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Covid-19 Brazil

Brazil Covid-19 Cases Surge This Week, Breaking Its Single Day Record 

Brazil has broken its record for new Covid-19 cases reported in a single day this Wednesday with 115,228 new cases. This increase is due to the nation’s continuous delays in vaccine distribution.

Brazil’s health ministry and data from Reuters revealed that the country now leads the world for the highest seven-day average of new Covid-19 cases and fatalities; they surpassed India last week, which is also struggling greatly due to a lack of vaccine distribution and access. 

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When it comes to the total number of infections, Brazil is currently in third behind the US and India with about 18 million cases, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. 

Brazil, however, has now surpassed India in terms of total death, with more than 570,000 fatalities as a result of Covid-19; India has experienced around 392,000 deaths. 

The US and other wealthier countries are seeing cases decline as more and more individuals receive their vaccinations. Other countries haven’t been so lucky in terms of receiving vaccines due to a lack of infrastructure and access. 

According to the Brazilian Health Ministry, 12% of the nation’s population is fully vaccinated. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has faced constant protests and criticism from citizens and other political leaders over his lack of action throughout the pandemic and slow distribution of vaccines. 

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According to news reports, “a Brazilian Senate committee is investigating allegations of misconduct in the government’s response, particularly arguments that Bolsonaro did not respond to offers from Pfizer for its vaccine last year, instead making a deal to receive the more expensive inoculation from India’s Bharat Biotech.”

Bolsonaro and former US president Donald Trump received very similar criticism throughout the pandemic in 2020 due to their downplaying of the virus’ severity, and pushing for drug treatments that showed no evidence of preventing Covid-19. 

Bolsonaro has been fined by several local government bodies for not enforcing local mask mandates which led to an exponential increase in cases within the past year. 

He said earlier this month while speaking in Sao Paulo that “those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 should not have to wear a mask. Whoever is against this proposal is because they don’t believe in science, because if they are vaccinated, there is no way the virus can be transmitted.”

World Health Organization

WHO Says New Covid-19 Cases Continuing To Outpace Vaccination Efforts 

The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced this week that the Covid-19 virus is still spreading at a faster rate than the vaccines are being distributed. With the recent creation of the G7 vaccine, the WHO is hoping to share a billion doses with poorer nations who haven’t had access the way that the US has. 

“This is a big help, but we need more, and we need them faster. Right now, the virus is moving faster than the global distribution of vaccines. More than 10,000 people are dying every day … These communities need vaccines, and they need them now, not next year,”  World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told journalists.

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The Group of Seven (G7) industrialized powers did pledge to exceed their promise of more than one billion doses considering the world needs more than 11 billion to get every single citizen fully vaccinated. 

Covax, a global body that is responsible for vaccine distribution throughout the world, is filtering a majority of the G7 vaccines. “WHO wants at least 70% of the world’s population vaccinated by the next G7 meeting in Germany next year. To do that, we need 11bn doses. The G7 and G20 can make this happen,” said Tedros.

“We need to see more clarity around the actual number of doses donated, and exactly how long it’s going to take to translate their pledges into real impact and access,” Hu Yuanqiong, of the medical charity Doctors Without Borders, stated.

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Many critics have pointed out that the existence of Covid vaccine patent protections is the main reason the entire world isn’t producing effective vaccines everywhere right now. Instead of sharing the treatment for this illness that has killed millions all around the world, wealthier countries are hoarding the patents and selling them at high prices for poor countries that can’t afford it and are continuing to watch their people die. 

“Fully-fledged negotiations towards a possible suspension of intellectual property protections for Covid vaccines, as well as other medical tools needed to battle the pandemic, have just begun at the World Trade Organization after months of contentious debate.”  said Max Lawson, Oxfam’s head of inequity policy.

“G7 leaders say they want to vaccinate the world by the end of next year, but their actions show they care more about protecting the monopolies and patents of pharmaceutical giants.”

Human Rights Watch agreed, stating that:  “Focusing on vaccines and making charitable donations are not enough. The G7’s failure to unequivocally support a temporary waiver of global intellectual property rules is a deadly status quo.”

