"COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis" 6th Aug 2021
Covid-19 vaccines work 'exceptionally well' against severe illness and death but no longer prevent transmission, CDC chief says
- Covid-19 vaccines no longer prevent transmission, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr Rochelle Walensky said Thursday. 'Our vaccines ae working exceptionally well,' Walensky told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. 'They continue to work well for Delta, with regard to severe illness and death - they prevent it. But what they can't do anymore is prevent transmission.'
- That's why the CDC changed its guidance last week and is now recommending even vaccinated people wear masks in indoor settings again, Walensky said.
- Last week, the agency released a study that showed the Delta variant produced similar amounts of virus in vaccinated and unvaccinated people if they got infected - data that suggests vaccinated people could have a similar tendency to spread the virus as the unvaccinated.
- 'If you're going home to somebody who has not been vaccinated, to somebody who can't get vaccinated, somebody who might be immunosuppressed or a little bit frail, somebody who has comorbidities that put them at high risk, I would suggest you wear a mask in public indoor settings,' Walensky said.
- The dangerous Delta variant has fuelled the country's latest surge of Covid-19 cases and if more Americans don't get vaccinated and mask up, the country could soon be seeing 'several hundred thousand cases a day,' similar to the winter surge, Walensky said.
- And while states across the South - including Florida and Louisiana - have seen exponential rises in cases, Walensky said, they have not reached their peak just yet.
Next variant is just around the corner
- Getting more people vaccinated won't just help crush this surge, experts say. It will help prevent other - potentially even more aggressive - variants from arising in the future.
- 'The next variant is just around the corner, if we do not all get vaccinated,' Adm. Brett Giroir, the former coronavirus testing czar under President Donald Trump, told CNN's Chris Cuomo.
- 'I just beg the American people to understand that to defeat this virus, we have to get everybody's level of immunity up, and that is just the way it is,' he added.
- Roughly 58.2% of the U.S. population has receive at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose, CDC data shows, and about 59.9% is fully vaccinated.
- There was some encouraging news Thursday, as White House data director Dr Cyrus Shahpar tweeted there had been the most number of vaccine doses reported administered in a single day in more than a month. He said that more than 864,000 doses had been reported administered over the previous day's total, including about 585,000 people who got their first shot.
- In the coming weeks, surges will likely reach all across the USA, not just areas with low vaccination rates, former CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said Wednesday. The outbreaks, however, will not be as explosive in areas with higher vaccination coverage, Frieden added.
- As cases increase, hospitalizations and deaths will likely rise as well, according to ensemble forecasts published Wednesday by the CDC. The forecast predicts a total of 624,000 to 642,000 deaths will be reported by August 28. As of Wednesday, there have been 614, 342 Covid-19 deaths in the USA, according to data compiled by John Hopkins University.
- If you're not protected against Covid-19, the virus will likely infect you, Michael Osterhom, director for the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, told CNN's Pamela Brown on Wednesday.
- 'The virus is highly infectious. If you decide to try to run the game clock out, don't try and do this. The virus will find you, it will infect you eventually,' Osterholm said.
- Fortunately, the available vaccines appear to offer a strong defence against the Delta variant, especially when it comes to severe illness and deaths, Frieden said.
- 'We are at war with this virus that has already killed more than 610,000 Americans. We now have the tools with vaccines and masks to stop further death and suffering and destruction,' CNN medical analyst Leana Wen said Wednesday.
Covid-19 vaccines work 'exceptionally well' against severe illness and death but no longer prevent transmission, CDC chief says
Covid-19 vaccines no longer prevent transmission, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Thursday. "Our vaccines are working exceptionally well," Walensky told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "They continue to work well for Delta, with regard to severe illness and death -- they prevent it. But what they can't do anymore is prevent transmission." That's why the CDC changed its guidance last week and is now recommending even vaccinated people wear masks indoors again, Walensky said.
Xi says China aims to provide 2 bln COVID-19 vaccine doses to world in 2021
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday said China will strive to provide 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines to other countries in 2021, state broadcaster CCTV reported. In his written message to an international COVID-19 vaccine cooperation forum, Xi also said China would donate $100 million to the COVAX global vaccine distribution scheme, according to the CCTV report
Festivals for Britain as events get $1 bln COVID reinsurance cover
Britain launched a government-backed reinsurance scheme totalling more than 750 million pounds ($1 billion) on Thursday to cover live events against cancellation risk due to the COVID-19 pandemic, after intense industry lobbying. Insurers stripped coronavirus cover from event cancellation policies after the pandemic took hold last year, prompting top entertainment industry figures such as Andrew Lloyd-Webber to demand a government-backed scheme to enable events to go ahead.
