A return to normal life – or something approaching it – is beginning across Europe. From the reopening of restaurants and nightlife to the easing of quarantine measures and the lifting of mask regulations, some of the bloc’s largest economies are easing regulations on Their Covid-19 defied a record number of cases, largely fueled by the spread of Omicron. Officials say they’re able to do so because the variant causes less serious illness and their high numbers of vaccinated people need to be hospitalized.
UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid on Monday rescinded an order forcing all frontline health workers in the UK to be vaccinated, saying that although vaccination was still “our best line of defense” it was not longer “commensurate” to the request. The U-turn follows Britain’s decision to scrap the so-called “Plan B” restriction, introduced to combat the Omicron variant, as cases stabilize.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that it is starting to see a worrying increase in the number of deaths in most regions of the world and that any country will give up. efforts to prevent transmission are premature. “We are concerned that some reports have been made in several countries that due to the vaccine and due to the high transmissibility of Omicron and its lower severity, it is no longer possible to prevent transmission. and is no longer necessary. Nothing could be further from the truth.” WHO Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters on Tuesday.
“More transmissions means more deaths. We are not calling for any country to return to a so-called lockdown. But we are calling on all countries to protect their people. them using every tool in the toolkit, not just the vaccine. It’s too early for any country to surrender, or claim victory,” he added.
YOU ASKED. WE HAVE ANSWERED
Q: Should you wait for an Omicron specific booster?
Here are two main reasons why:
- First, there is growing evidence that a third dose of Pfizer or Moderna or a second vaccine after Johnson & Johnson is needed to maintain strong protection against Covid-19. Last month, three new studies from the CDC found that boosters protect from severe illness and reduce the likelihood of contracting the coronavirus.
- Second, the Omicron-specific vaccine is still in clinical trials. Pfizer and BioNTech announced Tuesday that they are starting a Covid-19 vaccine trial specifically for Omicron, and Moderna revealed on Wednesday that they have entered Phase 2 of a vaccine trial targeting into this variant. These tests will take months to complete, and with Omicron still rising, people shouldn’t delay their boosters.
READING OF THE WEEK
Pfizer files FDA application for two-dose vaccine for children under 5 years old
The urgent licensing request comes as the Omicron variant fuels a record increase in childhood infections. Since the start of the pandemic, at least 11.4 million children have tested positive for Covid-19, the American Academy of Pediatrics reported Monday, with more than 3.5 million cases confirmed. reported in January only. Children accounted for 22.8% of all cases reported for the week ending January 27.
A universal vaccine could be the future of the fight against coronavirus
Scientists are working to develop a “pan-coronavirus” vaccine – a vaccine that offers protection against multiple variants of the coronavirus that causes Covid-19.
But such vaccines “will take years to develop,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said during a White House briefing on Wednesday.
What it’s like to fly into the Olympic “bubble” in Beijing
The Beijing Winter Olympics are being held inside a real fortress – informally called a “bubble” – that takes weeks of careful planning to infiltrate. Designed to stop the spread of Covid, the bubble is the most ambitious quarantine measure implemented anywhere since the start of the pandemic.
Across China, entire communities have been forced to close down because of a single Covid case. Any failure to prevent incidents at the Winter Olympics could undermine the country’s zero-Covid strategy and jeopardize the health and reputation of the entire nation.
You’re all set to trade your old cloth masks for an N95 as some experts recommend, but the higher price tag and two small words – “single use” – are giving you pause. How long can you really wear the N95 and still protect yourself and others from Covid-19?
- Avoid touching the front outer part of the mask when putting it on. Instead, try to handle it with edges or straps.
- These masks are designed to handle many particles and will continue to function even when they are worn in crowded environments. But if you know you’ve been in contact with someone with Covid, Marr recommends discarding the mask.
- If the mask is damp, dirty, bent, creased, or otherwise damaged – including from makeup – you need to replace the mask as these conditions can reduce the mask’s effectiveness.
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