MERS Coronavirus warning

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

In Canada, the province of Ontario has relaxed restrictions in some settings such as cinemas, theatres, sports venues, and horse tracks while retaining them at others such as gyms, pubs, and restaurants. Measures such as masks remain in place in all cases. The changes were made based on experience of where the risk of outbreaks is.
As of Saturday morning, cinemas, theatres, concert and spectator sports venues and car and horse racing tracks were allowed to open at full capacity.

The province says there have been few outbreaks in the selected settings, and most other public health measures such as masks remain in place.

Capacity rules remain in place in other places requiring proof of vaccination, such as gyms and restaurants.

In Italy, anti-vaxxers protested in Rome. Photos accompanying the story say that water cannon were used and police were deployed in riot gear. It seems that certain fringe political forces are using the protests as an excuse to riot.
In Europe, thousands of demonstrators marched down Rome's Via Veneto and other main streets on Saturday, many clashing with police, to protest an Italian government rule requiring vaccines or recent negative tests to access workplaces starting next week.

Singapore will add more countries to their quarantine free travel list, including South Korea and the US.
In Asia, Singapore plans to widen its quarantine-free travel program to include fully vaccinated individuals from South Korea and the United States as the financial hub moves cautiously to reopen its borders.

Moderna plan to spend $500 million to build a vaccine plant in Africa. There is no news where exactly.
In Africa, Moderna plans to invest up to $500 million US to build a factory in Africa to make up to 500 million doses of mRNA vaccines each year, including its COVID-19 shot, as pressure grows on the pharmaceutical industry to manufacture drugs on the continent.

In Russia, people are travelling to Serbia to get jabbed with Western made vaccines so they can qualify for travel. Russia's Sputnik V is not approved by the WHO so Russians vaccinated with it are considered unvaccinated for travel purposes in Western countries. Serbia is a popular location to do this because it offers visa free travel for Russians. However, the WHO say that approval of Sputnik V may be sorted out in a few months.
Seeking travel freedom, Russians flock to Serbia for Western-made COVID-19 vaccines
Serbia are apparently doing a booming business in vaccinating foreigners, although the vaccination of their own population remains comparatively low at under 50 per cent.

The story (link above) gives a good overview of a number of things including the hurdles which Gamelya have had in getting their vaccine approved by the WHO and is worth reading.
 
The following story is based on a study done on data from Canada on the efficacy of different vaccines when given with an extended period between first and second jabs, and also when given with different first and second vaccines.
New data suggests Canada's 'gamble' on delaying, mixing and matching COVID-19 vaccines paid off

In Canada, the elderly in long term care and some health care workers were given priority for the first shipments and received their jabs at the manufacturer's recommended interval. These cases do not form part of the study. Also people vaccinated late in the summer when vaccine supply was abundant, mainly people in younger age groups, also received their jabs at the manufacturer's recommended interval and are also not part of this study.

For the rest of the population however, it was decided to delay giving people their second jabs in order to give as many people as possible their first jabs as soon as possible. This resulted in a 16 week interval between jabs.

I believe the UK used a 12 week interval and the Canadian schedule was based on both UK data and on on general knowledge of how vaccines work.

Canada used three different vaccines,
  • Pfizer-Biontech,
  • Moderna, and
  • Oxford-AstraZeneca (both from AstraZeneca and from SII in India).
When given at the extended interval:
  • All three were found to be roughly equivalent in terms of protecting people against serious illness or hospitalization, with approximately 95 per cent efficacy.
  • All were found to be roughly equally effective against the Delta variant as against other variants.
  • All were found to be significantly more effective when the jabs were given at longer interval.
  • Oxford-AstraZeneca was less effective than the others in terms of preventing minor symptoms, but still highly effective at 72 per cent.
  • The most effective was a combination of one jab of Oxford-AstraZeneca and one jab of an mRNA vaccine.
  • There is no sign of the immunity wearing off or fading for at least 5 months after the second jab, which is how far the study went (monitoring is continuing however).

This chart shows the different vaccines used and their efficacy using data from BC and Quebec. For each, the top two bars show how effective they are against any infection, including minor symptoms. The bottom two bars show efficacy in terms of preventing hospitalization, which is the main goal of vaccination. In each case it shows Delta specific data as opposed to the average of all. Pretty much all infections in Canada now are Delta although it was in the process of taking over during the study period.
vaccine-effectiveness-graphic.jpg



This shows there is little change in efficacy over time, and the vaccinations do not appear to be wearing off or fading to any appreciable degree as yet.
vaccine-effectiveness-graphic2.jpg


This shows that the Pfizer-Biontech vaccine become more effective when the intervals between jabs are longer than the manufacturer's recommended 3 or 4 weeks. It looks like with an 8 week interval it has more or less reached its maximum, although there may be more to it than I am aware of. I suspect the data for the other vaccines is comparable.
vaccine-effectiveness-graphic3.jpg


The reason why people got combinations of Oxford-AstraZeneca and an mRNA vaccine was due to availability of supply at the time when second jabs were due for them. Shipments of Oxford-AstraZeneca were few and sporadic and most arrived in a few shipments in the spring. When it came time for many of those people to get their second jabs they were told to get a second jab of any mRNA vaccine as that was what was on hand, although some Oxford-AstraZeneca was available for those who insisted on having two of the same.
 
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The following story is based on a study done on data from Canada on the efficacy of different vaccines when given with an extended period between first and second jabs, and also when given with different first and second vaccines.
New data suggests Canada's 'gamble' on delaying, mixing and matching COVID-19 vaccines paid off

In Canada, the elderly in long term care and some health care workers were given priority for the first shipments and received their jabs at the manufacturer's recommended interval. These cases do not form part of the study. Also people vaccinated late in the summer when vaccine supply was abundant, mainly people in younger age groups, also received their jabs at the manufacturer's recommended interval and are also not part of this study.

For the rest of the population however, it was decided to delay giving people their second jabs in order to give as many people as possible their first jabs as soon as possible. This resulted in a 16 week interval between jabs.

I believe the UK used a 12 week interval and the Canadian schedule was based on both UK data and on on general knowledge of how vaccines work.

Canada used three different vaccines,
  • Pfizer-Biontech,
  • Moderna, and
  • Oxford-AstraZeneca (both from AstraZeneca and from SII in India).
When given at the extended interval:
  • All three were found to be roughly equivalent in terms of protecting people against serious illness or hospitalization, with approximately 95 per cent efficacy.
  • All were found to be roughly equally effective against the Delta variant as against other variants.
  • All were found to be significantly more effective when the jabs were given at longer interval.
  • Oxford-AstraZeneca was less effective than the others in terms of preventing minor symptoms, but still highly effective at 72 per cent.
  • The most effective was a combination of one jab of Oxford-AstraZeneca and one jab of an mRNA vaccine.
  • There is no sign of the immunity wearing off or fading for at least 5 months after the second jab, which is how far the study went (monitoring is continuing however).

