New York nurses charged with forging Covid vaccine playing cards to earn greater than $1.5 million

Prosecutors said that officers obtained a ledger documenting profits in excess of $1.5 million from the alleged illegal activity.

Office of the District Attorney County of Suffolk

Two nurses on New York’s Long Island are being charged with forging Covid-19 vaccination cards and entering the fake jabs in the state’s database, a scam that allegedly raked in more than $1.5 million.

The Suffolk County District Attorney on Friday arrested Julie DeVuono, 49, the owner and operator of Wild Child Pediatric Healthcare in Amityville and her employee, Marissa Urraro, 44, according to a complaint.

From November 2021 to January 2022, the pair of allegedly forged vaccination cards, charging adults $220 apiece and $85 per child for a fake record that would land in the New York State Immunization Information System database. Prosecutors said that on one or more occasions, DeVuono and Urrano allegedly created records to indicate a vaccine was given to an undercover detective despite never administering the vaccine.

Julie DeVuono (L) and Marissa Urraro’s booking photos from the Suffolk County Police Dept. on Jan. 29th, 2022

Courtesy: Suffolk County Police Department.

“Forging COVID-19 vaccination cards and entering false information into the New York
State database used to track vaccination records puts the health and well-being of others at risk, and undermines efforts to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus,” special agent Scott Lampert said in a statement announcing the charges.

During a search of DeVuono’s home, officials said officers seized roughly $900,000. They also allegedly found a ledger documenting profits from the scheme in excess of $1.5 million.

During a search of Julie DeVuono’s home, officials said officers seized roughly $900,000.

Office of the District Attorney County of Suffolk

DeVuono’s husband Derin DeVuono, who is a New York Police Department officer, is being investigated by the department’s Internal Affairs Bureau in terms of his possible involvement in his wife’s alleged scheme, sources told the New York Daily News.

DeVuono and Urraro are each being charged with one count of forgery in the second degree. DeVuono is also being charged with an additional count of offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree. The pair’s legal defense was not immediately clear.

Just a month ago, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a bill into law criminalizing fake Covid-19 vaccination cards.

Somerville Board of Well being Votes In opposition to COVID Vaccine Passport-Fashion System – CBS Boston

SOMERVILLE (CBS) — The city of Somerville will not adopt a COVID vaccine passport-style system used in Boston and other communities.

On Thursday evening, the city’s health department rejected the proposal by a score of two to one.

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In a statement, Somerville Mayor Katjana Ballantyn said that while she disagreed with the committee’s decision, she respected the considerations that went into it.

“The key takeaway from last night’s hearing is that the board and the city agree that vaccination is critical to getting this virus under control.

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The question for us is which tools we use to drive this goal forward. Of course, we had hoped that the Board would support the proposed requirement, but I respect their decision and their thoughtful consideration, so today we move on to the next effort. My focus remains fully on applying all the strategies at our disposal to deal with the pandemic.

Since day one in office, I’ve had staff doubling down to increase access to testing, masks, vaccines, information, and financial and health support. This decision will not slow us down, it will only give additional impetus to our efforts to fight the virus on all fronts.”

MORE NEWS: ‘ERs are bursting at the seams’: Nurses ask for help as experts predict long recovery from COVID

Bostons vaccination order started last Saturday. Anyone entering a Boston restaurant, bar or venue must show at least one first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

GE suspends Covid vaccine, take a look at guidelines after excessive courtroom nixes Biden mandate

An employee helps install a traction motor on the truck of a General Electric Evolution Series Tier 4 diesel locomotive at the GE Manufacturing Solutions facility in Fort Worth, Texas.

Luke Sharret | Bloomberg | Getty Images

General Electric suspended its Covid vaccine and testing requirements on Friday after the Supreme Court blocked the Biden administration’s mandate, a company spokesman told CNBC.

GE, which had 174,000 employees at the end of 2020, has encouraged its employees to get vaccinated, the spokesman said.

The conservative majority of the Supreme Court in a 6-3 decision, called the Biden administration’s requirements a “blunt instrument” that “makes no distinctions by industry or risk of exposure to Covid-19.”

In a statement following the court decision, President Joe Biden urged companies to voluntarily implement the vaccination and testing rules.

“The court has ruled that my administration cannot use the authority granted to it by Congress to require this action,” Biden said. “But that doesn’t stop me from using my voice as president to advocate for employers to do the right thing to protect the health and economy of Americans.”

