Coronavirus Omicron Variant Arrives in California Amid Concerns Over Global Vaccine Inequities

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Doctor or scientist holding Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine on a white background.

On Wednesday, officials in San Francisco confirmed California’s first case of the coronavirus omicron variant. The patient in the case had recently traveled to South Africa, whose scientists first identified the omicron variant and tracked thousands of cases among its population. The emergence of the variant has reinforced concerns about low rates of vaccination in Africa and other developing regions, which have struggled to obtain and administer vaccines for their citizens. We’ll talk about global vaccine inequities and how to expand vaccine access worldwide.


Raquel Maria Dillon, reporter, KQED

Abraar Karan, infectious diseases fellow, Stanford University School of Medicine

J. Stephen Morrison, senior vice president and director of the Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies

Shan Soe-Lin, faculty member, Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, Yale University; managing director and co-founder, Pharos Global Health Advisors