"COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis" 5th Aug 2021
WHO calls for halting COVID-19 vaccine boosters in favour of unvaccinated
- The World Health Organization is calling for a halt on COVID-19 boosters until at least the end of September, its head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Wednesday, as the gap between vaccinations in wealthy and poorer countries widens.
- The call for a moratorium is the strongest statement yet from the UN agency at a time when countries deliberate the need for boosters to combat the fast-spreading Delta variant of the coronavirus.
- 'I understand the concern of all governments to protect their people from the Delta variant. But we cannot accept countries that have already used most of the global supply of vaccines using even more of it,' Tedros added.
- High-income countries administered around 50 doses for every 100 people in May, and that number has since doubled, according to WHO. Low-income countries have only been able to administer 1.5 doses for every 100 people, due to lack of supply.
- 'We need an urgent reversal from the majority of vaccines going to high-income countries to the majority going to low-income countries,' Tedros said.
- To counter the spread of the Delta variant, some countries have begun to use or started weighing the need for booster doses even as scientists debate over whether or not extra shots are needed.
- 'The face that we are vaccinating healthy adults with a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccines is a short-sighted way of thinking,' said Elin Hoffmann Dahl, infectious diseases medical adviser to Medicins Sans Frontieres access campaign.
- 'With the emergence of new variants, if we continue to leave the majority of the world unvaccinated, we will most definitely need adjusted vaccines in the future,' Dahl told Reuters.
- Last week, Israeli President Isaac Herzog received a third shot of coronavirus vaccine, kicking off a campaign to give booster doses to people aged over 60 in the country.
- The United States in July signed a deal with Pfizer and German partner BioNTech to buy 200 million additional doses of their COVID-19 vaccine to help with pediatric vaccination as well as possible booster shots.
- U.S. health regulators were still assessing the need for a booster shot.
Reuters 4 August
WHO calls for halting COVID-19 vaccine boosters in favor of unvaccinated
The World Health Organization is calling for a halt on COVID-19 vaccine boosters until at least the end of September, its head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Wednesday, as the gap between vaccinations in wealthy and poor countries widens.
No Covid vaccine, no restaurant, New Yorkers told
New Yorkers will need to provide proof they have had at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine if they are to eat out at restaurants, go to a theatre or work out at the gym, Mayor Bill de Blasio has insisted. De Blasio said he was confident the move, the first of its kind in a big city in the US, would “turn the tide” against the virus as the Delta variant sweeps across the country. “If you want to participate in our society fully, you’ve got to get vaccinated,” New York’s mayor, told a news conference
Global COVID-19 cases surpass 200 mln as Delta variant spreads
Coronavirus cases worldwide surpassed 200 million on Wednesday, according to a Reuters tally, as the more-infectious Delta variant threatens areas with low vaccination rates and strains healthcare systems. The global surge in cases is highlighting the widening gap in inoculation rates between wealthy and poor nations. Cases are rising in about one-third of the world's countries, many of which have not even given half their population a first dose.
South Korea COVID cases spike amid Delta Plus variant
South Korea has posted a sharp increase in its coronavirus cases as it struggled to tame its fourth wave of infections amid the spread of new coronavirus variants strains. The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) reported 1,725 cases for Tuesday, up by more than 500 from the day before, as more tests were conducted after the weekend.
Japan's COVID-19 cases rise 87% during first week of Olympics
Halfway through the Summer Olympics in Japan, coronavirus cases are surging in the nation during a state of emergency though the outbreak is nowhere near as severe as other places as the world deal with a more contagious Delta variant. Tokyo 2020 boss Toshiro Muto said at a news conference Sunday that the COVID-19 surge is not linked to the Games, which included 11,000 athletes representing 206 countries. The positivity rate is only 0.02% -- 72 out of around 350,000 tests through Friday, which includes participants and other stakeholders.
Is the Delta Variant Making Younger Adults ‘Sicker, Quicker’?
Many doctors on the front lines say unvaccinated patients in their 20s and 30s are becoming more severely ill, and more quickly. But comprehensive data is lacking.
Barbie launches doll of scientist Sarah Gilbert who created coronavirus vaccine
Barbie producer Mattel has created a doll in the likeness of the scientist who designed the Oxford coronavirus vaccine: Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert. Professor Gilbert started working on creating a jab in early 2020 when Covid-19 was first reported to be spreading in China. The vaccine she designed, the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab, has now been used in more than 170 countries, making it the most widely used in the world. The doll depicts Professor Gilbert wearing a black trouser suit with a white shirt and glasses.