Labor Secretary Marty Walsh has vowed to use the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s existing power to hold companies accountable for protecting workers from Covid.

“We urge all employers to require workers to be vaccinated or tested weekly to most effectively combat this deadly virus in the workplace,” Walsh said in a statement Thursday. “Employers are responsible for the safety of their workers in the workplace.”

The American Medical Association, one of the largest medical associations in the US, contradicted that the Supreme Court blocked “one of the most effective tools in the fight against further transmission and death from this aggressive virus”.

“Workplace transmission has been an important factor in the spread of Covid-19,” said AMA President Dr. Gerald Harmon. “More than ever, workers in all settings across the country need sound, evidence-based protection from Covid-19 infection, hospitalization and death.”

Harmon urged companies to protect their workers from the disease. A number of large companies – including Citigroup, Nike and Columbia Sportswear – have announced plans to lay off unvaccinated workers.

The Covid-Omicron variant is driving new infections to unprecedented levels. The US is reporting an average of more than 786,000 new infections each day, a 29% increase from the previous week, according to a CNBC analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University.

Additionally, based on federal data going back to the summer of 2020, hospitalizations are at a pandemic high. About 151,000 Americans were in hospitals with Covid as of Friday, a seven-day moving average of health and social services data shows, up 23%. from a week earlier. That number includes both patients who have been admitted to hospital due to Covid and those who have tested positive after admission.

— CNBC’s Nate Rattner contributed to this report

Supreme Courtroom blocks Biden Covid vaccine mandate for companies, permits health-care employee rule

The Supreme Court on Thursday blocked the Biden administration from enforcing its comprehensive vaccination or testing requirements for large private companies, but allowed a vaccination mandate for medical facilities that accept Medicare or Medicaid payments.

The verdicts came three days after the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s emergency measures for companies went into effect.

The mandate required workers in companies with 100 or more employees to be vaccinated or present a negative Covid test weekly to enter the workplace. Also, unvaccinated workers were required to wear masks when working indoors.

“Although Congress has undeniably granted OSHA authority to regulate occupational hazards, it has not conferred that agency authority to regulate public health more broadly,” the court wrote in an unsigned opinion.

“Requiring the vaccination of 84 million Americans selected solely because they work for employers with more than 100 employees certainly falls into the latter category,” the court wrote.

A protester holds a “Freedoms & Mandates Don’t Mix” sign in front of the US Supreme Court Friday, January 7, 2022 while discussing two federal vaccination measures in Washington, DC, United States.

Al Drago | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Liberal Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan disagreed, writing that the majority had usurped power from Congress, the President and OSHA without legal basis.

“With the pandemic still raging, this court is telling the agency charged with protecting worker safety that it may not do so in all required workplaces,” they said in dissent.

“As sickness and death continue to rise, this court is telling the Authority that it cannot respond as effectively as possible. Without a legal basis, the court usurps a decision that rightfully belongs to others. It undermines the capacity of appropriate federal officials to act well within their authority to protect American workers from serious danger,” they wrote.

President Joe Biden said in a statement the Supreme Court chose to block requirements that are life-saving for workers. Biden called on states and companies to increase and voluntarily implement vaccination requirements to protect workers, customers and the broader community.

“The Court has ruled that my administration cannot use the powers granted to it by Congress to require this action, but that does not prevent me from using my voice as President to advocate for employers to do the right thing, to protect the health and economy of Americans,” Biden said.

Labor Secretary Marty Walsh called the court’s decision a major setback to the health and safety of workers and vowed OSHA would use its existing authority to ensure companies protect workers. The American Medical Association, one of the largest medical associations in the country, said it was “deeply disappointed”.

“In the face of an ever-evolving COVID-19 pandemic that poses a grave threat to the health of our nation, the Supreme Court today halted one of the most powerful tools in the fight against further transmission and death from this aggressive virus,” the AMA said said President Gerald Harmon.

In a separate ruling released at the same time on the government’s vaccination rules for healthcare workers, a 5-4 majority sided with the Biden administration.

“We agree with the government that the [Health and Human Services] The secretary’s rule falls within the powers conferred on him by Congress,” said the majority, writing that the rule “fits very well with the language of the statute”.

