- Meanwhile, Singapore, one of the world’s most vaccinated nations with more than 80% fully jabbed, is taking no chances with its Delta variant outbreak. It warned this week it may need to impose more Covid-19 restrictions despite officials indicating in June that they wanted to move towards a living-with-Covid strategy — where outbreaks were controlled by vaccines and monitoring hospitalizations rather than curtailing citizens’ lives. On Tuesday, it reported 332 new cases and zero deaths.
- After 18 months of basking in their success in keeping Covid out, Australian politicians are now being forced to pivot from a zero-Covid strategy to living with the virus under limited restrictions when at least 70% of eligible people have received two vaccine doses. The question is how they can convince Australians to support the national plan when those in parts of the country that have managed to contain Covid-19, including the states of Western Australia and Queensland, have little appetite to open borders and allow the virus in. Making matters worse, Australia has struggled to vaccinate its population due to a lack of urgency and inadequate supplies. As of last week, only about 37% of people over the age of 16 had received two doses.
- Most countries in the world are far from hitting the endemic phase of the pandemic. Only 3% of Africa’s more than 1 billion people have been fully vaccinated — a sharp contrast from Europe, where 57% have received a full course of vaccination, the World Health Organization said. A planned shipment of Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccines from South Africa to Europe was suspended last week after the deal was criticized by health activists.
- The Climate Action Network (CAN), which includes groups from more than 130 countries, called for a delay to November’s UN climate conference in Scotland. They argue that the failure to provide vaccines to millions of people in poor countries, as well as the high costs of travel and accommodation, would mean countries most affected by the climate crisis will be absent from the COP26 talks. The UK COP26 Presidency has said that it is providing vaccines to all delegates who have requested them, with the first shots beginning this week.
YOU ASKED. WE ANSWERED.
Q: What can parents do to keep kids safe at school?
“The point is to make sure we do this before they get on the school bus,” said Xiaoyan Song, director of infection control and epidemiology at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, DC. “If all the parents did their due diligence and the child is looking great and everything’s normal, before they say goodbye to the kids at the school bus or before they drop the kids off, we’ll have a very, very minimum transmission in the school.”
When kids go to school, they should wear masks indoors, keep a physical distance from others and regularly wash their hands. Schools need good ventilation and to keep surfaces clean. Teachers and staff must be vaccinated and masked.
READS OF THE WEEK
Vaccine slowdowns in the wealthy West could incubate the next disaster in the Covid crisis
Both Israel and the UK appeared on track to hit the rough target of 80-90% of fully vaccinated citizens that each of the experts CNN spoke to said is required to drop restrictions, while America had legitimate cause for optimism. But then came a drop in the number of daily vaccinations, which creates an opportunity for the virus to spread, mutate and break through those countries’ borders to others with lower inoculation rates. In other words, it could incubate the next disaster in this pandemic.
Dread at 30,000 feet: Inside the increasingly violent world of US flight attendants
As the pandemic spread, the perks of Amirzadeh’s job diminished. Now restricted to domestic US flights, her work involves navigating not only the fear of catching Covid-19, but also the recent uptick in disruptive passengers.
How the pandemic turned humble shipping containers into the hottest items on the planet
Before the coronavirus hit, companies could rent a humble 20-foot or 40-foot box with relative ease, allowing them to move goods at a low cost. Containers have a lifespan of about 15 years before they’re recycled into low-cost storage or building solutions. But empty boxes remain scattered across Europe and North America, while supply chain delays mean even more are needed to fulfill orders.
Being fully vaccinated reduces odds of long-term Covid-19 symptoms by half
“We found that the odds of having symptoms for 28 days or more after post-vaccination infection were approximately halved by having two vaccine doses. This result suggests that the risk of long Covid is reduced in individuals who have received double vaccination, when additionally considering the already documented reduced risk of infection overall,” researchers wrote in the study published in the journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases. So get your vaccination now.