Coronavirus digest: German vaccination agency says update to omicron jab will take “months” | News

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Coronavirus digest: German vaccination agency says update to omicron jab will take “months” | News


The head of the German Standing Committee on Immunization (StiKo), Thomas Mertens, said he did not expect possible new vaccines against the omicron variant of the coronavirus for months, according to a report released on Saturday.

He said it was entirely possible that a new vaccine would be needed to be effective against the omicron variant.

“Omicron has many changes in the spike protein, which could make it more difficult for antibodies to fight the virus,” he told the Düsseldorf-based newspaper. Rhine Post.

“It will probably take manufacturers three to six months in the lab. This is not trivial – they have to create a vaccine that works against omicron and delta because delta is still prevalent, ”said the chief of StiKo.

He also urged people to get vaccinated despite a possible new vaccine.

“The boosters are really worth it. The fight against the delta variant continues, ”said Mertens. “And it wouldn’t be a problem to get revaccinated a few months after the booster vaccination to protect against omicron if necessary. “

Germany has reported 64,510 new infections in the past 24 hours, while an additional 378 people have died from the coronavirus, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). The new figures bring the total number of cases in the country to more than 6.1 million and 102,946 new deaths.

The seven-day incidence increased slightly to 442.7 from 442.1 the day before, RKI reported.

Here are some other headlines on coronaviruses from around the world:

Oceania

Australia reported 13 cases of the omicron coronavirus variant in Sydney, its largest city, and another infection in the state of Queensland. The spread of the new variant comes amid plans to reopen the economy.

Federal officials are sticking to their plan to reopen, hoping omicron would be milder than previous strains. State governments, however, are preparing to tighten their border controls. The country reported its first locally transmitted variant cases on Friday.

Thousands of people demonstrated outside Melbourne’s parliament on Saturday against the latest wave of coronavirus restrictions.

About 91% of the city’s 5 million inhabitants are fully immunized.

The Cook Islands reported its very first case of COVID-19 on Saturday just as the Pacific island nation began to reopen to tourists.

A 10-year-old boy who was in quarantine after arriving from New Zealand on a repatriation flight with his family on Thursday has tested positive, Prime Minister Mark Brown said in a statement.

About 96% of the island’s 17,000 inhabitants are doubly vaccinated, making it one of the highest vaccination rates in the world.

Asia

South Korea reported 5,252 new cases, a record increase in daily COVID infections and 70 deaths, while confirming nine cases of the omicron variant, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

Authorities have demanded vaccine passes for people visiting restaurants, cinemas and other public spaces, and reduced private gatherings to six people in the greater Seoul area, from the current 10, as of Monday. .

India detected its third case of the omicron variant on Saturday as 415 people have died from the coronavirus, with the total number of infections rising to 35 million.

Health officials said a 72-year-old man who had lived in Zimbabwe for decades and returned on November 28 was the last case of omicron.

India rolled back a record spate of cases in April and May and managed to fully immunize half of its 944 million people.

Americas

from Brazil Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes has tasked the country’s top prosecutor with investigating President Jair Bolsonaro for comments linking COVID-19 vaccines to AIDS.

In an October 24 broadcast, the president said that “official reports from the UK government suggest that fully vaccinated people … develop acquired immune deficiency syndrome much faster than expected.” Doctors and scientists have rejected the claim.

Rio de Janeiro canceled the city’s famous New Year’s festival on Saturday because the first cases of the omicron variant were found across the country.

The mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Eduardo Paes, said he announced the decision with “sadness” as the celebration attracts millions of tourists every year.

Brazil has so far detected six cases of the new COVID-19 strain, three in Sao Paolo, two in the federal capital Brasilia and another in Rio Grande do Sul.

United States confirmed a new spread of the Omicron virus after reporting its first case earlier this week in California.

The new strain has spread to six other states: New Jersey, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, Pennsylvania and Utah. Experts, however, said the Delta variant likely remains a greater threat as winter sets in and Americans gather for the holidays.

adi, jc/rs (AFP, Reuters, AP)

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