The World Health Organization has approved Regeneron as a treatment for people who are sick with the coronavirus. Regeneron is an antibody drug cocktail made up of casirivimab and imdevimab. It is the first drug that the WHO has recommended for use in non-severe, high-risk coronavirus patients to reduce the progression of the virus. It was approved for emergency use in the United States last November. The WHO called on Regeneron to lower its price for the drug cocktail and to work on worldwide distribution on an equitable basis.
Israeli lawmakers are under fire for voting to require workplaces to have a Green Pass requirement, but not applying the rules to themselves. The Knesset members will have immunity from being asked if they have been vaccinated in order to enter the parliament building, They can be asked to have regular PCR or antigen tests for the COVID-19 virus, however. Knesset staff members and other employees in the building are required to be vaccinated or tested regularly in order to report to work. At least 21 current Knesset members and government ministers have fallen ill with COVID-19, some seriously.
The US Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday authorized booster shots of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to people age 65 and over, and adults with underlying health conditions or jobs that put them at high risk for contracting the coronavirus, such as health care workers, teachers, grocery store workers and those in homeless shelters or prisons.. The authorization comes on the heels of the recommendation of its panel of advisers and after the Biden administration announced that it planned to provide third vaccine doses to nearly all American adults.
Italy will require all workers in the public and private sector to be able to present a COVID-19 health pass, beginning on October 15. To receive the pass, the employees must be able to show proof of vaccination, a recent negative COVID-19 test or recovery from the virus in the last six months to be able to enter their workplaces. The requirement will affect about 18 million workers. Workers who can not produce the appropriate certification can be suspended with no pay but not fired; if they enter their workplace anyways they will face stiff fines, as will their employers. Green passes previously have only been required in Italy for school employees and to enter entertainment venus. Medical personennel in the country are required to be vaccinated. Italy has been one of the countries hardest hit by the pandemic.
Abu Dhabi will no longer require citizens, residents or tourists traveling from within the UAE to present a negative COVID-19 test result to enter the emirate. The rule announced by the Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee went into effect on Sunday. The rule comes after the infection rate of the coronavirus in the country dropped to .2% of all tests, and the implementation of a green pass system for public places. The lifting of the restriction will remain in place as long as the infection rate does not dramatically increase.
Vaccination certification or a negative coronavirus test will be required in order to enter the Dubai World Expo, according to the event’s website. The exhibition, which opens on October 1 and runs for six months, also will require masking and social distancing. Non-vaccinated ticket-holders will be able to be tested at a facility located next to the Expo site, which will be free of charge. People who do not feel well or who were exposed to a COVID-19 positive person are asked to not visit the Expo. The Dubai World Expo is expected to host some 25 million visitors throughout its run and is one of the world’s biggest in person events to take place since the start of the global pandemic. The event had originally been scheduled to open in October 2020, but was postponed due to the pandemic. Visitors to the UAE must provide a negative test result to enter the country.
An advisory panel of experts at the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved booster shots of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine for people over 65 or at risk of serious disease, but rejected a plan to inoculate all Americans eligible for the vaccine. The panel, which met for several hours, said that it had not received enough data on the safety of additional doses of the vaccine. If also said that information on Israel’s campaign to inoculate everyone with a booster vaccine dose would not help to understand the US experience. The White House had planned to roll out a booster shot campaign for all Americans, which will now require adjusting.
People who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 have been 11 times more likely to die from the virus as those who are fully vaccinated over the past two months, a new study released by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Friday. “Looking at cases over the past two months when the Delta variant was the predominant variant circulating in this country, those who were unvaccinated were about four and a half times more likely to get COVID-19, over 10 times more likely to be hospitalized, and 11 times more likely to die from the disease,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky told reporters. Data presented by the CDC also found that vaccine effectiveness against hospitalization in adults 75 and older “was significantly lower” than in younger patients through August.
Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, will remain on a high-level lockdown for another week until September 21, the country’s prime minister announced Monday. Auckland has been on lockdown since the country went into lockdown on August 17 due to an outbreak of the delta variant. Most of those cases have centered in Auckland. The closure has been eased in most of the rest of the country. Auckland’s offices, schools and public venues will remain closed for at least another week.
South Africa is participating in global phase three clinical trials of China’s Sinovac vaccine for ages six months to 17 years. Children and teens in South Africa began receiving vaccine doses on Friday in Pretoria, and will receive vaccines at six sites across the country. The global study includes 2,000 participants in South Africa and 12,000 others in Kenya, the Philippines, Chile and Malaysia. Pfizer and Moderna have also undertaken pediatric trials of their vaccines.