03:57 - Source: CNN
Florida coach went from being healthy to battling for his life in the ICU

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CNN  — 

The World Health Organization (WHO) has pressed the 20 most powerful world leaders and pharmaceutical chiefs to reverse the “disgraceful” inequity in global access to Covid-19 vaccines by the fall, in order to avert yet another deadly wave of cases over the winter.

  • WHO’s Bruce Aylward said the world should be “disgusted” with the imbalance in available tools to fight the pandemic and appealed to the wealthiest nations to focus on helping all countries vaccinate at least 10% of their populations by September. Only 1.1% of people in low-income countries have received at least one dose, due to a lack of supplies. “I can’t help but think: if we had tried to withhold vaccines from parts of the world, could we have made it any worse than it is today?” Aylward, senior adviser to the WHO director-general and head of the ACT Accelerator initiative, which is aimed at providing pandemic resources to developing countries.
  • Aylward’s comments come a week after WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called for a moratorium on coronavirus vaccine booster shots until September, urging the G20 to do more to improve access globally. “I understand the concern of all governments to protect their people from the Delta variant. But we cannot accept countries that have already used most of the global supply of vaccines using even more of it, while the world’s most vulnerable people remain unprotected,” Tedros said.
  • Facing a dreaded new wave of coronavirus infections fueled by the Delta variant, the United States and Europe are deploying a barrage of monetary incentives and mandates to convince vaccine holdouts to get off the fence. And, despite WHO’s plea, momentum is building to dole out booster shots for vulnerable groups; several countries, including Germany and France, have already said they are going ahead with third doses.
  • In the US, vaccine mandates are gaining momentum. New York, Virginia, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, California and Washington, DC, have directed most public employees to get vaccinated or undergo testing. Governor Jay Inslee of Washington State went a step further on Monday, saying that workers who refuse to get vaccinated risk losing their jobs. “We have essentially a new virus at our throats,” Inslee said, referring to the Delta variant. The moves follow President Joe Biden’s announcement that federal workers would face restrictions if they don’t get vaccinated. The Pentagon said Monday it would also seek to make vaccinations mandatory for the nation’s active-duty troops. Dr. Anthony Fauci, Biden’s chief medical adviser, said on MSNBC Tuesday that he thinks vaccines for teachers should be mandated, as fears mount over opening schools to unvaccinated children this fall.
  • In Europe, visitors to France who have been vaccinated outside of the European Union with authorized coronavirus vaccines are now able to use the country’s health pass to go to restaurants, cafes, bars and other indoor venues, the government announced this week. In Germany, the government is looking to abolish free coronavirus testing in an effort to push more people to get vaccinated amid a growing case rate in the country.
  • As wealthy nations tighten their grip on vaccine arsenals – rolling out mandates and incentives – people elsewhere in the world are desperately trying to get their hands on doses. Thousands of people rushed to vaccination sites in Manila, the Philippine capital, on Tuesday ahead of a two-week lockdown and amid mixed messaging that unvaccinated people would miss out on welfare payments.

YOU ASKED. WE ANSWERED.

Q: What’s the risk of indoor dining if you’re fully vaccinated?

A: Indoor dining in a restaurant definitely has more risk than dining outdoors, says CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Leana Wen. What that risk is depends on several factors. For starters, what’s the space configuration in the restaurant? A very crowded, poorly ventilated setting will have higher risk than a venue in which you can spread out from other diners.

Other vaccines need to be administered more often, like the flu vaccine, which requires an annual shot. This is not so much to boost our immunity, but because each season there are new strains targeted by the vaccine, Wen explains.

As Covid-19 is a relatively new disease, we don’t yet know if one more dose will be required to complete a course, as in the case of the three-dose hepatitis vaccine; if occasional “boosts” for immunity may be needed, like with the tetanus shot; or if new strains may emerge, which require updated shots to target them.

