Omicron Covid variant poses very excessive danger, international unfold seemingly

LONDON – The omicron variant of the Coronavirus is likely to spread further and represents a “very high” global risk according to the World Health Organization, which warned on Monday that increases in Covid infections caused by the worrying variant could have “serious consequences” in some areas.

“Given mutations that can confer an immune escape potential and possibly a transferability advantage, the likelihood of a possible further spread of Omicron on a global level is high,” said the WHO in its risk assessment on Monday within a year technical letter to its 194 member states.

“Depending on these characteristics, there could be future increases in Covid-19 that could have serious consequences depending on a number of factors including where the increase can occur. The overall global risk associated with the new VOC [variant of concern] Omicron is rated as very high, “said the UN health authority.

The variant B.1.1.529, which was first seen in South Africa, was described by the WHO on Friday as a “worrying variant”.

In his report on Monday it is said that it is “a very different variant with a high number of mutations …

Known strangers

However, there are still considerable uncertainties and unknowns in relation to this variant, it said and repeated this mood on Monday.

First, experts don’t yet know how communicable the variant is and whether an increase in infections is related to immune escape, intrinsic increased communicability, or both.

Second, there is uncertainty about how well vaccines protect against infection, transmission, and clinical disease of varying degrees of severity, as well as death. And third, there is uncertainty as to whether the variant has a different severity profile.

The WHO has announced that it will take weeks to understand how the variant can affect diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines. However, preliminary evidence suggests that the strain has an increased risk of reinfection.

Continue reading: A strongly mutated variant of Covid is appearing in southern Africa: We know that so far

Early data suggests that the variant is spreading faster in South Africa than previous strains and that the variant could trigger a new wave of infections. according to an analysis by the Financial Times.

Covid symptoms related to Omicron have been described as “extremely mild” by the South African doctor who first sounded the alarm about the new strain.

Continue reading: South African doctor, who was the first to discover the Omicron-Covid variant, explains the symptoms

It is very important to remember that so far only a small number of cases have been reported worldwide – in several countries in southern Africa and a couple of cases by doing United Kingdom, France, Israel, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Australia, Canada, and Hong Kong, but none yet in the US – so it might take a while to fully understand which specific symptoms, if any, are attributable to the larger Omicron variant.

It is also too early to say what health risk the new variant poses on a global level; the international community has already seen several increasingly virulent strains of the coronavirus, first with the “Alpha” variant and then with the “Delta” variant, which is currently dominant worldwide.

Covid vaccines have been instrumental in reducing serious infections, hospital stays and deaths, so new variants are being closely monitored to assess whether and how they could affect vaccine effectiveness.

Mitigation plans

WHO urged Member States to step up monitoring and sequencing efforts to better understand variants, including Omicron, and step up community testing to see if Omicron is in circulation.

It also urged member states to speed up Covid vaccinations “as soon as possible”, especially for high priority groups.

News of a new variant scared global markets on Friday, but European stocks Climbed Monday morning. The region is already grappling with a sharp spike in Delta variant infections, which is putting pressure on health services in a number of countries, including Germany and the Netherlands.

The WHO urged countries to take mitigation measures to prepare for a possible surge in Covid case numbers and the associated pressure on the health system, to ensure that mitigation plans are in place to maintain basic health services, and the necessary resources for Health care providers are in place to respond to potential surges. “

Pfizer says its Covid tablet with HIV drug cuts the chance of hospitalization or dying by 89%

Pfizer said Friday that its easy-to-use Covid-19 pill, used in combination with a widely used HIV drug, increased the risk of hospitalization or death in high-risk adults exposed to the virus by 89% lowers.

It’s now the second antiviral pill behind it Merck‘s to demonstrate strong efficacy in treating Covid at the first sign of disease. If approved by regulators, it would likely mark a turning point in the ongoing global battle against the pandemic.

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told CNBC the company plans to submit its data to the Food and Drug Administration before Thanksgiving.

“I think this drug is going to change the way things are happening, that are going to save millions and millions of lives, it has the potential to do that,” Bourla said in an interview with CNBC.Squawk box“He said the company has” the current capacity of 500 million pills, “which in his opinion equates to 50 million treatments.” The very high level of effectiveness comes as a surprise even to us and exceeds our most visionary expectations about it. “

Pfizer’s pill, scientifically known as PF-07321332, belongs to a class of drugs called protease inhibitors and works by blocking an enzyme that the virus needs to multiply in human cells. Protease inhibitors are used to treat other viral pathogens such as HIV and hepatitis C.

