Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Faster vaccinations, new mutations and more coronavirus news

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Officials try to speeding up vaccinations, scientists discovering more mutations and researchers charting the future of the pandemic. Here’s what you need to know:

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Officials try to speed up vaccine rollout as Biden’s team prepares to fight pandemic

Almost everyone watching the vaccine deployment process agrees: needs to speed up. The question is, how? On Tuesday, the Trump administration told states to start immunizing immediately Americans 65 and over and others at high risk. The government will also begin to release all available vaccines instead of withholding half for second doses. The announcement came amid reports, especially from New York, providers needing to throw away doses to comply with strict immunization guidelines. But as federal government guidelines refine state-level distribution plans, confusion still reigns for many in need, including People with Disabilities“Around when they can get the vaccine.

Experts also warn that there will likely be more obstacles when Biden takes office because his transition team was given limited access to critical information about vaccine distribution. Biden’s team were only allowed to attend Operation Warp Speed ​​meetings starting this week and were not invited to sessions where new distribution decisions were made. Yet the transition team continues to roll out proposals to fight the pandemic. On Thursday, Biden unveiled a $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus plan this includes the goal of delivering 100 million vaccines by the 100th day of its administration. The president-elect also announced that David kessler, former chief of the FDA, will lead vaccination efforts in the new administration.

Scientists find more mutations, but they seem unlikely to seriously affect vaccine effectiveness

It is normal for viruses to mutate, and most of these variations are not particularly noticeable. But in recent weeks, several more important mutations caught the world’s attention, first from the UK and South Africa, then Brazil and in the USA. Some countries have reacted by limiting or even banning travel from certain countries. But, experts say, the only real way to get ahead of this virus in all its forms, it’s vaccinating as many people as possible as quickly as possible, and continuing to wear masks and maintaining social distancing in the meantime.

There is good news, however: Research indicates that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is effective to protect against new mutations. And although some scientists are studying the possibility that the South African and Brazilian strains are having an impact vaccine strength, they add that the virus would need to detect several important mutations to have a serious impact on the effectiveness of the vaccine, which will not happen overnight. Research on new versions of the virus is ongoing. In December, the CDC gave $ 15 million to public health labs perform more genetic sequencing virus samples. And computational biologists recently used an algorithm to model the evolution of viruses to escape our immune defenses.

Researchers are learning more about how the coronavirus will affect us in the long run

As the pandemic enters its second year, researchers are learning more about how this virus has affected our world – and all is not bad. A new study of more than 20,000 health workers in the UK, people with anti-Covid-19 antibodies were as protected as those who had received approved vaccines for at least five months after infection. And while we all washed our hands diligently, wore masks and limit the risk where possible, measured levels of virtually all common respiratory and gastrointestinal viruses are lower than ever before.

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