Is there ever an end to the corona crisis? After a tough year and a half, full of lockdowns and freedom restriction measures, people are ready for a party or holiday. What‘s happening today? Follow the latest COVID news here.
Whether or not a third shot: does a ‘boostershot‘ make sense?
Number of new infections remains stable, new patients decrease in hospitals
Reproduction number lowest since June 1, 2020
Vaccinologist optimistic: ‘Possibly no more big
variants‘ The governor of the U.S. state of Florida, Ron DeSantis, issued a decree blocking the face mask duty in state schools on Friday. DeSantis said in a speech that parents should have the right to decide whether to wear a face mask for their children.
With the decree, DeSantis negates the newly established face mask duty in schools in two municipalities in Florida, Broward and Gadsen. DeSantis, a Republican, has been opposing strict corona rules for citizens and businesses since the pandemic began.
The U.S. Health Service CDC has urged all students, teachers, and staff to wear masks when the new school year begins, regardless of vaccination status. For example, the CDC hopes to stop the increase in corona infections due to the delta variant in the US.
The Decree of DeSantis is an example of the US divisions about wearing masks: just a few hours earlier, the American supermarket chain Walmart had announced that all retail and distribution center employees should wear face masks immediately. On Thursday, Disney announced that visitors to the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida should now wear face masks.
17.49 – Epidemiologist: no festivals for now, and maybe face masks
If the Delta variant of the coronavirus is indeed so strong that vaccinated people can spread it relatively easily, it’s important not to hold festivals for the time being, “no large groups close together, so no nightclubs and no events”, says Frits Rosendaal, Professor of Epidemiology at the Leiden University Medical Center.
According to the U.S. Health Service CDC, some vaccinated people taking the Delta variant appear to have about the same number of virus particles in their bodies as unvaccinated people. Moreover, they would be equally contagious to others.
Vaccines reduce the likelihood of a person becoming seriously ill after infection or death from coronavirus. But if the number of infections increases, the number of deaths may also increase slightly. Therefore, according to Rosendaal, it is important to continue to vaccinate to protect people. “Contagiousness is a major problem for countries with low vaccination rates. That‘s why you need to vaccinate in poor countries, otherwise the virus will continue to mutate.”
Due to the new analysis, the United States decided earlier this week to reimpose the wearing of face masks in public areas. That may also be an option in the Netherlands, says Rosendaal. “The literature is quite convincing that face masks make sense.”
16.12 – Reproduction number lowest since 1 June last year
Coronavirus is spreading less and less rapidly, and that is also seen in the reproductive number. That dropped to 0.7 on Friday, the lowest level since June 1 last year. Last Tuesday, the figure stood at 0.8.
The number of 0.7 means that a group of hundred corona patients infect an average of 70 others, who in turn transmit the virus to some 49 people. They, in turn, light about 34 people. This allows the outbreak to extinguish slowly.
A few weeks ago, the reproduction number stood at 3, the highest level ever.
The number is always about the situation two weeks earlier, because more recent figures are not reliable enough yet. The figure calculated on Friday relates to July 15.
13.40 – Young people from 12 years of age can also receive Moderna vaccine
Young people aged 12 to 17 years old can now receive the Moderna vaccine in addition to the Pfizer vaccine. Demissionary Health Minister Hugo de Jonge decided on Friday to allow this vaccine now that the Health Council has delivered a positive opinion on this issue. According to the council, the use of this vaccine in young people is effective and safe.
Both vaccines are based on the so-called MRNA technique. The vaccination contains a piece of genetic code that prompts the body to produce certain proteins similar to a coronavirus protein. This allows the immune system to learn how to fight the virus.
The Health Council reiterates in the opinion that vaccination of young people is “acceptable, meaningful and responsible”. “It can deliver direct and indirect health gains to adolescents while helping to slow down theepidemic.”
end of June, the Biontech/Pfizer vaccine was the first to be allowed for healthy young people. The first pricks were put in early July.
The European Commission approved the use of the Moderna vaccine in young people last week, following a positive assessment by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
13.39 – Study: Maintaining Corona Measures Needed at High Vaccination Rate
A team of European researchers calls for current corona measures, such as keeping 1.5 metres away and wearing masks, until everyone is fully vaccinated. Scientists warn Friday that it is precisely at higher rates of vaccination that a coronavirus mutation that is resistant to those vaccines increases.
