Brazil’s biggest city on Thursday sped up efforts to empty old graves, making room for a soaring number of COVID-19 deaths as Sao Paulo city hall registered record daily burials this week.
In its weekly snapshot of global COVID-19 activity, the World Health Organization (WHO) said yesterday that new cases rose for the fifth week in a row, an increase that now includes all six of its regions, with deaths accelerating for the second straight week.
The COVID-19 pandemic pushed total U.S. deaths last year beyond 3.3 million, the nation’s highest annual death toll, the government reported Wednesday. The coronavirus caused approximately 375,000 deaths, and was the third leading cause of death in 2020, after heart disease and cancer. COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. now top 550,000 since the start of the pandemic.
Researchers pushed back after the C.D.C. director asserted that vaccinated people “do not carry the virus.”
Air travel to vacation spots is returning, but some airports are a lot busier than others. New vaccine findings in young people raise hopes for a normal school year.
Pakistan said on Thursday that it would allow Covid-19 vaccine doses to be sold commercially to patients, starting with the vaccine developed in China by CanSino Biologics. The Russian Sputnik V vaccine will also be sold, officials said.
Millions of adults vaccinated against Covid-19 have little to prove it beyond a paper card they received at inoculation sites. The U.S. has no central database for immunizations. States maintain an incomplete patchwork of records. Nor is there standard proof of Covid-19 vaccinations like the yellow-fever cards that are required for travel to many countries where that disease remains prevalent.
The Italian government is to introduce a mandatory five-day quarantine for EU travellers over the Easter holidays, amid a third wave of infections in a number of countries.
There isn’t any room at Sion Hospital in India’s megacity, Mumbai – approximately all 500 beds reserved for COVID-19 patients are occupied. And with new patients coming in daily, a doctor said the hospital is being forced to add beds every second day.
The last remaining U.S. airline blocking middle seats as a covid safety measure is getting ready to fill its flights again. Delta Air Lines said Wednesday it would make all of its seats available to purchase again starting May 1. The announcement came in a news release that highlighted “more available seats to choose from.”
The faster-spreading B.1.1.7 variant of SARS-CoV-2 first detected in the United Kingdom, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, is quickly on its way to becoming the dominant variant of the virus in the United States, according to a study from scientists at Scripps Research and the COVID-19 test maker Helix.
In April last year, an investigator from the Food and Drug Administration reported problems he had discovered at a Baltimore plant operated by Emergent BioSolutions, a major supplier of vaccines to the federal government.
Germany’s vaccine commission, known as STIKO, recommended on Thursday that people under 60-years old who have had a first shot of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine should receive a different product for their second dose.
The rollout of vaccines in Europe is “unacceptably slow,” the World Health Organization said Wednesday, delivering a damning evaluation on the region’s Covid response, amid a “worrying” surge in infections.
And a separate study shows even people in their 80s and 90s are producing impressive levels of antibodies after receiving both doses of the vaccine. Only 63% of them, however, also produce the T-cells that help maintain those antibodies in the longer term.
The Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE remains highly effective six months after its second dose, an indication that protection could last for an even longer period. The findings, released on Thursday, emerged from a continuing review of how volunteers in the shot’s late-stage trial were faring and whether they contracted Covid-19 with symptoms.
The trial will evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of the mRNA-1273.351 vaccine candidate in 200 healthy adult volunteers. The US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) has dosed the first patient in a Phase I trial evaluating mRNA-1273.351, Moderna’s modified COVID-19 vaccine candidate designed to protect against the B1.351 SARS-CoV-2 variant originally identified in South Africa. SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes COVID-19.
Australian researchers have been investigating why elderly people respond so poorly to COVID-19, and theorise that it’s linked to their repeated exposure to other seasonal coronaviruses.
Official Reporting for April 2, 2021
World Health Organization
Confirmed Cases: 128 540 982
Deaths: 2 808 308
Confirmed Cases: 129,475,545
Total cases: 30,277,908 (+64,149 New Cases)
Total deaths: 549,098 (+917 New Deaths)
Science and Tech
Psychological and Sociological Impact
Covid quarantine has some winners: The introverted, the productive and Jeff Bezos – NBC
A field guide to understanding the people who will have trouble letting go of pandemic lockdowns.
Misinformation, Disinformation, and Conspiracy Theories
Bloomberg’s Sarah Kopit discusses how anti-vaccination groups target women and spread misinformation about the Covid-19 vaccine through social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram
Coping in 2020 (and probably most of 2021)
I’ve spent 30 years trying to make complicated science understandable. Explaining how vaccines work can be especially tricky. Explaining the new technology used in COVID-19 vaccines can be trickier still.