Two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech or AstraZeneca-Oxford’s COVID-19 vaccines are nearly as effective against the highly transmissible delta coronavirus variant as they are against the alpha variant. The research team found that two doses of Pfizer’s shot was 88 per cent effective at preventing symptomatic disease from the delta variant, compared to 93.7 per cent effective against the alpha variant.
Following a surge in the cases of the coronavirus, Israel has announced that it is planning to allow only people who are deemed immune to COVID-19 or have recently tested negative to enter some public spaces such as restaurants, gyms and synagogues. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s office said the Green Pass program would be back in force from Jul 29, pending government approval.
House Republicans ramped up their calls for people to get vaccinated against Covid amid a surge in the delta variant of the virus. Members of the GOP Doctors Caucus were joined at a press conference by Minority Whip Steve Scalise. ’I have high confidence in it. I got it myself, sent the pictures out, but if someone has a hesitation, they ought to have that conversation with their doctor,’ he said.
Indians have expressed shock and anger after the government told parliament that no Covid deaths had been reported in the country due to oxygen shortages. This came despite hospitals across the country having reported to have run out of oxygen in April and May during a deadly second wave. The government said that ’no deaths due to lack of oxygen has been specifically reported by states.’
The chairman of the Rugby Football League has labelled Australia and New Zealand’s governing bodies ’selfish, parochial and cowardly’ following their decision to withdraw their national sides from this year’s World Cup which is being organized in England. The two nations cited welfare and safety concerns relating to Covid-19 as their reason for pulling out.
China cannot accept the WHO’s plan for the second phase of a study into the origins of COVID-19, a senior Chinese health official said Thursday. Zeng Yixin, the vice minister of the National Health Commission, said he was shocked by the plan and specifically, the theory that the virus might have leaked from a Chinese lab. ’It is impossible for us to accept such an origin-tracing plan,’ he said.
Addressing a CNN town hall in Cincinnati, President Biden touched upon a range of subjects including mask mandates, and the filibuster. Biden said the CDC will ’probably’ advise children under age 12 who are not yet eligible to be vaccinated against Covid-19 to wear masks in school this fall. He defended his refusal to eliminate the filibuster, saying tweaks would create chaos in Congress.
YouTube announced that videos of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro had been removed from his channel, with the platform accusing him for spreading misinformation about the COVID-19 outbreak. The far-right former army captain has won widespread criticism for railing against lockdowns, touting unproven miracle cures, sowing vaccine doubts and shunning masks.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) would likely issue guidance encouraging children who have not been vaccinated against the coronavirus to wear masks in schools, President Joe Biden said on Wednesday. The President also suggested that enforcing the guidance would be difficult but that it would be a ’community responsibility.’
Tear gas and water cannons were fired by the police in Greece as they sought to drive away crowds protesting against coronavirus vaccinations in Athens. About 1,500 people took part in the protest outside the parliament. The protests were prompted by a government decision earlier in July ordering the mandatory vaccination of healthcare workers and nursing home staff.
Sen. Paul said he plans to send a letter to the DOJ regarding a criminal referral focused on Dr. Fauci. Paul insists Fauci lied to Congress about the National Institutes of Health funding gain-of-function research at a lab in Wuhan, China, the place where COVID-19 cases were first reported in 2019. Amid a tense exchange on Tuesday, Fauci denied he lied to Congress during testimony in May.
Marjorie Taylor Greene declined to reveal if she is vaccinated against COVID-19 when asked, claiming the inquiry was a violation of her health privacy rights. The GOP Rep. cited the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which was passed with the primary purpose of requiring the health care and health care insurance industries to protect patients’ medical records from fraud and theft
Coronavirus patients taking statin drugs before hospitalization had markedly lower odds of death and severe COVID-19 according to scientists from University of California San Diego School of Medicine. Statins are used to lower blood cholesterol and prevent cardiovascular disease. The study in PLOS ONE last week analyzed records of 10,500 hospitalized COVID-19 patients from Jan.-Sept. 2020.
According to reports, NY Mayor Bill de Blasio will mandate that employees of the city’s public hospital and health clinic systems be vaccinated for the coronavirus or submit to weekly testing for COVID-19. The order, likely to be announced Wednesday or Thursday, will cover Health and Hospitals employees and those who work at the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s public clinics.
President Biden urged Americans to get vaccinated for the coronavirus on Monday. US COVID-19 cases have been on the increase in recent weeks and officials say the rise is almost entirely among people who have not been vaccinated as the Delta variant becomes the dominant strain in the country. Biden said the economic recovery of the country hinges on getting the pandemic under control.
Days before the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympic Games is due to take place, levels of Covid cases are continuing to rise. There have now been 71 positive cases that are directly linked to the Olympic Games. On Monday, the virus had spread to the Czech beach volleyball player Ondej Perusic. Perusic, who has been vaccinated twice, becomes the 3rd athlete from the Village to test positive.
The White House is regularly in touch with Fox News and other networks about their coverage of the pandemic, Jen Psaki said Tuesday, after a report there have been talks between high level admin officials and execs at Fox over its programming on vaccines. This as more and more vaccinated Americans are being hospitalized with covid. Critics say the White House has no business interfering with media
White House chief medical advisor Dr. Fauci and Sen. Paul traded barbs in a heated exchange at a Senate hearing Tuesday over whether the National Institutes of Health funded controversial research Paul claims could have contributed to the Covid-19 pandemic. ’You do not know what you’re talking about, quite frankly, and I want to say that officially,’ Fauci said in response to Paul’s charges.
A White House staffer and an aide to Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives tested positive for the coronavirus this week. Neither individual had close contact with President Biden or Pelosi. The White House is not considering a change in its health protocols in light of the positive tests, Jen Psaki, the White House Press Secretary added.
Sean Hannity of Fox News recently encouraged his viewers to take the coronavirus pandemic seriously, and get themselves vaccinated against the virus. ’Enough people have died. We don’t need any more death,’ Hannity said. He also urged people to talk to their doctors on their respective medical history, current medical condition, and to take the vaccine ’seriously’.
Dominic Cummings, the former top adviser to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he discussed the possibility of toppling Johnson shortly after an election triumph in 2019. Cummings said that same was being discussed because Brexit campaigners were being sidelined inside Downing Street. He also accused Johnson of not wanting to impose a second coronavirus lockdown in the autumn of 2020.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the head of the World Health Organization warned that more than 100,000 people will die from COVID-19 around the world between now and the end of the Olympic Games. The WHO chief further said that anyone who thinks the pandemic is over because cases are under control in their country is living in ’a fool’s paradise’.
83% of sequenced coronavirus samples in the U.S. are the Delta variant that spreads rapidly and is fueling fears of a major setback in the pandemic fight at home and abroad, the CDC said on Tuesday. The Delta variant was first identified in India, and quickly spread across the globe from the country. Average daily case counts have risen to roughly 30,000 per day, the worst level since mid-May.
India’s excess deaths during the pandemic could be a staggering 10 times the official COVID-19 toll, likely making it modern India’s worst human tragedy. Experts have repeatedly said India’s death toll of more than 414,000 dead is a vast undercount, but the Modi government has dismissed those concerns as exaggerated and misleading. The report estimated excess deaths to be 3 million to 4.7 million.