'There are only so many beds': COVID-19 surge hits hospitals
Florida hospitals slammed with COVID-19 patients are suspending elective surgeries and putting beds in conference rooms, an auditorium and a cafeteria. As of midweek, Mississippi had just six open intensive care beds in the entire state. Georgia medical centers are turning people away. And in Louisiana, an organ transplant had to be postponed along with other procedures. “We are seeing a surge like we’ve not seen before in terms of the patients coming,” Dr. Marc Napp, chief medical officer for Memorial Healthcare System in Hollywood, Florida, said Wednesday. “It’s the sheer number coming in at the same time. There are only so many beds, so many doctors, only so many nurses.”
Seven states make up half of COVID cases in the US: White House
Seven United States states with the lowest COVID-19 vaccination rates account for half of the country’s new cases and hospitalisations in the last week, despite making up less than 25 percent of the nation’s population, the White House said on Thursday. The states are Florida, Texas, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi, according to President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 coordinator, Jeff Zients, who spoke during a press briefing.
Cambodia’s nightlife scene tests COVID success
In March 2020, Cambodian authorities made it clear they would take no chances with COVID-19. Tourism visas were suspended. Land borders were closed, leaving citizens stranded. Curfews and domestic travel restrictions emptied the kingdom’s world-renowned archaeological sites of visitors and shut down once-bustling nightlife spots. For nearly a year, such vigilance made Cambodia a COVID-19 success story. As of January this year, the country had recorded no deaths from the coronavirus and just 463 positive cases, 86 percent of which were imported cases that were contained by what was described as a “watertight” quarantine-on-arrival system.
Coronavirus Covid-19 jabs to be offered to teenagers aged 16-17 in Scotland
Everyone in the 16-17 age group will be offered the Covid-19 vaccination in Scotland. In line with the latest advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), they will be offered a first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech jab. From Friday (August 6), people who are 16 or 17 in mainland Scotland will be invited to register their interest through the online portal at NHS Inform, and will then be sent an appointment via text or email. Eligible young people in Shetland, Orkney and Western Isles will be contacted by their health board and invited to attend clinics.
Ignoring WHO call, Germany, France to give COVID-19 vaccine boosters
Global body disapproves of boosters until more people vaccinated. Some rich nations going ahead anyway to fend off Delta variant. Elderly and vulnerable to benefit first from booster shots. Low-income nations suffer from lack of vaccine supplies
Russia has administered COVID-19 vaccines to 39 million people
Russia has administered COVID-19 vaccines to 38.9 million people, about 27% of its population, health minister Mikhail Murashko said on Thursday. He did not say whether the figure referred to those who have received at least one dose or those who were fully inoculated. Last month, the government said 33.6 million people had received at least one dose and 22.6 million both doses
Covid-19: Huge batches of extra Pfizer doses are sent to NSW and Queensland
Queensland and New South Wales will get thousands of Pfizer doses from next week in a bid to control Covid-19 outbreaks ravaging both states. From Monday NSW will be given an extra 183,690 doses of the in-demand vaccine and Queensland will have an extra 112,320 jabs. The supplies have been not been taken from other states but have been brought forward from September allocations.
Businesses face ‘horrible’ abuse amid UK’s coronavirus vaccine checks dilemma
Hospitality is back in business post-lockdown — but staff face the prospect of abuse as they grapple with “confused” government guidance on checking customers' coronavirus status. Companies who have opted to put in place checks say they have faced a social media backlash from anti-vaccine and “freedom” campaigners. The U.K. has so far tried to encourage businesses with a higher risk of COVID transmission to voluntarily adopt its NHS COVID Pass, allowing customers to prove they are free of the virus. Users can show they have either had two doses of an approved vaccine, a negative PCR or lateral flow test result within 48 hours of entry, or have natural immunity. Business owners making use of the scheme so far say they have been on the receiving end of abuse, amid confusion from customers about the scale of the checks.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin wants to require U.S. troops to get coronavirus vaccine
Following a directive by President Joe Biden to explore the matter, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is leaning toward requiring all U.S. troops to get vaccinated for the coronavirus. The Pentagon chief has been examining the issue as the Biden administration looks for ways to boost vaccination nationwide, while protecting military personnel who must content with viral variants even as they carry out their duties of providing for the national defense. Austin's 'inclination is towards making the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory' for active-duty troops, CNN citing a Defense official.