This chart shows the different vaccines used and their efficacy using data from BC and Quebec. For each, the top two bars show how effective they are against any infection, including minor symptoms. The bottom two bars show efficacy in terms of preventing hospitalization, which is the main goal of vaccination. In each case it shows Delta specific data as opposed to the average of all. Pretty much all infections in Canada now are Delta although it was in the process of taking over during the study period.
View attachment 609161


This shows there is little change in efficacy over time, and the vaccinations do not appear to be wearing off or fading to any appreciable degree as yet.
View attachment 609162

This shows that the Pfizer-Biontech vaccine become more effective when the intervals between jabs are longer than the manufacturer's recommended 3 or 4 weeks. It looks like with an 8 week interval it has more or less reached its maximum, although there may be more to it than I am aware of. I suspect the data for the other vaccines is comparable.
View attachment 609163

The reason why people got combinations of Oxford-AstraZeneca and an mRNA vaccine was due to availability of supply at the time when second jabs were due for them. Shipments of Oxford-AstraZeneca were few and sporadic and most arrived in a few shipments in the spring. When it came time for many of those people to get their second jabs they were told to get a second jab of any mRNA vaccine as that was what was on hand, although some Oxford-AstraZeneca was available for those who insisted on having two of the same.

A longer gap between jabs seems to make sense but, as you aren't fully protected until you have had both, wouldn't you be at risk longer with just one? I think the original data said the Pfizer had 61% efficacy after the first dose. Even after 2 doses, it's been reported it drops to 67% after 4 months (47% after 6 months) so how much of a drop would just one dose take after 4 months?

Seems like a trade off whichever you have.

I will be due a booster here in Spain on November 6th which is 6 months after my second Pfizer and I'm assuming it increases back to 90% + at that stage. Question then would be how long will the booster keep it efficiency? Not too keen on rocking up every 6 months, to tell you the truth. That and flu vaccine will be liking being in the Army again but at least I had the advantage of youth.
 
A longer gap between jabs seems to make sense but, as you aren't fully protected until you have had both, wouldn't you be at risk longer with just one? I think the original data said the Pfizer had 61% efficacy after the first dose. Even after 2 doses, it's been reported it drops to 67% after 4 months (47% after 6 months) so how much of a drop would just one dose take after 4 months?

Seems like a trade off whichever you have.
First Canada covered the high risk population with both jabs. This included the elderly in care homes and a lot of the front line health care workers who could be exposed to infection (and who also might spread infection through a hospital).

When they started doing the general population they ran the numbers and decided that giving twice as many people 60 per cent effectiveness was better than giving half as many 80 per cent (or whatever the numbers were). In terms of preventing hospitalizations and death I think the numbers were higher than that, although I can't recall exactly what they were at the time.

It was looked at from a public health perspective rather than individual benefit for those who were be able to to get both jabs sooner. The objective was to prevent the health care system from being overwhelmed and there was less concern over whether people had minor symptoms.

It wasn't entirely a leap into the unknown, as the UK had already made the decision to use a 12 week interval, the UK was ahead of most countries in its vaccination program, and the UK data looked convincing. There wasn't data to support adding another 4 weeks on top of that but it was felt to be not too risky. Based on what was known from how other vaccines worked it was highly probable that an interval longer than 3 or 4 weeks was likely to be not only fine but actually beneficial in terms of efficacy.

As the data shows, there seems to be no significant drop in efficacy after 5 months with people who got their jabs 16 weeks apart and the overall efficacy seems to be higher than what other countries are reporting with a 3 or 4 week efficacy.

The 3 or 4 week interval which Pfizer-Biontech and Moderna came up with was the minimum interval they thought they could use in a trial. It wasn't picked because they thought that was what would work best. If they used a longer interval then it would delay the outcome of the trials and the first vaccine roll-out would have been in March or April rather than January.

I will be due a booster here in Spain on November 6th which is 6 months after my second Pfizer and I'm assuming it increases back to 90% + at that stage. Question then would be how long will the booster keep it efficiency? Not too keen on rocking up every 6 months, to tell you the truth. That and flu vaccine will be liking being in the Army again but at least I had the advantage of youth.
Third jabs are already being given out to selected groups in Canada, such as the elderly in care homes, people who have had organ transplants, people undergoing cancer therapy, etc. They are not considered "boosters" however, even if the press sometimes refers to them as such. A booster is intended to account for immunity which is fading over time. The third jab in Canada is intended for people who might not have gotten as much benefit from the initial two jabs as other people. It is intended to bring them up to the same base level as people who had 2 jabs.

The analogy that I like to use is that people age 65 and over get a double strength flu jab. Since there aren't any increased strength COVID-19 jabs then giving these people a third normal jab does the same job.

I wouldn't therefore draw any conclusions about this meaning that people who got a third jab will need a fourth one in another 6 months. With the third jab at a longer interval than the initial two it might see the same sort of increased efficacy which Canada saw from spacing out the first two.

When "true" boosters start coming out I expect that they will eventually be combined with flu jabs and you will get them annually. Several companies have combined jabs already in development.


Before this study was published there had been references in the news to how promising the preliminary results looked and how this strategy might be used by other countries who face the same sort of vaccine shortage that Canada did. This may be very significant in terms of vaccinating the parts of the world which are just getting started on their vaccination program.
 
I have some additional thoughts which I would address separately from the second post. These revolve around how people think about vaccines and vaccination programs.

The first is that in Canada there has been at least as much or even more emphasis on reporting first jab stats as there is on reporting second. The first jab figure is viewed as representing where we are going with an emphasis on getting it has high as possible.

US reports tend to focus only on second jab figures or "fully vaccinated" as Americans put it. Canada uses that term, but here it means that a prescribed interval has passed since the second jab while it reaches full effectiveness and is rarely reported.

Another thing I have noticed is how in Canada the manufacturer's data is used as guidance rather than as something to be followed to the letter. National and provincial health professionals make the final decisions on things like dosing intervals and whether to use different vaccines for first and second doses. There is heavy emphasis on how all the approved vaccines are highly effective and that there is no more reason why we should care which brand we get for first or second jabs than we do as to who makes the flu jab we get each year.

In the US they seem horrified at the thought of deviating from the manufacturer's specifications. I have had personal (telephone) conversations with people in the US who were utterly shocked when I mentioned that my second jab wasn't going to be until 16 weeks after the first, and how the second jab may not be the same brand as the first.

