The effectiveness of real-world vaccines, updated travel guidelines for those vaccinated, and yet another increase in cases around the world. Here’s what you need to know:
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Real-world study finds approved vaccines highly effective as drugmakers strive to expand access
Earlier this week, the CDC released the results of a study that found the Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are appearing 90 percent effective to protect against Covid-19 in the real world. Data is yet another promising indicator that these vaccines are working really well, but, more importantly, that doesn’t mean they offer complete protection – masking and distancing in public is important. even if you have received both pictures. Like last year made eminently clear, our understanding of this disease and how to fight it is constantly evolving, so it is important that everyone continues take all precautions that we know to be effective.
Meanwhile, pharmaceutical companies are striving to expand approval and distribution. Pfizer announced this week that its vaccine appears to be safe and effective in adolescents from the age of twelve, when Johnson & Johnson started his own trial for people aged 12 to 17. And on Thursday, the FDA announced it would let Moderna put up to 50% more doses in each vial in an amendment to its emergency use authorization. The change should speed up distribution.
CDC says fully vaccinated people can travel if they take other pandemic precautions
This morning the CDC released new travel guidelines for people who have been fully vaccinated, saying that it is low risk for them to travel within the country and abroad, although they should continue to take other precautions such as wearing a mask and observing social distancing guidelines. The potential return to activities like air travel has raised questions about how people will prove they have been vaccinated. There was talk of “Vaccine passports”, and many plans to create them are underway, but doing so in an ethical and fair manner, while protecting people’s privacy, can be a challenge.
This latest CDC update comes a few days after its director warned the Americans not to ease Covid-19 restrictions at this time. Many Americans are stunned at the thought of a semi “normal” summer, but until vaccines are widespread, this virus will continue to evolve and spread.
Cases are increasing worldwide, with some countries instituting new lockdowns while others resist taking precautions
In recent days, countries around the world, including turkey and Bangladesh recorded their highest daily number of cases to date. The situation in Brazil remains particularly dire. Sao Paolo, its largest city, had record daily burials this week, with cemeteries staying open until 10 p.m. and gravediggers digging up old graves to make room for new deaths from Covid-19. Even so, President Jair Bolsonaro still refuses to impose a lockdown or any other strict measure that could curb the spread of the virus.
Cases also continue to rise in Europe, a situation for which the WHO says the region “Too slow” vaccination efforts are to blame. At present, 27 European countries are in partial or total lockdown, including France, which extend its measures to cover the whole country for four weeks starting on Saturday.
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