Boosters are coming to the United States. But the poorest in the world are still waiting for their first

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The White House is expected to advise most Americans to get a third dose of Covid-19, a move that will align the United States with a growing number of wealthy countries that have turned to booster shots in the face of the Delta variant highly transmissible and decreasing immunity. .

  • US President Joe Biden’s plan, which is expected to be discussed on Wednesday, would see booster shots rolled out from mid-September to the end of September, a source told CNN, pending clearance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA ) American. The news follows last week’s recommendation from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that people with immunocompromise receive an extra dose of the vaccine.
  • Data from vaccine manufacturer Pfizer-BioNTech submitted to the FDA showed that the third dose elicited a significantly higher antibody response against the initial strain of coronavirus, as well as against the Delta and Beta variants, compared to that seen after a dose to two doses. Classes.
  • But the FDA and CDC say there is no clear case yet for giving boosters to people with normal immune systems, as data continues to show vaccines still protect against serious illness. As Delta increases across the United States, almost everyone who becomes seriously ill with the virus is not vaccinated.
  • Public health experts are also not convinced. The answer to reducing deaths and hospitalizations, many say, is simple: get the unvaccinated people vaccinated first. Scott Hensley, an immunologist at the University of Pennsylvania, points out that some 90 million eligible Americans remain unvaccinated – and are the primary vector for the virus to spread across the country. “Of course we want people to be protected and to get the full course,” he said. “But what we’re trying to fight against is give a third dose to people who are already well protected.” He added: “If you think a third dose of the vaccine is going to end the pandemic, then you are laughing at yourself. The way to end this pandemic is to distribute the vaccine around the world. ”
  • This is an argument that the World Health Organization has been making for months. Bitterly opposed to the use of booster shots for now, the WHO says the move will undoubtedly exacerbate inequalities in immunization. Countries like Israel, Germany, France and the United Arab Emirates have already allowed booster shots for the elderly. But only 1.3% of people in low-income countries received at least one dose, according to Our World in Data at the University of Oxford.
  • Andrew Pollard, director of the Oxford Vaccine Group at the University of Oxford, and Seth Berkley, managing director of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, warned in an essay published by the Guardian on Friday that “large-scale stimulation in a rich country would send a signal around the world that boosters are needed everywhere. They said, “This is going to suck many doses of the vaccine out of the system, and many more people will die because they never even had it.” the chance to get a single dose. ”
  • Meanwhile, in Afghanistan, the lingering chaos following the Taliban takeover is taking a ‘heavy toll’ on the country’s ‘fragile health system’, ”WHO spokesperson Jarik said on Tuesday. Jašarević, disruptions at the airport delaying emergency medical supplies, including Covid vaccines. Overcrowding in health facilities and camps for internally displaced people will further hamper infection prevention measures, he said.

Q: Are boosters unusual when it comes to vaccines?

A: No, it’s not at all unusual to need additional vaccines, CNN medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen said. Many vaccines require multiple doses to achieve full immune protection, such as the polio vaccine, for example, which requires four doses, or the hepatitis vaccine, which requires three. There are other vaccines that need occasional “boosters” because immunity can weaken over time, such as the tetanus and diphtheria vaccine.

Other vaccines need to be given more often, such as the flu shot, which requires an annual injection. It’s not so much to boost our immunity, but because every season there are new strains targeted by the vaccine, Wen explains.

As Covid-19 is a relatively new disease, it is not yet clear whether an additional dose will be needed to complete a course, as in the case of the three-dose hepatitis vaccine; whether occasional immunity “boosters” may be needed, such as with tetanus vaccine; or if new strains may emerge, which require updated shots to target them.

Send your questions here. Are you a healthcare worker battling Covid-19? Message us on WhatsApp regarding the challenges you are facing: +1 347-322-0415.

A pedestrian crosses Featherston Street on the first day of a national lockdown on August 18, 2021 in Wellington, New Zealand.
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Hagen Hopkins / Getty Images

A pedestrian crosses Featherston Street on the first day of a national lockdown on August 18, 2021 in Wellington, New Zealand.

New Zealand reports first Delta case, enters national lockdown

New Zealand entered a nationwide lockdown late Tuesday evening, hours after confirming a case of Covid-19 – the first locally transmitted infection since February. New Zealand authorities said on Wednesday they had confirmed six more cases, all linked to the original.

The outbreak marks the first time New Zealand has confirmed the presence of the Delta variant in the community and authorities are still determining how it got there. The country closed borders to almost all foreigners last year and forced most inbound travelers through state-run quarantine – an approach that has helped New Zealand avoid devastating waves observed in other countries and to return life largely to normal.

Now the country joins at least 142 other countries that have reported cases of the Delta variant. New Zealand’s chief health officer Ashley Bloomfield on Wednesday warned he could see between 50 and 120 more cases based on a model that includes Delta. “Our job now is to find any case,” he said.

Some politicians use Covid-era disinformation to side with lies

The Covid-19 pandemic has presented a golden window for undermining trust in the media and, in some cases, for world leaders to launch outright assaults on some of their countries’ most respected and important journalistic institutions. , writes Luke McGee.

This month, the Polish parliament passed a bill that could shut down the country’s largest independent news channel, TVN24, a broadcaster that frequently criticizes Poland’s ruling party. Also this month, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz presented a plan that would effectively withdraw funds from the country’s oldest newspaper.

All of this could be linked to the timeline around the Covid-19 pandemic, according to media experts. “In times of crisis, trust in government increases because people just want someone to fix things, so you see people rallying around the flag,” said Ben Page, chief executive of the Ipsos polling firm. MORI, adding that these spikes in support open up a window of opportunity that “distracts from what you’re doing elsewhere”. And if you’re a politician looking to capitalize on it, hitting and weakening the press is a relatively easy proposition.

Childhood Covid Cases Rising, And This May Be Just The Beginning

Cases of Covid-19 in children have been on the rise since early July, according to a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). More than 121,000 cases of Covid-19 children were reported in the United States last week, what the AAP called a “continuing substantial increase.”

Public health experts continue to advocate for children to wear masks in school, especially since children under 12 are not currently eligible for the vaccine. But to their frustration, some state governors have attempted to ban such demands. “Why tie the hands of public health officials behind their backs? You have two guns here, one is a vaccine, the other is a mask, and for kids under 12 it’s the only gun they have, ”Dr. Paul Offit told CNN, member of the US Food and Drug Administration Vaccine Advisory Board. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences further supports the case for masking. He found that other mitigation measures – such as physical distancing and hand washing – are “in themselves insufficient” to curb the pandemic without using a mask as well.

Meanwhile, the majority of American parents plan to send their children to school this year, but want more information on the Covid safety measures that are in place, according to a survey released by the Alliance of States on Wednesday. and territories for testing, the Rockefeller Foundation and the RAND Corporation. . Only 27% of parents said they knew in detail what Covid-19 prevention measures had been implemented by their child’s school, according to the survey, with 60% saying they would like more information about safety precautions.

Pregnant? To get vaccinated.

The CDC has strengthened its recommendation that pregnant women get the vaccine. “The evidence for the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy has grown. These data suggest that the benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine outweigh any known or potential risks of vaccination during pregnancy, ”the CDC said in its updated guidelines on its website.

Pregnant women are at increased risk of becoming seriously ill from Covid-19 and “adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as premature labor,” according to Sascha Ellington, team leader for emergency preparedness and response in the reproductive health division of the CDC. “This vaccine can prevent Covid-19, and so this is the main benefit,” she added.

Read more here.

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