U.S. panel urges government to join WHO-led COVID-19 vaccine facility

(Reuters) – The United States should opt into the World Health Organization-led COVAX facility for COVID-19 vaccine distribution, an independent expert panel tapped by top U.S. health officials to advise on vaccine allocation said on Friday.

“The U.S. government should commit to a leadership role in the equitable allocation of COVID-19 vaccine globally by opting into the COVAX facility …. deploying a proportion of the U.S. vaccine supply for global allocation,” the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine said in a statement.

The COVAX facility, led by the WHO and the public-private partnership GAVI vaccine alliance, gives access to COVID-19 vaccine candidates in development. The White House said in September it would not join the global effort, because of the WHO’s involvement.

The panel’s report said that participating in the global allocation of COVID-19 vaccines, including the possibility of devoting some of the reserved capacity of the U.S. supply,

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Judge orders transfer of dozens out of government quarantine facility

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Pacific Daily News

A Superior Court judge has determined that the Department of Public Health and Social Services did not follow the law when quarantining travelers, and appointed the Public Defender Service Corporation to represent all incoming passengers.

Multiple passengers have filed legal action against the government’s quarantine policy, which Superior Court of Guam Judge Elyze Iriarte found was not voluntary. 

After hearing from people held in the government quarantine facility, Iriarte determined some passengers did not quarantine voluntarily, and the department held one woman against her will.

‘Trying to make sure their rights are preserved’

The violations prompted Iriarte to transfer passengers out of the government quarantine facility.  

“We’ve heard testimony after testimony of people that you claim are voluntarily quarantined saying that they haven’t,” Iriarte said on

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Air New Zealand Begins Drawing Down Government Debt Facility, Flags Future Capital Raising | Investing News

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Air New Zealand Ltd

said on Friday it had begun to draw down on a NZ$900 million ($589.95 million) government debt facility that would give it time to review its capital structure and complete a capital raising by June 2021.

The airline said the New Zealand government had reaffirmed its commitment to maintaining a majority shareholding and its board was in constructive talks with the government about its capital structure and funding.

New Zealand is due to hold a national election on Oct. 17, with polls showing incumbent Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is on track to win.

The airline had last month said it would need to draw down on the government loan to help it weather the severe loss in revenue during the coronavirus pandemic after it reported its first annual loss in nearly two decades.

Along with interest rates of 7-9%, the loan gives the

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