MERS Coronavirus warning

The following is a story on the problems caused by mandatory vaccination requirements when combined with not all vaccines being recognized in all countries.
Fully vaccinated Toronto nurse fears losing his job over getting the wrong vaccine

The particular case outlined here is with a nurse in Toronto who went back home to Russia in the spring to look after his sick father. While there he got two jabs of Sputnik V because it was on offer there.

While he was getting vaccinated he was told to wait 6 months before getting revaccinated with a different vaccine.

He has returned to Canada, but Toronto General Hospital where he works won't recognize his vaccination status because Sputnik V isn't currently recognized by either Health Canada or the WHO. The application is in with the WHO, but is not approved yet.

On the other hand, nobody in Canada will tell him that it's definitely safe to get revaccinated now with an approved vaccine. He's stuck and the deadline to either get vaccinated or get suspended from his job is approaching.

This is an unusual case, but the story mentions that universities are dealing with the same issue with respect to international students or staff.
 
Here's the COVID-19 summary for Wednesday.
Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Wednesday

The US will spend $470 million studying the long term effects of COVID-19. They estimate that 10 to 30 per cent of people infected suffer long term or recurring symptoms that can last for months or possibly years.
The U.S. government will spend $470 million US to learn more about long COVID-19, its causes and potential treatments.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced the plans Wednesday with a grant awarded to New York University and a goal of enrolling up to 40,000 adults and children nationwide. The effort, dubbed "Recover," will involve researchers at more than 30 U.S. institutions.

"This is being taken with the greatest seriousness. at a scale that has not really been attempted with something like this," said NIH director Dr. Francis Collins at a briefing Wednesday.

Collins said it's estimated 10 to 30 per cent of people infected with COVID-19 may develop persistent, new or recurring symptoms that can last months or perhaps years.

The WHO said that in the past week COVID-19 cases in every region of the world declined as compared to the week before.
In its weekly update released on Tuesday, the UN health agency said every region in the world saw a drop in COVID-19 cases compared to the previous week.

The Pope says WTF is it with you people who don't get vaccinated? Official Catholic policy is that everyone should get jabbed.
Pope says he doesn't understand why people refuse COVID-19 vaccines
Pope Francis said Wednesday he didn't understand why people refuse to take COVID-19 vaccines, saying "humanity has a history of friendship with vaccines," and that serene discussion about the shots was necessary to help them.

He said however that even some Cardinals are "negationists", apparently referring to US Cardinal Raymond Burke who is currently on a ventilator in the US after getting COVID-19.
"Even in the College of Cardinals, there are some negationists," Francis said Wednesday, en route home from Slovakia.

He noted that one of them, "poor guy," had been hospitalized with the virus. That was an apparent reference to U.S. Cardinal Raymond Burke, who was hospitalized in the U.S. and placed on a ventilator last month after contracting the coronavirus.

In Canada, the premier of Alberta has had to hop on the reverso-cycle and re-introduce pandemic restrictions and masks after earlier insisting that the pandemic was all over, and has also announced a "vaccine passport" after repeatedly refusing to consider it. Alberta and Saskatchewan have infection and hospitalization rates far above the Canadian average, as well as the lowest vaccination rates in the country.
'I apologize,' Kenney says as Alberta declares state of public health emergency
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney on Wednesday introduced strict and sweeping new measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 as he apologized for his government's handling of the pandemic.

The measures include a new program that requires people to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test in order to gain entry to participating businesses and social events.

A decision this spring to move from a pandemic-to-endemic approach — or learning to live with the virus — seemed like the right thing to do based on data from other jurisdictions with similar vaccination rates, Kenney told a news conference.

China are doing lockdowns and mass testing in a number of areas on their east coast. Travel is being limited in Putain, Xiamen and Quanzhou.
In the Asia-Pacific region, China is imposing lockdowns and ordering mass testing in cities along its east coast amid the latest surge in COVID-19 cases. Checks have been set up in toll stations around the city of Putian in Fujian province, with a dozen of them closed entirely. The nearby cities of Xiamen and Quanzhou have also restricted travel as the delta variant spreads through the region.