“Finally, ensuring that providers take steps to avoid transmitting a dangerous virus to their patients is consistent with the fundamental principle of the medical profession: First, do no harm,” says the majority opinion.

Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett, four of the six Conservatives on the nine-seat bench, disagreed.

“I don’t think the federal government is likely to show that Congress authorized the unprecedented move to force over 10,000,000 healthcare workers to be vaccinated under threat of dismissal,” Alito wrote in his dissent.

Biden said in a statement that making vaccinations compulsory for healthcare workers will save the lives of patients, doctors and nurses. “We will enforce it,” the president said of the mandate.

OSHA, which oversees workplace safety for the Department of Labor, granted the business mandate under its emergency powers established by Congress. OSHA can cut short the normal rulemaking process, which can take years, when the Secretary of Labor determines that a new occupational safety standard is needed to protect workers from a serious hazard.

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The court’s decision to overturn the business mandate comes as the pandemic rages across the United States and the highly contagious Omicron variant is sparking an unprecedented surge in new infections. The US is reporting an average of 786,000 new infections daily, a pandemic record and a 37% increase from last week, according to CNBC analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University.

Hospital admissions have also reached a pandemic peak, according to federal data dating back to the summer of 2020. According to a seven-day average of Department of Health and Human Services data, 149,000 Americans are in US hospitals with Covid, a 27% increase. last week.

The vaccination or testing rules have faced a number of lawsuits from 27 states involving Republican attorneys general or governors, private companies, religious groups and national business organizations such as the National Retail Federation, the American Trucking Associations and the National Federation of Independent Business.

The NRF issued a statement calling the Supreme Court ruling a “victory” and calling on the Biden administration to “reject this unlawful mandate and instead work with employers, workers and public health professionals on practical ways to increase immunization rates and contain it.” the spread of the virus in 2022.”

The mandates were the most extensive use of power by the federal government to protect workers from Covid since the pandemic began. Taken together, the Biden administration estimated that the rules for businesses and healthcare workers would apply to about 100 million Americans.

But both rules were in flux long before the Supreme Court adopted them. The OSHA rules were blocked by a conservative federal appeals court in November, then Reinstated weeks later by another court.

The White House at the time urged companies to follow public safety requirements even if they were not enforced.

Some companies have done this, others have introduced their own rules. A number of large employers, including Citigroup, Nike and Columbia Sportswear, have announced plans to lay off unvaccinated workers in recent days.

— CNBC’s Christina Wilkie contributed to this report.

Pfizer CEO says omicron vaccine will probably be prepared in March

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said Monday a vaccine that targets the Omicron variant of Covid will be ready in March and the company has already started making the cans.

“This vaccine will be ready in March,” Bourla told CNBC.Squawk box.” “We [are] are already starting to manufacture some of these endangered quantities. “

Bourla said the vaccine will target the other variants in circulation as well. He said it was still not clear whether an Omicron vaccine would be needed or how it would be used, but Pfizer will have some doses ready as some countries want it ready as soon as possible.

“The hope is that we can achieve something that offers much better protection against infection, especially, because protection against hospitalization and serious illness is reasonable right now, with the current vaccines, as long as you say,” the third dose “said Bourla.

Real-world data from the UK have shown that Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are only about 10% effective at preventing symptomatic infection from Omicron 20 weeks after the second dose, according to a study by the UK Health Authority. However, the two original doses still offer good protection against serious illness, the study found.

According to the study, booster vaccinations are up to 75% effective in preventing symptomatic infection.

Dr. White House chief medical officer Anthony Fauci said in December that it was no need for a booster shot specifically targeting omicrons, because the current boosters work well against the variant.

Modern CEO Stephane Bancel said CNBC on Monday The company is working on a booster targeting Omicron for this fall and will enter clinical trials shortly. Bancel said governments are in high demand as they prepare regular vaccinations for the virus.

Bourla said it was not clear whether a fourth dose would be needed. He said Pfizer would conduct experiments to see if another dose is needed.

Israel has made a fourth dose of Pfizer and BioNTechVaccine for people over 60, people with compromised immune systems, and healthcare workers.

Israel found that a fourth dose of the vaccine increased the antibodies that protect against the virus five-fold a week after receiving the vaccine.

Biden administration defends vaccine mandates in Supreme Court docket arguments

A protester holds a banner at a rally against mandates for the vaccines against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in front of the New York State Capitol in Albany, New York, the United States, Jan. 5, 2022.

