Study suggests Delta does not cause more severe childhood Covid

  WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — US pediatric Covid hospitalizations have surged since Delta became predominant, but a new study that offers a first look at the relevant data suggests that fears the variant causes more severe disease are unfounded. The paper by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also found that between June 20 and July 31, 2021, unvaccinated adolescents were more than 10 times more likely to be hospitalized than those who […]

S.Africa scientists monitoring new coronavirus variant

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AFP) — Scientists in South Africa are monitoring a new coronavirus variant with an unusually high mutation rate, and whose frequency has gradually increased in recent months, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases said Monday. The variant, known as C.1.2., was flagged last week by the KwaZulu-Natal Research and Innovation and Sequencing Platform in a preprint study that has yet to be peer reviewed. While the majority of South Africa’s coronavirus cases […]

Has Delta killed the herd immunity dream?

  by Françoise KADRI / Paul RICARD Agence France Presse As the Delta variant continues its global surge, experts are questioning whether the long-held goal of achieving herd immunity from Covid-19 through vaccination is still viable. Herd immunity is achieved when a certain threshold of the global population has either been inoculated against a pathogen or has recovered from infection. But whether or not it is achievable with Covid-19, with the regular emergence of more […]

Covid: Delta doubles hospital risk vs Alpha variant

by Marlowe HOOD PARIS, France (AFP) — The Delta variant of the virus that causes Covid-19 doubles the risk of hospitalization compared to the Alpha variant it has supplanted as the dominant strain worldwide, researchers reported Saturday in The Lancet. Only 1.8 percent of the more than 43,000 Covid cases assessed in comparing the two variants were in patients who had been fully vaccinated. Three-quarters were completely unvaccinated, and 24 percent had only received one […]

Covid symptoms last a year for many patients: study

PARIS, France (AFP) — Fatigue and shortness of breath still afflict many patients a year after their hospitalization for Covid-19, according to a new Chinese study calling for a better understanding of the pandemic’s long-term health effects. Around half of the patients discharged from hospital for Covid still suffer from at least one persistent symptom — most often fatigue or muscle weakness — after 12 months, said the study published in British medical journal The […]

Malaria trial shows 70% reduction in severe cases

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — A new approach using existing medicines to prevent malaria has been shown to reduce severe cases of parasitic disease among infants by more than 70 percent in sub-Saharan Africa, according to a study. The “dramatic” results, published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday, came from combining booster shots of an antimalarial vaccine ahead of the rainy season together with preventative drugs. Malaria kills more than 400,000 people […]

Vaccine protection of Pfizer, AstraZeneca wanes within 6 months: phone app study

  LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — Protection from two doses of the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines wanes within less than six months, according to a study of phone app data Wednesday, suggesting that booster shots may be needed to ensure prolonged coverage. The latest finding comes as several countries are rolling out additional jabs for the fully vaccinated, a move slammed by the World Health Organization as millions in the world have yet to receive […]

Covid-19 cases in Seattle area increase regardless of vaccination status

  By Janice Mejica Garcia EBC Seattle Bureau (Eagle News) — Nearly a year and a half has passed since the world went into lockdown to slow the transmission of Covid-19. Even though vaccines have been developed to help protect individuals, the virus mutated to the ‘Delta variant.’ This variant’s impact is being felt in the Seattle area, a place some consider as ground zero of the Covid-19 infections in the U.S. According to the […]

AstraZeneca hails trial results for Covid treatment

  LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — Drug firm AstraZeneca on Friday announced positive results from a trial of a treatment for Covid-19 symptoms. The drug, made from a combination of two antibodies, was initially developed as a treatment for those who had already been exposed to the disease. A new trial of 5,197 participants who had not been exposed showed a 77-percent reduced risk of developing symptomatic disease, with no severe cases recorded, Astra said […]

Pfizer Covid jab declines faster than AstraZeneca: study

  LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — The effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against Covid-19 declines faster than that of the AstraZeneca jab, according to a new study published on Thursday. “Two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech have greater initial effectiveness against new COVID-19 infections, but this declines faster compared with two doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca,” researchers at Oxford University said. The study, which has not been peer reviewed, is based on the results of a survey by Britain’s […]

WHO slams wealthy nations’ rush towards Covid vaccine boosters

  GENEVA, Switzerland (AFP) — The World Health Organization condemned Wednesday the rush by wealthy countries to provide Covid vaccine booster shots, while millions around the world have yet to receive a single dose. Speaking before US authorities announced that all vaccinated Americans would soon be eligible to receive additional doses, WHO experts insisted there was not enough scientific evidence that boosters were needed. Providing them while so many were still waiting to be immunised […]

US authorizes Covid vaccine boosters for those with weakened immune systems

  WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — The United States on Thursday authorized an extra dose of Covid vaccine for people with weakened immune systems, as the country struggles to thwart the Delta variant. Emergency use authorization for a third injection of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines was granted by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulator. “The country has entered yet another wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the FDA is especially cognizant that immunocompromised […]