The HIV drug helps slow the metabolism or breakdown of the Pfizer pill so that it stays active in the body for longer periods of time at higher concentrations, the company said.

The company said its data on the drug is based on a mid-to late-stage study of 1,219 adults who had at least one underlying disease and one laboratory-confirmed infection within five days. Participants also received a low dose of ritonavir, a drug often used in combination treatments for HIV.

Pfizer said there were six hospitalizations and zero deaths of the 607 study participants who received the pill in combination with the HIV drug within five days of the onset of symptoms. That compares to 41 hospitalizations and 10 deaths for the 612 people who received a placebo.

“These data suggest that our oral antiviral candidate, if approved by regulators, has the potential to save patients’ lives, reduce the severity of COVID-19 infections and achieve up to nine out of ten hospital stays Avoid, “said Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer in a statement.

not how Gilead SciencesThe intravenous drug Remdesivir, Pfizer and Merck drugs can be taken orally. While vaccinations remain the best form of protection against the virus, health experts hope pills like these will prevent the progression of the disease in those who become infected and prevent hospitalizations.

Biotherapeutics from Merck and Ridgeback said on October 1st that they developed a drug that, when given on its own, reduces the risk of hospitalization or death in patients with mild or moderate cases of Covid by about 50%.

Merck’s antiviral pill was approved by The UK Medicines Agency on Thursday.

June Raine, chief executive of the UK’s drug and health products regulator, said the Merck pill is the treatment of Covid, a disease that has cost the lives of more than 5 million people worldwide and has put an enormous strain on health systems.

Bourla told CNBC in April that Pfizer’s pill could be available to Americans by the end of this year.

Covid vaccines do not improve threat of miscarriage or delivery defects, CDC says

A pregnant woman is given a vaccine for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the Skippack pharmacy in Schwenksville, Pennsylvania, USA on February 11, 2021.

Hannah Beier | Reuters

Getting vaccinated against Covid doesn’t increase the risk of miscarriages or birth defects, officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

The CDC prosecuted 1,613 pregnant women who a Covid-19 Vaccine, 30% of which were vaccinated in the second trimester while the remaining 70% received their vaccinations in the third trimester, said Dr. Christine Olson, a doctor with the CDC, told the agency’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices on Wednesday.

These participants gave birth to 1,634 children, including 42 twins.

“We reviewed the currently available registry data and found no evidence of an increase in spontaneous abortion rates or any disproportionately negative birth outcomes in infants,” said Olson.

The 1,613 participants were part of the CDC’s v-safe pregnancy registry, which had 5,096 participants as of September 13. The CDC reported that 79.4% of the registry participants were white, 8.4% Asian, 8.1% Hispanic, and 1.4% black. About 65% were between 25 and 34 years old, 33% were 35 to 44 years old.

Olson cited a CDC study of miscarriage-related Covid vaccines conducted December 14 through July 19. The report included a 12.8% risk of miscarriage by 20 weeks of pregnancy in 2,456 participants who received Pfizer or Moderna vaccines while pregnant. This is the normal risk of miscarriage after adjusting for the mother’s age.

Of the 1,634 babies Olson examined, 99 were premature babies, 45 were considered small for their gestational age, and 158 needed an intensive care unit. There were no infant deaths in the group.

Only 45 babies in the group were born with birth defects, and Olson did not report any unusual types or clusters of birth defects to the panel. Covid vaccines are also not linked to stillbirth, said Dr. Elyse Kharbanda, a researcher from the HealthPartners Institute, who presented her results to the committee.

Kharbanda monitored pregnant, Covid-immunized individuals within the CDC’s vaccine safety data link from December to July and recorded 11,300 live births compared to 26 stillbirths during that period. Placental complications, obstetric complications, and maternal comorbidities were the main causes of these stillbirths, said Kharbanda.

“No worrying patterns related to timing of vaccine exposure or the etiology of stillbirths have been identified,” said Kharbanda.

The CDC reports that pregnant people are at higher risk for tougher Covid cases than the non-pregnant population. According to the agency, Covid also increases the likelihood of premature birth.