COVID-19: Race is on to vaccinate up to 1.4 million 16 and 17-year-olds before schools reopen
The decision to vaccinate teenagers has been slow in the UK. Countries such as the US, Canada and France are already routinely vaccinating children as young as 12. But the government's experts are now confident there's the evidence to press ahead - and the race is on to get up to 1.4 million 16 and 17-year-olds vaccinated before schools return. That's less than two weeks in Scotland and just four weeks away in England and Wales. An added challenge is the resistance among some young people and parents.
More US employers mandate COVID-19 vaccines
The list of major American companies who will soon begin mandating COVID-19 vaccines continues to grow, as both Tyson Foods and Microsoft announced that all employees will need to show proof of vaccination in the coming months. Tyson Foods is the first major food industry employer to require vaccinations. All front-line workers will be required to be vaccinated by Nov 1. According to the Associated Press, the Springfield, Arkansas, company will offer a $200 bonus for all front-line workers who receive a vaccine. So far, only half of Tyson employees are vaccinated against COVID-19. Throughout the past 18 months, Tyson meat processing plants were the site of major outbreaks, but the company now reports low numbers after investing $700 million in workplace safety.
If more Americans don't get vaccinated, there is 'ample chance' for a more dangerous variant to emerge, Fauci says
If more Americans don't get vaccinated, there is "ample chance" of another coronavirus variant emerging, one that could be more aggressive and more pervasive than the Delta variant, Dr. Anthony Fauci warned Wednesday. "If another one comes along that has an equally high capability of transmitting but also is much more severe, then we really could be in trouble," Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, said. "People who are not getting vaccinated mistakenly think it's only about them. But it isn't. it's about everybody else, also," said Fauci.
Ukraine receives 500000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines from Denmark
Ukraine has received 500,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines from Denmark, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Wednesday. "We're grateful to our Denmark friends for their support in overcoming this global challenge," Zelenskiy wrote on Twitter. Ukraine has lagged behind other European countries in vaccinating its population of 41 million people. So far, 2.1 million Ukrainian citizens have received two jabs as of July 4
‘Jabs for kebabs’ — The art of coronavirus vaccine persuasion
After the early rush among older citizens for a coronavirus vaccine, many countries are now resorting to bribery to convince people to get themselves jabbed. The persistent minority of vaccine skeptics — especially across Europe — are probably immune from the incentives on offer. But governments are hoping that a small nudge may be what's needed with people for whom the prospect of long-COVID or even death was not, by itself, enough to make them find a window in their schedule for a vaccine appointment. Some countries — notably France — are adopting more of a stick approach, by mandating that certain key workers receive the jab or restricting access to leisure activities for unvaccinated people. Pakistan is even taking the unconventional approach of cutting off the cellphone signal to those who refuse to get the jab.
Commission approves Novavax coronavirus vaccine deal — finally
The EU has approved a deal with Novavax to secure up to 200 million doses of the company's protein-based coronavirus vaccine after more than half a year of talks, the Commission announced. EU countries will secure 100 million doses and have the option to purchase another 100 million doses through 2023. The EU announced it had completed "exploratory talks" with the company back in December 2020, but the deal was held up over issues securing a delivery schedule and establishing the U.S. company's European supply chain.
Covid vaccine passport 'blackmail' angers Northern Ireland hospitality group
The Chief Executive of Hospitality Ulster has said introducing a vaccine passport for pubs and restaurants here would amount to blackmail. Speaking on BBC Good Morning Ulster, Colin Neill said it was not an appropriate way to encourage more young people to get vaccinated. He was responding to reports that a Stormont taskforce is exploring the option. A scheme has already been planned for England and was credited for encouraging young people in the Irish Republic over the weekend as 30,000 people were vaccinated at walk-in centres.
Every Australian who wants a COVID-19 vaccine will have one by Christmas, head of taskforce says
Every Australian adult who wants a coronavirus vaccine will have one by Christmas, the head of the national COVID-19 vaccine taskforce has declared. Lieutenant General John Frewen said today the nation is entering the next phase of the rollout and 213,000 doses were administered yesterday, another record. He was asked about the timeline of the rollout, when younger people will be able to access more vaccines, and when the 80 per cent target will be reached. Lieutenant General Frewen also said 10 million doses of Moderna will be available later this year which he hopes will accelerate the rollout.