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The Supreme Court began hearing oral arguments on Friday on two cases that challenged the Biden government’s Covid vaccination and testing requirements for private companies and healthcare workers.

The arguments, which began at 10 a.m. ET, began with a lawyer for a national small business group arguing against private business regulations that would apply to tens of millions of workers.

National Federation of Independent Business attorney Scott Keller was grilled by the court’s three Liberal justices who sometimes sounded incredulous at the proposal to end workplace health care while Covid cases reached new heights.

Conservative Chief Justice John Roberts asked Keller why the Department of Labor was not empowered to regulate the “special job problem” caused by the pandemic.

Roberts is likely an indispensable voice for the rules of the Biden administration in order to survive the Conservative 6-3 majority in the Supreme Court.

A protester holds a sign reading “Freedoms & Mandates Don’t Mix” in front of the US Supreme Court during the dispute over two federal coronavirus vaccine mandate measures in Washington, DC, USA on Friday, January 7, 2022.

Al Drago | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The debate on whether the federal government has the power to enforce the comprehensive public health requirements comes before the Supreme Court when the global pandemic enters its third year.

Challenges to the rules include business associations, Republican-led states, and religious groups. Urgent rulings are expected relatively soon.

For companies with 100 or more employees, the rule of the occupational health and safety administration applies, which stipulates that employees must be vaccinated or tested for Covid on a weekly basis. The Department of Health’s rule would require vaccination for medical personnel in facilities that treat Medicare and Medicaid patients.

The two mandates cover about two-thirds of all US workers – about 100 million Americans, according to the White House.

president Joe Biden issued The mandates in early November, weeks before the first evidence of the highly transmissible Omikron variant, drove infection rates across the country to breathtaking new highs.

Days later, the U.S. 5th District Court of Appeals blocks the mandate from taking effect for companies, with a three-person committee that saw its requirements as “astonishingly broad”.

But another federal appeals court the rule reintroduced in Decemberwho noted that OSHA has had a great deal of leeway in the past to enact safety measures and highlights the danger posed by the pandemic to workers.

Early data suggests that omicron infections are typically less severe than previous iterations of the coronavirus, although vaccination remains an effective protection against hospitalization and death from Covid. Health experts say.

All nine Supreme Court justices have been vaccinated against Covid and all have received a booster. The court heard arguments in favor of much of the pandemic remotely and broadcast the proceedings via livestream for the first time in its history. They returned for a personal battle last October while keeping the building closed to the public and implementation of other pandemic-related security measures.

This is a developing story. Check again for updates.

Federal court docket reinstates Biden administration’s enterprise vaccine mandate

United States President Joe Biden speaks at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC, USA on Wednesday, November 3, 2021.

Al Drago | Bloomberg | Getty Images

A federal appeals court reinstated the Biden government’s vaccine and testing requirements for private companies, which include some 80 million American workers.

The Cincinnati 6th Court of Appeal’s ruling overturned a November restraining order that blocked the Labor Protection Agency’s rule that applies to companies with 100 or more employees.

In Friday’s ruling, the court found that OSHA “has demonstrated the pervasive danger that COVID-19 poses to workers – especially those who have not been vaccinated – in their workplaces.

The Justice Department argued last week that blocking the requests would do “enormous” damage to the public as hospitals prepare for an increase in Covid cases this winter and the heavily mutated Omicron variant gaining a foothold in more states.

“COVID-19 is spreading to workplaces and workers are being hospitalized and dying,” the Justice Department argued in a court file on Friday. “As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise and a new variant has emerged, the threat to workers is persistent and overwhelming.”

The policy required companies with 100 or more employees to ensure that their employees are fully vaccinated by Jan 4th or have a negative Covid test weekly to enter the workplace. Unvaccinated workers were required to wear masks indoors from December 5th.

Republican attorneys general, private companies, and industry groups such as the National Retail Federation, American Trucking Associations, and the National Federation of Independent Business sued for repeal of the policy. They argued that the requirements are unnecessary, place compliance costs on businesses, and exceed the powers of the federal government.

The Biden administration stopped implementing and enforcing the requirements last month to comply with an order from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th District in New Orleans. Judge Kurt D. Englehardt said in an opinion for a three-person committee that the requirements were “surprisingly too broad” and raised “serious constitutional concerns”.