FDA assembly places Biden’s plan to fight virus in danger

An important part of the president Joe BidenCovid-19’s plan to fight Covid-19 is in jeopardy as a Food and Drug Administration vaccine advisory committee meets on Friday to debate and vote Pfizer and BioNTech‘s application to offer booster shots to the general public.

The vote by the Agency’s Advisory Committee on Vaccines and Related Biological Products – scheduled for about 2:30 p.m. ET – comes as some scientists, including at least two to the FDA, say they are not entirely convinced that every American who has received the Pfizer vaccine is currently in need of additional doses.

In documents released prior to the advisory committee meeting, FDA scientists have refused to take a stand on whether to support third shots, saying US regulators have not independently reviewed or verified all available data to support use of boosters. They also appeared to be skeptical of some of the data provided, including frequently quoted effectiveness figures from Israelwhere researchers have published observational studies showing that the Pfizer vaccine’s effectiveness against infections has waned over time.

It sets the stage for a tense meeting on Friday as the Biden government has announced that it will offer booster injections to the public as early as next week pending FDA approval. The move is part of the administration wider plan to counter a higher number of Covid cases in the USA, which is fueled by the rapidly spreading Delta variant.

The country’s leading health authorities, including CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock and White House Senior Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci, approved Biden’s booster plan back in August. While the FDA has not always followed its committee’s advice, it often does. The agency surprised investors and the public earlier this year when it abandoned the recommendation of its independent panel of external experts to approve Biogen’s Alzheimer’s drug.

If the committee doesn’t pass a positive vote, it could force the Biden administration to postpone its plan and potentially restrict third shots to certain groups of Americans, including disease, said Lawrence Gostin, director of the World Health Organization’s Collaborating Center on National and International Global Health Law.

The FDA group could give Biden’s booster plan a “cool reception,” Gostin said. “While there is good evidence that vaccine immunity may decline, two doses of mRNA hold up robust by preventing serious illness, hospitalization and death.”

The vote puts the committee in an “uncomfortable position” as the government has already announced that it would start distributing boosters in the week of September 20, said Dr. Bruce Farber, chief of infectious diseases at Northwell Health.

“I’m sure they will disagree at all on what they said because we already know they are not unanimous,” he said.

Scientists and other health experts had already expressed their criticism Biden’s move to boost all Americans 16 and older when senior health officials outlined the plan last month. The scientists and other experts said the data cited by federal health officials are not compelling and characterize government pressure on boosters as premature.

In the outlines of the plans for launch Distribute booster next week, administrative officials cited three CDC studies showing that vaccines protection against Covid has waned over several months. The government’s plan is for people to receive or a third dose of Pfizer Modern Vaccination eight months after the second vaccination. Biden has since said that scientists are considering whether to postpone the third shot up by three months. US health officials said they needed more data Johnson & Johnsons Vaccine before they can recommend boosters of these shots.

Pfizer and Moderna each have theirs too own analyzes The incidence of breakthrough Covid cases – which occur in fully vaccinated people – was less common in clinical trial participants who were recently vaccinated, suggesting that the protection of Covid vaccines wears off over time. In separate documents released Wednesday, Pfizer said an observational study in Israel showed that a third dose of the Covid vaccine restored infection protection to 95% six months after a second shot.

Still, some scientists argue that booster vaccinations are not currently required for the general public.

A leading group of scientists published a paper Monday in the medical journal The Lancet, which said that available data shows that vaccination protection against serious illnesses remains in place even as efficacy against minor illness wears off over time. The authors, including two outgoing senior FDA officials and several World Health Organization scientists, said the widespread distribution of booster syringes to the general public is “not appropriate” at this time.

There is currently no consensus in the biomedical community on boosters for the general public, said Harvard Medical School immunologist Dan Barouch. “There are high-level experts who fall on different sides of the debate.”

Dr. Arturo Casadevall, Chair of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, supports boosters for the general public.

He said a third shot would boost immunity and reduce the chance of breakthrough infections, including the variant strains. “With all vaccines, immunity degrades over time, and Covid-19 vaccines are no different.”

Yale School of Medicine immunologist Akiko Iwasaki contradicts the widespread distribution of boosters in the United States.

Still, she said, booster shots are currently needed for some more vulnerable people as breakthrough cases lead to serious illness and hospitalizations.

These severe cases “mostly occur in older people and older adults such as 65 years of age and older,” she said. “I think it really makes sense now to give it to the seniors.”