Currently, more than $16 billion is necessary to fully fund the efforts currently in place to speed up vaccine production, and overall access to Covid-19 diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines.

Vaccine Covid

Europe Calling On Surrounding Countries To Help Combat Delays In Vaccine Rollout

The European Union’s 27-member-state vaccine strategy is rolling out the Covid-19 vaccines at a much slower rate than initially anticipated.

Doctor Giving Coronavirus Vaccine

US Covid-19 Update: Vaccine To Be Approved Soon As Daily Death Rates Soar

The United States is likely to be celebrating a major milestone in the Covid-19 pandemic very soon, as the vaccine will likely be getting approved for emergency use very soon, and distribution can begin. The approval couldn’t come at a better time as the daily coronavirus death toll reached a record high of 3,124 this past Wednesday; surpassing the amount of American deaths that occurred on 9/11, and experts hear this is just the beginning of a massive final wave of infections. 

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a composite forecast that projects the US hitting up to 362,000 Covid-19 deaths by January 2nd. Hospitalizations reached a record high this week as well with over 106,000 Covid-related cases. More than 221,000 infections were also reported in a single day, which according to former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, is just the beginning. 

“We are in a totally unprecedented health crisis in this country. The disease is everywhere — Midwest, West Coast, East Coast, North, South. Health care workers are exhausted. Hospitals are totally full.”

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Vaccine advisers working for the US Food and Drug Administration are currently meeting to discuss the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine and will hopefully grant emergency use authorization by the end of the week so that Americans can start being vaccinated by the end of the month. 

According to Sebelius, Covid-19 vaccines are a “really significant light at the end of the tunnel, but in the coming months it’s crucial that Americans stay vigilant and follow safety guidelines, like wearing face masks, social distancing and hunkering down in their social bubbles. We’ve got to take what we’ve learned in the last eight months and really put it into practice, so we don’t continue to have this unthinkable death toll and disease too.”

“Let’s say we get 80% of the population vaccinated. I believe if we do it efficiently enough, by the time we get to the end of the summer we may actually have enough herd immunity protecting our society through the end of 2021.”

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One big challenge that the US could face, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, is getting everyone to take the vaccine. As of right now there’s an underlying level of trust that a majority of the American people have seen the destruction and devastation this virus, and lack of political action, has taken on the country within the past year, which will then prompt them to take the vaccine. 

Federal, state, and local leaders are all doubling down on enforcing health and safety measures in their communities and will continue to do so even as the vaccine begins distribution. Another major fear that experts are concerned with is citizens thinking that just because they themselves are vaccinated, or the fact that people are being vaccinated in general, is enough for life to automatically return to normal. 

The reality is, we will likely have to be wearing masks and social distancing well into the end of 2021 based on how long it will take for enough of a herd immunity to be built in the US for all of us to be living our lives in close proximity without fear again. Within the next few weeks, it’s projected that about 20 million Americans will receive the PFizer vaccine. These individuals will likely all be healthcare industry workers or elderly people who are especially vulnerable to contracting Covid-19. 

In the UK thousands of individuals have already received the initial dose of the Pfizer vaccination, and Canada just approved it as well for emergency use authorization. The FDA is “not cutting any corners,” according to Fauci, before giving Pfizer the seal of approval, so for now, continue to listen to your healthcare providers and abide by all health and safety measures.

Pfizer Vaccine

United Kingdom Becomes First Country To Approve Covid-19 Vaccine For Public Distribution

The UK has become the first Western nation to approve of a Covid-19 vaccine. This is a landmark moment for this global health crisis that will likely pave the way for the rest of the world and mark the beginning of the end of this pandemic.

Moderna Covid Vaccine

Moderna Claims Their Coronavirus Vaccine Is 94.5% Effective, According To New Data

Moderna released data to the general public early Monday morning claiming that their Covid-19 vaccine, which has been in the works since the spring, is testing as being 94.5% effective against the coronavirus.