far, is immoral.…  Seguir leyendo »

A medic inoculating a doctor with Russia’s Covid-19 vaccine, Sputnik V, at a policlinic in Moscow in early December. The leading medical journal The Lancet published this week trial results showing that Sputnik V had an efficacy rate of 91.6 percent. Credit Sergey Ponomarev for The New York Times

While the richest countries in the world are grappling with shortages of Covid-19 vaccines, some of the poorest worry about getting vaccines at all. Yet a solution to both problems may be hiding in plain sight: vaccines from China and Russia, and soon, perhaps, India.

Chinese and Russian vaccines were initially dismissed in Western and other global media, partly because of a perception that they were inferior to the vaccines produced by Moderna, Pfizer-BioNtech or AstraZeneca. And that perception seemed to stem partly from the fact that China and Russia are authoritarian states.

But evidence has been accumulating for a while that the vaccines from those countries work well, too.…  Seguir leyendo »

Imaginemos un mundo donde una red global de profesionales médicos vigila la aparición de nuevas cepas de un virus contagioso, actualiza periódicamente la formulación de una vacuna comprobada y luego pone esa información a disposición de empresas y países de todo el mundo. Imaginemos además que este trabajo tiene lugar sin que haya que preocuparse por cuestiones de propiedad intelectual y sin que monopolios farmacéuticos exploten a una población desesperada para maximizar sus ganancias.

Puede parecer una fantasía utópica, pero de hecho es una descripción de la forma en que se produce la vacuna contra la gripe desde hace cincuenta años.…  Seguir leyendo »

Mr. Modi, Dont Patent Cow Urine

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party is famously obsessed with the cow, which is venerated in Hindu cosmology. Most Indian states have now banned cow slaughter. The government of Punjab wants to tax alcohol to pay for shelters for stray cattle. Last year, after a Muslim man in Uttar Pradesh was lynched by a mob for eating beef, a cabinet minister from the B.J.P. demanded to know who else was “involved in the crime” — meaning the beef eating, not the man’s killing.

It should probably come as no surprise, then, that the B.J.P. is also touting the medicinal virtues of consuming cow urine.…  Seguir leyendo »