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Coronavirus vaccine shots given worldwide

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Updated Nov 25,

Italy tightens screws on unvaccinated, extends shot mandate

Italy on Wednesday tightened the screws on people unwilling to take an anti-Covid vaccine, sharply restricting access to an array of services and making vaccines mandatory for a wider group of public sector workers.

Italy acted as much of Europe is increasing restrictions to try to grapple with a new wave of the pandemic.

Under the Italian measures, which will come into force from Dec. 6, unvaccinated people will not be able to enter venues such as cinemas, restaurants and sports events, Prime Minister Mario Draghi's government said in a statement.
 

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BUDAPEST: Hungary reported a record 12,637 new daily COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 1.045 million with 33,519 deaths, a government tally showed on Wednesday.

Hungary, a country of 10 million whose vaccination rate lags the European Union average, imposed new curbs last Thursday, a day before a full lockdown was announced in neighbouring Austria, which also has a relatively low vaccine uptake.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban's government, which opposes further lockdowns for fear of stifling the economy, launched a vaccination campaign this week, offering jabs without prior registration amid a surge in new infections.

Wednesday's data showed 5.81 million people, or just under 60% of the population, have been fully vaccinated, while 2.04 million have received booster shots.

Hungary has made boosters mandatory for healthcare workers and mask wearing has again been required in most indoor places since Saturday. The changes fall short of the strict measures urged by Hungarian doctors.

Orban's government has also allowed companies to make COVID-19 shots mandatory for their workers.

Drug maker Richter and oil and gas group MOL have already said they will do so.

The idea of mandatory vaccinations has however raised concerns among Hungarians, with some expressing reservations despite already being vaccinated.

"Making the vaccine obligatory is a difficult thing as it could limit people severely, including earning a living, so I think such a decision should be made very carefully," said Zsuzsanna Koszoru as she lined up for a booster jab.
 

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Coronavirus toll at 1100 GMT Wednesday

AFP
24 Nov 2021


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PARIS: The novel coronavirus has killed at least 5,165,289 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Wednesday.

At least 258,299,880 cases of coronavirus have been registered.

The vast majority have recovered, though some have continued to experience symptoms weeks or even months later.

The figures are based on daily reports provided by health authorities in each country. They exclude revisions made by other statistical organisations, which show that the number of deaths is much higher.

The World Health Organization estimates that the pandemic's overall toll could be two to three times higher than official records, due to the excess mortality that is directly and indirectly linked to Covid-19.

A large number of the less severe or asymptomatic cases also remain undetected, despite intensified testing in many countries.
On Tuesday, 8,499 new deaths and 763,521 new cases were recorded worldwide.

Based on latest reports, the countries with the most new deaths were Russia with 1,240, followed by the United States with 1,183 and Ukraine with 595.

The United States is the worst-affected country with 773,857 deaths from 47,982,843 cases.

After the United States, the hardest-hit countries are Brazil with 613,066 deaths from 22,030,182 cases, India with 466,584 deaths from 34,535,763 cases, Mexico with 292,850 deaths from 3,867,976 cases, and Russia with 267,819 deaths from 9,434,393 cases.

The country with the highest number of deaths compared to its population is Peru with 609 fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants, followed by Bulgaria with 396, Bosnia with 376, Montenegro with 360, North Macedonia with 358, Hungary with 345 and the Czech Republic with 303.

Latin America and the Caribbean overall has 1,536,155 deaths from 46,506,386 cases, Europe 1,495,319 deaths from 81,955,159 infections, and Asia 891,837 deaths from 56,932,896 cases.

The United States and Canada have reported 803,394 deaths from 49,754,305 cases, Africa 221,868 deaths from 8,610,351 cases, the Middle East 213,466 deaths from 14,241,215 cases, and Oceania 3,250 deaths from 299,572 cases.

As a result of corrections by national authorities or late publication of data, the figures updated over the past 24 hours may not correspond exactly to the previous day's tallies.
 

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The novel coronavirus has killed at least 5,193,392 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Sunday.

At least 260,448,580 cases of coronavirus have been registered. The vast majority have recovered, though some have continued to experience symptoms weeks or even months later.

The figures are based on daily reports provided by health authorities in each country.

They exclude revisions made by other statistical organisations, which show that the number of deaths is much higher.

The World Health Organization estimates that the pandemic's overall toll could be two to three times higher than official records, due to the excess mortality that is directly and indirectly linked to Covid-19.

A large number of the less severe or asymptomatic cases also remain undetected, despite intensified testing in many countries.