The more than two dozen lawsuits filed against the vaccine and testing requirements were transferred to the Sixth Circuit last month after the Biden government launched a cross-district judicial process to randomly consolidate the case in a single court.

The Justice Department argued in its trial last week that the labor protection agency that developed the requirements acted within their emergency powers established by Congress. The Biden government rejected opponents who claimed workers were quitting because of the policy, saying the compliance costs were “modest”.

“The threat to people’s life and health also far outweighs petitioners’ suspicions about the number of workers who may quit instead of getting vaccinated or tested,” the Justice Department wrote on its file, arguing that many workers are who say they will stop completing in the end with vaccination orders.

OSHA, which oversees occupational safety for the Department of Labor, developed the vaccine and testing requirements under emergency powers that allow the agency to shorten the normal rulemaking process, which can take years. OSHA may issue an emergency workplace safety standard if the Secretary of Labor determines that a standard is required to protect workers from serious danger.

The White House has repeatedly argued that Covid poses a serious threat to workers, highlighting the appalling death toll from the pandemic and rising Covid infections in the United States

Reuters contributed to this report.

This breaking news. Please check again for updates.

Springfield-Greene County Well being Dept. receiving more cash for COVID-19 vaccine incentives

SPRINGFIELD, Missouri (KY3) – Springfield City Council approved a contract with the Missouri Department of Health to do more for obtaining the COVID-19 vaccine.

The city is being given $ 300,000 to incentivize more vaccinations. The approved new money will allow the department to purchase 6,700 more gift cards. The Springfield-Greene County Health Department provides incentives for anyone who receives their first or second dose of the vaccine. Employees reported that 35 percent of those who received the vaccination over the weekend at a specialty clinic in Springfield did so because of the incentives.

“It made a huge difference to us,” said Cara Erwin, communications and outreach manager for the Springfield-Greene County Health Department. “We had a special event at the weekend. We had two locations at Williams Elementary School and our clinic on Battlefield East. And we vaccinated over 1,000, almost 1,000 people, and many, many of those people came knowing they were going to get the gift card. So that’s one of many reasons that motivates you to come here. “

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Are Covid vaccine mandates moral? Right here’s what medical consultants assume

Protesters demonstrate against vaccine mandates in New York City on November 20, 2021.

Stephanie Keith | Getty Images

Ethical justification

Julian Savulescu, director of the Uehiro Center for Practical Ethics at Oxford University, said the main reason for implementing coercive measures during a pandemic is to prevent harm to other people.

“You are not allowed to shoot a gun in the air to harm other people, nor can you shoot a covid that could kill other people into a crowd,” he said on a phone call.

However, according to Savulescu, four ethical conditions must be met to justify coercive measures such as vaccination or masking requirements.

“First of all, the problem has to be significant, so you have to have a major emergency or a real risk of harming people. Second, you need to have safe and effective intervention, ”he told CNBC. “Third, [the outcome] must be better than fewer freedoms and more restrictive measures. Finally, the level of coercion must be proportionate to the level of risk and the safety and effectiveness of the intervention. “

In his opinion, Savulescu said that the requirement for Covid vaccines for an entire population does not meet these requirements. Because the vaccinations are not 100% effective in reducing transmission, they do not provide any additional protection to others that warrant such extreme levels of coercion.

“But there is a second way to justify coercion that is less common and that is when you have a health system that is collapsing unless you prevent people from getting sick,” he said. “Then you can use coercion to keep people from getting sick, not to prevent them from infecting other people, but to keep them from using these limited health resources in an emergency.”

This could be used to justify making Covid vaccines mandatory, he said, but only if the guideline was applied to the people who were most likely to have to go to the hospital or intensive care unit if they contracted the virus.

Vivek Cherian, a doctor at Amita Health, agreed that the overall benefits of a vaccine mandate must outweigh the risk involved to be ethically justified.

“The ethical dilemma, particularly in the United States, is the inherent conflict between an individual’s autonomy and freedom and public health value,” he said. “Given that when more people are vaccinated [it would] lead to fewer deaths, there is an ethical justification for the common good. “

But in the US, Cherian said, there is “virtually no chance that we will see universally required vaccine mandates”.

