Billionaire Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries Ltd will bear the cost of vaccinating its employees and their immediate family, totaling an estimated 12.2 lakh, as the oil-to-telecom conglomerate looks to safeguard them against the Covid-19 virus.
Supplies and access to COVID-19 vaccines are increasing, but Vice President Kamala Harris is struggling to ease safety concerns among Black Americans.
As of 3 March, the first dose of vaccine has been given to 20,982,571 people in the UK
The decision gives the U.S. a third vaccine against the virus, boosting the nation's supply of shots that can curb the pandemic.
Florida has found early success with a COVID-19 vaccination strategy that puts seniors first and eschewed complex priority lists.
52.3 percent of Israelis has received the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, and 39 percent the second
Nine great apes at the San Diego Zoo - four orangutans and five bonobos - made veterinary history in recent weeks as the world's first non-human primates known to be vaccinated against Covid-19, zoo officials said on Thursday.
COVID-19 vaccine makers tell Congress to expect a big jump in the delivery of doses over the coming month
[Nation] As countries around the world prepare to roll out the Covid-19 vaccine, scammers are making up to Sh60 million by selling the 'doses' on the black market.
Anyone listening to Netanyahu in recent months would think he’d developed the COVID-19 vaccine and administered all the shots himself. Pfizer’s CEO can still keep his company out of Netanyahu's election campaign
The L.A. school district will get the COVID-19 vaccines by the end of the week, with a target of mid-April to reopen some campuses.
The chief executive of the fund that manages Canada Pension Plan investments has resigned after it was revealed that he decided to travel to the United Arab Emirates, where he arranged to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Of the 225m vaccines administered so far, most have been in a handful of rich nations. This has to change, for all our sakes
- Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is director general of the World Health Organization
Vaccines manufactured in India for the global vaccine access programme, Covax, have reached Ghana, Ivory Coast and Colombia over the past 10 days. This was undoubtedly a moment of celebration that the miracle of science was being shared – but it was offset by the shame that many countries hit hard during the pandemic have still not received any vaccines.
Safe and effective vaccines have been developed and approved at record speed, giving us a crucial new way, in addition to traditional public health measures, to protect people from the virus. Now we must ensure they’re available to everyone, everywhere. Sharing doses, boosting manufacturing by removing barriers and ensuring that we use data effectively to target left-behind communities is key to ending this crisis. Continue reading...
COVID-19 vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna are made with new technology that’s easy to update
A month after drive began, Pakistan has administered 197,000 doses of vaccine or .09 jabs per 100 members of population.
Editor’s Note: The Atlantic is making vital coverage of the coronavirus available to all readers. Find the collection here.
In the middle of January, the deadliest month of the pandemic, one day after inauguration, the Biden administration put out a comprehensive national strategy for “beating COVID-19.” The 200-page document includes many useful goals, such as “Restore trust with the American people” and “Mount a safe, effective, and comprehensive vaccination campaign.” But nowhere does it give a quantitative threshold for when it will be time to say, “Okay, done—we’ve beaten the pandemic.”
A month later, it’s time to get specific. The facts are undeniable: The seven-day average of new cases in the United States has fallen by 74 percent since their January peak, hospitalizations have gone down by 58 percent, and deaths have dropped by 42 percent. Meanwhile, more than 60 million doses of vaccine have gone into American arms. At some point—maybe even some point relatively soon—the remaining emergency measures that were introduced in March 2020 will come to an end. But when, exactly, should that happen?
The problem is that the “end of the pandemic” means different things in different contexts. The World Health Organization first declared a “public health emergency of international concern” on January 30, 2020, holding off on labeling it a “pandemic” until March 11. The imposition (and rescinding) of these labels is a judgment made by WHO leadership, and one that can reflect murky, tactical considerations. Regardless of what the WHO decides (and when), national governments—and individual states within the U.S.—have to make their own determinations about when and how to reopen their schools and loosen their restrictions on businesses. I reached out to prominent public-health experts to find out which epidemiological criteria ought to be met before these kinds of steps are taken.