On Friday Cambodia will start vaccinating children age 6 to 11, after starting on 12 to 17 year olds at the beginning of August. Nearly 72 per cent of the population have had at last one jab, mainly with Sinovac and Sinopharm.
Cambodia will launch a campaign Friday to begin giving COVID-19 vaccinations to children aged six to 11. Prime Minister Hun Sen is also considering having children aged 3 to 5 be vaccinated soon. Cambodia began vaccinating 12- to 17-year-olds at the start of August.

Mexico will send vaccine to Nicaragua in September.
In the Americas, Mexico will send vaccines to Nicaragua in September, the country's foreign minister said on Tuesday, in a rare sign of international engagement with the administration of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega.

South Africa will go ahead with local government elections after all, after having considered postponing them because of the pandemic.
In Africa, after uncertainty about whether the coronavirus pandemic would force South Africa to postpone local government elections, the courts have ruled the vote should move ahead. South Africa's courts ruled this month the Independent Electoral Commission should hold the polls on Nov. 1, despite concerns about political rallies spreading the disease.

In the Netherlands, restrictions are being eased simultaneously with the introduction of their "corona pass" used to gain entry to pubs, restaurants, etc.
In Europe, the Dutch government is easing restrictions and will introduce a "corona" pass showing proof of vaccination to go to bars, restaurants, clubs or cultural events.

France were to begin suspending unvaccinated health care workers on Wednesday. There's no news yet on how this proceeding, but I imagine it may take a while to go through the paperwork for it.
Meanwhile, health-care workers in France face suspension from their jobs starting Wednesday if they haven't been vaccinated against COVID-19. With about 300,000 workers still not vaccinated, some hospitals fear staff shortages will add to their strain.

Iran reported 22,329 new cases and 408 deaths.
In the Middle East, Iran on Tuesday reported 22,329 new cases of COVID-19 and 408 additional deaths.
 

BaldBaBoon

War Hero
Update with the most recent information about the projection of what may occur over the next few months.

The experts are looking at 3 scenarios in the UK......

1) Likely outcome....Gradual increase of daily infections and hospitalizations over the next few months with the expected surge from the joint attack of flu and other respiratory diseases and an increase in deaths( which are at a higher point than predicted already )

2) Quite likely....A marked increase of infections and hospitalizations, approx 2000 a day, and an increase in deaths as well as the logistics of ICU units being completely swamped by people needing long term care.

3) Worse case scenario/lower chance is everything literally goes off the chart with substantial numbers in all groups......This is the category that is being predicted for America if they do not get a grip off themselves quickly.


Also said that a far lower level of lockdown could achieve more due to the greater amounts of people vaccinated and/or carrying anti-bodies....simple reintroduction of mask wearing and smaller WFH could get the same results as the big lockdowns of the past.
 
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Here is the COVID-19 summary for Thursday.
Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Thursday

In France, 3,000 health care workers have been suspended without pay for not getting vaccinated before the deadline. A few dozen have quit their jobs. Most French support the mandatory vaccination requirement, but what the news report calls a "vocal minority" have been protesting against it.
In Europe, about 3,000 French health-care workers were suspended for not meeting this week's deadline to get mandatory coronavirus vaccinations, the health minister said Thursday.

Most of the people suspended work in support positions and were not medical staff, Health Minister Olivier Veran told RTL radio. The number suspended was lower than projected ahead of the Wednesday deadline.

A few dozen of France's 2.7 million health-care workers have quit their jobs because of the vaccine mandate, he said.

France ordered all health-care workers to get vaccinated or be suspended without pay. Most French people support the measure. However, it prompted weeks of protests by a vocal minority against the vaccine mandate.


In Canada, another of the hold outs has hopped on the reverso-cycle as Saskatchewan announced mandatory masks and "vaccine passports". This follows a similar announcement by Alberta earlier this week. The premiers of these two provinces had been the main hold outs against these concepts, but both have been been forced to reverse themselves as infection rates and hospitalizations have risen in the two provinces with the lowest vaccination rates in Canada. The two provinces currently account for the majority of infections and hospitalizations in Canada despite being relatively small in terms of population (12% and 3%). Their infection and hospitalization rates on a per capital rate are 10 times those of the larger provinces such as Ontario and Quebec.
Sask. Premier Scott Moe announces mandatory masking and proof of vaccination policies
Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe announced Thursday that the province will implement mandatory masking, a proof of vaccination policy and a requirement for government employees to get vaccinated or receive negative tests.