Golf event in Springfield raises cash for in danger teenagers

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Franconia Golf Course in Springfield is hosting a fundraiser for young people at risk and their families on Saturday.

This is their fourth annual I Found Light Against All Odds fundraiser scramble tournament. Anything to help a non-profit organization. The aim is to help young people at risk and their families with social, emotional and economic challenges, to give them the tools they need for those in difficult times, and to give them guidance.

Local hiking trails are upgraded with state subsidies

The Saturday fundraiser will benefit multiple programs. Including a future project, “I Found Light Against All Odds Lighthouse for Homeless Teen Girls”.

22News is a community partner and sponsor of “I Found Light” and our own Ciara Speller will take part in the celebrations.

New Covid outbreaks a prime danger to financial restoration, OECD chief says

Covid-19 vaccinations without prior registration will be given at Sector 30 District Hospital in Noida, India on June 22, 2021.

Sunil Ghosh | Hindustan times | Getty Images

New outbreaks of Covid-19 remain one of the greatest risks to a global economic recovery, warned the Secretary-General of the OECD, calling on developed countries to support less developed countries with their vaccination programs.

“We have to do what we can to get as many people as possible around the world to vaccinate. There is a special responsibility for developed economies and it is not just about charity or charity, it is actually both a matter of self-interest “to keep our people safe … and to ensure that economic recovery is sustainable” said Mathias Cormann, Secretary General of the OECD, on Thursday.

“New outbreaks are still one of the biggest downside risks to the ongoing economic recovery,” he told CNBC’s Annette Weisbach.

“There is a race between vaccinating as many people as possible around the world, including and especially in developing countries, and the risk of new variants emerging and variants that may be resistant to the vaccines currently available,” he noted.

Continue reading: Covid-19 has destroyed 22 million jobs in advanced countries, according to the OECD

It is not only Cormann who fears that the continued spread of Covid-19, especially the latest highly transmissible Delta variant in younger and unvaccinated people, could destroy an economic recovery.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told CNBC on Tuesday that “The only thing that could jeopardize France’s economic recovery is a new wave of the pandemic.”

On Wednesday, the World Health Organization reiterated its call for wealthy nations to help poorer countries by sharing Covid vaccines, especially for health and care workers and the elderly.

Global minimum tax rate

The coronavirus pandemic may be the most pressing problem for global public health, but governments have now turned to other pressing matters, including international tax reform.

In June, treasury ministers from the most advanced economies known as the Group of Seven backed a US proposal requiring companies around the world to pay at least 15% income tax.

Last Thursday, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen announced that at least 130 nations had agreed to a global minimum tax on companies, part of a broader agreement to revise international tax rules.

Cormann said the deal was urgently needed, noting that “131 countries have reached an agreement on an internationally consistent path to fair taxation. Globalization and the digitization of our economies led to efficiency distortions and serious inequalities in our tax system and companies did not pay their fair share of taxes where they should. “

“We now have an agreement whereby the winners of globalization, including and especially the major digital multinationals, would pay their fair share of taxes or pay their fair share of taxes once (the deal) was in the markets in which they operate are implemented. “Their profits.”

He noted that all 131 countries have agreed that the global minimum corporate tax rate should be 15%, as have those in the group of 20 developed countries. “This underpins tax competition worldwide.”

Some low corporate tax countries like Ireland and Hungary have concerns about the deal, but Cormann said they were involved in the negotiation process: “Some countries seem to be starting from a different position,” he noted, “but 131 out of 139”. Counties (Members of the G20 / OECD Inclusive Framework working on tax reform) are on board, and that is an important milestone. “

Who’s most in danger from the delta variant?

Aiden Arthurs will receive the Pfizer BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine from pharmacist Andrew Mac (R) at the Jewish Federation / JARC offices in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan on May 13, 2021.

Jeff Kowalsky | AFP | Getty Images

The Delta variant is the most widely observed coronavirus mutation to date, and for good reason: It is more contagious than previous variants, and there is evidence that it increases the risk of hospitalization and is more resistant to vaccines.

First discovered in India late last year, where it triggered a second wave of infections and thousands of deaths, the delta variant is now spreading rapidly around the world.