Even now when people in the US talk about when they will be getting a booster (which may not be until next year) there is a strong assumption that it will have to be the same as their first two jabs.

In Canada I suspect that when it is time to roll out boosters to the general population (probably in a year) it will be new vaccines which are manufactured in Canada such as Novavax or Medicago (assuming they get approved). People won't know what brand they get any more than they know (or care) what brand of flu jab they get.

Perhaps @exbleep could comment on how these things are viewed in Spain.
 
Here is the COVID-19 summary for Sunday.
Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Sunday

In Canada, deadlines for employees getting vaccinated are starting to take effect at hospitals and care homes in various parts of the country. Hospitals are typically finding that 2 or 3 per cent of staff will refuse to get vaccinated and have to be placed on unpaid leave.
About 97 per cent of all staff in the University Health Network, which operates medical facilities in and around Toronto, has been vaccinated ahead of Oct. 22, with efforts underway to find backup for the remaining.

Italy have vaccinated 80 per cent of their population over the age of 12.
In Europe, Italy reached the target of fully vaccinating 80 per cent of the population over the age of 12, according to official data, achieving a goal Rome had set as a safety cut-off point, government data showed on Sunday.

Malaysia expect to re-open internal borders soon.
In Asia, Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob says state borders will be reopened after a months-long ban in a move expected to rejuvenate tourism and the economy.

In Canada, airlines are preparing for the mandatory vaccination rules for all air travellers which take effect at the end of the month. The head of one airline is quoted as saying that it will give passengers more confidence in air travel. Passengers who show up without a vaccination certificate will not be allowed on the plane and will not receive a refund as it will be treated similarly to requirements for ID.
The CEO of a Canadian airline is on board with the timeline for the implementation of new mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies in the transportation sector, adding it should help boost confidence in travellers.

"It gives a clear path, clear direction," Flair Airlines CEO Stephen Jones said in an interview on Rosemary Barton Live on Sunday.

"It's just really going to build the confidence back into the industry, and clearly it's sorely needed," the head of the discount carrier told CBC chief political correspondent Rosemary Barton. Jones said that after a "booming summer" for his company, the return of higher COVID-19 cases and changing seasons meant bookings have "slackened off."

Edit: Here's the link for the last bit.
'We can move quickly': Airline CEO optimistic about mandatory vaccination policies
 
Interesting. I'm not sure what the legal position is in the UK.
General policy in Canada, hospitals or otherwise, seems to be that people who are required to be vaccinated for work purposes but refuse to get vaccinated get placed on leave rather than being terminated. They don't get paid and don't qualify for unemployment insurance either.

I don't know what their position will be when the public health emergency is over. I also don't know if vaccination requirements will go away in future either.

However, if someone can work from home then they might be accommodated in that manner. The degree to which that will be seen as an acceptable compromise from an employer's perspective once everyone else is back in the office remains to be seen. Things such as security of data become much more difficult once it is taken outside of the office.

Many hospitals and care homes (I'm not sure if that's "all" or just "most") already have long standing mandatory vaccination programs for things like flu. The issue with adding COVID-19 to the existing list is that it is viewed as a new requirement and so constitutes a change to terms of employment for existing employees. There has been mention in the press that it is already being added to terms of employment for new employees, so the question comes down to what to do about existing ones.

For schools in Ontario a number of major school boards have asked the provincial education ministry to add COVID-19 to the existing list of a dozen or so mandatory vaccinations for students under existing law. I suspect this will happen at some point in the future when it can be quietly slipped through without too many people noticing.

Leaving health care and school students aside, employment law lawyers who have been consulted by the press have said that people who don't want to get vaccinated don't have many legal legs to stand on unless they can tie their anti-vax views to a limited number of legally protected characteristics. These latter have very limited grounds and would be very difficult to use to avoid vaccination. Unions have been warning their members that there's not a lot the union can do to help members who won't follow vaccination policies.

One of the issues is that employers have a duty to provide a safe working environment to their employees. A vaccination policy intended to protect employees from a highly infectious and dangerous disease is seen as reasonable by pretty much all the employment lawyers consulted by the press. Given that, an employer who didn't institute such as policy may be seen as negligent under health and safety regulations.

Also given that COVID-19 is expected to be with us in the world for years to come, I suspect that this issue will have continuing effects over the long term.
 
Here is the COVID-19 summary for Monday.
Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Monday

The WHO are recommending third jabs for the immunocompromised. It appears this is in line with what a number of Western countries are already doing. This is different from booster shots for everyone.
The World Health Organization on Monday recommended that immunocompromised people be given an additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine due to their higher risk of breakthrough infections after standard immunization.

The WHO's strategic advisory group of experts on immunization said the additional dose should be offered "as part of an extended primary series since these individuals are less likely to respond adequately to vaccination following a standard primary vaccine series and are at high risk of severe COVID-19 disease."

The WHO also recommended that people over 60 who got the Sinopharm or Sinovac vaccines get a third jab 1 to 3 months after getting the second. Apparently studies in Latin American have shown what was long suspected, which is that these particular vaccines are not that great.
The WHO panel also recommended that people over 60 receive an additional dose of the shots made by Chinese vaccine makers Sinopharm and Sinovac one to three months after completing their schedule, citing evidence in studies in Latin America that they perform less well over time.

These two vaccines are traditional attenuated virus (viruses broken up by chemicals) as opposed to the other common vaccines which are based on newer technologies (viral vector or mRNA).

In the US, Merck have applied for approval for their COVID-19 treatment called molnupiravir, which is given to people after infection to reduce the severity of the disease.
Meanwhile, drugmaker Merck asked U.S. regulators on Monday to authorize its pill for treating COVID-19 in what would add a new and easy-to-use weapon to the world's arsenal against the pandemic.

A UK parliamentary report to be released on Tuesday will apparently conclude that the UK waited too long to start lockdown early in the pandemic. Too little, too late probably sums up the initial response of all but a handful of countries around the world.
In Europe, a U.K. parliamentary report has concluded that Britain's Conservative government waited too long to impose a lockdown early in the COVID-19 pandemic. The report, set to be released on Tuesday, says that caused the nation to miss a chance to contain the disease and led to thousands of unnecessary COVID-19 deaths.

Russia reported 957 deaths, close to their record high set 2 days previously. They also reported 29,409. Putin was seen coughing during a recent televised meeting. He said he was fine and was being tested regularly. Pity.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, seen coughing during a televised government meeting, reassured officials on Monday that he was fine and said he was being tested for COVID-19 virtually every day. Russia reported 957 coronavirus-related deaths on Monday, close to the all-time high of 968 reported two days earlier. The government coronavirus task force also said it had recorded 29,409 new cases in the last 24 hours.