Moe made the announcement in a video posted to his social media Thursday morning.

The provincial mask policy, which will apply to all public indoor spaces, begins Friday and Moe said the province has a target of lifting it in late October. The proof of vaccination policy will start Oct. 1 and will apply to establishments, businesses and event venues.

Also in Canada, the head of public health pointed out Alberta and Saskatchewan as examples of what the other provinces need to avoid being like.
Canada must 'learn from' the pandemic crisis in parts of the West, Tam says
Canada's chief public health officer says other provinces need to learn from the pandemic crisis in Alberta and Saskatchewan if they want to avoid the calamity now afflicting health services in those provinces.

"Don't be complacent," Theresa Tam said at this morning's media briefing. "We have to be highly vigilant on this virus. When you see it accelerating, act fast because, I think, we have to learn from the situation in Alberta and also in Saskatchewan at the moment."

Meanwhile Cuba have begun vaccinating 2 to 10 year olds. Other stories said they were using vaccines developed in Cuba.
In the Americas, Cuba began a vaccination campaign for children between the ages of two and 10, saying it was necessary to curb the spread of the delta variant.

In the US, the death total in Florida has topped 50,000 since the start of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, the nearby U.S. state of Florida has surpassed 50,000 COVID-19 deaths, officials said, despite recent steep drops in hospitalizations and infections.

China have now fully vaccinated more than a billion people, amounting to 72 per cent of their population.
In Asia, Chinese health officials say more than a billion people have been fully vaccinated in the world's most populous country — that represents 72 per cent of its 1.4 billion people. China has largely stopped the spread by imposing restrictions and mass testing whenever new cases are found. It also limits entry to the country and requires people who arrive to quarantine in a hotel for at least two weeks.

In Africa, new cases have fallen 30 per cent in the past week. Vaccine is still in short supply however, and only 3.6 per cent of the population has been fully vaccinated.
In Africa, the World Health Organization's Africa director says COVID-19 cases across the continent dropped 30 per cent last week, but says it's hardly reassuring given the dire shortage of vaccines. WHO's Dr. Matshidiso Moeti says only 3.6 per cent of Africa's population have been fully immunized, noting export bans and the hoarding of vaccines by rich countries has resulted in "a chokehold" on vaccine supplies to Africa.

In Italy, both public and private workers must have proof of vaccination or a recent negative test to be able to be present at work places starting the 15th of October.
Elsewhere in Europe, in order for Italian workers in both the public and private sectors to access the workplace, they must provide a health pass — which shows proof of vaccination, a negative result on a recent rapid test or recovery from COVID-19 in the last six months — starting on Oct. 15. Slovenia and Greece adopted similar measures this week.

Slovenia and Greece are doing the same as Italy.

Pfizer and Biontech have had their new brand name of "Comirnaty" approved for use in Canada. This is the same vaccine as before, just with a "new" brand name (the name actually goes back to 2020). Label changes must be approved by the authorities, so this is just a formality.
Goodbye Pfizer, hello Comirnaty: Top COVID-19 vaccines given brand names in Canada
Health Canada has approved brand names for Pfizer, Moderna and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines and announced the change on social media today.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has now been dubbed Comirnaty, which the company says represents a combination of the terms COVID-19, mRNA, community, and immunity.

Also in Canada, Moderna's vaccine will be known as SpikeVax, and AstraZeneca's will be known as Vaxzevria. This is Moderna's first approval of this new name anywhere, but Pfizer-Biontech and AstraZeneca have been using their new brand names in several other countries already.
The Moderna vaccine will go by SpikeVax and the AstraZeneca vaccine will be named Vaxzevria.
 
The following is another story on pregnancy and vaccination.
COVID-19 during pregnancy means 10 times higher risk of ICU admission, Canadian data suggests

Pregnant women are 5 times as likely to be admitted to hospital and 10 times as likely to be admitted to ICU as ones who are not pregnant. Between 7 and 15 per cent of pregnant women with COVID-19 are likely to need to be hospitalized.
The latest available Canadian data compiled by the Canadian Surveillance of COVID-19 in Pregnancy team (CANCOVID) also suggests people who are pregnant are nearly five times more likely to be admitted to hospital for COVID-19 than their non-pregnant peers — and 10 times more likely to be admitted to an ICU.

