The World of International Organizations

WHO chief criticizes China over virus team

WHO's director-general at a virtual news briefing in Geneva (AN/WHO)

(AN) — The U.N. health agency chief expressed rare displeasure with China on Tuesday over its bureaucratic delays preventing an international team from entering the country to investigate how COVID-19 originated.

Iran begins 20 percent uranium enrichment

A satellite photo in December of Iran’s nuclear facility at Fordo (AN/Maxar Technologies)

(AN) — Iran resumed enrichment of uranium to 20 percent on Monday in a move closer to weapons grade levels and further away from the 2015 nuclear deal, raising pressure on incoming U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration.

WHO lists first COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva (AN/Eric Bridiers)

(AN) — The World Health Organization listed Pfizer-BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine Comirnaty® for emergency use on Thursday, the first such designation since the pandemic began and a step towards global access.

E.U. and China reach pact on business investment

European Council President Charles Michel at an E.U.-China leaders' video meeting (AN/E.U.)

(AN) — The European Union on Wednesday moved to clinch a major business investment deal with China that has been seven years in the making, despite concerns from the United States and human rights organizations.

Vaccine approvals add promise for COVAX use

A registered nurse at the U.S. Naval Medical Center in San Diego administers a shot to a patient for the Phase III trial of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate (AN/Jake Greenberg)

(AN) — Britain and Argentina became the first nations on Wednesday to authorize emergency use of the coronavirus vaccine developed by Oxford University and U.K.-based drugmaker AstraZeneca, adding momentum to its anticipated global use by international organizations.

WHO warns even deadlier pandemic may surface

A U.S. vaccine center in Baltimore gives shots to health and emergency workers (AN/Baltimore County Government)

(AN) — World Health Organization senior officials ended the year on a somber and cautionary note with a warning on Monday that a future pandemic more severe than the coronavirus may hit one day if the world is not ready.

COVID-19 cases exceed 80 million worldwide

A public exhibit on pandemic art among deserted streets in the U.K.'s Newcastle-under-Lyme (AN/Robert Jones)

(AN) — The world surpassed 80 million confirmed COVID-19 infections with 1.75 million deaths on Saturday, as the coronavirus — including a new strain — keeps accelerating and affects nearly every region.

E.U. regulator approves first COVID-19 vaccine

European Medicines Agency officials brief reporters on the COVID-19 vaccine from BioNTech and Pfizer (AN/John Heilprin)

(AN) — The two-shot vaccine from BioNTech and Pfizer gained official approval for people 16 and older in the European Union on Monday, two days after Switzerland approved its use through a normal procedure.

Swiss achieve first full-blown vaccine approval

Swiss medical regulator Swissmedic's headquarters in Bern (AN/John Heilprin)

(AN) — Switzerland announced on Saturday that it has become the first government in the world to approve a new coronavirus vaccine by adhering to a standard non-emergency process for granting regulatory approval.

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