- This daily news feed provides you with a selection of the latest news and updates on the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, as well as tips and resources to help you stay informed and protected.
- Top Stories: UK study finds mixing Pfizer or AstraZeneca shots with Moderna boosts immune response; warning about future pandemics from the Oxford professor; Community transfer of Omicron in England.
1. How COVID-19 Is Affecting the World
According to Johns Hopkins University, the world’s 266.5 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 have passed. The number of confirmed deaths has now passed 5.26 million. More than 8.21 billion vaccine doses have been administered worldwide, according to Our World in Data.
Mexico City will begin offering a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine to residents 60 and older starting today, as part of a government plan to roll out booster shots.
China reported 94 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Dec. 6, up from 61 a day earlier, the health authority said on Tuesday.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has added more countries to their “Level 4: Very High” rating, decreasing travel to countries such as France, Jordan, Portugal and Tanzania due to concerns about COVID-19.
The World Bank has said its funding has helped deliver 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines around the world — a figure it should reach 150 million by the end of December.
UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid has said Omicron is now being handed over by community in regions of England, but it’s too early to say whether it will “knock us off our road to recovery”.
Disruptions to health care and supplies caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have contributed to malaria killing 69,000 more people in 2020 than the year before – but averted a worst-case scenario – the World Health Organization said yesterday.
The Czech government will order COVID-19 vaccinations for people working in hospitals and nursing homes, as well as for police officers, soldiers and some other professions and all citizens aged 60 and older, Health Minister Adam Vojtech said Monday.
New York City has expanded its COVID-19 mandates and established vaccine requirements for children ages 5 and up and for employees at all private sector companies.
The COVID Response Alliance for Social Entrepreneurship is a coalition of 85 global leaders organized by the World Economic Forum. Its mission: to join forces to support social entrepreneurs around the world as essential first responders to the pandemic and as pioneers of a green, inclusive economic reality.
The COVID Social Enterprise Action Agenda outlines 25 concrete recommendations for key stakeholder groups, including financiers and philanthropists, investors, government agencies, support organizations and businesses. In January 2021, its members launched its Roadmap 2021, with which its members will roll out an ambitious series of 21 action projects in 10 work areas. Including access to businesses and policy change to support a social economy.
For more information, see the Alliance website or the “impact story” here.
2. UK study finds that mixing Pfizer or AstraZeneca shots with Moderna boosts immune response
A large UK study into mixing COVID-19 vaccines found that people had a better immune response when they received a first dose of AstraZeneca or Pfizer/BioNTech injections, followed by Moderna nine weeks later.
“We found a really good immune response across the board…in fact, above the threshold set by the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine two doses,” said Matthew Snape, the Oxford professor behind the trial called Com-COV2. against Reuters.
The findings supporting flexible dosing will offer some hope to poor and middle-income countries, who may need to combine different brands between first and second injections if supplies run out or become unstable.
“I think the data from this study will be especially interesting and valuable for low- and middle-income countries where they’re still rolling out the first two doses of vaccines,” Snape said.
3. Future pandemics could be worse than COVID-19, vaccine maker warns
Future pandemics could be even deadlier than COVID-19, so lessons learned from the outbreak should not be wasted and the world must ensure it is prepared for the next pandemic, has one of the creators of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine said.
“The truth is, the next one could be worse. It could be more contagious, or more deadly, or both,” Sarah Gilbert said in the Richard Dimbleby lecture, the BBC reported. “This won’t be the last time a virus threatens our lives and livelihoods.”
Gilbert, a professor of vaccinology at the University of Oxford, said the world needs to make sure it is better prepared for the next virus.
“The progress we have made and the knowledge we have gained should not be lost,” she said.