MERS Coronavirus warning

Lots of distrust about this mix n match stuff. The Carlos III centre in Madrid came up with much the same as that after studies.
However, it would seem some of the public aren't convinced. Here, in Spain, due to the abysmal supplies of AZ coming in (should have received 30 million of them in the first half of the year but have only been supplied with 7,344,700) , they decided they would give people the option of either waiting (up to 16 weeks) for the AZ or getting a Pfizer one as the second jab in a shorter time.

In our Valencia Region, 76% of those with one AZ jab are refusing a different one for the second dose and there is now quite a waiting time for that. Teachers, and other workers who meet the public, between 40 and 60 years of age are now due their second AZ vaccine after 12 weeks wait but are opting to wait the further time rather than have a different one.
As the article alluded to it isn't likely to happen any time soon but may become an option in the future. Maybe next year for some maybe later? Continuing the current rollout seems the way ahead in the short to medium term, for most countries.

Some countries who initially relied on the Sinopharm vaccine seem to be keen on following this with other vaccines. Data from this could be useful.
 

Scotland vaccine warning as supply for Pfizer jab 'squeezed' - SNP minister raises alarm

NICOLA STURGEON'S SNP government has written to Westminster and called for action to be taken over a worrying shortage of vaccine supplies.​

By LUKE HAWKER
PUBLISHED: 16:07, Thu, Jun 10, 2021 | UPDATED: 16:22, Thu, Jun 10, 2021
1623338776416.png

Scotland vaccine warning as supply for Pfizer jab 'squeezed' - SNP minister raises alarm
 
There has been speculation before about whether mixing vaccines might boost immunity when compared to only one brand of vaccine. A German study seems to have concluded that it can. However they add that it's not time to start doing this yet.

From Deutsche Welle:
View attachment 580301

COVID: Are mix-and-match vaccines the way forward? | DW | 09.06.2021
As mentioned in the article, mix and match vaccines (different first and second doses) is approved and routine in Canada. The motivation was that supplies of Oxford-AstraZeneca have been erratic and unpredictable, so we didn't know if we could get second doses for a lot of people. As it stands, it is likely that a large percentage of people who got Oxford-AstraZeneca as a first does will likely get Pfizer-Biontech or Moderna as the second, simply due to availability when they come in. I think that most of the research that this recommendation was based on studies done by the UK.

However, the idea of mix and match vaccines being as effective or even more effective than two shots of the same is apparently nothing new and is in line with conventional knowledge of how vaccines work. It is in fact routine with vaccines for some other diseases. When the change in recommendation was being discussed in Canada all the vaccine experts who were asked about this by the media basically said it shouldn't be a problem. Of course before announcing that this is the case with any COVID-19 vaccines, some sort of study is done to confirm it.

The Sputnik V vaccine by the way is actually two different vaccines. They use different first and second doses by design, although both are viral vector vaccines.

I think that what many health experts would like to see is if mix and match vaccines are more effective against a wide variety of variants than two doses of the same thing. The theory is that by showing your immune system two different views of what the virus might "look" like, a variant is less likely to be able to slip by your immune system by changing its appearance slightly.
 
Here's the COVID-19 summary for Thursday.
Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Thursday

The UK said that when the the G7 countries meet this weekend they will commit to vaccinating the world by the end of 2022.
Johnson said Thursday that Group of Seven leaders meeting this weekend in England will commit to vaccinating the world by the end of 2022.

The British leader wrote in The Times of London that it was time for wealthy countries to "shoulder their responsibilities and to vaccinate the world, because no one can be properly protected until everyone has been protected."

The US said they would donate hundreds of millions of doses of Pfizer-Biontech vaccine to poorer countries over the next year.
President Joe Biden is announcing Thursday that the U.S. will buy hundreds of millions more doses of the Pfizer vaccine to share with poorer countries over the next year.
Other news sources have said this may be a problem, as many of these poorer countries don't have the ability to handle this vaccine's very cold storage requirements.

90 per cent of African countries will miss the September target date to vaccinate 10 per cent of their population.
In Africa, about 90 per cent of African countries will miss a September target to vaccinate at least 10 per cent of their populations, a WHO official said.

A state in India (the report doesn't say which one) increased their death count significantly after they found that thousands of COVID-19 deaths had gone unreported. Hospitals in India ran out of beds and many people died in their homes or in parking lots outside of hospitals, and many of these deaths had previously gone unreported in COVID-19 totals.
In the Asia-Pacific region, an Indian state has raised its COVID-19 death toll sharply after the discovery of thousands of unreported cases, lending weight to suspicions that India's overall death tally is significantly more than the official figure.