Florida governor feuds with White House as COVID cases rise
It didn’t take much for the White House to set Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis off. As coronavirus cases rise across the Sun Belt, President Joe Biden asked GOP governors to “get out of the way” of efforts to contain the virus. DeSantis fired back that he did not want to “hear a blip about COVID from you, thank you,” adding, “Why don’t you do your job?” The exchange was unusually direct and bitter, particularly for politicians dealing with a crisis that is killing Americans in rising numbers. But it was a sign that the now-familiar cudgels of virus politics — debates pitting “freedoms” against masks and restrictions — remain potent weapons. And DeSantis, in particular, appears eager to carry that fight into next year’s midterms election, and beyond.
Graham says he's told Trump to 'speak up' on COVID vaccines
As he recovers from a breakthrough infection of the coronavirus, Sen. Lindsey Graham said Thursday that he has urged former President Donald Trump to press his supporters to get the COVID-19 vaccine, which the South Carolina Republican called “the antidote to the virus that’s wreaking havoc on our hospitals.” “I’ve urged him to be aggressive and say, ‘Take the vaccine,’” Graham said in an extensive interview with The Associated Press, his first since disclosing this week that he had tested positive for the virus, months after being vaccinated. On Monday, Graham said he had tested positive days after gathering with a handful of Senate colleagues on Sen. Joe Manchin’s houseboat. That same night, Saturday, Graham said he began experiencing flu-like symptoms.
Around 14% of US population is still opposed to the vaccine and most believe it is more dangerous than Covid-19 itself
Around 14 per cent of US population is still opposed to the Covid-19 vaccine. More than half of unvaccinated adults said vaccine is bigger risk to their health than getting infected with the virus itself. Some three quarters said they are 'not worried' about getting seriously sick from the virus
Covid-19 vaccine programme should extend to 12-year-olds to reduce virus spread, scientists say
The Government should consider extending the vaccination programme to children as young as 12 according to scientists who said it would reduce the spread of Covid-19 further. The call comes as the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advised that the rollout should be extended to include 16 and 17-year-olds after reviewing the latest data. Ministers have accepted the recommendation and the NHS is making preparations to start giving first doses to around 1.4 million children who will not need to obtain parental consent. The teenagers are expected to receive the Pfizer vaccine, which has been approved for use in the UK for people aged 12 and over.
Almost 400,000 Brits have had 'long Covid' for over a year, official figures suggest
945,000 Brits were suffering from long-Covid last month, the ONS estimates. And 40 per cent of them had the condition for more than a year, it found. Experts warn figures could be exaggerated, but still expect there are high levels
Novavax Delays Seeking U.S. Regulatory Approval for Covid-19 Vaccine
Novavax Inc.said it would delay seeking U.S. emergency authorization for its Covid-19 vaccine until the fourth quarter as it works to complete the manufacturing portion of its application. “The manufacturing part has been the most work that we have to do,” Stanley Erck, Novavax chief executive, said in an interview Thursday. “Hopefully October for the FDA, but we don’t have a date picked.” He said Novavax plans to apply for approval with U.K. regulators in September and would follow shortly after in Canada and Australia.
Moderna says its COVID-19 shot 93% effective six months after second dose
Moderna Inc said on Thursday its COVID-19 shot was about 93% effective through six months after the second dose, showing hardly any change from the 94% efficacy reported in its original clinical trial. However, it said it still expects booster shots to be necessary ahead of the winter season as antibody levels are expected to wane. It and rival Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE have been advocating a third shot to maintain a high level of protection against COVID-19.
S.Korea pledges nearly $2 bln to become major COVID-19 vaccine producer
S.Korea aims to be one of top five vaccine producers - Moon. $1.92 billion to expedite local vaccines, nurture talent. SK Bioscience to begin third-phase clinical trial in August. S.Korea grapples with new COVID-19 wave, vaccine shortages
Coronavirus vaccine does protect against spread: RIVM research
Coronavirus vaccines are extremely effective at preventing the spread of the Alpha variant of the disease but the impact may be less on the more infectious Delta variant, according to researchers at Dutch public health institute RIVM. The researchers studied how often people who have been fully vaccinated infected others in their household between February and May, when the Alpha variant was dominant in the Netherlands. The study showed that people living in the same household as people who were fully vaccinated, but picked up coronavirus, were 71% less likely to be infected than household members of unvaccinated people.
Monoclonal antibody could inform development of pan-coronavirus vaccines
Researchers in the United States have demonstrated the potential of a monoclonal antibody to inform the design of pan-coronavirus vaccines that could prevent the outbreak of future pandemics such as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The team from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington and The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, had already shown that the antibody – called CV3-25 –neutralizes the B.1.351 (beta) variant of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Furthermore, the antibody cross neutralized SARS-CoV-1 and displayed cross-reactive binding to recombinant proteins derived from the human coronaviruses OC43 and HKU.
