Coronavirus News Update – Nov. 18: Fauci Recommends Booster Shots to Avoid Winter ‘Double Whammy’

Munich’s World Famous Christmas Market is Cancelled for Second Year in a Row

By Anna Breuer on 18 November 2021
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Glühwein stall at the Münchner Christkindlmarkt at Marienplatz

The United States is heading towards a winter “double whammy” that could be avoided if a sufficient number of people get a third or booster vaccination against the coronavirus, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s infectious disease Czar, said Wednesday.

In an interview at the 2021 Stat Summit, Fauci warned that the waning immunity of the vaccinated combined with the force of the highly transmissible delta variant could cause medical health issues come winter.

“A booster isn’t a luxury; a booster isn’t an add on,” he said.

Robert Smith, a Canadian pastor whose church in Nova Scotia held an all-day event at the end of October where attendees were not required to don face masks or show proof of vaccination – in violation of public health orders – said that it is “what God wanted us to do.” Three deaths have been linked to the event so far.

Meanwhile, officials in Ireland imposed a midnight curfew for restaurants, bars, and nightclubs effective Thursday as the country reports a new surge in coronavirus cases, despite having one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, Leo Varadkar, Ireland’s tánaiste or deputy prime minister, said in an interview with CNN that the 5% of the nation that isn’t vaccinated is the cause of the rise in cases.

Hong Kong Disneyland was closed Wednesday after a recent visitor tested positive for the coronavirus.  All staff members as well as visitors were told to undergo testing for Covid as a result.

Finally, for the second year in a row, Munich’s iconic Christkindlmarkt, or Christmas market, has been cancelled as cases in Germany continue to surge. The country reported 68,366 new infections on Wednesday, the highest since the start of the pandemic. Terming it a “bitter decision,” Munich’s Oberbürgermeister told reporters that “the dire situation in our clinics and the exponentially increasing number of infections leave me no other choice.”

As of Thursday morning, the world has recorded 255.9 million Covid-19 cases and over 5.1 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, 231.3 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus.

The average daily number of new coronavirus cases in the United States over the past 14 days is 88,140, an 23% increase.  The average daily death toll over the same period is 1,088, a change of -13% over the same period.

In addition, since the start of the pandemic the United States has, as of Thursday, recorded over 48.3 million cases, a higher figure than any other country, and a death toll of 788,012. India has the world’s second highest number of officially recorded cases, almost 34.5 million, and a death toll of 464,623, although experts believe that both numbers are in reality significantly higher.  Finally, Brazil has recorded the second highest number of deaths as a result of the virus, 611,898, and has seen close to 22 million cases.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of Thursday, 228.2 million people in the United States – or 68.7% – have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 58.9%, or 195.6 million people, are now fully vaccinated, and the total number of doses that have been dispensed in the United States is now 444.8 million. Breaking this down further, 81.7% of the population over the age of 18 – or 210.9 million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 70.7% of the same group – or 182.6 million people – is fully vaccinated.

Some 52.4% of the world population has received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine, according to Our World in Data, an online scientific publication that tracks such information.  So far, 7.59  billion doses of the vaccine have been administered on a global basis.

Meanwhile, only 4.7% of people in low-income countries have received one dose, while in countries such as Canada, China, Denmark, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States, at least 65% of the population has received at least one dose of vaccine. In countries such as Ethiopia, Haiti, Syria, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda, for example, vaccination rates remain in the single digits, if not lower.

Figures from the World Health Organization show that well-off countries are vaccinating people at the rate of one person per second, while the majority of poor countries have yet to give a single dose to its citizens.

It is critical that the world do a better job of sharing vaccines with poorer nations.

Sharing vaccines is not merely a form of charity.  Rather, the equitable distribution of vaccines is in every country’s health and economic interest and no country will be able to move past the pandemic until other countries have recovered as well.

Jonathan Spira contributed to this story.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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