On Saturday, 6,192 new deaths and 482,861 new cases were recorded worldwide.

Based on latest reports, the countries with the most new deaths were Russia with 1,224 new deaths, followed by India with 621 and Ukraine with 400.

The United States is the worst-affected country with 776,537 deaths from 48,202,506 cases.

After the US, the hardest-hit countries are Brazil with 614,186 deaths from 22,076,863 cases, India with 468,554 deaths from 34,572,523 cases, Mexico with 293,859 deaths from 3,882,792 cases, and Russia with 272,755 deaths from 9,570,373 cases.

The country with the highest number of deaths compared to its population is Peru with 610 fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants, followed by Bulgaria with 403, Bosnia-Herzegovina with 380, Montenegro with 363, Republic of North Macedonia with 361, Hungary with 351 and Czech Republic with 307.

Latin America and the Caribbean overall has 1,539,386 deaths from 46,625,559 cases, Europe 1,511,949 deaths from 83,496,736 infections, and Asia 895,994 deaths from 57,122,769 cases.

The United States and Canada has reported 806,165 deaths from 49,986,856 cases, Africa 222,486 deaths from 8,633,429 cases, Middle East 214,141 deaths from 14,278,152 cases, and Oceania 3,271 deaths from 305,082 cases.

As a result of corrections by national authorities or late publication of data, the figures updated over the past 24 hours may not correspond exactly to the previous day's tallies.
 

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Thousands protest Czech Covid-19 measures as hospitals fill

Several thousand people protested in Prague against anti-coronavirus restrictions on Sunday as many Czech hospitals halted non-urgent procedures in the face of one of the world's fastest rates of new infections, Reuters reports.

Gathered in a park overlooking the Czech capital's centre, protesters waved national flags and carried signs with slogans such as: “Get vaccinated? Over your dead bodies”.

The outgoing government toughened measures on Thursday, including a ban on Christmas markets, which was one of the main themes at Sunday's rally.

“I am here to fight for freedom. I am here because I don't agree with what is happening today,” Jiri Hulec told Reuters.
Czech hospitals, including the largest one, Prague's Motol, have ceased planned operations and limited other care in the past days as the number of patients with Covid-19 has doubled to around 6,000 over the past three weeks.
 

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Thousands protest Czech Covid-19 measures as hospitals fill

Several thousand people protested in Prague against anti-coronavirus restrictions on Sunday as many Czech hospitals halted non-urgent procedures in the face of one of the world's fastest rates of new infections, Reuters reports.

Gathered in a park overlooking the Czech capital's centre, protesters waved national flags and carried signs with slogans such as: “Get vaccinated? Over your dead bodies”.

The outgoing government toughened measures on Thursday, including a ban on Christmas markets, which was one of the main themes at Sunday's rally.



Czech hospitals, including the largest one, Prague's Motol, have ceased planned operations and limited other care in the past days as the number of patients with Covid-19 has doubled to around 6,000 over the past three weeks.
If the government had some backbone they would arrested all participant and then vaccinated them
 

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The novel coronavirus has killed at least 5,206,370 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Tuesday.

At least 261,498,300 cases of coronavirus have been registered.

The vast majority have recovered, though some have continued to experience symptoms weeks or even months later.

The figures are based on daily reports provided by health authorities in each country.

They exclude revisions made by other statistical organisations, which show that the number of deaths is much higher.

The World Health Organization estimates that the pandemic's overall toll could be two to three times higher than official records, due to the excess mortality that is directly and indirectly linked to Covid-19.

A large number of the less severe or asymptomatic cases also remain undetected, despite intensified testing in many countries.

On Monday, 6,566 new deaths and 579,509 new cases were recorded worldwide.

Based on latest reports, the countries with the most new deaths were United States with 1,620 new deaths, followed by Russia with 1,229 and Ukraine with 561.

The United States is the worst-affected country with 778,601 deaths from 48,438,037 cases.

After the US, the hardest-hit countries are Brazil with 614,376 deaths from 22,084,749 cases, India with 468,980 deaths from 34,587,822 cases, Mexico with 293,950 deaths from 3,884,566 cases, and Russia with 275,193 deaths from 9,636,881 cases.

The country with the highest number of deaths compared to its population is Peru with 610 fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants, followed by Bulgaria with 408, Bosnia-Herzegovina with 383, Montenegro with 366, Republic of North Macedonia with 363, Hungary with 357 and Czech Republic with 309.