The UK's 'lost' blueprint for fighting a coronavirus outbreak
After Sars swept across the globe, the UK drew up a plan for fighting an airborne virus arriving in Britain from China. The 2005 document was filed away in Whitehall, and apparently never used. Now uncovered, its recommendations – from limiting travel to stopping ‘super-spreader’ events – are strikingly similar to the measures belatedly brought in to fight Covid-19. Former government advisers tell Samuel Lovett that this guide to fighting an epidemic could have saved tens of thousands of lives
Coronavirus vaccine coverage worse in vulnerable areas in Sydney and Melbourne
Parts of Australian cities most vulnerable to serious Delta outbreaks have vaccine coverage well below the national average, including south-west Sydney and parts of Melbourne that suffered greatly through that city's second wave last year. Public health experts are also worried that the overlap between under-vaccinated populations and those vulnerable to future outbreaks will continue to be a problem, like it is now in the US. The success of the NSW Government's vaccine blitz in virus-affected parts of Sydney will depend partly on its ability to convince younger people to come forward to overcome the patchy vaccination coverage now that they're eligible for AstraZeneca.
Australia's Brisbane warned of prolonged COVID-19 lockdown as cases rise
Australia's Queensland state reported 16 locally acquired COVID-19 cases on Wednesday as authorities warned a lockdown in state capital Brisbane might be extended beyond Sunday if people flout the tough restrictions.
Long COVID-19 rare in children, study says
Less than 1 in 20 children with COVID-19 have symptoms lasting longer than 4 weeks, and by 8 weeks, almost all have recovered, according to a study yesterday in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health. "We know from other studies that many children who catch coronavirus don't show any symptoms at all; and it will be reassuring for families to know that those children who do fall ill with COVID-19 are unlikely to suffer prolonged effects," said senior author Emma Duncan, PhD, in a King's College London
With supply problems solved, Novavax inks deal to supply Europe with up to 200M COVID-19 vaccines
Ironing out production problems has allowed Novavax to finalize a handshake deal with Europe that it made in December to supply its COVID-19 vaccine. On Wednesday, the European Commission said it approved a deal to purchase 200 million doses of the Maryland-based biotech's protein-based vaccine, which has yet to gain approval in the U.S. or Europe.
With Delta variant surging, FDA hustles to grant Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine a full approval: reports
The FDA has stepped up its efforts to grant full approval for Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine, setting an unofficial deadline of Labor Day, The New York Times reports. With the Delta variant of the coronavirus surging across the United States, there's more urgency to combat it with a full vaccine approval. Quoting a senior official at the agency, STAT reported that the FDA is in “sprint” mode to sanction the shot. What would a full endorsement from the FDA do to combat the disease? A June poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 3 in 10 unvaccinated adults say they would be more likely to get vaccinated if one of the shots currently authorized for emergency use were to receive full approval.
COVID-19 vaccines appear to protect patients' lungs; depression on rise among youth
The following is a roundup of some of the latest scientific studies on the novel coronavirus and efforts to find treatments and vaccines for COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccines may protect patients' lungs. In vaccinated patients with "breakthrough" COVID-19 infections, the disease may not affect the lungs as much as in unvaccinated patients, new data from India suggest.
COVID in Louisiana shows consequences of Delta variant, low vaccination rate
Low vaccination rates and the more infectious Delta variant are converging to create a new COVID-19 crisis for Louisiana as the United States and the world face the latest stage of the pandemic.
San Francisco says Johnson & Johnson recipients can get extra dose of Covid vaccines
Recipients of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in San Francisco will be allowed to request a 'supplemental' dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. San Francisco officials say decision was made after many residents were requesting to receive additional shots to boost immunity. Currently, the CDC does not recommend a person to mix and match vaccine types or receive additional doses. Johnson & Johnson vaccine is believed to be effective against all strains of COVID-19, including the Indian 'Delta' variant. CDC has said it is tracking instances of people receiving unauthorized COVID-19 vaccine boosters
All over-12s could soon be offered Covid vaccines with further rollout 'likely'
All over-12s could soon be offered a Covid vaccine, the UK's Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van-Tam has suggested. The remarks come as it emerged coronavirus jabs will be offered to 16 and 17-year-olds as ministers seek to halt the spread of the virus and prevent schools chaos. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) said older teenagers should get inoculated in a move that will see an extra 1.4 million young people eligible for the jab. Health Secretary Sajid Javid accepted the JCVI recommendation and has asked the NHS to prepare to start giving first doses to youngsters "as soon as possible".