"Seven to 15 percent of pregnant individuals with COVID-19 will experience moderate to severe disease requiring hospitalization," the briefing document reads.

The conclusion is that the vaccines are safe and women who are pregnant or intend to become so need to get vaccinated to protect both themselves and their unborn child.
 
Here's two articles on 3rd jabs. The first is on the US, where the regulator body the FDA voted 61 to 3 against recommending third jabs for all Americans. They said that Pfizer had provided little data on the safety of extra jabs, and they didn't find the Israeli data on the effectiveness of third jabs to be very convincing.
FDA panel rejects plan to offer Pfizer booster shots

I should point out again that this refers to third jabs for everyone, not third jabs for a targeted few.

This article from Canada discusses the benefits of third jabs for those groups who are seen to need it, rather than giving them to everyone. Most of the article is in a question and answer format with Dr. Isaac Bogoch, who is an infectious disease specialist and part of Ontario's official COVID-19 vaccination board.
Third COVID-19 shots: Who needs them and why?

He states that we will all probably need a booster shot at some time in the future, but most of us don't need one at this time.

The vaccines we have are intended to keep cases from becoming serious but they will not prevent infection altogether. So, they turn what would have been a serious case into a mild case. In that way they work very well.
We have to remember that these vaccines aren't really there to provide what we call sterilizing immunity. You can be ... fully vaccinated and still get COVID, and we've known that well before [the] delta [variant] even emerged.

It's really helpful that it does reduce your risk of getting the infection. It just doesn't eliminate your risk of infection. The real heavy lifting of these vaccines is to convert a potentially lethal infection into a much more mild infection.

For some people however, 2 jabs doesn't prime the immune system enough, so for them a third jab is a good idea. In particular these are people who might have cancer and be on chemotherapy, or have had an organ transplant, or the very elderly living in car homes and other comparable situations.

There will be booster shots coming which are tailored for the new variants, and giving these to the general population is a different situation than giving everyone third jabs of current vaccines now.

Some provinces in Canada have already been giving third jabs to some people for at least a week and a half now.

I should point out that the examples of suitable targets for third jabs are examples. If you are living somewhere where you qualify for a third jab that isn't on the list I mentioned above then I would recommend that you go for it. The point really is that two jabs are still working just fine for the majority of people and only some will need a third now.
 
The following is a story on "vaccine passports". These are currently in effect in some parts of Canada, and most (if not all) provinces will be implementing them soon.
Why vaccine passports may be an important tool in boosting vaccination rates

Vaccine passports do two things. One is that it prevents the most susceptible people, the unvaccinated, from entering "potential super-spreading environments". A "super-spreading" event is where large numbers of people get infected at once, and tend to happen in indoor areas with large numbers of people.
"We know this disease explodes when susceptible people are in indoor environments. Who are susceptible? People who are not immune," he said.

The other effect they have is to encourage people who haven't gotten vaccinated yet to do so. Many places that introduced "vaccine passports" saw large increases in the numbers of new vaccinations after they were announced.
When French President Emmanuel Macron announced his country's vaccine passport policy, more than a million people signed up to receive a shot, according to government figures.

The same phenomenon occurred in some Canadian provinces. Ontario Ministry of Health officials say appointments doubled following the government's recent passport announcement. Quebec reported similar results.

I expect that these people are not the hard core anti-vaxxers. They are what are probably the much more numerous class of people who simply can't organize themselves to get jabbed unless someone is prodding them to do so.
 
The following article contains data on hospitalizations in Alberta broken down by age group. I found this very interesting.
These charts show how much more often unvaccinated Albertans are being hospitalized and dying from COVID-19

The charts summarize it fairly well.