Spain reversed course on opening "nightlife" (I assume the news report means nightclubs and pubs) after complaints from regional authorities.
In Europe, Spain's health ministry on Wednesday scrapped a nationwide plan to gradually reopen nightlife just a week after introducing it, following widespread complaints from regional authorities who dismissed it as either too strict or too loose.

Germany are still opposing removing patent protection on COVID-19 vaccines. A German company of course (Biontech) are the ones who developed a very successful and profitable vaccine.
Germany is sticking to its opposition to easing patent protection on COVID-19 vaccines as it goes into the Group of Seven summit.

In Abu Dhabi only people who have either been vaccinated or recently tested negative will be allowed into shopping malls, restaurants, cafes, and other public places, beginning next week.
In the Middle East, starting June 15, Abu Dhabi will restrict access to shopping malls, restaurants, cafes and other public places to those who have been vaccinated or who have recently tested negative.

The Pan American Health Organization said that at the current rate it will be years before the virus is under control in the Americas.
If the spread of COVID-19 continues at current rates it will be years before the virus is controlled in the Americas, the Pan American Health Organization said, as it called for countries to share excess vaccine doses.

Brazil authorised the start of phase 1 and 2 testing of a new Brazilian vaccine called Butanvac.
Brazil's health regulator Anvisa authorized Phase 1 and 2 clinical tests to be carried out on volunteers for the domestically developed Butanvac vaccine.
I haven't been able to find out much about Butanvac other than that it was developed by the Butantan biomedical institute in Sao Paulo, who are owned by the state government. Butantan are already a major vaccine manufacturer in Brazil, and currently produce a vaccine from Sinovac, a Chinese company. Butanvac won't replace Sinovac, but will be produced alongside it. Butanvac will also be produced in Thailand and Vietnam.
Brazilian institute announces home-made COVID-19 vaccine


The US have said they want to see patents on COVID-19 vaccines suspended during the pandemic. Apparently we shouldn't expect to see anything come from that any time soon however, as the US see this as being a complex issue that may take some time.
"We will actively participate in text-based negotiations at the WTO that will be needed to make this happen. And this may take time given the complexity of the issues involved, but our goal remains to get vaccines to as many people as fast as possible," Tai said in remarks to an AFL-CIO union event.
U.S. committed to seeing patents waived to boost COVID-19 vaccine access

Personally, I could see this as something that may fizzle out without producing any real improvement in terms of getting vaccines into people arms in time to make any difference. The real bottleneck has been production capacity and any vaccine that will make a difference to the world as a whole rather than just a few rich countries is going to have to be one that can be produced around the world using well established conventional techniques.

As mentioned above, the US plan to donate 500 million doses of vaccine to poorer countries. That will consist of 200 million doses this year, and 300 million in 2022.
U.S. pledge of 500M doses 'a small piece of the puzzle' in global vaccination race: expert
This will apparently involve purchasing vaccine from Pfizer, but previous reports have also said that the US will donate their entire stockpile of Oxford-AstraZeneca (about 60 million doses), which they never approved for domestic use.

I suspect the patents on the Pfizer-Biontec vaccine are the main ones the US have in mind with respect to suspending. This way the US could give contracts to the American company Pfizer without paying patent royalties to the German company Biontech, who developed the vaccine.

As mentioned above though, many third world countries would struggle to do a national vaccination program if they had to depend upon the current mRNA vaccines such as Pfizer-Biontech or Moderna.

It should also be kept in mind that while 500 million doses is nothing to be sneezed at, it's still only enough to do about 3 per cent of the world population. I suspect that the bulk of the vaccine to vaccinate the world is going to come from the third world, including places such as India.
 
Here is the COVID-19 summary for Friday.
Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world Friday

Spread of the Delta variant in the UK may affect plans on relaxing lockdown there. I suspect that if this is a problem in the UK, it will be a problem world wide.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's hopes of ending England's coronavirus lockdown on June 21 hung in the balance on Friday as data showed a further rise in cases of the rapidly spreading delta variant, which was first detected in India.

Johnson is due to announce on Monday whether the planned lifting of restrictions, which would see an end to limits on social contact, can go ahead on time.

The Delta variant is apparently 60 per cent more transmissible than the Alpha variant, and accounts for more than 90 per cent of new cases in the UK.
Total British cases of the delta variant, first identified in India, have jumped by 29,892 to 42,323, Public Health England said on Friday, adding the variant currently accounted for over 90 per cent of new COVID-19 cases. (...)

