Italy Blocks AstraZeneca Vaccines As Fears Over Vaccine Nationalism Rise

These are the latest salvoes in the dispute between the EU and the British-Swedish pharmaceutical company after AstraZeneca drastically reduced the number of doses of Covid-19 vaccine it said it could deliver to the bloc in early 2021. The European Commission subsequently took action. that give member states the ability to restrict the export of doses outside the EU, in certain situations, powers that Italy invoked on Thursday

Amid the disagreement, French President Emmanuel Macron questioned the effectiveness of the Oxford / AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine for people over 65, much to the dismay of health experts. Some European countries also set an upper limit on the age of injection recipients, citing a lack of information from clinical studies on its effects in older people.

Since then, Sweden, Germany and Belgium have removed the upper age limits after data from the UK, released Monday, suggested that a single dose of AstraZeneca vaccine is highly effective against serious infections and hospitalizations among elderly populations. .
The slow pace of vaccination in the EU has become a turbulent political problem, and several member states have turned to nations outside the bloc to push for a faltering launch, reports Zamira Rahim. Only 5.5% of the EU population of 447 million have received a first dose of vaccine, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO) as of Wednesday.

On Thursday, the leaders of Austria and Denmark announced plans to launch a joint research and development fund with Israel towards possible future production of coronavirus vaccines.

Other EU nations have turned to Russia and China to fill vaccine supply gaps with unilateral purchases. On Monday, Slovakia granted emergency authorization for Moscow’s Sputnik V vaccine, following a delay in the supply of injections from Pfizer and AstraZeneca.

Slovakia is the second EU country to independently grant Sputnik V authorization after Hungary, which began rolling out the vaccine in February. Hungary is also the first EU country to launch China’s Sinopharm vaccine, which has not been approved by the bloc’s vaccine regulator, the European Medicines Agency.


Q: Is Testing for Covid-19 Still Important?

TO: Covid-19 test numbers are dropping in the US And that’s bad news. Without testing, there is no way to keep track of where the pandemic is heading and whether vaccines are working. And there is no way to make use of one of the most important tools to combat infectious diseases: contact tracing.

“While the public may view vaccination as a priority right now, and it is a priority, widespread testing is still essential for infection control,” Romney Humphries, medical director of the Medical Center’s Laboratory of Clinical Microbiology, said Thursday. from Vanderbilt University. . “This will help us track the actual impact. Are we really seeing a reduction in cases?” she said.

Submit your questions here. Are you a healthcare worker fighting Covid-19? Send us a message on WhatsApp about the challenges you face: +1 347-322-0415.


The United States Shouldn’t Lift Restrictions Until New Daily Infections Drop Below 10,000, Fauci Says

The United States should not ease its pandemic restrictions before the number of new coronavirus cases falls below 10,000 a day and a substantial proportion of Americans are vaccinated, Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN yesterday.

The last time the United States saw fewer than 10,000 new daily cases was almost a year ago, on March 22, 2020. The number has not fallen below 50,000 daily cases since mid-October, and the seven-day average was Wednesday. It was more than 64,000, report by Madeline Holcombe, Theresa Waldrop and Lauren Mascarenhas.

This comes as more states move to vaccinate people who are below retirement age. In Gila County, Arizona, anyone over the age of 18 can get vaccinated. But even with the acceleration of the launch of the vaccine in the US, concerns remain about variants of Covid-19, some of which appear to be more transmissible.

Countries that make dubious claims about Covid-19 and what that means for the world

Over the past year, countries around the world have shared data on Covid-19 cases and deaths with the WHO, information that is crucial in informing the global fight against the disease. However, three countries, Tanzania, Turkmenistan and North Korea, are being non-transparent or denying the magnitude of the problem by not updating or reporting any Covid-19 data, Laura Smith-Spark reports.

Dr Peter Drobac, a global health expert at Oxford University’s Saïd School of Business, told CNN that the pandemic had made clear “how critical leadership is and how dangerous it is to have leaders who are unwilling. to admit the problem and bring people together to respond. ” Mixed messages or rejection around basic interventions like wearing masks helped fuel the rapid spread of the virus in the US and Brazil, leading to many preventable deaths, he said.

China approves the sale of traditional medicine products to treat Covid-19

China approved the sale of three traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) products to help treat Covid-19, the country’s National Medical Products Administration announced on Wednesday. Herbal products come in granular form and have their origins in “ancient Chinese recipes,” it said in a statement. They were developed from traditional Chinese medicine remedies that had been used early in the pandemic and were “evaluated by many academics and experts on the front lines.”

The safety and efficacy of TCM is still debated in China, where it has both followers and skeptics. In recent years, ancient remedies have been repeatedly hailed as a source of national pride by Chinese President Xi Jinping, himself a well-known proponent of traditional Chinese medicine, report Nectar Gan and Jessie Yeung.


A vaccination clinic was set up within a school on the grounds of London's Neasden Temple.
  • Inside Europe’s largest Hindu temple, which debunks Covid-19 misinformation and administers the vaccine.
  • It is too early for that. Small business owners react to Texas’ withdrawal from its mask mandate and other pandemic restrictions.
  • The global vaccine exchange initiative, COVAX, offers hope for vaccine equality with deployment in Africa.
  • Lisa Racine has not been able to visit her father in the nursing home where he lives due to the pandemic. So, she decided to get a part-time job there to see him more often.
  • It is difficult for older people who cannot leave home to get vaccinated. One city found a novel solution by partnering with the fire department and the local Meals on Wheels service.


Kids ages 9-11 in the US who spend more time in front of the screen are more likely to develop binge eating disorder one year later, the study found, with social media being the main culprits.

Every hour spent on social media was linked to a 62% increased risk of binge eating disorder one year later, while every hour spent watching television or movies was linked to a 39% increased risk, the study found. study.

The pandemic has fostered protracted screen-based behaviors and has often necessitated it through online education. Here are some strategies parents can follow to reduce risks.


“These are portraits of people who are just taking a break between patients at work or taking a breather. And I wanted to capture that moment and that emotion in their eyes.” – Jayashree Krishnan, artist from Seattle.

Krishnan has painted more than 150 portraits of first responders from around the world since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Today, she shares her experiences capturing the fatigue, fear, and hope on the faces of those front-line workers. Listen now.


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