Coronavirus News Update – Nov. 25: EU Warns of Possible ‘Very High Burden’ on Healthcare System

Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade Returns

By Anna Breuer on 25 November 2021
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Passers-by admire the holiday windows at Macy’s on Herald Square Wednesday night

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade returned in all its glory on Thursday, replete with floats and dancers, one year after the pandemic forced organizers to hold a pared down and largely prerecorded version.  Thousands of onlookers came to watch the spectacle of an animatronic turkey waddling its way down Central Park West and the Avenue of the Americas in Manhattan along with thousands of performers ranging from Broadway stars to high school bands.

The European Medicines Agency, the European Union’s drug regulator, approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination for children ages 5 through 11.  The action comes as many nations on the Continent are experiencing a tremendous surge in new cases, in some cases overwhelming hospitals.

Finally, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, the EU agency whose mission it is whose mission is to strengthen Europe’s defenses against infectious diseases, said Wednesday that EU governments should move to accelerate the rate of vaccinations against the coronavirus in their countries, consider authorizing booster shots to the vaccinated, and tighten restrictions so as to avoid a “very high burden” on national healthcare systems throughout the bloc.

As of Thursday morning, the world has recorded 259.9 million Covid-19 cases, an increase of 0.6 million new cases, and 5.2 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, 235 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 95,169, a 24% increase.  The average daily death toll over the same period is 1,112, a change of -6% over the same period.

In addition, since the start of the pandemic the United States has, as of Thursday, recorded 48.9 million cases, a higher figure than any other country, and a death toll of 798,245. India has the world’s second highest number of officially recorded cases, over 34.5 million, and a death toll of 466,980, 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, 613,416, and has seen just over 22 million cases.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of Thursday, 231.4 million people in the United States – or 69.7% – have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 59.1%, or 196.2 million people, are now fully vaccinated, and the total number of doses that have been dispensed in the United States is now 454.4 million. Breaking this down further, 82.2% of the population over the age of 18 – or 212.3 million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 70.1% of the same group – or 183.1 million people – is fully vaccinated.

The CDC figures on Thursday reflect a downward correction that it says is “accurate” and is due to the states and CDC “collaboratively correcting data transmission errors.”

Some 53.8% 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, 7.81  billion doses of the vaccine have been administered on a global basis.

Meanwhile, only 5.5% 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)

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