To predict how the coronavirus will mutate in the future, researchers also examined the likelihood of a mutation of the virus that is resistant. They were based on a population of 10 million people and a three-year period. Their model showed that a very fast vaccination campaign obviously reduces the chances of a resistant mutation. On the other hand, however, the discovery is that the probability of such a vaccine-resistant virus variant is the highest, if a large proportion of the population has been vaccinated, as long as that part is not large enough to actually create group immunity.
The researchers say that this is unfortunately the situation Europe is currently in. Some 60% of Europeans have had their first shot by now. According to scientists, who published their results in Nature Scientific Reports, this is precisely the lower limit after which resistant virus mutations can develop faster.
“Vaccines are our best option to defeat this pandemic,” emphasizes co-author of the study, Simon Rella, of the Austrian Institute of Science and Technology (IST). “But what our model shows is that when most people are vaccinated, a vaccine-resistant mutation does have an advantage over the original virus.”
Mr Fyodor Kondrashov stresses that, of course, the research group hopes that such a vaccine-resistant mutation will not appear during the current coronapandemic. “But we do insist on caution,” he says. “Evolution is a powerful process. Maintaining a number of reasonable precautions throughout the vaccination period may be a good means of controlling such evolution.”
12.50 — Corona control not a priority in German police
Checking the correct corona papers is not a priority with the German police. Since Tuesday, there have been more stringent measures for travellers from the Netherlands, which is a high risk area in Germany. But checks for correct registration or vaccination certificate are only included in regular traffic checks, according to police spokesmen in Kleve, Viersen and Heinsberg. As far as known, no one has been sent back to the Netherlands since Tuesday.
Travelers from the Netherlands must be quarantined in Germany for ten days if they stay in the country for more than 24 hours. Those who are passing through Germany and haven’t stayed there or who crossed the border for refueling or groceries must have a vaccination certificate or show a recent negative corona-virus test.
Police spokesmen say that there is not enough staff to hold special corona controls on the way in Germany. Those who are caught on a violation or have to stop due to traffic control may be asked for corona papers. It is urgent to bring a vaccination certificate or a recent test result on travel, says the spokeswoman for the Kleve Police.
At the borders with Germany, travelers would be more likely to have a check according to the Bundespolizei in Kleve in high season. According to a spokesperson, several border posts, such as in Twente, provide additional people for checks, which are carried out on a random basis. Travelers‘ corona papers also need to be in order on the train, according to the Bundespolizei.
11.48 — German government wants tougher test requirement to travellers from Sunday
The German government wants to prevent recurring vacationers from spreading the coronavirus. She hopes to achieve that with an extension of corona-virus testing commitments.
If there is no political hitch in the cable, the extra measures will be decided on Friday. They have to come into force on Sunday. It is planned that all people from 12 years old who travel into the country, regardless of where from or with what means of transport, demonstrate that they have been negatively tested for the coronavirus, have been vaccinated or cured.
The obligation then no longer depends on how the virus is.households in the country of origin. Of the three categories that the authorities have used to indicate the degree of spread of the virus, two remain. They are high risk areas and areas with many virus variants. The “common risk countries” expire in scale.
The Netherlands has been listed as a high-risk country since Tuesday and the new entry restrictions discussed by German ministers on Friday do not affect the existing obligations to our country. In a high risk country, according to the guidelines, “substantially more than a hundred” new infections have been detected per 100,000 inhabitants over seven days. But the number of hospital admissions and the question of how many corona-virus tests the figures are based on will also be taken into account.
If the Netherlands is removed from the high risk group and is not scaled up as a country with many variants, there are exceptions to the strict corona rules for short visits across the border and for the ‘frontier workers‘ according to the plans of health minister Jens Spahn. There will be no permanent border checks, but there will be random checks for compliance with rules.
Christian Democrat Spahn has been criticised by his social democratic coalition partners among others that he wanted to push through the commitments without consultation. The SPD also made the criticism that the new rules do not settle for simple quick test but require an expensive version. That PCR test would cost many families hundreds of euros if they come back from vacation. The SPD requires the state to pay the tests. There is also an increased price in Berlin about whether, for example, freight drivers would also be subject to the tightened rules. It could lead to huge traffic jams supply problems.
By the way, the number of corona infections is relatively low in the Federal Republic with 16 new corona cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the latest measurement. Approximately 61 percent of Germans have been vaccinated.