Send your questions here. Are you a health care worker fighting Covid-19? Message us on WhatsApp about the challenges you’re facing: +1 347-322-0415.

READS OF THE WEEK

A pedestrian crosses Featherston Street during the first day of a national lockdown on August 18, 2021 in Wellington, New Zealand.

Covid-19 cases are rising in countries praised for stopping outbreaks. Do they need to change their strategies?

New Zealand went into a nationwide lockdown late Tuesday night, hours after confirming one Covid-19 case – the first locally transmitted infection since February. On Wednesday, New Zealand authorities announced they had confirmed another six cases, all linked to the original.

The outbreak marks the first time New Zealand has confirmed the presence of the Delta variant in the community and authorities are still determining how it got there. The country shut borders to almost all foreigners last year and required most incoming travelers to go through state-run quarantine – an approach that has allowed New Zealand to avoid the devastating waves seen in other countries, and bring life largely back to normal.

Report into the origins of Covid-19 may be released this week

Between difficult breaths of supplemental oxygen, Travis Campbell is fighting to send a message about his battle with Covid-19 in a Virginia hospital: He regrets not getting vaccinated. And while he hopes he’s turned a corner, for a very scary stretch, he thought he needed to make arrangements in case he died.

The Covid-19 pandemic has presented a golden window to undermine confidence in the media and, in some cases, for world leaders to launch outright assaults on some of the most respected and important journalistic institutions in their countries, Luke McGee writes.

This month, the Polish parliament passed a bill that could shutter the country’s largest independent news channel, TVN24, a broadcaster that frequently criticizes the Polish governing party. Also this month, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz put forward a plan that would effectively pull funding from the nation’s oldest newspaper.

All of this could be tied to the timing around the Covid-19 pandemic, media experts say. “In times of crisis trust in government goes up because people just want somebody to fix things, so you see people rally around the flag,” Ben Page, chief executive of polling firm Ipsos MORI said, adding that these spikes in support provide a window of opportunity that “distracts from what you are doing elsewhere.” And if you are a politician seeking to capitalize on this, whacking and weakening the press is a relatively easy proposition.

Child Covid cases are increasing, and this could be just the beginning

Cases of Covid-19 among children have steadily increased since the beginning of July, according to a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). More than 121,000 child Covid-19 cases were reported in the US last week, which the AAP called “a continuing substantial increase.”

Public health experts continue to advocate for children to wear masks in school, especially as children under 12 are currently ineligible for the vaccine. But to their frustration, some state governors have attempted to ban such requirements. “Why tie the hands of the public health officials behind their backs? You have two weapons here, one is vaccines the other is masking, and for children less than 12 that’s the only weapon they have,” Dr. Paul Offit, a member of the US Food and Drug Administration’s vaccine advisory committee, told CNN. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences further supports the case for masking. It found that other mitigation measures – such as physical distancing and handwashing – are “insufficient by themselves” in curbing the pandemic without mask use, too.

Kenya’s coffin makers say Covid means they’re busier than ever. Some still won’t get vaccinated

TOP TIP

Yes, children can be affected by Covid-19.

The CDC has strengthened its recommendation for pregnant people to get inoculated. “Evidence about the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy has been growing. These data suggest that the benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine outweigh any known or potential risks of vaccination during pregnancy,” the CDC said in its updated guidance on its website.

Pregnant women are at an increased risk of getting severely ill from Covid-19 and “adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as preterm birth,” according to Sascha Ellington, team lead for emergency preparedness and response in the CDC’s Division of Reproductive Health. “This vaccine can prevent Covid-19, and so that’s the primary benefit,” she added.

Millions of students are heading back to school with a challenge they didn’t need to face last year. The more contagious Delta variant is powering a Covid-19 surge in the US that’s sending younger people to hospitals – including children. The best weapon for students aged 12 upwards is vaccination, the CDC says. But there are also ways to help kids too young to get vaccinated dodge Delta.