Coronavirus Morning News Brief – Feb. 13: Booster Doses Provide Robust Protection Says CDC, Cases Plummet in France

Norway’s “Live-With” Covid Approach Unveiled

By Jonathan Spira on 13 February 2022
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The Grünerløkka district of Oslo

Even though the number of new infections in many parts of the United States has fallen dramatically, hopefully signaling an end to the omicron surge, the situation in many parts of the world is quite different.  Over 135 countries remain at Level 4, the highest warning on the CDC’s “avoid travel” list, which grew by eight countries this past week.

The agency places countries at Level 4 when more than 500 cases per 100,000 residents are reported over the past 28 days.

The new additions to the list include Armenia, Cuba, Israel, Japan, and Oman, among others.

Last week, additions to Level 4 included Brazil and Mexico.

In other news we cover today, a CDC study offers new information about booster shots, the number of new infections is down in France and rising in Germany, and Norway announces a plan new “live-with” approach to the pandemic, despite a record number of cases.

Here’s a look at what has taken place over the past 24 hours.

UNITED STATES

A study in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that robust protection from coronavirus messenger RNA vaccine booster doses wanes after four months.  The study, covered the period of August 2021 through January 2022.

The report also underscores the importance of getting a booster dose.

Without the third jab, protection against hospitalization, having been 71% after two months, fell to 54% after five months.

Meanwhile, coronavirus-related hospitalizations in the country have continued to fall, The seven-day average of new patient admissions with confirmed or suspected cases dropped over 25% in the past week to 12,099.

The CDC reported that the seven-day moving average of new deaths from Covid, now at 2,313, has fallen 5.9% compared with the previous seven-day moving average.

GLOBAL

Norway announced a new “live-with” Covid approach Saturday, lifting most of the remaining restrictions in the country, despite a record number of new infections there.

“This is the day we have been waiting for,” said Statsminister Jonas Gahr Støre, speaking at a live news conference that was streamed on Facebook.

Norway reported 14,453 new cases on Saturday with a seven-day incidence of 20,142.  The country reported 24,677 new cases on January 26, a pandemic high.

The number of new daily infections in France is continuing to fall at an accelerated rate, with a seven-day incidence of 143,563, down significantly from 246,466 one week earlier.  Health officials in France reported 501,835 new infections in January, a pandemic high.  The number of new infections on Saturday was 143,563.

The confirmed death toll in Italy from the pandemic passed the 150,000 mark Thursday.  Italy was the first country outside of Asia that became a Covid epicenter.  The country also has the second highest overall death toll from the virus, after the United Kingdom.

In Germany, officials at the Robert Koch Institut reported that the seven-day incidence of infections, currently at 189,474, continues to hover in the 190,000 range, a figure far higher than at any earlier point during the pandemic.   The country reported 380,632 infections on Tuesday, a pandemic high, although the number of new cases on Saturday was 116,810.

TODAY’S STATISTICS

Now here are the daily statistics for Sunday, February 13.

As of Sunday morning, the world has recorded 411.5 million Covid-19 cases, an increase of 1.9 million new cases in the preceding 24 hour period, and 5.83 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, 331.6 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus, an increase of 1.7 million.

Worldwide, the number of active coronavirus cases as of Sunday is 74,097,180.  Out of that figure, 99.9%, or 74,009,065, are considered mild, and 0.1%, or 87,495, are listed as critical.  The percentage of cases considered critical fell is largely unchanged over the past 24 hours.

The United States reported 62,883 new coronavirus infections on Sunday for the previous day, compared to169,790 on Saturday, 169,502  on Friday, and 228,782 on Thursday, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The average daily number of new coronavirus cases in the United States over the past 14 days is 178,705, a 67% decrease, based on data from the Department of Health and Human Services, among other sources.  The average daily death toll over the same period is 2,454, a decrease of 5% over the same period.

In addition, since the start of the pandemic the United States has, as of Sunday, recorded 79.3 million cases, a higher figure than any other country, and a death toll of 942,944. India has the world’s second highest number of officially recorded cases, over 42.6 million, and a reported death toll of 508,685. Finally, Brazil has recorded the second highest number of deaths as a result of the virus, 638,124, and has seen 27.4 million cases.  France continues to occupy the number four position, with 21.6 million cases, and the United Kingdom is in the number five slot with 18.3 million.

VACCINATION SPOTLIGHT

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of Sunday, 251.9 million people in the United States – or 75.9% – have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 64.4%, or 213.7 million people, have received two doses of vaccine, and the total number of doses that have been dispensed in the United States is now 546.6 million. Breaking this down further, 87.4% of the population over the age of 18 – or 225.8 million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 74.5% of the same group – or 192.5 million people – is fully vaccinated.  In addition, 45.9% of that population, or 88.4 million people, has already received a third, or booster, dose of vaccine.

Over 61.8% of the world population has received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine by Sunday, a figure that is largely unchanged in the past 24 hours, according to Our World in Data, an online scientific publication that tracks such information.  So far, 10.35 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered on a global basis.

Meanwhile, only 10.6% 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 75% 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.

Anna Breuer contributed to this story.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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