Latin America and the Caribbean overall have 1,540,093 deaths from 46,657,249 cases, Europe 1,520,177 deaths from 84,163,926 infections, and Asia 897,402 deaths from 57,197,771 cases.

The United States and Canada have reported 808,239 deaths from 50,225,886 cases, Africa 222,714 deaths from 8,644,253 cases, Middle East 214,464 deaths from 14,301,360 cases, and Oceania 3,281 deaths from 307,855 cases.

As a result of corrections by national authorities or late publication of data, the figures updated over the past 24 hours may not correspond exactly to the previous day's tallies.
 

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Air travellers to the United States will face tougher COVID-19 testing rules to try to slow the spread of the Omicron variant and other countries tightened border controls as a European leader urged all concerned to “prepare for the worst”.

A World Health Organization official said 24 countries may have reported cases of the variant so far but that some of the early indications were that most cases were mild, with none severe. Travel bans had consequences, he said, but there would be more mutations without other measures to contain its spread.

Staving off Omicron while scientists establish how easily it can spread and whether it can evade vaccine protection is a “race against time” the president of the European Union’s executive Commission said, emphasising the role of vaccines.

“Prepare for the worst, hope for the best,” Ursula von der Leyen told a news conference, adding that according to scientists, full vaccination and a booster shot provide the strongest possible protection.

Ghana, Nigeria, Norway, Saudia Arabia and South Korea were among the latest countries to report cases of the variant. Britain reported 22 cases so far, a number it said would certainly go up.

Australia said at least two people visited several places in Sydney while likely infectious and Denmark said an infected person had taken part in a large concert.

Japan, which had already barred all new foreign entrants, reported its second case of the new variant and said it would expand travel restrictions. Such curbs have become more tangled as they have spread.

Hong Kong added Japan, Portugal and Sweden to its travel restrictions while Uzbekistan said it would suspend flights with Hong Kong as well as South Africa. Malaysia temporarily barred travellers from eight African countries and said Britain and the Netherlands could join the list.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said “blanket travel bans will not prevent the international spread and they place a heavy burden on lives and livelihoods”, while advising those unwell, at risk or 60 years and over and unvaccinated to postpone travel.

Global shares came off lows plumbed on Tuesday after remarks by the CEO of Moderna raised questions about the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines against Omicron.

Health officials have since offered reassurances and said it is very likely vaccines will still prevent people getting seriously ill.

European Medicines Agency Executive Director Emer Cooke said laboratory analyses should indicate over the next couple of weeks whether the blood of vaccinated people has sufficient antibodies to neutralise the new variant.

BioNTech’s CEO said the vaccine it makes in a partnership with Pfizer was likely to offer strong protection against severe disease from Omicron. The European Union brought forward the start of its vaccine rollout for five-to-11-year-old children by a week to Dec 13.

Britain and the United States have both expanded their booster programmes in response to the new variant, which has highlighted the disparity between massive vaccination pushes in rich nations and sparse inoculation in the developing world.

Some 56 countries were reportedly implementing travel measures to guard against Omicron as of Nov. 28, the WHO said. WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebre-yesus said he was concerned that several member states were “introducing blunt, blanket measures”, which “will only worsen inequities”.

GLOBAL SPREAD

South Africa first reported the variant a week ago, but data from elsewhere already shows it was circulating before then although Nigeria said a case from October it had initially reported as Omicron had in fact been the Delta variant.

In Germany, which is battling a surge in COVID-19 infections and deaths, officials said four fully vaccinated people had tested positive for Omicron in the south but had moderate symptoms.

The United States is moving to require all air travellers entering the country to show a negative COVID-19 test performed within one day of departure, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Tuesday.

The new one-day testing requirement would apply to U.S. citizens as well as foreign nationals.

The CDC lists about 80 foreign destinations as having “Level Four”, its highest level of COVID-19 transmission, and discourages Americans from travelling to those destinations.

In Asia, Japan said it would expand its entry ban to foreigners with resident status from 10 African countries.

Global airlines are preparing for more volatility.

Japanese airlines ANA and JAL said they were suspending new reservations for international flights to the country until the end of December.

“It feels a little bit like we are back to where we were a year ago and that’s not a great prospect for the industry and beyond,” Deidre Fulton, a partner at consultancy MIDAS Aviation, said at an industry webinar.
 

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Omicron 'ultimate evidence' of danger from vaccine inequity: Red Cross

The emergence of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus is the “ultimate evidence” of the danger of unequal vaccination rates around the world, the head of the Red Cross said.