Here's hospitalizations. An infected unvaccinated person in his 30s is as likely to end up in hospital as a fully vaccinated person in his 80s. Of to put it another way I suppose you could say that an unvaccinated 30 year old has the immune system of a vaccinated 80 year old.

vax-by-age-and-hospitalization-outcome.png



Here's ICU admissions. The contrast is even greater here. A vaccinated 80 year old has an immune system that is twice as strong as an unvaccinated 20 year old. It's also worth noting how when it comes to preventing ICU admission, the vaccines seem to be very effective across all age groups. The numbers are so small across all age groups of the vaccinated that it's hard to say there's really much difference.

vax-icu-outcome-by-age.png


Here's deaths. Again the difference between vaccinated and unvaccinated is quite stark.
vax-outcomes-deaths-by-age-alberta.png



And this compares vaccinated versus unvaccinated in terms of likelihood of outcome. If we look at the 12 to 39 age group, then on a mathematical basis the vaccines are infinity times more effective than being unvaccinated, simply because nobody who in those age groups who was vaccinated went into ICU or died, while there were ICU admissions and deaths in those age groups among the unvaccinated. It is quite startling though to see how you can be as much as 50 or 60 times better off with the vaccine as without it.
rate-ratio-full-vax-vs-unvax.png
 
Here is the COVID-19 summary for Friday.
Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Friday

In the US, hospitals in some states are being overwhelmed and are having to ration healthcare. In Alaska the biggest hospital is full and cannot take more emergency patients.
In Alaska, the influx is so heavy that the state's largest hospital is no longer able to provide life-saving care to every patient who needs it, according to an open letter from the medical executive committee of Providence Alaska Medical Center this week.

"If you or your loved one need specialty care at Providence, such as a cardiologist, trauma surgeon, or a neurosurgeon, we sadly may not have room now," the letter read. "There are no more staffed beds left."

Oxygen is in short supply in parts of the US. Some of this is due to a shortage of qualified drivers able to deliver oxygen, and some of it is a shortage of tanks.
At the same time, distribution and other issues are leaving some hospitals short of oxygen supplies desperately needed to help patients struggling to breathe, Foster said.

On Friday, the hospital association held a webinar for its members on how to conserve oxygen, an effort to address a 200 per cent jump in demand at many hospitals, she said.

"There is a shortage of drivers with the qualifications to transport oxygen, and a shortage of the tanks needed to transport it."

Hospital admissions overall in the US are down, but up significantly in Montana, Alaska, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Kentucky, including a 26 per cent rise in Montana.
Montana, Alaska, Ohio, Wisconsin and Kentucky experienced the biggest rises in new COVID-19 hospitalizations during the week ending Sept. 10 compared with the previous week, with Montana's new hospitalizations rising by 26 per cent, according to the latest report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday.

The UK have simplified travel procedures.
The British government announced a major simplification of its rules for international travel on Friday, heeding complaints from travellers and businesses that its regulations aimed at staving off the spread of COVID-19 were cumbersome and ineffective.

Cambodia are vaccinating the 6 to 11 age group.
In Asia, Cambodia is vaccinating children ages six to 11 so students can safely return to schools that have been closed for months due to the coronavirus. Prime Minister Hun Sen opened the campaign Friday, with his grandchildren and young family members of other senior officials getting their shots.

India gave a record 22.6 million jabs on Friday, which is three times the average for the past month.
India gave a record 22.6 million vaccinations on Friday, three times the average daily total during the past month. The health minister called the vaccine milestone a birthday gift for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who turned 71 and was criticized heavily for India's dramatic rise in infections and deaths in April and May.
 
Here is the COVID-19 summary for Saturday.
Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Saturday

In Italy, there has been a large increase, up to 40 per cent in some areas, of people getting jabbed now that all work places must use a "health pass".
Italy is reporting up to a 40 per cent increase in the number of people getting a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine following a government decree requiring a health pass for all workers, public and private, starting Oct. 15.

The office of Italy's coronavirus czar says there's been a 35 per cent one-week rise in first doses compared with last Saturday. Italian regions nationwide reported upticks of 20 per cent to 40 per cent for appointments this week to get the shot.

In the US, the state of South Carolina are setting records for hospitalizations with 2,800. The infection rate has gone from 150 per day to 5,000 per day and is near the peaks of last winter.
In the Americas, South Carolina is setting records for COVID-19 hospitalizations, and new cases in the state are approaching the peak levels of last winter. Case numbers have risen from 150 a day to more than 5,000. The state hit nearly 2,600 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in early September, a record.