COVID: In Florida hospitals, ‘there are only so many beds’
Florida hospitals slammed with COVID-19 patients are suspending elective surgeries and putting beds in conference rooms, an auditorium and a cafeteria. In Georgia, medical centers are turning people away for lack of space. And in Louisiana, the sick are left waiting and waiting some more in the emergency room before being airlifted elsewhere. “We are seeing a surge like we’ve not seen before in terms of the patients coming,” Dr. Marc Napp, chief medical officer for Memorial Healthcare System in Hollywood, Florida, said Wednesday. “It’s the sheer number coming in at the same time. There are only so many beds, so many doctors, only so many nurses.”
Tokyo logs record 5,042 cases as infections surge amid Games
Tokyo reported 5,042 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, its most since the pandemic began as infections surge in the Japanese capital hosting the Olympics. Tokyo has been under a state of emergency since mid-July, and four other areas of the country have since been added. But the measures, basically shorter opening hours and a ban on alcohol for restaurants and bars, are increasingly ignored by the public, which has become tired of restrictions. “We need to tackle the situation now that we have a stronger sense of urgency,” Prime Minister Yosihide Suga told reporters, referring to Tokyo exceeding 5,000 new daily cases for the first time. “The infections are expanding at a pace we have never experienced before.”
Delta variant challenges China’s costly lockdown strategy
The delta variant is challenging China’s costly strategy of isolating cities, prompting warnings that Chinese leaders who were confident they could keep the coronavirus out of the country need a less disruptive approach. As the highly contagious variant pushes leaders in the United States, Australia and elsewhere to renew restrictions, President Xi Jinping’s government is fighting the most serious outbreak since last year’s peak in Wuhan. The ruling Communist Party is reviving tactics that shut down China: Access to a city of 1.5 million people has been cut off, flights canceled and mass testing ordered in some areas.
Covid: Fifth of England hospital admissions aged 18-34
One in five people being admitted to hospital in England with Covid is aged between 18 and 34, the new chief executive of NHS England has said. In her first major interview, Amanda Pritchard told the BBC that about 1,000 young adults were currently "really unwell" in hospital. She said it was "so important" people came forward to get vaccinated. She added the level of young adults being admitted to hospital was four times higher than the peak last winter. About 5.5% of those in hospital during the winter surge were young adults.
Australia's New South Wales reports 262 local COVID-19 cases, five deaths
Australia’s New South Wales state reported on Thursday five deaths and 262 locally-acquired cases of COVID-19, up from 233 a day earlier, as numbers continued to climb despite state capital Sydney nearing six weeks in a hard lockdown. Of the new cases, at least 43 have spent time in the community while infectious, the state’s health department said
Coronavirus Australia: Tasmania records its first case of Covid-19 in eight months
Positive case travelled from Melbourne to Launceston Airport on August 2. Man aged in his 30s was taken to hotel quarantine and tested for Covid-19. He decided to fly back to NSW without waiting for the results of the test. Man began experiencing symptoms on Thursday and returned a positive test. Blockbuster AFL match between Collingwood and Hawthorn has been cancelled
WHO says COVID-19 related deaths in Africa reach record peak
Coronavirus related deaths in Africa reached record peak in the week that ended on Aug. 1, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday. Over 6,400 deaths were recorded, a 2% rise compared with the previous week, with South Africa and Tunisia accounting for over 55% of the fatalities, the WHO said in a statement, adding that death trends are on the rise in 15 countries.
Israelis told to 'stop embracing', elderly urged to get booster as Covid-19 cases spike
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is warning that Israelis over 60 are at risk unless they go get their third booster shot immediately.
Delta variant is ravaging the world but it's pushing Southeast Asia to breaking point
Countries across Asia are grappling with their worst coronavirus outbreaks of the pandemic, spurred by low vaccine rates and the highly-contagious Delta variant. While nations such as China, Japan and South Korea are seeing growing outbreaks, the sharp edge of the Delta wave is being keenly felt in Southeast Asia, with countries seeing rapid rises in case numbers and deaths.
Japan to expand COVID curbs amid ‘unprecedented’ surge in cases
Japan is preparing to expand emergency restrictions to eight more prefectures to fight a surge in COVID-19 cases, as worries grow about strains on the medical system in Tokyo as it hosts the Olympics. The planned move comes on Thursday as coronavirus infections surged at an unprecedented pace, overshadowing the Summer Games and driving doubts about Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s handling of the pandemic.
Chaos in Manila as thousands rush to get vaccine before lockdown
Chaos overtook several COVID-19 vaccination sites in Manila on Thursday as thousands showed up hoping to receive a shot before the Philippines capital heads back into lockdown for two weeks.