Thailand will end travel quarantine in November for vaccinated visitors from a number of countries including the United Kingdom, Singapore, Germany, China and the United States. The full list of countries will be published later this week.
In the Asia-Pacific region, Thailand will end quarantine requirements for vaccinated visitors from at least 10 countries including the United Kingdom, Singapore, Germany, China and the United States starting Nov. 1. The full list of eligible countries will be out later this week.

In Australia, restrictions are being relaxed in Sydney due to reaching vaccination milestones, and pubs, cafes, gyms, etc. will re-open to fully vaccinated customers.
Sydney hairdressers, gyms, cafes and bars reopened to fully vaccinated customers on Monday for the first time in more than 100 days after Australia's largest city achieved a vaccination benchmark.

Sydney had planned to reopen after 70 per cent of the New South Wales state population aged 16 and older were fully vaccinated. By Monday, 73.5 per cent of the target population was fully vaccinated and more than 90 per cent have received at least one dose.

In New Zealand, restrictions are being extended for another week. They also announced mandatory vaccination for teachers and health care workers.
New Zealand will require teachers and workers in the health and disability sectors to be fully vaccinated, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, as she extended restrictions in Auckland for another week.

In the US, the governor of Texas prohibited mandatory vaccination by anyone, including private businesses. This is expected to lead to political drama.
the Americas, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order on Monday barring all vaccine mandates in the state by any entity, including private businesses. Abbott's move sets him up for a clash with U.S. President Joe Biden, who last month called on employers to require their workers to be vaccinated.

Venezuela received a shipment of 2.5 million doses of vaccine through COVAX. The government hope to reach a 70 per cent vaccination target by the end of the month.
Venezuela on Sunday received a second batch of 2.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines via the COVAX mechanism, while the government said it hoped to reach immunity for 70 per cent of Venezuelans by the end of the month.

Egypt have ordered the arrest of 3 people due to finding thousands of doses of vaccine had been dumped in a canal. There is no information in the news story as to what went on there.
In Africa, Egypt's public prosecution said on Sunday it had ordered the arrest of three people after thousands of unused COVID-19 vaccines were found dumped along a water channel.

Moderna have said they won't enforce their patents during the pandemic, but they also won't teach other companies how to make their vaccine. Apparently some people had thought that Moderna would be willing to give a way their know-how. Moderna will be increasing their own production capacity to 3 billion doses a year during 2022.
Moderna won't share its COVID-19 vaccine formula
Moderna has no plans to share the recipe for its COVID-19 vaccine because executives have concluded that scaling up the company's own production is the best way to increase the global supply, the company's chairman said Monday.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Noubar Afeyan also reiterated a pledge Moderna made a year ago not to enforce patent infringement on anyone else making a coronavirus vaccine during the pandemic.

"We didn't have to do that," Afeyan said. "We think that was the responsible thing to do. … We want that to be helping the world."

In Canada, researchers at Dalhousie University in Halifax have developed a new sewage sampling gadget that consists of a sort of an inexpensive plastic ball on a string that you toss down a sewer and retrieve with the string. It is used to test sewage samples for COVID-19 to see the disease's prevalence in the community. The actual testing is done using normal test equipment. The technique of testing sewage is not new, but the sampling gadget has attracted interest from around the world. Sampling sewage can give early warning of an outbreak and the tests can apparently detect as few as 3 cases in a population of 100,000. It doesn't tell you who is infected, but it can give you a week or two advance warning before normal public health monitoring can detect it.
$1 device developed in Halifax that detects COVID-19 in sewers drawing global interest
A $1 device developed at Dalhousie University in Halifax that can detect COVID-19 in wastewater has been shipped across Canada and around the world to help researchers and public health in the battle against the deadly respiratory illness.

The device is a small, spherical cage that contains an absorbent pad to collect samples from sewer systems. The specimens are then analyzed using lab equipment to determine whether COVID-19 is present in the wastewater.

Unlike previous methods of testing wastewater for COVID-19, the cage — which is 3D-printed at Dalhousie — is inexpensive to make, costing around a buck.

The low cost of the device makes monitoring more accessible, said Graham Gagnon, one of the researchers and the director of the Dalhousie University Centre for Water Resource Studies. Although the equipment needed to analyze the wastewater is expensive, most COVID-19 testing labs would already have it.
 

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Meanwhile, over yonder:

SOURCE

Greg Abbott, the Republican governor of Texas, is banning any entity in the state, including private businesses, from imposing vaccine mandates. He wants to wipe out President Joe Biden’s efforts to require vaccines for government workers, large employers and health care staff that cover around 100 million Americans and are intended to end the contagion.



Texas now threatens to cause mass confusion. Large firms based in the state like Southwest Airlines and AT&T (which owns CNN) were in the process of moving toward vaccine mandates. Abbott’s move also seems certain to lead to unnecessary infections and deaths, given the potency of the Delta variant, the fact that kids under 11 still can’t be vaccinated in the US and large numbers of adults have refused the shot.

- - --------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------


Hmmmm.... for those who may be a little hazy, the Lone Star State is the size of Germany......

It is also home to one of the US Army's biggest bases in CONUS, the sprawling Fort Hood, plus numerous other military facilities: List of military installations in Texas - Wikipedia

So....do the folks in green obey Federal law or local State law on vaccination ? :scratch:


And yes, it is all political: The Governator in question has his eye on the Republican nomination for Presidential campaign upcoming..... ass-hat.
 
Here is the COVID-19 summary for Tuesday.
Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Oct. 12

Pakistan reported fewer than 700 new cases. This is the lowest number since June and reflects a decline in infection rates there. A few weeks ago they announced that unvaccinated people will not be allowed in offices, shopping malls, or schools.
In Asia, Pakistani authorities on Tuesday reported less than 700 coronavirus cases for the first time since June amid a steady decline in infections due to coronavirus. The development comes weeks after Pakistan said unvaccinated people won't be allowed to work in offices, enter shopping malls or attend schools. It forced many people to get vaccinated to avoid punitive measures. The country is offering free shots to teens and adults.

India have approved the locally developed Bharat Biotech vaccine for children under 12 years of age. They have presently done 950 million jabs of various types in adults and are now working on children.
India is recommending emergency use of Bharat Biotech's COVID-19 shot in children under 12 years of age, making the vaccine maker the first in the country to get such an approval after a review of its trial data for the 2-18 age group. The decision comes as India shifts its focus to vaccinating children, having already rolled out more than 950 million doses to adults among its population of nearly 1.4 billion.