Abu Dhabi will now allow travel from the rest of the UAE without a recent test.
In the Middle East, the capital of the United Arab Emirates has ended a policy requiring those coming in from other emirates to have a recent negative COVID-19 test. Abu Dhabi made the announcement on Saturday, saying that people from the UAE's six other emirates could enter the capital from Sunday without getting a test.

Vietnam have approved the Abdala vaccine from Cuba. This is the eighth vaccine that Vietnam have approved. Currently 6.3 per cent of people in Vietnam have at least 2 jabs.
In Asia, Vietnam has approved Cuba's Abdala vaccine for use, the government said on Saturday, as the Southeast Asian country battles its worst outbreak of COVID-19. Abdala becomes the eighth COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in Vietnam, which has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the region, with only 6.3 per cent of its 98 million people having received at least two shots.

Singapore reported 1,009 new cases, their highest since April.
In Singapore, health officials reported 1,009 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, the highest since April last year. A recent rise in cases after the relaxation of some COVID-19 measures has prompted Singapore to pause further reopening. More than 80 per cent of its population has been vaccinated against COVID-19.

In Australia, police pepper sprayed anti-vaxxer protesters in Melbourne and several were arrested.
Police in Australia used pepper spray to subdue protesters on Saturday at an anti-lockdown rally in Melbourne, the country's second-largest city. About 1,000 demonstrators gathered in the suburb of Richmond after the location of the protest was changed at the last minute to evade authorities.
 
Do you think this is likely to become a political issue in the US?
Probably not since these decisions are being made by private businesses and not government. It’s not as if healthcare in the US just became unaffordable last year.
 
Death in the US in 2020

 
Here is the COVID-19 summary for Sunday.
Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Sept. 19

In Australia, the premier of Victoria said that lockdown will end when the vaccination rate for age 16 and older has reached 70 per cent. They expect to reach that target on the 26th of October. Currently they are at 43 per cent for full vaccination.
In the Asia-Pacific region, Premier Daniel Andrews unveiled a roadmap to easing restrictions in Australia's Victoria state on Sunday. He said the state's weeks-long lockdown will end once 70 per cent of those 16 and older are fully vaccinated, no matter if there are new cases.

Victoria is expected to meet that vaccination threshold on Oct. 26, Andrews said.

As of the weekend, just under 43 per cent of people in the state and just over 46 per cent of people nationwide had been fully vaccinated.

In Nepal, crowds packed the courtyard of the palace in central Kathmandu for the Indra Jatra festival. This will apparently kick off a series of festivals which last year had been scaled down due to lockdown. The story mentions that only 19 per cent of people in Nepal have both jabs so far.
In Asia, tens of thousands of devotees packed the old palace courtyard in the heart of Nepal's capital on Sunday to celebrate the feast of Indra Jatra, marking the return of the festival season in the Himalayan nation after it was scaled down because of the pandemic.

The week-long Indra Jatra precedes months of other festivals in the predominantly Hindu nation.

In the US, the head of the government advisory board said that the recommendation to limit third jabs to people 65 or over may get reversed within a few weeks. It sounds like the jab or not to jab with respect to third jabs hasn't bee decided yet.
In the Americas, the director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health says a government advisory panel's decision to limit Pfizer COVID-19 booster shots to Americans 65 and older, as well as those at high risk of severe disease, is a preliminary step, and he predicts broader approval for most Americans "in the next few weeks."

In Mexico, a hospital with COVID-19 patients was flooded when a river rose during torrential rains, resulting in the deaths of at least 17 people, most of whom were COVID-19 patients who died when the electricity was knocked out. There is a photo in the story showing a hospital room where the flood waters appear to have risen well above the level of the beds before receding somewhat.
In Europe, Pope Francis on Sunday expressed his closeness to the victims of a flood in Mexico, which led to the deaths of at least 17 people, most of whom had COVID-19, at a hospital in the central Mexican state of Hidalgo. The pontiff was speaking to faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square in Vatican City for his weekly Angelus prayer.
 
The US announced that they will begin reducing travel restrictions for people flying into the US in November. Travel restrictions by land from Canada and the US will ease on the 21st of October.
Biden easing foreign travel restrictions, requiring vaccines

All people flying into the US will need to be vaccinated, and also must have the results of a recent test.