A top British epidemiologist said on Wednesday that the delta variant is believed to be 60 per cent more transmissible than the previously dominant alpha variant, which was first detected in the U.K. Some scientists have urged a delay to restrictions being eased so more people can receive a second vaccine dose.

There are plans during the upcoming G7 summit for the G7 countries to "share" 1 billion doses of vaccine with poorer countries. The US has announced they will contribute 500 million doses, the UK have announced 100 million, and Canada have also announced 100 million. Canada doesn't currently make any vaccine, so where that will actually come from is not clear. Quite likely it will consist of more money for COVAX to buy vaccine commercially.
In Europe, leaders from the Group of Seven industrialized nations are set to commit at their summit to sharing at least one billion coronavirus shots with struggling countries around the world — half the doses coming from the U.S. and 100 million from the U.K. (...)

A government official said on background Friday that Canada would share up to 100 million doses of vaccine, with more details expected over the weekend on how the government would meet this target.

In a previous update I mentioned that a state in India had raised their death total to account for people who had not been counted. This is apparently Bihar. They raised their death total by 70 per cent to 9,429 in order to count people who had died at private hospitals, in transit to hospital, at home under isolation, and those who died of post-COVID-19 complications. Apparently a lot of people died outside of hospitals because they were full and there was no room for them. As a result many people died who had not been counted previously. It is quite likely that this situation was repeated across India.
In the Asia-Pacific region, the Indian state of Bihar has increased its COVID-19 death toll after the discovery of thousands of unreported cases, raising concerns that many more fatalities were not officially recorded. The health department in Bihar, one of the poorest states, on Thursday revised its COVID-19 fatality count to more than 9,429 from 5,424 — a jump of more than 70 per cent.

Officials said the 3,951 unreported fatalities had occurred in May and reflect "deaths reported at private hospitals, in transit to health facilities, under home isolation and those dying of post COVID-19 complications."

Health experts say many COVID-19 fatalities remain unrecorded in India, more so during the latest surge in April and May, when hospitals ran unbearably full and oxygen supplies were low.

In Chile, Santiago are in full lockdown again. Chile have one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, with 60 per cent having at least one dose, and 46 per cent having both. Chile have also approved the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine.
In the Americas, Chile has announced a blanket lockdown across its capital again and said it had approved the emergency use of the vaccine developed by Belgian laboratory Janssen for U.S. pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson.

Kuwait are starting on a major push to get more people their second jab of Oxford-AstraZeneca.
In the Middle East, people in Kuwait were seeking second doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine, local media reported, as the ministry of health embarks on a major push to get more people their critical second shot.
 
Cruise lines are starting up again. Despite passengers already testing positive for COVID-19, the cruise lines say they have no plans to change course on this.
Cruise lines say no change in sailing plans after new COVID-19 cases

Royal Caribbean Group and Carnival Corporation will push ahead with a return to cruises this summer despite two guests onboard Royal Caribbean's Celebrity Millennium ship testing positive for COVID-19.

Passengers have tested positive, despite the cruise line requiring passengers be vaccinated and have a negative test before sailing from St. Maarten.

Cruises planning on departing from Florida are having another problem, as the governor of that state apparently doesn't want passengers to have to show proof of vaccination.

I'm looking forward to reading about outbreaks on cruise ships turning them into "Voyages of the Damned" like we had last year.
 
The following is from UK IT news site The Register. Pakistan are reportedly planning on using a lot of stick in their carrot and stick approach to convincing people to get vaccinated. People who refuse to get vaccinated will have the SIM card in their phone blocked.
Pakistan's Punjab province tells citizens to get jabbed or have their SIM card blocked

Apparently there are a fair number of people in Pakistan who are afraid to get vaccinated for anything because of the US CIA operation which used a vaccination program as cover to search for Osama bin Laden. This resulted in a 28 per cent drop in people being will to get a polio vaccine, and a 39 per cent drop in people being willing to get a measles vaccine.

In the overall public, 30 per cent have said they would not get the COVID-19 jab, in a survey conducted 6 months ago.
 
Here is the COVID-19 summary for Saturday.
Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Saturday

In Russia, daily infection rates have increased by almost 50 per cent in the past week, and have more than doubled in Moscow.
In Europe, Russia's national coronavirus task force reports the country's tally of daily new infections has risen by almost half over the past week and more than doubled in Moscow.