In Australia, Sydney reported their lowest number of new cases in 2 months.
In Oceania, Sydney's COVID-19 cases fell to the lowest in two months on Tuesday.

New Zealand plan to do 100,000 jabs in a single day on the 16th of October.
Meanwhile, New Zealand expects to administer a record 100,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses in a single day during a mass immunization drive on Oct. 16.

Russia reported a record 973 new deaths. The government expressed concern, so I will speculate that more measures will be applied to encourage vaccination.
In Europe, Russia reported 973 coronavirus-related deaths on Tuesday, its highest single-day toll since the start of the pandemic, and the government voiced concern at the pace and intensity of new infections.

Romania also reported a record 442 new deaths and 17,000 infections. To put things in perspective with the above Russian figures, Romania have only one seventh as many people as Russia.
Romania also reported its highest number of coronavirus infections and deaths since the start of the pandemic. Nearly 17,000 COVID-19 infections were confirmed Tuesday along with 442 deaths, the first time the European Union country of 19 million has surpassed 400 virus deaths in a single day.

Moderna said that Rwanda, Senegal, and South Africa are the locations being considered for a new vaccine manufacturing plant in Africa.
In Africa, Rwanda, Senegal and South Africa are being considered as potential locations for Moderna's planned vaccine factory in Africa, the U.S. drugmaker's co-founder and chairman said as it steps up its search for a site on the continent.

In Canada, the province of Alberta have belatedly announced their own vaccine passport plan, with a target of getting it in place by early next year. Most other provinces either have theirs operational or have it coming on line soon.
Alberta's vaccine passport will be in place into next year, Kenney says
A need to be "on our guard" through the winter means Alberta's vaccine passport will be in place at least into early next year, Premier Jason Kenney said Tuesday, as he announced that a long-awaited app to scan proof-of-vaccination QR codes is now available.

The US will open their land borders with Canada and Mexico to non-essential travel next month. Details have yet to be determined, but travellers will have to be fully vaccinated and have proof of vaccination to show on demand. Existing restrictions will continue until the new ones come into effect. Canada recently opened its border to fully vaccinated travellers from the US.
U.S. to reopen land border to fully vaccinated Canadians next month
Senior U.S. officials announced Tuesday night a plan to begin reopening the land borders with Canada and Mexico, which have been closed for non-essential travel since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.

An exact date for the reopening has not yet been determined, according to senior administration officials who briefed reporters earlier about the plan during a conference call.

They said a number of details are still being worked out, including the type of documentation that will be accepted to prove a traveller's vaccination status.

The U.S. is also awaiting guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) about travellers who received mixed doses of COVID-19 vaccines or the AstraZeneca vaccine. The U.S. has not approved the mixing of vaccine doses or the AstraZeneca vaccine for its own residents.


In Italy, their new "green pass" (vaccine passport) rules come into effect in work places on the 15th of October. Employees who are not vaccinated or don't have a negative test taken within the previous 48 hours can be suspended from work without pay. Employers will be fined if they don't enforce the rules.
Italy is about to bring in the strictest COVID-19 measures in Europe
Starting Oct. 15, Italy will become the first European country to require the so-called green pass — the digital or paper proof of vaccination, immunity or a negative test in the past 48 hours — in all places of work, both private and public. It's a step short of fully mandating vaccines, something Prime Minister Mario Draghi openly considered a month ago.

The new workplace green pass requirement is still one of the toughest in the world, giving workers five days of "unjustified absence," after which their salary can be suspended, though they can't be fired. Employees found inside the workplace without a green pass will face fines of up $2,100 Cdn; for employers who don't check workers' green passes, as much as $1,400 Cdn.


In Canada, Quebec's deadline for health care workers to be vaccinated is at the end of this week. Those who aren't fully vaccinated with be suspended without pay. The suspension also affects benefits, seniority, vacation pay, and pension.
Quebec health minister won't budge on Friday's vaccine deadline for health-care workers
As of Friday, health-care workers in Quebec who are not fully vaccinated will be suspended without pay. Dubé also said that being suspended would affect people's benefits, seniority, vacation pay and pension plans.

Asked if he's considered moving Friday's deadline in light of an ongoing labour shortage in the health sector, Dubé didn't hesitate.

"No change," he said.

Professional organizations representing the provinces nurses, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, and doctors said they will suspend the licenses of members who are not fully vaccinated by the deadline.
Several professional orders representing health-care workers, including the province's orders of nurses, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, licensed practical nurses and the college of physicians, have said they will suspend the licences of members who aren't adequately vaccinated against COVID-19 by Friday.

Dubé applauded the orders for taking a strong position and responding to his request for their support.
 
Meanwhile, over yonder:

SOURCE

Greg Abbott, the Republican governor of Texas, is banning any entity in the state, including private businesses, from imposing vaccine mandates. He wants to wipe out President Joe Biden’s efforts to require vaccines for government workers, large employers and health care staff that cover around 100 million Americans and are intended to end the contagion.



Texas now threatens to cause mass confusion. Large firms based in the state like Southwest Airlines and AT&T (which owns CNN) were in the process of moving toward vaccine mandates. Abbott’s move also seems certain to lead to unnecessary infections and deaths, given the potency of the Delta variant, the fact that kids under 11 still can’t be vaccinated in the US and large numbers of adults have refused the shot.

- - --------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------


Hmmmm.... for those who may be a little hazy, the Lone Star State is the size of Germany......

It is also home to one of the US Army's biggest bases in CONUS, the sprawling Fort Hood, plus numerous other military facilities: List of military installations in Texas - Wikipedia

So....do the folks in green obey Federal law or local State law on vaccination ? :scratch:


And yes, it is all political: The Governator in question has his eye on the Republican nomination for Presidential campaign upcoming..... ass-hat.
The federal government has ordered all federal contractors require vaccines, and as all airlines rely heavily on federal contracts, they politely informed Texas that federal law trumps state law.

It’s just theater.
 
Here's another story on how in the US the governor of Texas has banned mandatory vaccination.
Texas governor bans all COVID-19 vaccine mandates, including by private businesses
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order on Monday to prohibit any entity — including private businesses — from enforcing a COVID-19 vaccine mandate on workers, and he called on state lawmakers to pass a similar ban into law.

The move comes as the Biden administration is set to issue rules requiring employers with more than 100 workers ensure their employees are either vaccinated or tested weekly for the coronavirus.

The state of Montana has already done the same.

Two major US airlines based in Texas, American Airlines and Southwest Airlines, have told the governor to ram it, and that they will be obeying the federal rules in this respect.

