Coronavirus COVID-19: February 2021-

Written by  //  March 29, 2021  //  Health & Health care  //  No comments

Worldometer coronavirus
What is COVAX?
Coronavirus COVID-19 Jan – April 2020
How 5 of History’s Worst Pandemics Finally Ended
Pandemics That Changed History

The Dogs Trained to Sniff Out COVID-19
Gathered here are images from Russia, England, Chile, Australia, Iran, Finland, and more countries, where these canine COVID-19–detection programs are being developed.
Recently, the Miami Heat announced it will start doing so to screen attendees at its games – (Nick’s Gleanings) “This supposedly has a 90+% accuracy rate & requires no direct human contact. It likely is also cost-effective, for dogs don’t join unions, are ‘cheap keepers’ (typically living with their minders) & don’t draw pensions.”
Our World in Data: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Vaccinations
Everything you need to know. By country. Updated daily.

WHO report says animals likely source of COVID
(AP) — A joint WHO-China study on the origins of COVID-19 says that transmission of the virus from bats to humans through another animal is the most likely scenario and that a lab leak is “extremely unlikely,” according to a draft copy obtained by The Associated Press.
The findings offer little new insight into how the virus first emerged and leave many questions unanswered, though that was as expected. But the report does provide more detail on the reasoning behind the researchers’ conclusions. The team proposed further research in every area except the lab leak hypothesis.
The report, which is expected to be made public Tuesday, is being closely watched since discovering the origins of the virus could help scientists prevent future pandemics — but it’s also extremely sensitive since China bristles at any suggestion that it is to blame for the current one. Repeated delays in the report’s release have raised questions about whether the Chinese side was trying to skew its conclusions.

16 March
The growing list of countries suspending use of the AstraZeneca vaccine may be doing much more harm than good, experts say
(Business Insider) A growing list of nations has pulled the shot from use, with most of the biggest nations in Europe deciding to stop on Tuesday.
The European Medicines Agency, the World Health Organization, and AstraZeneca have insisted that there is no evidence for such a connection. AstraZeneca said its data showed that such clots are occurring less in vaccinated groups than in the general population.
Experts say that a stop-start approach is undermining confidence while COVID-19 is still spreading.

11 March

A year on, WHO still struggling to manage pandemic response
(AP) — When the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a pandemic one year ago Thursday, it did so only after weeks of resisting the term and maintaining that the highly infectious virus could still be stopped.
A year later, the U.N. agency is still struggling to keep on top of the evolving science of COVID-19, to persuade countries to abandon their nationalistic tendencies and help get vaccines where they’re needed most.
The agency made some costly missteps along the way: It advised people against wearing masks for months and asserted that COVID-19 wasn’t widely spread in the air. It also declined to publicly call out countries — particularly China — for mistakes that senior WHO officials grumbled about privately.
President Joe Biden’s support for WHO may provide some much-needed breathing space, but the organization still faces a monumental task ahead as it tries to project some moral authority amid a universal scramble for vaccines that is leaving billions of people unprotected.
… WHO still appears hamstrung. A WHO-led team that traveled to China in January to investigate the origins of COVID-19 was criticized for failing to dismiss China’s fringe theory that the virus might be spread via tainted frozen seafood.
That came after WHO repeatedly lauded China last year for its speedy, transparent response — even though recordings of private meetings obtained by The Associated Press showed that top officials were frustrated at the country’s lack of cooperation.

7 March
What the Coronavirus Variants Mean for the End of the Pandemic
The virus is mutating—but we can still beat it, one vaccination at a time.
By Dhruv Khullar
Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna have said that they can develop booster shots within six weeks that work against these variants; Moderna has already started working on one that targets the South African version. From a scientific perspective, developing variant-specific vaccines is a straightforward proposition—one simply swaps the new genomic material for the old. Testing, manufacturing, and distribution could still take months. But the F.D.A. has released guidance designed to streamline the approval process for coronavirus boosters, indicating that it will review them using roughly the same approach it employs for annual flu shots.
… Confronting the variants, we should be cautious but hopeful. They are a worrying development but not a devastating blow. Every coronavirus vaccine available in the U.S. appears likely to prevent the more concerning consequences of infection—severe illness, hospitalization, death—even for the new variants. (In South Africa, where B.1.351 dominates, Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine prevented a hundred per cent of COVID-19 deaths a month after inoculation.) Vaccinated people, therefore, should feel confident in the protection they’ve gained, and in the knowledge that booster shots, should they become necessary, can quickly be developed and approved. Even for those who have been inoculated, the risk of illness has not been, and may never be, eliminated—but it remains vastly lower than it was before vaccination, despite the new variants in our midst.