Last week, the World Health Organization warned that Delta is the fastest and most powerful strain of coronavirus yet and will “pick up” the most vulnerable people, especially in places with low levels Covid-19 Vaccination rates or

Great Britain is being closely watched by other countries, especially the USA, as the delta variant has become dominant despite the high vaccination rate. It has also proven to be a harbinger of the things that will come for better and worse during the pandemic.

Continue reading: The Covid Delta variant “exploded” in Great Britain – and could be a blueprint for the USA

Who is most at risk?

Now, data has been released in England showing how far the delta variant has spread – and which groups are most susceptible to the mutation.

Delta is dominant in the UK, comprising 95% of all sequenced cases, according to the latest data from Public Health England, with younger people, unvaccinated and partially vaccinated (many people falling into one or more of these categories) at greater risk of contagion, while older people are still at greatest risk are about to die of infection.

According to the latest data from England, 92,029 cases were analyzed between the beginning of February and mid-June and assigned to the delta variant.

Almost 82,500 of these total cases were recorded in people under the age of 50, and the majority (53,822 cases) were found in unvaccinated people.

Of these cases in the unvaccinated cohort, the vast majority were in the under-50 age group (52,846 cases) and only 976 cases were in those over 50.

Still, the data showed that there were 117 deaths among people with the Delta variant in England, with the majority in the age group over 50.

There were eight deaths among those under 50, six of them in those who had not been vaccinated and the other two in those who had received a dose.

What about vaccinations?

The data from England show that cases of the delta variant were found in both partially and fully vaccinated individuals, to a lesser extent, demonstrating the importance of full vaccination.

Of the total of 92,029 infections attributed to Delta, nearly 20,000 were registered in people who received one dose of a Covid vaccine (both before and after 21 days after a first dose) and 7,235 infections were registered in people who received two doses received confirmed.

The data is intended to be a reminder that no Covid vaccine currently on offer offers one hundred percent protection, although most approved vaccines are currently very close and experts urge all unvaccinated people to come forward, as well as the importance of both doses in order to provide the best possible protection .

Separate data from Public Health England showed that two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech or AstraZeneca-Oxford University were shot are highly effective against hospital stays from the Delta variant.

Britain has vaccinated its population based on age and health needs. The vaccination program began last December with healthcare workers and the elderly and progressed through the older age groups until Covid vaccinations were offered to those under 50 in mid-April.

Currently, all over 18s are offered their first doses, while others in their 30s and 40s tend to have their second dose. Almost 85% of adults in the UK have now received one dose of vaccine and 61.9% have received two doses. This makes it one of the fastest vaccination programs in the world.

“Delta predominates”

PHE updated its risk assessment of the delta variant published on Friday, saying that the delta variant is “predominant” and “continues to show a significantly increased growth rate” compared to the alpha variant first discovered in the UK, which itself dominated worldwide.

On a weekly basis, data released by PHE last Friday showed that the number of Delta-caused cases in the UK had increased by 35,204 since the previous week (an increase of 46%) to a total of 111,157 cases.

It also carries an increased risk of hospitalization compared to the alpha variant, and there is now analysis from England and Scotland to support previous evidence that Delta reduces vaccine effectiveness compared to the alpha variant and that this is more pronounced when someone only one received has received dose.

On the positive side, PHE reiterated that “the analysis continues to show that the vaccine against Delta is highly effective after 2 doses” and that the evidence continues to suggest that hospital vaccines are effective.

Danger of the vitality transition is that it solely advantages just a few, CEO says

According to the CEO of the Italian energy company, the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the transition in the energy industry Enel, However, a number of issues need to be addressed to ensure that change occurs in a measured manner.

In a detailed interview with CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe” on Tuesday, Francesco Starace was asked about the “energy transition” and how the pandemic had changed the landscape.

“For example, the EU has decided to find the way out of the crisis in order to accelerate these renewable energies and this energy transition,” he said.

“I would say it’s more of a transition than a transformation,” he added. “It’s a big change that affects not just the energy industry, but … the industry as a whole. So I can say, yes, the pandemic has greatly accelerated this trend. “

Change appears to be on the horizon, and in many cases it is closely related to attempts by major economies to recover from the effects of the pandemic.

The European Commission, for example, has described the European Green Deal – a plan for climate neutrality for the EU by 2050 – as “our lifeline from the COVID-19 pandemic”.

The Green Deal is supported by initiatives such as the Just Transition Mechanism. This should mobilize billions of euros between 2021 and 2027 and focus on “regions that are the most carbon-intensive or most people work with fossil fuels”.