“The scientific community has warned the international community on several occasions about the risks of very new variants in places where there is a very low rate of vaccinations,” Francesco Rocca, the president of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, told AFP in an interview in Moscow.

About 65 per cent of people in high-income countries have had at least one dose of vaccine against the coronavirus, but just over seven per cent in low-income countries, UN numbers show.
 

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Study finds mRNA vaccines provide biggest booster impact

COVID-19 vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna that use mRNA technology provide the biggest boost to antibody levels when given 10-12 weeks after the second dose, a new British study has found.

The “COV-Boost” study was cited by British officials when they announced that Pfizer and Moderna were preferred for use in the country’s booster campaign, but the data has only been made publicly available now.

England’s COVID-19 prevalence rises

The prevalence of COVID-19 infections in England rose to around 1 in 60 people in the week ending Nov. 27, Britain’s Office for National Statistics said on Friday, led higher by the dominant Delta variant rather than Omicron.

The prevalence was up from 1 in 65 reported the previous week, the ONS said, adding that 99% of all infections which were sequenced were genetically compatible with the Delta variant.

South Korea widens vaccine pass requirement

South Korea announced on Friday that people visiting restaurants and cinemas and other public spaces will have to show vaccine passes, amid a surge in COVID-19 infections.

The government also re-imposed limits on private gatherings, which had been recently relaxed, as the country posted record numbers of new cases this week.
 

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Australia regulator approves Pfizer vaccine for children 5-11

Reuters
05 Dec 2021


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MELBOURNE: Australia's medicine regulator on Sunday provisionally approved the Pfizer Inc coronavirus vaccine for children between the ages of 5 and 11, with the health minister saying the rollout could begin from Jan. 10.

The Therapeutics Goods Administration "have made a careful, thorough assessment, determined that it is safe and effective and that it is in the interests of children and Australians for children 5 to 11 to be vaccinated," said Health Minister Greg Hunt.

After initial delays with its general COVID-19 inoculation programme, Australia has swiftly become one of the world's most-vaccinated countries, with nearly 88% of Australians over the age of 16 having received two doses.
The high vaccination has helped slow the spread of the virus and promote a speedy economic recovery, with the government planning to raise its 2022 growth forecast within weeks.

The efficacy of vaccines against the new Omicron variant, which is spreading in Australia, remains unknown.

The most populous state, New South Wales, reported two more Omicron cases on Sunday, bringing the total to 15 cases, and the Australian Capital Territory confirmed its second.

Parliament House was closed over the weekend to the public until further notice after a staffer to a member of parliament tested positive to COVID-19 after the legislature's final sitting week of the year on Friday.

The variant of that infection case has not been disclosed, but health authorities said the staff was fully vaccinated.

While nationwide vaccinations are voluntary, states and territories have mandated shots for many occupations, and some require full vaccination to access most hospitality services and non-essential retail.

Australia's overall childhood immunisation coverage is also one of the highest in the world, with 95% of 5-year-olds inoculated with vaccines recommended for their age, health data showed.
The Pfizer vaccine for those children still needs the approval of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation. Once approved, it will be available to about 2.3 million children in the 5-to-11 age group.

Despite battling many outbreaks this year, leading to months of lockdown in Sydney and Melbourne - Australia's largest cities - the country has had only about 834 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 7.9 deaths per 100,000 people, according to the World Health Organisation, a fraction of the toll in many other developed nations.

Australia has had just under 217,000 cases in total and 2,042 deaths.
 

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India reports highest Covid fatalities since July as states update tallies

India on Sunday reported its highest single-day Covid-19 deaths since July after two states revised their death tolls.

The eastern state of Bihar added 2,426 unrecorded deaths while the southern state of Kerala added 263 deaths to their tallies on Sunday, a federal health ministry spokesperson told Reuters.

The revised figures took single-day deaths to 2,796, the highest since July 21, according to a Reuters tally.
 

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France registers surge in Covid-19 hospitalisations

France on Tuesday registered a surge in Covid-19 hospitalisations as a rise in new infections in mid-November led to an increase in patient numbers.

The health ministry reported that the number of Covid-19 patients in French hospitals rose by 618 to 12,714, the second-highest net one-day increase this year behind the net increase of 732 on April 6, when the patient tally was above 30,600.

Due to one of Europe's highest vaccination rates, a rise in new cases now has less impact on hospital numbers than in the spring, Reuters reports.

France also reported that the number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care units rose by 160 to 2,351, the second-highest increase this year. On April 6, ICU numbers rose by 193 to 5,626.
 

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