The governor of Texas is apparently facing pressure from within his own party (Republican) from people who are against mandatory vaccination.

One of these political opponents is party chairman Allen West. West has recently announced that he tested positive for COVID-19 and has been hospitalized. He still hasn't changed his position however.
West announced this week that he tested positive for COVID-19 and has been hospitalized, but he also tweeted he remains opposed to vaccine mandates.
 
The following is a good article on the relative risks of vaccination.
Still worried about getting a vaccine for COVID-19? Here's how to understand the rare, but real, risks

The article of course mentions that while nothing in life is ever risk free, the risks of vaccination are very low, especially compared to the much higher risks of getting infected. More than 6.2 billion doses have been given around the world, so the COVID-19 vaccines and their effects are very well understood.

One thing it mentions is that vaccine effects data bases, the one in Canada being CAEFISS, are a bit of a free for all in terms of what goes into them. They aren't a list of events which have been connected with getting vaccinated. They are a list of events which happened after vaccination and need to be evaluated to see if they are connected.

The example given is that someone who is at high risk of stroke may get vaccinated and have a stroke two weeks later. The stroke may have had nothing to do with the vaccination but will still end up in the database. When virtually everyone is getting vaccinated, then purely by chance some of the same health problems that happen all the time anyway will happen in proximity to getting vaccinated. These other problems haven't taken a holiday during the pandemic.

If you're familiar with the above then the article may not have anything new for you. If you are not though, then it may be worth reading.
 
The following is an interesting article on COVID-19 in Russia.
COVID-19 deaths are surging in Russia, but vaccination lags

The article covers several things. One is the number of deaths. Total deaths reported in the daily figures from the COVID-19 task force is 218,000. However, as discussed previously in another post, Russian stats are reported by several means, with the more comprehensive and much figures taking much longer to filter through the bureaucracy. The most all encompassing numbers are the "excess deaths" figures, which so far show almost 600,000 more deaths than normal since the start of the pandemic.

Another thing discussed is the low vaccination rate, which is currently only about 40 per cent. There is a general lack of trust in government, which in turn translates in a lack of trust in vaccines.

Public health measures in Russia are few, and those which are present are often not enforced. A "vaccine passport" system that was brought in in Moscow was dropped after 3 weeks due to complaints from the pubs and restaurant industry. Masks are supposedly mandatory on subways, but that rule is generally ignored.

The WHO have been inspecting the production facilities for the Sputnik V vaccine with a goal of approving it. However, the WHO found problems with the plants filling vials, and those problems need to be corrected and more inspections done before approval can go ahead.

The story goes on to describe how sanatoriums are being used as recovery centres for people suffering continuing after effects following discharge from hospital. These sanatoriums are long established facilities dating from the Soviet era. Many of the treatments they offer are likely of dubious efficacy, but their exercise programs are probably useful.


Overall it is a wide ranging article which covers a lot of aspects about COVID-19 in Russia and worth reading.

As a general observation not related to the above article, during the early part of the pandemic infection and death rates in Russia were much lower than in the rest of Europe. I suspect that this was due to Russia's relative isolation from the rest of the world compared to the amount of travel which western Europeans engage in. Russians are poorer and so can less afford to travel and it is travel that spreads the virus around.

However, the usual Russian disorganization and reluctance to do anything they don't feel like doing, combined with their general distrust of government, will taken together mean that when the pandemic does eventually come to a close Russia will end up with one of the highest death rates in Europe.
 
The covid virus has almost disappeared from mentions in the Spanish press. Cumulative cases have dropped to 44 per 100,000 overall and down to 38.1 per 100,000 in the Valencia Region. The only town bucking the trend is Benidorm where it has reached 110 per 100,000 in the last fortnight and the press are saying this is since the Brits have "rediscovered" it after all restrictions were lifted both in Spain and UK.
One local paper referring to it as:

The Alicante town multiplies the Covid-19 rate of the Valencian Community by five and triples the Spanish average after the return of visitors from the United Kingdom

Must admit, it is a lot busier here now with loads of Brit reg cars around. Benidorm is up to 84% occupancy which is about normal for this time of year. Half term in UK coming up so expecting an influx over the next couple of weeks. Three queues at the local airport now for arrivals, Nationals - Resident permit holders - non EU, the latter being the largest queue while they check the 90 in 180 day rule and stamp and scan your passport. Other two lines are simply waved through.

Spanish press, though, are more concerned with the old stuff like budgets, anti-Madrid rhetoric (many are calling for government departments to relocate to other parts of Spain) and the usual moans. The biggest worry, according to some, is the cost of fuel. Electricity prices have risen 44% recently and petrol up 21% and diesel 23% although I'm on a fixed rate for household electrics (we don't have gas) and diesel up to a quid a litre won't exactly break the bank.

Reports are that inflation rose 4% in August but this is down to the fuel prices and don't see any rises in the supermarkets which are fully stocked. Facemasks still have to be worn indoors, hand gel provided on entrance but the constant disinfecting of supermarket trolleys appears to have gone by the board except in the big Carrefour where they have attendants going mad with gel and stick labels on them before giving you one. They then rip the "cleaned for your protection" label off and give it to you. Not happening at other places, though, and the ticking off you got if you didn't use the hand gel has also stopped.

Some UK papers are saying the Brits are "leaving in droves" because of new rules. Haven't seen this at all in this area. There have been five houses sold on our estate, 1 Norwegian, 1 Dutch and 3 Brit holiday home owners but all five have been bought by Brits, 2 moving in permanently despite the high income you have to prove and the other 3 for holiday visits. The Dutch bloke sold up but bought another one near the beach about 8k away because there was more for his teenage kids to do there.

Still around 26C during the day, our town was packed this morning and restaurants seem to be doing a roaring trade. The 1.5 m distance between tables seems to be being ignored as well although a maximum of 10 at a table or group of tables is being stuck to. Smoking is banned on all the terraces as well as indoors which is a bloody nuisance because the street opposite the restaurants is getting covered in fag ends where the patrons nip across the road for a quick smoke. Gives the bloke who washes the pavements down and goes up and down with his motorised street sweeper something to do, I suppose.

Also, shades of UK, businesses complaining of a lack of staff in the hospitality and building industry. Bit odd considering the high level of employment in Spain (15% overall and over 20% for youth unemployment).
 
Here is the COVID-19 summary for Wednesday.
Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Oct. 13

In South America, infection rates are dropping in most areas.
Infections are also dropping across South America, though cases are up in the greater Caracas area of Venezuela, and in parts of Chile's southernmost regions.