The most obvious interpretation of “beating COVID-19” would be that transmission of the coronavirus has stopped, a scenario some public-health experts have hashtagged #ZeroCOVID. But the experts I spoke with all agreed that this won’t happen in the U.S. in the foreseeable future. “This would require very high levels of vaccination coverage,” said Celine Gounder, an infectious-disease specialist at NYU who served on Joe Biden’s coronavirus task force during the transition. The U.S. may never reach vaccination rates of 75 to 85 percent, the experts said.
[Read: The good news of COVID-19 is sticking for now]
“The question is not when do we eliminate the virus in the country,” said Paul Offit, the director of the Vaccine Education Center and an expert in virology and immunology at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Rather, it’s when do we have the virus sufficiently under control? “We’ll have a much, much lower case count, hospitalization count, death count,” Offit said. “What is that number that people are comfortable with?” In his view, “the doors will open” when the country gets to fewer than 5,000 new cases a day, and fewer than 100 deaths.
That latter threshold, of 100 COVID-19 deaths a day, was repeated by other experts, following the logic that it approximates the nation’s average death toll from influenza. In most recent years, the flu has killed 20,000 to 50,000 Americans annually, which averages out to 55 to 140 deaths a day, said Joseph Eisenberg, an epidemiologist at the University of Michigan. “This risk was largely considered acceptable by the public,” Eisenberg said. Monica Gandhi, an infectious-disease specialist at UC San Francisco, made a similar calculation. “The end to the emergency portion of the pandemic in the United States should be heralded completely by the curtailing of severe illness, hospitalizations, and deaths from COVID-19,” she said. “Fewer than 100 deaths a day—to mirror the typical mortality of influenza in the U.S. over a typical year—is an appropriate goal.”
The “flu test” proposed here is not a perfect apples-to-apples comparison. Deaths attributed to COVID-19 are directly reported to public-health authorities, while the mortality numbers from seasonal flu are CDC estimates based on national surveillance data that have been fed into statistical models. But researchers believe that the straightforward counts of influenza deaths—just 3,448 to 15,620 in recent years—are substantially too low, while direct counts of COVID-19 deaths are likely to be more accurate. One big reason: Far more COVID-19 tests are done in a single day than flu tests in an entire year, and flu tests have a greater tendency to return false negatives.
In any case, we are nowhere near 100 COVID-19 deaths a day. Since last spring, states have not reported fewer than 474 deaths a day, as measured by a rolling seven-day average at the COVID Tracking Project at The Atlantic. Right now, the country as a whole is still reporting close to 2,000 deaths a day, and just two weeks ago that number was more than 3,000. So, if we’re going by the flu test, we still have a very long way to go.
[Read: The most likely timeline for life to return to normal]
Some experts were even more conservative. Crystal Watson, a health-security scholar at Johns Hopkins University, suggested a threshold of 0.5 newly diagnosed cases per 100,000 people every day, and a test-positivity rate of less than 1 percent. That would translate to fewer than 2,000 cases a day in the U.S., compared with the current 60,000 or more. We’d also want to log at least one month of normal hospital operations without staff or equipment shortages, she said.
While every proposed threshold remains far below what we’re seeing right now, the researchers I spoke with believe that if vaccine uptake is high enough, those numbers can be reached. Watson suggested a target of 80 percent coverage for populations older than 65, and 70 to 80 percent for everyone else. For the latter, “perhaps 60 percent is more realistic,” she said.
So far, no state has reached those vaccination levels in any population. It is possible, however, that in specific, high-risk subpopulations, targeted efforts could drive vaccination rates to very high levels. Our best example is in long-term-care facilities, which have been linked to 35 percent of total COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. The federal government’s vaccine rollout made residents and staff in these facilities a priority and provided specific funds and operational help to vaccinate these people beginning in December. At the COVID Tracking Project, we’ve seen the share of deaths attributed to long-term-care facilities drop by more than half over the past six weeks, which suggests the vaccines are working.
The large number of Americans who’ve already been infected will also be crucial for reaching transmission-slowing levels of immunity. The CDC estimates that more than 83 million Americans have been infected with COVID-19, far more than the official, confirmed case total of 28 million. Forty-four million Americans have received at least one dose of a vaccine. Even assuming some overlap between the previously infected and the vaccinated, perhaps 100 to 120 million Americans have some level of immunity. That’s roughly one-third of the population.
