A milestone in the fight against malaria
The W.H.O. approved the first malaria vaccine, which could save the lives of tens of thousands of children in sub-Saharan Africa. Made by GlaxoSmithKline, the vaccine encourages a child’s immune system to thwart the deadliest and most prevalent of the five malaria pathogens.
Dr. Pedro Alonso, director of the W.H.O.’s global malaria program, described the new vaccine as a historic event as the first developed for any parasitic disease. “It’s a huge jump from the science perspective to have a first-generation vaccine against a human parasite,” he said. The quest for a malaria vaccine has been underway for a hundred years.
Though the vaccine has a moderate efficacy of about 50 percent against severe malaria in the first year, dropping to zero by the fourth year, a modeling study has estimated that it could prevent 5.4 million cases and 23,000 deaths in children younger than 5 each year.
Latin America’s vaccine shortfall
The global Covax program, which supplies Covid vaccines to most of the world, is falling behind on its target to deliver enough doses to Latin American and Caribbean countries to inoculate 20 percent of their people this year.
The failure is partly attributable to the fact that wealthy countries that can pay more for the shots are buying up supply, said Dr. Jarbas Barbosa, a W.H.O. official. “Producers are not prioritizing delivery to the Covax mechanism,” he said. “They continue to prioritize the bilateral agreements they have because in these bilateral agreements the vaccines are more expensive.”
Wealthy countries have raced far ahead of the rest of the world in vaccination rates, and they continue to buy doses as demand for booster shots rises. Only nine of Africa’s 54 countries had met the goal of vaccinating 10 percent of their people by the end of September, the W.H.O. said.
By the numbers: Around 37 percent of the population in Latin America and the Caribbean has been fully vaccinated, but access in the region has been uneven, with very high rates of vaccination in Cuba, Chile and Uruguay.
Boris Johnson pledges a transformed British economy
In a speech that offered few concrete details, Boris Johnson, the British prime minister, vowed to engineer a radical transformation of the country’s economy for a future defined by highly skilled workers earning higher wages.
Barely mentioning Britain’s current fuel and food shortages, Johnson sketched a vision of Britain on the cusp of change. “We are not going back to the same old broken model,” he said. “Low wages, low growth, low skills and low productivity — all of it enabled, as a system, by uncontrolled immigration.”
Johnson devoted much of the speech to his flagship policy of “leveling up,” which aims to even out disparities between the economically disadvantaged northern parts of England and the more prosperous South. The Conservative Party has led the government since 2010, yet the prime minister spoke of the last decade as though some other party had been in charge.
Slogans: Johnson has branded his agenda “Build Back Better,” the same slogan President Biden uses for his infrastructure legislation. He riffed on the line, adapting it to describe the return of beavers to British rivers (“Build Back Beaver”) and beef exports to the U.S. (“Build Back Burger”).
Analysis: Commentators observed that Johnson appears to to be aiming at a party that combines the free-spending, interventionist impulses of social democrats with the anti-immigration instincts of the Brexiteers who agitated to leave the E.U. in 2016.
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As a humanitarian crisis grows on Poland’s border, where the government has taken a hard line on migrants, one asylum seeker faced an impossible decision over whether to save his ailing baby daughter and risk being expelled after a perilous journey to Europe. Above, a family of Kurdish asylum seekers at the Polish border with Belarus.
There is strong evidence that Aleksandr Lukashenko, the strongman Belarusian president, is using migrants as a weapon to punish the E.U. for imposing sanctions on him.
ARTS AND IDEAS
A big mission for James Bond
After 18 months of on-and-off closures, Britain’s movie theaters looked to “No Time to Die,” the 25th installment of the Bond franchise, to help usher people back through the doors.
Expectations were high: Daniel Craig’s two previous Bond films, “Skyfall” and “Spectre,” are the second and third highest-grossing films ever at the British box office, and the franchise is a beloved, if sometimes bemoaned, fixture in British cultural life, Eshe Nelson reports from London.
Fortunately, Bond has given a meaningful jolt to industry returns — in one weekend, it made £26 million, or $35 million, at the box office, surpassing the opening weekends of the two previous Bond films. Some theaters scheduled dozens of screenings a day, while others made a spectacle of the release, organizing live music or opening-night parties with cocktails and canapés.
But how much can one film do for an industry in flux? With pressure from streaming services and the financial toll of the pandemic still in play, Britain’s cinemas still face many hurdles — including the virus itself.
Read more about the future of nights at the movies.
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That’s it for today’s briefing. Thanks for joining me. — Natasha
P.S. Blake Hounshell, who held a series of important roles at Politico, is joining The Times to help build a new team for our On Politics newsletter.
The latest episode of “The Daily” is about the Senate testimony of a Facebook whistle-blower.
You can reach Natasha and the team at email@example.com.