11.21 — No Moderna prick for young people for the time being, there is enough Pfizer
Youth only get the coronavaccine from Pfizer and BionTech for the time being, even if the government is definitively approving Moderna vaccine for them. There is more than enough stock of the Pfizer vaccine available for the time being and deliveries are stable, let GGD GHOR Nederland know. The GGDs carry out the vaccinations.
For now, Moderna is used only for adults, but in small numbers. On Thursday, about 110,000 people received the vaccine from Pfizer and BionTech and about 6500 people received the drug of Moderna. Because adults receive the Moderna vaccine, those Pfizer doses are available for children.
The decision is “no to Moderna” and it may well be that in the future it will be necessary to use that vaccine for children, the GGD stresses.
The European Commission approved the use of the Moderna vaccine in young people last week. This happened after a positive assessment by the European vaccine watchdog, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in Amsterdam. After that, it is up to the member countries themselves to decide whether the vaccine is authorised. In the Netherlands, the Health Council advised on Thursday that the Moderna vaccine can also be used for young people over 12 years of age. The Ministry of Health takes a decision during Friday.
11.23 — Israeli President vaccinated for the third time against corona
Israeli President Isaac Herzog (60) was vaccinated with a third dose of a coronavine on Friday. That kicked off a nationwide campaign to give an extra vaccine dose to help them be better protected against the virus.
“I’m proud to be the first country to give a third dose,” said Herzog according to Times of Israel news site. Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is also expected to be pricked for the third time on Friday. He complained that the government should have introduced the new policy weeks earlier.
His 49-year-old successor Naftali Bennett is still too young to qualify for the extra shot. The new Prime Minister said Israel is pioneering by offering the elderly a third shot. He has called on his compatriots to encourage their “parents and grandparents” to get the extra vaccine dose.
Israel is one of the leading vaccination leaders worldwide. However, the authorities are concerned about the spread of the Delta variant. The number of new corona infections was above 2000 on Friday for the fourth day in a row, which had not been reported since March.
10.17 — The Czech Republic spawning vaccination doubters with extra holiday days
The Czech government offers officials a little extra to persuade them to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. PremierAndrej Babis proposed to employees of government organizations for two additional holiday days when they are inaccuated.
“Maximum vaccination is our commitment to protect us from contamination from abroad,” said the prime minister of the more than 10 million EU country. “This is our main task: prick, prick, prick.”
Czech Republic had already put more than 10 million bucks on Thursday. There were 4.74 million people fully vaccinated.
In other countries too, governments are trying to persuade people to get inopposed to the coronavirus in many ways. For example, the Russian capital announced Moscow last month to release cars among people who are pricked.
The U.S. metropolis of New York pays people 100 dollars for their first inoculation. President Joe Biden has called on other governments in his country to follow that example.
05.15 – Test companies earn substantial, despite low number of access tests
Eleven commercial testing companies hired by the Open Netherlands Foundation for Access Testing, have earned more than one million euros per day in recent weeks despite the low number of tests that has been executed. De Volkskrant writes that the test capacity of the companies has hardly been utilized.
According to the newspaper, testing companies receive a fee of €387 per day per so-called ‘takeout location’, suitable for 200 tests a day, and over the past two weeks there were 1,100 such take-off spots spread over 110 test sites. Staff expenses are also included for manned posts. That brought the bill to a million euros a day, for a system that can handle 200,000 tests, but only carried out around 12,000 a day in the past two weeks.
“Of course it‘s a waste of money. We have come to a halt squeaky and crunching. But we need to keep the store open even if there are few customers for a moment. That is the price we pay to ensure sufficient capacity when it is needed again. The risk is too big that companies would say, we’re going to do something else. We don‘t pay the fire brigade by slaked fire either,” says Pier Eringa, top man of the foundation.
03.30 – Ministry responds to advice on Moderna commitment to young people
The Ministry of Health responds to the Health Council’s opinion on the deployment of the Moderna vaccine in young people over 12 years old on Friday. According to the Health Council, the use of the vaccine in young people is effective and safe.
Previously, the Pfizer vaccine was approved for young people over the age of 12. Both vaccines are based on the so-called MRNA technique.
The vaccination contains a piece of genetic code that prompts the body to produce certain proteins similar to a coronavirus protein. This allows the immune system to learn how to fight the virus.