THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS Coronavirus worldwide: vaccination skepticism runs rampant in Southeast Asia

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More than 182 million people have tested positive for the virus worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 3.9 million infected people have died. About 3.2 billion vaccine doses have been administered worldwide.

Among other things, high mortality rates in the 2020 Corona year have led to a decline in life expectancy in the United States.

The latest developments
Despite high infection rates, millions of people in Southeast Asia remain skeptical of vaccinations. The reason appears to be disinformation on social media. Both local sources and vaccination opponents from the United States appear to be getting a lot of airplay in the region with false facts about the vaccines. Recent surveys have shown that in the Philippines, 68 percent of people are either undecided or unwilling to get vaccinated, polling firm Social Weather Stations said Thursday (July 1). One-third of Thais have doubts or refuse to be vaccinated, according to the Suan Dusit Poll. In Indonesia, where measures must be tightened again by the end of July, one-fifth of the population is hesitant. In Thailand and the Philippines, less than 10 percent of the population has received a dose yet.

Turkey lifted all exit and travel restriction
Turkey lifted all exit and travel restrictions Thursday (July 1) after more than half a year. Caps on restaurant patrons, offices, cinemas and theaters are being dropped. The mask obligation in the public however applies further, also hygiene and distance rules would have to be kept further, communicated the Ministry of the Interior. This also applies to weddings and concerts. Dances, where the minimum distance can not be maintained, remain prohibited. Music may be played in bars or other establishments only until midnight.

Brazil
In light of corruption allegations, the Brazilian government temporarily suspends the contract for the purchase of 20 million doses of the Corona vaccine Covaxin, developed and manufactured in India. Brazilian Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga made the announcement on Twitter on Wednesday (June 30). “According to the preliminary analysis (…) there are indeed no irregularities,” Queiroga wrote. But to comply with compliance guidelines, the Ministry of Health decided to suspend the contract for a deeper analysis, he said.

Russia’s President got Sputnik V
More than three months after his vaccination, Russian President Vladimir Putin has now revealed the secret about the drug he was given in March after all. He had been vaccinated with Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, Putin said Wednesday (June 30) during the “Direct Wire” program broadcast on state television. “The vaccination is harmless,” Putin said, stressing that there were no serious side effects. Until now, the 68-year-old had always refused to name the vaccine. At the same time, Putin claimed that the vaccine was better than other vaccines. Unlike Western vaccines, Sputnik V is approved in more than 60 countries, but not by the World Health Organization or in the EU. Russia does not allow Western vaccines.

mRNA vaccines elicit long-lasting immune response

mRNA vaccines such as Biontech/Pfizer and Moderna apparently elicit a relatively long-lasting strong immune response. American medical researchers detected so-called memory B cells of the immune system in people vaccinated with the Biontech/Pfizer vaccine as late as three months after the second dose, they report in the journal Nature. “This demonstrates a really robust immune response,” co-study leader Rachel Presti of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis emphasized Tuesday (June 29). That the mRNA vaccines reliably protect against Covid-19 disease for at least six months is well known. It is unclear, however, how long the protection lasts beyond that.

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