Barbados are reporting record numbers of cases and deaths. Infections have increased by a factor of 5 in the past month.
In the Caribbean, Barbados is reporting the highest number of COVID cases and deaths since the pandemic started, with a five-fold increase in infections over the last month, PAHO said.

In the Caribbean in general, only 9 countries have reached the 50 per cent vaccination coverage milestone. Six countries are still below 20 per cent. These are Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Haiti, Guatemala and Nicaragua.
So far, only nine countries in the region have vaccinated 50 per cent of their people, while six — Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Haiti, Guatemala and Nicaragua — have yet to reach 20 per cent vaccination coverage, according to PAHO.

Hungary will accept patients from Romania as hospitalizations and deaths in the latter continue to go through the roof.
In Europe, Hungary has agreed to provide care to several dozen COVID-19 patients from neighbouring Romania in the coming days. Romania has struggled with record coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths. The country has received 5,200 doses of monoclonal antibodies from Italy to assist with a rapid surge of infections amid low vaccination rates.

New Zealand reported another 71 cases in Auckland and apparently another lockdown is under consideration. The vaccination rate in New Zealand is currently at 59 per cent.
In the Asia-Pacific region, New Zealand on Thursday reported its biggest rise in COVID-19 infections in six weeks, with all cases detected in Auckland, raising prospects of a further extension of lockdown restrictions in the country's largest city beyond next week. Seventy-one new local cases were reported, up from 55 a day earlier. About 2.49 million New Zealanders have been fully vaccinated, or about 59 per cent of the eligible population.

In Zimbabwe, a number of people in the Apostolic Church believe that vaccines are related to Satan. Authorities are trying to convince them otherwise.
In Africa, one of the largest religious denominations in Zimbabwe is also one of the most skeptical about the COVID-19 vaccine. Some followers of the secluded Apostolic Church believe vaccines are linked to Satanism. To combat that, authorities have formed teams of campaigners who are also churchgoers to dispel misconceptions about the vaccines in their own churches.

Vaccination rates have increased significantly in the US since it was made mandatory for many people by their employers. The news story says the vaccination rate has increased by 20 per centage points, but the data I see elsewhere doesn't agree with that so it's hard to say just what the actual effect is.
In the Americas, vaccination rates against COVID-19 in the United States have risen by more than 20 percentage points after multiple institutions adopted vaccine requirements, while case numbers and deaths from the virus are down, Biden administration officials said Wednesday. White House COVID-19 response co-ordinator Jeff Zients said mandates put into place by private businesses, health-care systems, social institutions and state and local governments have all contributed to the increase.

In Canada, the day after province of Quebec said they wouldn't move the deadline for health care workers to get vaccinated they are now giving them another month and the new deadline is the 15th of November. The issue is apparently that the number of unvaccinated people is not spread out equally across the health care system, but rather there are pockets of them here and there which would lead to local staff shortages.
Quebec delays vaccine mandate for health-care workers by one month, fearing staffing crisis
After weeks of insisting Quebec would go ahead and impose a vaccination mandate for health-care workers and suspend those who don't comply without pay, the province's health minister, Christian Dubé, has backtracked and is now giving them an extra month to get adequately vaccinated.

Health-care workers now have until Nov. 15 to get the necessary shots. The original deadline was this Friday.

Currently, 93 per cent of Quebec health-care workers are fully vaccinated, but that still leaves almost 22,000 facing suspension because they have had only a single dose or are unvaccinated. Dubé said the health system wouldn't be able to handle losing so much staff.


The WHO have formed another advisory group on the origins of the COVID-19 virus in order to conduct more studies on the origins of the virus. The WHO want to do 2 or 3 dozen studies in data from Wuhan in order to help understand how the virus crossed from animals to humans. While it is believed that the virus originated in bats, it is also believed that it didn't do so directly and there was an intermediate animal along the way. This is a common occurrence with zoonotic (originating in animals) viruses, but it is still not certain yet what that animal was in the case of COVID-19.
WHO hopes new COVID-19 panel can find coronavirus origins
The WHO on Wednesday named the 26 proposed members of its Scientific Advisory Group on the Origins of Novel Pathogens (SAGO). They include Marion Koopmans, Thea Fischer, Hung Nguyen and Chinese animal health expert Yang Yungui, who took part in the joint investigation in Wuhan.

Maria van Kerkhove, WHO's technical lead on COVID-19, voiced hope that there would be further WHO-led international missions to China that would engage the country's co-operation.

She told a news conference that "more than three dozen recommended studies" still need to be carried out to determine how the virus crossed from animals to humans.


While the following is not directly related to the pandemic itself, one of the pandemic side effects has been that ports in the US are clogged up leading to shortages of all sorts of things and higher prices. The US have announced a plan to try to clear the backlog in major US ports in California which handle much overseas cargo in the US.
Biden announces 24/7 L.A. port operations to ease supply chain jams
U.S. President Joe Biden announced on Wednesday a deal the White House helped broker in which the Port of Los Angeles will become a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week operation, part of an effort to relieve supply chain bottlenecks and move stranded container ships that are driving prices higher for U.S. consumers.

Biden said the deal was forged after weeks of negotiations and follows a commitment announced last month by the nearby Port of Long Beach to operate a 24/7 pilot program at one of its terminals.

The two ports handle nearly half of all the shipping containers entering the United States. Biden brought together power brokers from ports, unions and big business to hash out how to address a backlog of products that includes 500,000 containers on dozens of ships waiting to be offloaded at the two ports.
 
Here is the COVID-19 summary for Thursday.
Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Thursday

Russia broke records again for deaths and infections, with 989 deaths and 31,299 new cases. Decisions on whether to impose any sort of lockdown is being left to local authorities, and some regions have already imposed restrictions on theatres, restaurants, and the like. A number of major cities however are doing little about it. Vaccination rates are still low, with 29 per cent of the population overall being vaccinated, and 42 per cent of the over 65s. Russia have the fifth highest number of deaths in the world, after the US, Brazil, India, and Mexico. The story has a fair bit more detail for those interested.
Russia on Thursday recorded the highest daily numbers of coronavirus infections and deaths since the start of the pandemic, a rapidly surging toll that has severely strained the nation's health-care system.

The government's coronavirus task force reported 31,299 new confirmed coronavirus cases and 986 deaths in the last 24 hours.

The US have approved the Moderna vaccine for third jabs for seniors and other high risk groups.
In the Americas, a U.S. advisory panel endorsed Moderna's coronavirus vaccine for use as booster shots for seniors and other high-risk groups.

India have resumed exports of vaccine. This could be quite significant news, depending upon how much is being exported.
In Asia, India has resumed exports of coronavirus vaccines after halting them during a devastating surge in domestic infections in April.