Americans flying back to the US must have a recent test before arriving, and also take another test after they arrive. The story mentions that vaccinated Americans won't have to quarantine.

It's not clear yet what vaccines will be acceptable to the US.
 
Pfizer-Biontech say their vaccine is safe for children ages 5 to 11 and they will be seeking worldwide approval for it soon.
Pfizer-BioNTech say COVID-19 vaccine safe, protective in kids aged 5-11

The 5 to 11 year olds will get a dose that is one third the strength given to people age 12 or older.

The trials used to test this were not the full size trials as used for adults, where they split test subjects into two groups, one of which got the vaccine and one that didn't. This was a smaller trial that just looked at how many anti-bodies were generated as compared to the adult trials. They said the response was similar to that seen with 16 to 25 year olds.

There are no precise dates yet as to when the companies will apply for approval or when that approval will be received.

They expect the results of 2 more trials on 2 to 5 year olds and 6 month to 2 year olds later in this year.
 
Here is the COVID-19 summary for Monday.
Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world Monday

In the US, COVID-19 has now killed as many people in the US as the 1918 - 1919 Spanish Flu, roughly 675,000.
COVID-19 has now killed about as many Americans as the 1918-19 flu pandemic did — approximately 675,000.

In the US, deaths are currently averaging 1,900 per day. There may be a surge during the winter, and an additional 100,000 Americans may die by New Years, bringing the total to roughly 776,000.
While a delta-fuelled surge in new infections may have peaked, U.S. deaths still are running at more than 1,900 a day on average, the highest level since early March, and the country's overall death toll stood at just over 674,000 as of midday Monday, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University, though the real number is believed to be higher.

Winter may bring a new surge, with the University of Washington's influential model projecting an additional 100,000 or so Americans will die of COVID-19 by Jan. 1, which would bring the overall U.S. toll to 776,000.

Greece's advisory board recommended extending third jabs to people age 60 and older, care home residents, and health care workers.
In Europe, Greece's COVID-19 health advisory body has recommended expanding the country's booster shot program to people aged 60 and older, care-home residents and health-care workers.

In Burundi, all social activities are to be suspended except on weekends.
In Africa, authorities in Burundi have decided to suspend all social events except on Saturdays and Sundays as concerns grow about a rising number of COVID-19 infections.

In New Zealand, Auckland will remain in lockdown for at least another 2 weeks.
In Asia-Pacific, New Zealand's largest city, Auckland, will remain in lockdown for at least two more weeks, although some restrictions will be eased from Tuesday.

In Canada, health boards and school boards in Toronto have asked the province to add COVID-19 vaccination to the existing list of 9 mandatory vaccinations for students under the Immunization of School Pupils Act.
Ontario reports 610 new COVID-19 cases on Monday
In a new report to Toronto's Board of Health, the city's Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa has asked the Ontario government to add COVID-19 vaccines to the list of nine mandatory vaccines for students under the Immunization of School Pupils Act.

The Board of Health will now put forward the recommendation at its Sept. 27 meeting.

It comes two weeks after the chair of the Toronto District School Board, Alexander Brown, requested the Ontario government add the COVID-19 vaccine to the list of required vaccinations in a letter addressed to de Villa, Education Minister Stephen Lecce and Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore.
 
The following article explains "Waning Immunity" and why this may be misleading in terms of whether third jabs are needed.
'Waning immunity?' Some experts say term leads to false understanding of COVID-19 vaccines

The article explains that it is normal for antibodies to gradually fade over time. However, once primed the immune system is ready to make new ones if a new infection is detected.

The immune system works through both antibodies, which are made by B-cells, and T-cells, which kill off infected cells.

The antibodies gradually clear out of the system, but the T-cells are still there to handle an infection.

The cells which make anti-bodies live in your bone marrow and once they know what to do they can continue making antibodies at need for years. If a future infection occurs they can pump out more.

What the vaccines will do is to turn a major infection into a minor one and there is no sign that this is fading. You may become asymptomatic or have minor symptoms (feel crappy), but are unlikely to have anything really serious. This is what these vaccines are intended to do.

So when you hear about "breakthrough infections", they're not really an issue. The vaccines are still working as intended and will make your infection far less serious than it otherwise would have been without it.
 

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