Fully Vaccinated Half As Likely To Catch Covid-19 And Less Likely To Infect Others, Study Finds
People who have received both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine are half as likely to be infected with the coronavirus than those who have not been vaccinated, according to a new study led by researchers at Imperial College London, though the scientists warned a new vaccine targeting the infectious delta variant may be needed to combat concerns over vaccine efficacy.
Fauci: US could see 200K daily COVID-19 cases in the fall
Chief White House medical adviser Anthony Fauci on Wednesday said the U.S. could see up to 200,000 daily COVID-19 cases in the fall. “Remember, just a couple of months ago, we were having about 10,000 cases a day,” Fauci told McClatchy in an interview. “I think you’re likely going to wind up somewhere between 100,000 and 200,000 cases.” Fauci’s prediction comes as the U.S. is experiencing a surge in cases while health officials are struggling to convince individuals to get vaccinated
Japan proposes expanding COVID-19 emergency curbs as cases surge, says minister
Japan proposed on Thursday expanding emergency restrictions to eight more prefectures to fight a surge in COVID-19 cases, a cabinet minister said, as worries grow about strains on the nation's medical system in Olympics host Tokyo and elsewhere. Officials have warned that coronavirus infections were surging at an unprecedented pace as new cases hit record highs in Tokyo, overshadowing the Olympics and adding to doubts over the government's handling of the pandemic.
Covid-19: One more Covid-linked death and 1,040 new cases
One more coronavirus-related death has been recorded in Northern Ireland within the latest 24-hour reporting period. Deaths are measured by recording those who died within 28 days of receiving a positive result in a test for coronavirus. The total number of deaths linked to Covid-19 in Northern Ireland since the start of the pandemic is 2,206. Another 1,040 cases of coronavirus have been reported on Wednesday, down from 1,082 on Tuesday.
China reports most new COVID-19 cases since January amid Delta surge
China reports 71 new local cases for Aug 3, most since Jan 30. Number of local cases up for five consecutive days since July 30. So far, 17 provinces, regions and municipalities have reported local infections in outbreak
Thailand reports daily record of over 20000 COVID-19 infections
Thailand on Wednesday reported 20,200 new coronavirus cases and 188 additional deaths, both the highest daily increases so far during the pandemic. The new cases and fatalities brought total infections to 672,385 and deaths to 5,503, data from the health ministry's website showed.
Indonesia passes grim milestone of over 100000 COVID-19 deaths
Indonesia recorded a grim milestone of more than 100,000 deaths from COVID-19 on Wednesday, data from the country’s health ministry showed, with the Southeast Asian nation recently accounting for one in five fatalities globally. Indonesia has been battling a tide of coronavirus infections and deaths driven by the highly contagious Delta variant for the past month, as the country has quickly become Asia's coronavirus epicentre.
Japan warns of unprecedented COVID spread as cases hit record in Olympic host city
Japan's pandemic entering 'new phase' - health minister. Tokyo COVID cases at record. Ruling party calls for roll-back of new hospital policy. Controversy is another setback to PM Suga ahead of elections. Top medical adviser warns of broadening COVID clusters
Macau begins COVID-19 tests and shuts some entertainment venues, casino stocks fall
The gambling hub of Macau will begin testing its 600,000 people and close some entertainment spots after the Chinese-ruled city confirmed four new coronavirus cases, its government said on Wednesday, pushing casino stocks lower. The resurgence in cases in a city that has seen very few infections over the past year and a half has raised concerns that casinos, Macau's main economic engine and source of revenues, may have to close in the near-term if the spread is not contained
Delta variant has spiked Covid-19 deaths in Africa by 80% in one month, WHO says
Coronavirus deaths in Africa rose rapidly over the past month, as fatalities surged by 80 percent within the last four weeks, the World Health Organization has said. WHO's Vaccine Introduction Officer for the African Region, Phionah Atuhebwe, told CNN on Monday that the continent was witnessing an unprecedented rise in coronavirus fatalities. "COVID-19 death rates have increased across Africa, with the highest weekly rate (6,343) to date reported during the week starting 19 July 2021," said Atuhebwe.
Utah will give KN95 masks to children as the Delta variant fuels Covid-19 hospitalizations nationwide
The surge of Covid-19 fueled by the Delta variant and low vaccination rates is sending the country backward in the pandemic, with hospitalizations reaching wintertime levels. For the first time since February 27, more than 50,000 Covid-19 patients were hospitalized Monday, according to data from the US Department of Health and Human Services. The 50,625 hospitalizations were more than triple the number from one month ago, when about 16,000 patients were hospitalized.