The ‘two-way pandemic’, the EU vaccine passports and Project S; here’s what to know about covid-19 this week

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(CNN) – Here’s what’s new this week for covid-19.

News of the week

The WHO has warned that a “two-way pandemic” is taking place. As wealthy countries with high vaccination rates begin to talk about ending restrictions, many nations continue to face extremely dangerous situations, with deaths in Africa, the Americas and the Western Pacific rising in the last week. The WHO Africa region, led by South Africa, saw a 25% increase in new cases this week alone. Of the 1,770 million doses of covid-19 vaccines that have been administered in the world, 28% have been in the richest nations of the world, while only 0.3% of vaccines have been administered in countries low-income, Oxfam International stated last week.

The Joe Biden government announced a plan to distribute 25 million initial doses of the covid-19 vaccine with the rest of the world, with the goal of distributing at least 80 million doses by the end of June. On Friday, President Biden will meet with the leaders of Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan at the G7 summit, which will have vaccine production and the global vaccination campaign high on the agenda.

As infections continue to decline in the United States, children now account for about 25% of all COVID-19 cases, and unvaccinated children become a «vulnerable host»For coronavirus. However, half of those 12 and older in the US are fully vaccinated. Vaccine advisers from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will meet Thursday to discuss the licensing parameters of vaccines for children 11 years and younger.

The European Parliament approved a vaccination passport for the EU that will enter into force on July 1. The digital record will show that a person has been vaccinated against COVID-19, has tested negative for the virus or has recovered from the disease. People outside the EU are expected to be able to use the certificate as well, including travelers from the United States. This is what you need to know.

How will the European Union vaccination passport work? 3:32

An outbreak of covid-19 in a nursing home shows that older people need time to develop an immune response to the vaccine. Residents of nursing homes in Germany who became infected even after being vaccinated had milder symptoms and recovered more quickly than unvaccinated patients, despite being infected with the Alpha variant, first detected in the Kingdom. United, investigators reported Tuesday. Another study from the US CDC shows that fully vaccinated people are more than 90% protected against infection and, if they do get sick, have milder symptoms than unvaccinated people.

The impact of COVID-19 on global livability has been absolutely devastating, but some destinations have fared much better than others. This year, Auckland, New Zealand topped The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Livability Index, thanks to its success in quickly containing the pandemic, allowing restrictions to be lifted early on.

The Supreme Court of Brazil will meet on Thursday to study the possible suspension of next week’s Copa América soccer match, after some lawmakers and union groups argued that the tournament should be halted due to the possibility that it would fuel a new wave of covid-19 cases. Players and staff of the Brazilian team criticized the tournament organizers in an open letter on Wednesday, but said they would continue to participate if it takes place.

You ask, we answer

Q: Is it safe to go on vacation?

A: CDC updated Monday your international travel guides to give specific advice to both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers in 120 countries. The guidelines aim to “better differentiate countries with severe outbreak situations” from places where covid-19 is “persistent, but controlled.”

CDC threat levels are determined by the number of COVID-19 cases in a given country. At each level, the agency recommends getting vaccinated, but its guidance for unvaccinated people varies depending on the severity of the pandemic in each country.

It is recommended to avoid traveling to level 4 countries, the highest threat level, which have more than 500 cases per 100,000 residents in the last 28 days. Tier 4 countries include nations such as Brazil, India, and Iraq. Tier 1 countries, such as Australia and New Zealand, are considered the lowest risk destinations, reporting fewer than 50 COVID-19 cases in the past 28 days.

The three suggested readings of the week

US Lawmakers Focus on Classified Report Supporting Lab’s Leak Theory

The WHO team visited the Wuhan laboratory in February.

A classified report Drafted last year warning that the coronavirus pandemic could have leaked from a Wuhan laboratory has re-emerged as a focal point for US lawmakers trying to reactivate the search for answers about the origins of the pandemic.

The report, released by researchers at the government-backed Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in May 2020, determined that it was possible that COVID-19 had escaped from a Wuhan laboratory, according to four people familiar with the document, in a time when that line of inquiry was considered politically taboo.

It is not clear to what extent the conclusions of the document influenced the advancement of the government’s knowledge about the origins of the virus, nor if the document affected a latent debate about whether the type of coronavirus research being carried out in the laboratory could have contributed to the creation of covid-19. The report also concluded that the virus could have developed naturally in nature, echoing what the intelligence community now claims to believe, and multiple sources familiar with the document downplayed its meaning.

US Senators flew a military plane to Taiwan to announce the donation of a vaccine that angered Beijing

Taiwan will finally receive much-needed help from the United States to fight its spiral of coronavirus outbreaks. But for Beijing, the offer is a major provocation that risks escalating both cross-strait and US relations with China. write Nectar Gan and Ben Westcott.

A delegation of US senators visited Taiwan on Sunday to announce the donation of 750,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The president of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen, called the vaccines “timely rain” for the island, which has only vaccinated 3% of its population and which on Saturday registered the highest number of daily deaths, with 37 people.

The US donation is likely to draw ire from Beijing, which has resisted Taipei’s apparent refusal to accept its proposal for coronavirus vaccines made in China. Taipei, for its part, has accused Beijing of blocking its efforts to buy vaccines internationally, rather than trying to help.

How a vaccination experiment known as “Project S” transformed a small Brazilian city

As the pandemic rages in other parts of Brazil, hope has returned to the small town of Serrana, after researchers vaccinated nearly its entire adult population in a medical experiment this spring. Four months after the start of the experiment known as Project S, the quiet city of the state of São Paulo has acquired an atmosphere of pre-pandemic days.

Across the country, Brazil is the second country in the world with the highest number of deaths from covid-19, after the United States, and is heading into its third wave, with an increase in daily cases and deaths. Only 10% of the country’s population is fully vaccinated. But the inhabitants of Serrana say that they are living a very different reality, thanks to Project S.

This spring, researchers administered the two full doses of the Chinese Coronavac vaccine to 27,160 adults, about 95% of the city’s adult population. Although the full results of the researchers have not yet been reviewed or published, preliminary results published on June 1 showed an 80% reduction in the number of symptomatic cases, with an 86% decrease in covid-related hospitalizations and a 95% decrease in mortality.

An advice

Will you stop using the mask? Here are some things to keep in mind.

Reframe your mental shortcuts: When we’re trying to solve problems or make decisions, we rely on “heuristics,” a fancy name for the rules of thumb, intuition, and mental shortcuts that help us judge, according to Eve Wittenberg, a health decision scientist at the School of Public Health TH Chan from Harvard.

But with covid there is ambiguity: the ignorance of the probability of certain results. And Wittenberg said that makes taking a risk, like dining inside, getting on a plane or going to that concert, even more difficult. A crucial advice for making decisions is to update them based on the information that arrives.

Evaluate your degree of protection: In general, unvaccinated people pose a risk mainly to other unvaccinated people, but they are not a great risk to those vaccinated. (And the vaccinated are not much of a risk to them.) Experts say that for most people, in most situations where we are not around people for a long period of time, it is about evaluating the situation you are in and taking steps to mitigate the risk.

Think about whether you are tolerant or risk averse: People care differently and, therefore, must assimilate the information and assess to what extent they consider it reliable and to what extent it is relevant to their own situation.

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