In Canada, restrictions are being increased in the northeastern part of BC. The remote rural area has a much lower vaccination rate than most of the rest of the province.
B.C. health officials impose additional COVID-19 restrictions on northern B.C. to curb transmission
Health officials in B.C. have introduced more restrictions for the northern part of the province in an attempt to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Starting at midnight, personal indoor and outdoor gatherings will be restricted to fully vaccinated people only, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced Thursday during a live news conference.

Indoor restrictions will continue to be limited to five people, and outdoor gatherings will be capped at 25 people.

In Africa, the WHO estimate that 6 out of 7 infections are not being reported due to limited testing ability. There are plans to use more rapid tests for surveillance purposes, and to use infection control strategies which have been previously used against Ebola and smallpox.
6 in 7 coronavirus cases in Africa are not being detected, WHO study suggests
Only one in seven COVID-19 infections in Africa are being detected, meaning the continent's estimated infection level may be 59 million people, according to a new study by the World Health Organization (WHO).

"With limited testing, we're still flying blind in far too many communities in Africa," said Matshidiso Moeti, regional director for the WHO in Africa, in a press briefing Thursday.

To get more accurate numbers of infections and to better curb transmission, the UN plans to increase rapid diagnostic testing in eight African countries with the goal of testing seven million people in the next year.
 
Here is the COVID-19 summary for Friday.
Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Friday

In Italy, there were more protests as the "Green Pass" vaccine passport went into effect for employment purposes. The protests however seem to have lost steam towards the end of the day.
In Europe, protests erupted in Italy on Friday as one of the most stringent anti-coronavirus measures in Europe went into effect, requiring all workers, from magistrates to maids, to show a health pass to get into their place of employment.

In Brazil, hundreds of small white flags were put in in front of the parliament building in memory of the 600,000 COVID-19 deaths.
In the Americas, hundreds of white flags were put up in front of Brazil's Congress on Friday, to protest more than 600,000 COVID-19 deaths in the country — the second highest toll in the world behind the U.S.

In South Korea, restrictions will be reduced in the Seoul area.
In Asia, South Korean officials will partially ease virus restrictions in the hard-hit capital region starting next week to address a battered economy and pandemic fatigue.

South Africa will start to vaccinate 12 to 17 year olds next week.
In Africa, South Africa will start vaccinating children between the ages of 12 and 17 next week using the Pfizer vaccine, the health minister said.

France will no longer pay for COVID-19 tests for unvaccinated people without a doctor's prescription.
Elsewhere in Europe, COVID-19 tests in France are no longer free for unvaccinated adults unless they are prescribed by a doctor.

The US announced that they will be allowing non-essential travel for fully vaccinated travellers starting on the 8th of November. People arriving by air will need a test taken within 3 days of boarding. People arriving by land will not need a test. In January the full vaccination policy will also apply to essential workers, who are currently exempt.
U.S. to open border to fully vaccinated travellers starting Nov. 8
Air travellers will need to show proof of vaccination on arrival in the U.S. but will still need to show a pre-departure negative COVID-19 test taken within three days of boarding their flight.

Non-essential travellers crossing at a land border will be required to show proof of vaccination or attest to their vaccination status upon request by a border agent — but unlike air travellers they will face no requirement to show a negative COVID-19 test.

The US also said that they will accept mixed doses (different vaccines for first and second jabs) for travel purposes provided both are approved by either the US or the WHO.
"While CDC has not recommended mixing types of vaccine in a primary series, we recognize that this is increasingly common in other countries so should be accepted for the interpretation of vaccine records," said CDC spokesperson Kristen Nordlund in an email.


In Canada, doctors and nurses from Newfoundland have started to arrive in Alberta to help out there.
7 doctors and nurses flown from N.L. helping Fort McMurray hospital through 4th wave

Saskatchewan may be sending patients to Manitoba and Ontario.
Saskatchewan looking to send COVID-19 patients to Manitoba as ICUs overwhelmed

In Newfoundland itself the government announced mandatory vaccination for government employees, including teachers and health care workers. This also applies to a list of private employers as well.
Public servants have to be vaccinated by Dec. 17, says N.L. government

Yukon announced a mandatory vaccination program, plus a vaccine passport system.
Yukon premier announces vaccine mandate, passport program starting Nov. 30

Also in Canada, health officials reminded people that it is very important this year to get your flu jab when it becomes available.
New COVID cases continue downward trend, but officials urge caution as flu season approaches
Tam pointed to the approaching flu season as a reason for Canadians to remain cautious.

"If a continuing fourth wave of COVID 19 were combined with a resurgence of the flu, this could place additional pressures on the health care system," Tam told a press conference Friday.
 
Here is the COVID-19 summary for Saturday.
Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Saturday

Russia continues to set new records for deaths, with 1,002, as well as 33,208 new cases. In my opinion this is a situation to keep an eye on.
Russia's daily death toll from COVID-19 has exceeded 1,000 for the first time as the country faces a sustained wave of rising infections.

The national coronavirus task force on Saturday reported 1,002 deaths in the previous day, up from 999 on Friday, along with 33,208 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, more than 1,000 higher than the day before.

New Zealand gave out more than 120,000 jabs in one day on Saturday as part of a "Vaxathon".
In the Asia-Pacific region, health-care workers in New Zealand administered more than 120,000 vaccine jabs — a record number for the country — as a festival was held aimed at getting more people inoculated against COVID-19.

In Romania, other EU countries are sending drugs and equipment to help them with the rapid rise in infections and deaths. Like Russia, Romania have a low vaccination rate and are paying the price for it now.
In Europe, EU countries have sent COVID-19 drugs and equipment to treat patients in Romania, which is facing a surge in infections largely among the unvaccinated majority of the adult population.

South African will start vaccinating the 12 to 17 age group next week.
In Africa, South Africa will start vaccinating children between the ages of 12 and 17 next week using the Pfizer vaccine, the health minister said.

In the US, people are suing hospitals to force them to give Ivermectin to hospitalized family members.
In the Americas, at least two dozen lawsuits have been filed around the U.S., many in recent weeks, by people seeking to force hospitals to give their COVID-stricken loved ones ivermectin, a drug for parasites that has been promoted by conservative commentators as a treatment, despite a lack of conclusive evidence that it helps people with the virus.

This story has more details on the above. The situation is bonkers. Relatives are getting prescriptions for Ivermectin from a doctors somewhere and then taking hospitals to court to force them to give the Ivermectin to the hospitalized family members on ventilators. Some courts are siding with the relatives and some are siding with the hospitals.
Lawsuits in U.S. demand unproven ivermectin for COVID-19 patients
 

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