The United States plans to invest $ 3.2 billion to develop antivirals to treat COVID-19 and other viruses with the potential to become pandemics, to fill the gap in treatments for serious diseases like Ebola, dengue, West Nile and Middle East respiratory syndrome. .
A new program will invest in ‘speeding up things that are already underway’ for COVID-19 but would also work to find cures for other viruses, said Dr Anthony Fauci, the country’s leading infectious disease expert and Chief Medical Officer of President Joe Biden, the Associated Press reported.
The news comes amid growing concern about the spread of new variants of COVID, and in particular the Delta variant, a highly infectious strain that was first discovered in India. This variant is causing a spike in infections in the UK, even though the country has vaccinated more than 80% of its adult population.
The UK recorded 11,000 daily cases on Friday for the first time since February, as the new variant spreads rapidly. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention aligned with the World Health Organization earlier this week in stating that the Delta variant was “of concern,” an assessment of more concern than the previous classification as “interesting.”
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Earlier this week, the UK delayed its reopening plans for four weeks to give Britons more time to get vaccinated.
The U.S. immunization schedule, meanwhile, continues to slow, with the number of fully vaccinated Americans reaching 147.8 million on Friday, or 44.5 percent of the total population, up from 44 percent on Thursday, according to the vaccine tracker. of the CDC. Some 176 million Americans have received at least one dose of the two-dose vaccines developed by Pfizer Inc. PFE,
and the German partner BioNTech SE BNTX,
ou JNJ de Moderna Inc. Johnson & Johnson,
the one-shot diet is also permitted in the United States, but the AstraZeneca AZN,
we are not.
Among adults aged 18 and over, 55.2% of the population is fully vaccinated. Among adults aged 65 and over, 42 million people, or 76.8% of this group, are fully vaccinated and 87% of this cohort have received at least one injection.
The rest of the world is very different, however.
As shown in the map above, some regions of Africa have vaccinated less than 1% of their population. Overall, 2.5 billion doses have been administered worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. The world needs around 11 billion doses to immunize 70% of its population, according to a recent New York Times report that cites research from Duke University.
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In other news, the European Union has now confirmed that it is recommending that its member countries allow vaccinated American travelers to travel this summer, although it is up to each country to decide on conditions.
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Moscow registered a record number of new cases on Friday at 9,056, a 46% increase from Thursday, the Moscow Times reported. The Russian capital is hit by new variants leading Mayor Sergei Sobyanin to announce new restrictions on gatherings and extend the curfew for bars and restaurants.
Spain has said it will drop its face mask mandate next weekend for people outside, El Pais reported.
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The global tally of coronavirus-borne illnesses topped 177.4 million on Friday, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University, while deaths topped 3.8 million.
The United States continues to lead the world for the total number of cases with 33.5 million, while the deaths total 600,935.
India is second for total number of cases with 29.8 million and third for deaths with 383,490, although those numbers should be underestimated due to a shortage of tests.
Brazil has the third highest number of cases with 17.7 million, according to JHU data, and is second in terms of deaths with 496,004.
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Mexico has the fourth death toll with 230,792 and 2.5 million cases.
The UK has 128,209 deaths and 4.6 million cases, the highest number of deaths in Europe and the fifth in the world.
China, where the virus was first discovered in late 2019, has recorded 103,471 confirmed cases and 4,846 deaths, according to its official figures, which are widely considered massively underreported.