As governments around the world are signaling their intention to move away from fossil fuels and pursue net-zero goals, making any meaningful change is a daunting task.

For example, energy companies are still discovering new oil fields, while fossil fuels continue to play an important role in electricity production in countries like the USA.

For his part, Starace was keen to make it clear that every shift would not be without its challenges.

“The transformation is inevitable, it will happen anyway,” he said. “The risk is whether it happens in a disorderly manner or … in an orderly manner.”

“I think the risk is that we don’t really consider all of the consequences for all of the industry and for all of the world’s economy,” he added.

“That means that we try to push it forward in such a way that it causes problems for people or … [u]n fair, in some parts of the world piling up inequality instead of being more just. “

Retraining of the workforce

As governments around the world signal their intention to expand renewable energy capacity in the coming years, the need for jobs in this sector is expected to increase.

According to the Global Wind Energy Council, expansion of the wind energy industry 3.3 million jobs could be created in the next five years.

In the US, the Solar Energy Industries Association says the solar sector will need over 900,000 workers if the country is to meet its goal of “100% clean electricity” by 2035.

Read more about clean energy from CNBC Pro

More than 231,000 workers were employed in the American solar industry last year, a 6.7% year-over-year decrease, according to a recent report from SEIA, Interstate Renewable Energy Council, The Solar Foundation and BW Research.

In his interview with CNBC, Enel’s Starace stated that skilled people were “becoming a scarce … commodity” in the energy industry. Among other things, he emphasized the importance of training people in large numbers.

Clean air, less noise

In recent years, governments around the world have signaled their intention to increase the number of electric vehicles on their roads. This move away from the internal combustion engine is already underway.

At the end of April, the International Energy Agency said that around 3 million new electric cars were registered last year, a record high and an increase of 41% compared to 2019.

According to the Paris-based organization, that leap has brought the total number of electric cars on the streets to over 10 million, a number that is supplemented by roughly 1 million electric buses, vans and heavy trucks.

One of the potential benefits of electrifying transport is improved air quality, as Starace noted. “When we electrify – that means pushing[ing] fossil fuels out of the picture – the fine dust particles, the pollutants that are part of our daily life will disappear … and the quality of life in cities will definitely improve. “

CDC masks pointers might enhance danger of spreading Covid at work and in public, scientists say

The CDC’s new mask guidelines could actually increase the risk of Covid-19 spreading in public spaces and workplaces, scientists from a leading group of infectious diseases said Thursday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention abruptly reversed Mask instructions for vaccinated Americans last week said vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask indoors or outdoors in most environments. Officials said they changed their guidelines in part because research shows the vaccines offer very high levels of protection against the disease of Covid-19 and spread it to others.

“There is no debate about this fact,” said Dr. Jeffrey Duchin, who sits on the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, at a news conference hosted Thursday by the Infectious Diseases Society of America. However, the agency’s announcement created widespread confusion and frustration because “it was unexpected and lacked the necessary context for implementation by the state and local health community,” he said.

Duchin is the society’s liaison with the CDC’s Vaccination Committee. The company represents leading specialists in infectious diseases in the USA

“There was no information on how the guidelines could be used in practice, particularly in relation to the inability to check vaccination status,” said Duchin. The CDC also did not provide guidance on whether people should continue to wear masks in areas with high transmission rates or low vaccination rates, he said. “What the CDC did, however, was not optimal and gave the wrong impression that the mask mandates were being lifted.”

Doctors across the country and federal health officials continue to stress that only vaccinated people are safe to remove their masks. The new mask management was misinterpreted as the end of the pandemic and mask mandates, which puts the local health authorities in a very difficult position. States in the United States took the news as a cue to facilitate mask mandates. Texas Governor Greg Abbott used the new guidance to justify signing an executive order that threatens the fine for local officials and communities for not dropping mask requirements.

Duchin said that both vaccinated and unvaccinated people are likely safe outdoors without masks, but they are not indoors.

“Now the risk of Covid-19 spreading in crowded indoor spaces with unvaccinated people and especially with poor ventilation is increased,” said Duchin. While the CDC’s scientific basis for the change is “solid,” Duchin said ending the mandate for inner masks “could lead to increased risk in public spaces and workplaces with avoidable spread of Covid-19, mostly among the unvaccinated spreads. “

Vaccination rates vary across the country, and the majority of those vaccinated are older adults. Large subgroups such as younger adults remain unvaccinated.

Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo, who also spoke at the briefing, said research has shown that up to 3% of Americans have been told by their doctors that they have some level of immunodeficiency, which puts them at an increased risk of being exposed to Covid be.

“Millions of people fit that bill, and we literally have very little data on whether the vaccine works in them,” Marrazzo said. “There is a real reason to be careful and interpret the guidelines carefully.”

The scientists also said people need to acknowledge that there is uncertainty about the future course of the pandemic, the effects of emerging variants, the duration of immunity, and the potential for a Covid-19 resurgence.

“The Covid-19 outbreak is by no means over, there is still significant uncertainty and there is still significant disease activity,” said Duchin.

If someone is fully vaccinated and doesn’t have other conditions that threaten their community, and if the rate of Covid where they live is relatively low and the vaccination rate is high, Marrazzo said it would be “100% okay, pretty much anywhere without one. ” Mask.”

Marrazzo added that despite being fully vaccinated, she will continue to wear a mask around the house as vaccination rates in her community are not even 50%.

“If I knew we were seeing really notable decreases in hospital stays and symptomatic illnesses that may be related to Covid and that have a very high vaccination rate, I would probably go without a mask, but I won’t see this anytime soon,” she said.

While nearly half of all people in the United States, 160.2 million, received at least one shot, Marrazzo said only 4.6% of the world’s population did the same.

“People need to be aware of what’s going on and watch out for vaccination rates, look for the involvement of these new varieties and think about being ready to get things going again,” warned Marrazzo.

Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that the press conference was hosted by the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

WHO classifies triple-mutant Covid variant from India as world well being danger

World Health Organization (WHO) Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus will attend a press conference at WHO headquarters on July 3, 2020, organized by the United Nations’ Association of Geneva Correspondents (ACANU) in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak caused by the novel coronavirus was organized in Geneva.

Fabrice Coffrini | AFP | Getty Images

A World Health Organization official said Monday that the highly contagious triple mutant variant of Covid widespread in India is being classified as a “worrying variant,” suggesting it has become a global health threat.

Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO technical director for Covid-19, said the agency would provide more details in its weekly status report on pandemic Tuesday, but added this the variant, Preliminary studies have found B.1.617 to spread more easily than the original virus, and there is evidence that it may bypass some of the protective measures offered by vaccines. However, the recordings are still considered effective.

“And as such, we classify this as a variant of the concern on a global scale,” she said during a press conference. “Although some preliminary studies show increased transferability, we need a lot more information about this virus variant in that line in all sublines. Therefore, we need to do more sequencing and targeted sequencing.”

the WHO said last week It tracked at least 10 coronavirus variants worldwide, including B.1.617. The variant was previously called the “variant of interest” because more study was needed to fully understand its meaning, Van Kerkhove said.

“For everyone in the home, this means that any circulating SARS-CoV-2 virus can infect and spread you, and anything to do with that is worrying,” she said on Monday. “So, all of us at home, no matter where we live, no matter what virus is circulating, we need to make sure we take all necessary measures to keep us from getting sick.”

A Covon-19 coronavirus patient rests in a banquet room temporarily converted into a Covid care center in New Delhi on May 10, 2021.

Arun Sankar | AFP | Getty Images

A variant can be classified as “Concerning” if it has been found to be more contagious, more deadly, or more resistant to current vaccines and treatments. according to WHO.

The group issued a clarification on their earlier remarks on Monday, saying that current data shows that existing Covid-19 vaccines “continue to be effective in preventing disease and death in people infected with this variant”.

The international organization has already identified three other variants with the classification: B.1.1.7, which was first discovered in Great Britain and is currently the most widespread variant in the USA; B. 1.351, detected for the first time in South Africa, and the P.1 variant, detected for the first time in Brazil.

B.1.617 has three sub-lines, said Van Kerkhove, which are described in Tuesday’s management report.

Some believe the variant is behind the recent wave of infections in India.

The country averages 3,879 Covid deaths per day, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, although media reports suggest the official number is underestimated. Over the past seven days, an average of 391,000 new cases per day have been reported – an increase of about 4% from a week, data from Johns Hopkins University shows.

The variant has since expanded to other countries, including the United States.

– CNBC’s Rich Mendez contributed to this report.