5 March
Coronavirus live news: WHO ‘to scrap’ interim Wuhan report; UK investigating new variant
(The Guardian) The Wall Street Journal is reporting that a World Health Organization team investigating Covid’s origins is planning to scrap an interim report on its recent mission to China amid mounting tensions between Beijing and Washington over the investigation and an appeal from one international group of scientists for a new inquiry.
It reports that a group of two dozen scientists have written an open letter calling for a new international inquiry, claiming that the WHO team that was in Wuhan last month had insufficient access to investigate conceivable sources of the virus, including a possible laboratory leak.
In Geneva, WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said in via email: “The full report is expected in coming weeks”.

28 February – 1 March
Why Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine is probably the best shot
(Business Insider) Johnson & Johnson’s shot has benefits: It’s cheap, easy, and mild, and it performs against variants.
The truth is you can’t pick out which vaccine you get anyway, so it’s a good thing they all work.
While it may not eliminate disease, J&J’s jab holds its own in preventing the worst outcomes of COVID-19 — hospitalization and death. What’s more, it’s cheap to make, simple to give and get, and you’ll gain some good viral protection in just a matter of weeks, without ever having to return for a second shot. As a bonus, you just might be better protected than anyone else against some new variants that are spreading fast.
Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine gets CDC panel backing, nearly ready for shipping
A U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory panel voted unanimously on Sunday to recommend Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 shot for widespread use, a final clearance for the vaccine a day after it was authorized by U.S. regulators.
J&J’s shot will be the only one-dose COVID vaccine available in the United States. It is also the easiest to ship and store, as it can be kept in a refrigerator rather than a freezer.
CDC epidemiologist Dr. Sara Oliver said during a Sunday presentation that there are not yet any studies comparing J&J’s vaccine directly to the other approved vaccines from Pfzier-BioNTech and Moderna Inc but that all vaccines were highly effective at reducing hospitalizations and deaths.

25 February
Let the global vaccine brawl begin (audio)
In the scramble to get the entire world vaccinated, countries like China and Russia are trying to use vaccine sales and donations to lift their standings on the global stage. POLITICO’s Ryan Heath breaks down the tricky world of vaccine diplomacy.

24 February
David Cameron, Former Prime Minister of the UK
(Amanpour) Ghana today received a planeload of COVID-19 vaccines, becoming the first country in the developing world to benefit from the COVAX vaccine sharing program. In the Middle East, Europe, and the United States, tens of millions have already been vaccinated. But most people in the world’s poorest nations are still waiting. The pandemic has exposed the global gap between rich and poor as never before. Former British Prime Minister David Cameron wants the world to focus on the world’s most fragile states — those beset by conflict and corruption and lacking in basic infrastructure. He joins the show to discuss his new call for an investment in local, green technology to enable greater access to electricity – and a more equitable recovery.
‘COVID zero’ is unattainable, acceptable risk is the goal
David Leonhardt
(NYT via Globe & Mail) In coming months, COVID will probably recede, as a result of vaccinations and growing natural immunity. But it will not disappear. … The reasonable goal is to make it manageable, much like the seasonal flu. Fortunately, the vaccines are doing that.
… The vaccines will not produce “COVID zero.” But they are on pace – eventually, and perhaps even by summer – to produce something that looks a lot like normalcy. The extremely rare exceptions won’t change that, no matter how much attention they receive. As Dr. Stefan Baral, a public health researcher and infectious disease expert, put it on Twitter: “Risk assessment? Absolutely! Risk mitigation? Absolutely! Risk management? Absolutely! Risk communication? Absolutely! Risk Elimination? Impossible.”

12 February
How one tiny country is beating the pandemic and climate change
The small Himalayan country of Bhutan, mainly known for measuring national happiness instead of GDP, is the only carbon-negative country on the planet. Believe it or not, it has only had one single death from COVID-19. Is that a coincidence?
Madeline Drexler’s new article in The Atlantic, “The Unlikeliest Pandemic Success Story,” dives into the reasons that Bhutan has managed to fare so well against the novel coronavirus while rich countries and middle-income have struggled to keep it in check.

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