It could take months for the size of this group to reach a point where the number of COVID-19 deaths a day falls below 100. Until then, we’ll be confronted with a different sort of risk: that, for some, the pandemic feels like it’s over long before it actually is. Just as the country has never taken a unified approach to battling COVID-19, we may very well end up without a unified approach to deciding when it ends. That’s why public-health experts are desperately urging Americans to hold firm even as the pandemic seems to be receding. “We’re lifting mitigation measures too soon,” warned Gounder, the infectious-disease specialist at NYU. “We’re taking our foot off the brake before putting the car into park.” If enough people ignore that message and decide the pandemic is over for them, it may very well put off the moment when we can say that the pandemic is over for everyone.
As the U.S. prioritizes teachers nationwide for coronavirus vaccines, states and many districts are not keeping track of how many school employees have received the shots
ULAN BATOR, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- Mongolia's Ministry of Defense on Tuesday held a handover ceremony to receive 100,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine donated by China.
Mongolian Defense Minister Gursed Saikhanbayar received the donation from Chinese Ambassador to Mongolia Chai Wenrui at the ceremony.
"We are grateful to the Chinese side for extending its helping hand and providing real support to the Mongolian Armed Forces in the fight against the epidemic," Saikhanbayar said.
He noted that this assistance from the Chinese Defense Ministry is not only an expression of friendly relations between the two countries, but also an example of both sides cooperating in the fight against the pandemic.
The batch is part of 300,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines donated by China to Mongolia.
"I believe that these vaccines will definitely contribute to Mongolia's ultimate victory over the pandemic," Chai said.
So far, Mongolia has recorded 2,723 COVID-19 cases, with six deaths.
Manila has said the country’s leader can chose which jab he wants because “he’s the president,” dismissing the guidance of the nation’s vaccine Tsar who urged Filipinos not to wait and get the first shot they’re offered.
Read Full Article at RT.com
Almost 90 percent of Israelis aged 50 and older have been vaccinated against the coronavirus or have recovered from it, health minister says
Hundreds of people have gotten shots thanks to a partnership between the Arkansas health department and historically Black social groups
Soon after Arkansas began allowing people over 70 to receive the Covid-19 vaccine in January, Wanda King heard from her aunt and cousin, who fell in that age group, that they were struggling to get their shots. They live in Cotton Plant, Arkansas, a rural town in the eastern part of the state with a population of about 650. The town has a medical clinic, but no pharmacy.
Related: US racial inequities in vaccination raise risk of new Covid hotspots and variants Continue reading...
A single dose of Pfizer and BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine cuts the number of asymptomatic infections and could significantly reduce the risk of transmission of the virus, results of a UK study found on Friday.Researchers analysed results from thousands of Covid-19 tests carried out each week as part of hospital screenings of health care staff in Cambridge, eastern England.“Our findings show a dramatic reduction in the rate of positive screening tests among asymptomatic health care workers after a…
Australia is seeking assurances from the European Union's executive arm that future shipments of vaccines will not be blocked, after Italy banned a large export of the AstraZeneca coronavirus shots.
The new variants are highly transmissible and have sparked concerns that vaccines may be less effective against them.
People in a diverse Seattle neighborhood consider the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine, particularly who is and isn't getting it and why.
Getting an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine has been elusive for many Michiganders, leading some to go to drastic lengths to get a shot in the arm.
The government is reviewing whether venues can ask for proof of vaccination or a negative test.
Scientists have spotted yet another potentially worrisome coronavirus variant, a strain that has a mutation that may help it evade vaccines, and seems to be spreading fast in New York City.
With two coronavirus vaccines receiving federal clearance, we answer your questions — from when you should get vaccinated to how they work and how they were made so quickly.
After the federal government moved to make appointments available to teachers at pharmacies, Gov. Charlie Baker announced that educators will be eligible to sign up for shots at all 170 vaccination sites beginning March 11.
Professor Jonathan Van-Tam says that for over 70s, both the Oxford-AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines are 60% effective against illness after the first dose.
Vaccine eligibility in L.A. County changed on March 1. If it's your turn, here are some ways to sign up for a COVID-19 vaccine appointment.
Urgent calls for COVID-19 vaccine fairness are ringing through African countries as more are welcoming or rolling out doses from the global COVAX initiative
Community health clinics in California serve the poor, who are overwhelmingly Black and Latino. Get them vaccines!