Coronavirus worldwide: Italy eases further, Curevac vaccine fails success criteria

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More than 177 million people have tested positive for the virus worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 3.8 million infected people have died. More than 2.4 billion doses of vaccine have been administered worldwide.

In Italy, the obligation to wear masks outdoors is to be abolished from mid-July. Only in particularly crowded places mask should then be worn. This said Secretary of State for Health Pier Paolo Sileri on Thursday (17. 6.). From next Monday, the whole country will be declared a “white zone”. The current nighttime curfew from midnight to 5 a.m. will no longer apply nationwide

Australian experts recommend that vaccination with AstraZeneca should only be allowed for people over 60 years of age. This was reported by media on Thursday (6/17). AstraZeneca has also been manufactured in Australia since May and is most readily available. The Australian government had relied mostly on this vaccine from the beginning. So far, AstraZeneca has been used for people over 50 years of age, but also for willing vaccine candidates below that age. In April, however, experts had already recommended that everyone under 50 be vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine. The experts had concerns about the occurrence of rare blood clots in some younger people vaccinated with AstraZeneca. In Australia, about 20 percent of the population has received initial vaccination. Just under three percent of people have been vaccinated twice.

German pharmaceutical company Curevac announced sobering data Wednesday (6/16) on the vaccine, which is in the testing phase. The vaccine has so far shown a mere 47 percent efficacy, missing the trial’s target. The interim analysis is based on 134 Covid 19 cases in about 40,000 volunteers in Europe and Latin America. The EU had secured up to 405 million doses of the vaccine, of which 180 million are optional. That followed a memorandum of understanding with Germany for an additional 20 million doses. Switzerland had pre-ordered about 5 million doses. The company said at least 13 virus variants were responsible for the infections among the volunteers. It said the original version of the coronavirus had been “almost completely absent” in the study so far.

An antibody cocktail from pharmaceutical companies Regeneron and Roche is said to have shown great efficacy against the coronavirus. As researchers write in a preliminary report on medRxiv, the drug covers different disease courses. Regeneron-Cov is already used intravenously in the Americas to prevent hospitalizations of symptomatic Covid 19 patients. The results, released Monday (6/14), show that the treatment reduced patients’ risk of developing symptoms by 32 percent. It also reduced the amount of virus the patients carried. When symptoms did occur, they resolved five to six days faster with the drug. None of the patients who received Regen-Cov required hospitalization, compared with six people in the placebo group.

People from the United States and several other countries will once again be able to enter the European Union more easily. This was confirmed by the Portuguese presidency of the Council of the European Union on Wednesday (16/6) after consultations of the permanent representatives of the EU states in Brussels. In addition, the entry requirements for people from Albania, Lebanon, Macedonia, Serbia, Macau, Hong Kong and Taiwan are to be relaxed. The background is a better Corona situation. The pending formal decision is expected to be adopted by the end of the week. With the decision, the list of those states from which entry is easier will be about twice as long.

  • sources: news agencies and nzz.ch: picture: pixabay.com
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