Saudi Arabia will limit the annual hajj pilgrimage to Saudi residents again this year, and only those between ages 18 and 65 who have been vaccinated and free of chronic diseases. There will also be a limit of 60,000 participants.
Pandemic prompts Saudi Arabia to enact hajj restrictions for a 2nd year
Saudi Arabia has restricted the annual hajj pilgrimage to its own citizens and residents for the second year running in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the state Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Saturday.

Only people aged between 18 and 65 who have been vaccinated or immunized against the virus, and are free of chronic diseases, will be able to take part, the ministry that manages the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca said in a statement carried by SPA.

It also set a maximum of 60,000 participants.

In Canada, 300,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine will apparently have to be binned because they are part of a batch made in April which the manufacturer in the US botched.
More than 300,000 J&J COVID-19 vaccine doses won't be released in Canada
The manufacturer already binned 15 million doses. Canada has had its shipment in storage while trying to get information from the manufacturer about whether Canada's batch was OK or not. Apparently it's not, or at least the manufacturer doesn't know.

Canada apparently will have to re-inspect the facility in the US before any other shipments can be approved. Canada are expecting another shipment of J&J vaccine some time this month.
More than 300,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson single-shot COVID-19 vaccine will not be released for use in Canada.

The vaccines were quarantined in April before they were distributed to provinces because Health Canada was informed the drug substance in them was manufactured at the Emergent BioSolutions facility in Baltimore, where there have been quality control issues.

This is the same manufacturer who was making vaccine for AstraZeneca in the US. The problems in that plant are the main reason why the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was not used in the US.

The US are apparently also tossing out doses from Johnson & Johnson, 60 million doses.
 

gung_hobo

Old-Salt
Judging by the reasonably extensive selection of news outlets I monitor, it would seem that in the UK (roughly), companies and trade bodies that require close interaction (e.g. pubs, airlines, events planners etc.), think COVID is overplayed and therefore we should all get back to making money, whilst those with an eye on potential deaths/long term illnesses the focus seems to be rather more on safety rather than profit. We'll see but I'll bet the media will slam the government whatever it does. Plus ca change!

I am very pleased that my faith in young people (despite some of them really sorely trying me with plank concepts), was upheld on seeing how many want to vaccinate. It seems that a fairly large number want to do it so families can get together without killing granny, but also (I think) because they understand the concept of herd immunity. Irrespective, it was good to see. I think the views expressed months ago when young people were not in sight of getting the vaccine were bravado - can't have it so don't want it. Now it is can have it and they seem to want it. I would be surprised if the final percentages were as high as for more at risk age groups but I don't think the ratios will "fall off a cliff".

In order to try to minimize misinformation, perhaps legal consequences for influencers as people earning from their utterances, could be made easier to impose and far more severe in order to ensure that serious insurance is required. That will slow the more vociferously plain wrong and remove them from the field relatively quickly. Once the stupid are removed it will be easier to publicly identify the foreign disinformation.

Ah well.

GH
 
Here's an addendum to the COVID-19 summary for Saturday (this was added to the story after I posted it). It's more amusing than important.

In Brazil, president Bolsonaro was leading a group of supporters on a motorcycle rally in Sao Paulo. He got slapped with a fine for not wearing a mask.
In the Americas, Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro led a throng of motorcyclist supporters through the streets of Sao Paulo on Saturday and got hit with a fine for failure to wear a mask.
 
(...) I am very pleased that my faith in young people (despite some of them really sorely trying me with plank concepts), was upheld on seeing how many want to vaccinate. It seems that a fairly large number want to do it so families can get together without killing granny, but also (I think) because they understand the concept of herd immunity. Irrespective, it was good to see. I think the views expressed months ago when young people were not in sight of getting the vaccine were bravado - can't have it so don't want it. Now it is can have it and they seem to want it. I would be surprised if the final percentages were as high as for more at risk age groups but I don't think the ratios will "fall off a cliff". (...)
Yes, it seems that the closer people are to being vaccinated, the more they want it. When it seemed like a distant dream there was a lot of "oh well, I didn't really want it anyway", but now when it's within their grasp most don't want to be left out.

I think it helps that vaccination itself hasn't become a political issue, just whether someone else could have done it better (or worse). The end goal is still the same. The situation seems to be similar in Canada.
 
First, in what I suspect will be a long series of stories from around the world (but most will come from the US I'm sure):

A federal judge on Saturday dismissed a lawsuit brought by some employees of a Texas hospital over its requirement that workers be vaccinated against COVID-19, CBS affiliate KHOU-TV reports. Nearly 200 employees at Houston Methodist were suspended without pay last week for their failure to get fully vaccinated, per the hospital system's requirements.

