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COVID-19 Vaccines for Children, Artificial Intelligence, Biosphere Reserves … Wednesday’s News

ByMicheal Johnson

Sep 16, 2021

PAHO still cannot recommend vaccinating children against COVID-19

The Pan American Health Organization cannot yet recommend vaccinating children under 12 years of age against COVID-19, until the results of the trials are known, and warns that minors increasingly account for a higher percentage of hospitalizations and deaths.

Of the vaccines that already have authorization for emergency use by the World Health Organization, only Pfizer is licensed for use in adolescents 12 years of age and older. Moderna has asked the WHO to review its data for use in adolescents aged 12 to 15 years; Sinovac and Sinopharm have applied to use them from 3 to 17 years old.

The head of emergencies for the American branch of the Organization, Ciro Ugarte, explained that the results of the trials in children are being carefully reviewed. “Still today there are no vaccines authorized by the WHO for use in children and therefore, PAHO and WHO do not yet recommend vaccines in these groups.”

Two Latin American countries have started vaccinating children. “Cuba and Chile They already use and are sure that their regulatory authorities have already received the information from the producers, reviewed and authorized. That is a decision of each country and they do not have to justify it to the WHO. We cannot comment because we do not know the data that was presented.”, He explained.

The director of the Organization said that last year more than 1.5 million cases of COVID-19 were registered among children and adolescents in the region. So far this year, infections in this group have exceeded 1.9 million.

As more adults receive COVID-19 vaccines, children – account for a higher percentage of hospitalizations and even deaths from COVID.

“Therefore, we must be clear: children and young people also face a significant risk of disease for COVID-19, ”said Carisse Etienne.

The economy will grow in 2021 at the fastest rate in 50 years



IMF // Ernesto Benavides

The economy of Latin America and the Caribbean will increase by 5.9% this year

The growth of the world economy will reach 5.3% in 2021, the highest rate in almost five decades due to the stimulus measures approved by governments to get out of the pandemic crisis.

The UN Conference on Trade and Development estimates that in 2022 world growth will slow to 3.6%, which would leave world income 3.7% below the expected level according to the pre-pandemic trend, which represents a cumulative loss of about $ 13 trillion in 2020-2022.

“A return to more timid policies or, even worse, to old orthodox recipes, would yield even more disappointing results in terms of economic growth,” they say.

The UN agency proposes the relief, and in some cases the cancellation, of the debt; a reassessment of the role of fiscal policy in the world economy, greater policy coordination among the world’s major economies, and support for the administration of vaccines in developing countries.


Increasing the number of data is a key tool for advances in artificial intelligence.

Unsplash / Maxime Valcarce

Increasing the number of data is a key tool for advances in artificial intelligence.

The High Commissioner for Human Rights calls for a moratorium on the sale and use of artificial intelligence systems as they “seriously threaten human rights”, until adequate safeguards have been put into effect.

Michelle Bachelet also called for the prohibition of artificial intelligence programs whose use does not comply with international human rights regulations.

The UN Human Rights Office has published a report in which it is analyzed how artificial intelligence – including automatic profiling, decision making and other learning technologies for machines – affects the right to privacy, those related to health, education, freedom of movement , freedom of peaceful assembly and association, and freedom of expression.

“Artificial intelligence poses huge risks to human rights and despite these implications it has been designed and deployed in systems critical to our most basic freedoms without adequate regulation or supervision. It is not about the risks that will be in the future, it is the reality that we see today, “said Peggy Hicks, one of those responsible for the report.

The analysis ensures that there have been many cases of people who have been unfairly treated because of artificial intelligence, either because they have been denied social security benefits or because they have been arrested as a result of errors in facial recognition systems.

Sites from Peru and Spain enter UNESCO Biosphere Reserves


In 54 years the Cordillera Blanca of Peru has lost an average of 38% of its glacier cover.

UN News / Daniela Gross

In 54 years the Cordillera Blanca of Peru has lost an average of 38% of its glacier cover.

UNESCO today added 20 new sites, in 21 countries, including Peru and Spain, to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves

The biosphere reserve Avireri-Vraem, located in the provinces of Satipo and La Convencion, in central Peru it is home to 12 different ecosystems in three regions: the Amazon rainforest at the foot of the Andes, Yungas on the steep slopes of the mountains with montane and cloud forests, and the Region Andean in the heights of the Andes mountain range. There live 257 species of endemic fauna, 307 species of endemic and endangered flora and 115 species of endangered animals. The biosphere has a population of about 458,701 inhabitants, including local and indigenous communities, who speak eight different languages.

In Spain, the reserve of the Ribeira Sacra E Serras Do Oribio E Courel Biosphere, in Galicia, in the mountainous extreme of the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula. It is a place of great beauty and cultural heritage. It houses 1214 species of flora, 52.7% of the floristic diversity of Galicia, and 277 species of fauna. It also has caves, rock shelters, petroglyphs, megaliths, monasteries, churches, ancient settlements, and bridges that testify to the high value of the region.

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