Now lets run through this:
1: You were told that there's a deadline to get vaccinated.
2: You were offered $500 to get vaccinated.
3: It was explained clearly that you would get booted if you were not vaccinated by the deadline.

Response: Why did I get fired?! It's like NAZI Germany!

In the UK I suspect the same rules will be couched in terms of duty of care.
 
Which way will the PM jump?

'Covid infections could top 100,000 a day if the June 21 lockdown easing goes ahead, according to a member of Independent SAGE.

'Professor Anthony Costello, from University College London, warned new cases were probably double the 8,000 being reported, which would only worsen if the country opened up in a week. Cases of the Indian variant – now known as Delta – went up to 42,323 in the UK last week, an increase of 29,892.

'Coronavirus infections are currently doubling every nine days. Prof Costello told the Mirror: ‘In a month you’ll be up to 100,000 new cases a day. ‘If the Government takes a gamble and lets rip like Tory backbenchers want, the NHS will be overloaded. Let’s wait. Let’s stay as we are.’

'The increase in infections could lead to hospitalisations reaching 2,000 a day but the vaccine rollout has led to fewer people being hospitalised with the virus. A delay to ‘Freedom Day’ could allow more people to be fully vaccinated, which offers better defence against the Delta strain. One shot of the Pfizer or AstraZeneca jabs offers just 33% protection against the variant, which is 60% more transmissible.

'On Saturday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson indicated that he is set to announce a four-week delay for lifting restrictions, calling the spread of the Delta variant a matter of ‘serious, serious concern’. Any delay will come as a bitter blow to many businesses, particularly in the hospitality and leisure sectors, which had been pinning their hopes on a full summer reopening to help recoup some of the past year’s losses.'


 
Which way will the PM jump?

'Covid infections could top 100,000 a day if the June 21 lockdown easing goes ahead, according to a member of Independent SAGE.

'Professor Anthony Costello, from University College London, warned new cases were probably double the 8,000 being reported, which would only worsen if the country opened up in a week. Cases of the Indian variant – now known as Delta – went up to 42,323 in the UK last week, an increase of 29,892.

'Coronavirus infections are currently doubling every nine days. Prof Costello told the Mirror: ‘In a month you’ll be up to 100,000 new cases a day. ‘If the Government takes a gamble and lets rip like Tory backbenchers want, the NHS will be overloaded. Let’s wait. Let’s stay as we are.’

'The increase in infections could lead to hospitalisations reaching 2,000 a day but the vaccine rollout has led to fewer people being hospitalised with the virus. A delay to ‘Freedom Day’ could allow more people to be fully vaccinated, which offers better defence against the Delta strain. One shot of the Pfizer or AstraZeneca jabs offers just 33% protection against the variant, which is 60% more transmissible.

'On Saturday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson indicated that he is set to announce a four-week delay for lifting restrictions, calling the spread of the Delta variant a matter of ‘serious, serious concern’. Any delay will come as a bitter blow to many businesses, particularly in the hospitality and leisure sectors, which had been pinning their hopes on a full summer reopening to help recoup some of the past year’s losses.'



Ummm, isn't the question answered in the news story? Indeed the SAGE chappy seems to be shouting, about something that it seems has already been decided?
 
Ummm, isn't the question answered in the news story? Indeed the SAGE chappy seems to be shouting, about something that it seems has already been decided?

Can you point me to the government announcement as to the postponement (or not) of 21 June changes?
 
From your article:

'Indicated that he is set to' is rumour and speculation, and potentially kite-flying to gauge possible reaction, not an official announcement.
 

BaldBaBoon

War Hero
Interesting Report from Sky News Australia just out in the past couple of hours.

Mangaged to get hold of some " lost " media about the Wuhan Lab and its orgins, I found it quite impressive.

The lab was orginally designed and constructed with the help of the french government with the intention of it becoming an international research instiute so that the Chinese could continue their existing research with a far higher degree of safety, the Chinese simply had no experience of expertise in auto-clave steriliasation, life support systems for medical staff etc. Supposebly an uphigh struggle to get China to adopt basic procedures.

Once constructed, the French were cut free from the project and international invites were withdrawn,and French intelligence services warned of dire concerns as to the labs purpose.

Another fact being brought to light was that the lab was actively investigating and storing 15,000 virus samples from bats......however after an apparent hacking attempt, all the databases were " lost " and no inforamtion about these investigations has been publicised, the WHO investigation did not request them..

 
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