“That’s because we don’t have any vaccines right now,” he said. “What we are most likely to see are certain communities that require it, such as federal employees, the military, or individual corporations. States are likely to mandate Covid vaccine requirements for public school attendance at some point, in addition to the many other vaccines currently required. “

While countries introducing nationwide vaccination regulations are in the minority, several countries – including the UK, the US and France – have made Covid vaccination compulsory for medical workers.

British Health Minister Sajid Javid has specifically an extension of the vaccine mandate is excluded to the general population of the country.

Al Dowie, professor of medical ethics and law at the University of Glasgow, said mandatory vaccination was not inherently controversial “depending on the context”, noting that doctors in the UK should already be vaccinated against common communicable diseases.

“Coercion is ethical when the public health risk is sufficient,” he said in an email. “Health is a risky phenomenon and there must always be a residual risk. The question is what level of risk is considered acceptable.”

Coercion vs. Incentive

While some governments have opted for aggressive mandates, others have instead tried to increase vaccination adoption by incentivizing individuals to vaccinate.

For example, Ohio State’s “Vax-a-Million” lottery program, where people entered a $ 1 million raffle after getting their shot, was hailed as a “smashing hit” by Governor Mike DeWine. New York and Maryland later started their own lottery programs To create incentives for vaccine intake, however a study Boston University School of Medicine doctors later found no evidence that Ohio’s lottery incentive had increased adoption.

Alternative research has suggested that financial incentives could be useful in promoting vaccinations. A Swedish study released last month found that the number of people the equivalent of $ 24 increased vaccination intake by 4%. Researcher said CNBC however, that it was “a little extra motivation to vaccinate” and not a tool to change the minds of ardent skeptics.

During the pandemic, several governments, including those of the USA, Japan and Hong Kong, millions of citizens have given checks for $ 930 to $ 1,280 to keep their economies afloat. Savulescu said he suspected that offering lump sum payments of the same value would increase vaccination rates and protect economies by preventing further lockdowns.

“How effective these interventions are is little known and will likely depend on culture, level of incentive or coercion, ability to enforce them, etc.,” he said. “In general, I think it’s better to start with incentives than go straight to coercion.”

Cherian said that while offering incentives to promote vaccination was not at its core an unethical strategy, he was skeptical of the effectiveness of coercion and incentive tactics.

“Those who work for public health will be ready to receive the vaccine regardless of consequence or incentive,” he told CNBC. “Those who are on the fence can be incentivized. Indeed, for people who for whatever reason are extremely reluctant to vaccinate, coercive measures can have the opposite effect, making them even more suspicious of the vaccines someone is trying to force them on. “

Ex-New Zealand PM on Covid pandemic, vaccine inequity

People walking past a mural depicting medical workers hitting the coronavirus with a vaccine needle in Santacruz, Mumbai, India on March 29, 2021.

Pratik Chorge | Hindustan times | Getty Images

Covid-19 is still spreading around the world and a “vaccine only” strategy will not end the pandemic, former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark said Thursday.

The World Health Organization has issued the same warning last year when the world was stuck in the Covid pandemic for only a few months.

Globally, the number of daily reported Covid cases and deaths rose again in the past month, data compiled by Johns Hopkins University showed. In fact, more and more people are receiving vaccinations and, in some countries, booster vaccinations.

“What I would say to the countries … [that] Successful with vaccine rollouts is: It won’t do it alone, “said Clark at the virtual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation CEO Summit.

“You need to be able to calibrate, reintroduce or maintain public health measures that are relevant to the epidemiological state of the pandemic and your country at this point in time,” she added.

In a separate meeting at the APEC CEO Summit, Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel said one of the biggest challenges in managing the Covid outbreak is being proactive in responding to spikes in cases.

Unfortunately, Germany is now in the middle of the fourth wave. We are seeing a large increase in numbers. People may think it’s a thing of the past, but we need to realize that it’s not over yet.

Angela Merkel

Chancellor

“As soon as the cases increase dramatically, you have to intervene immediately,” said Merkel, who is preparing for her office after 16 years a year Germany’s top job.

She warned that the Covid-19 pandemic is not over yet, as Germany is experiencing a resurgence in some cases.

“Unfortunately, Germany is in the middle of the fourth wave. We are seeing a high increase in numbers. People may believe that it is a thing of the past, but we have to recognize that it is not over yet,” said Merkel on Friday.

Keep Delta away

In addition to Germany, the daily reported cases have also increased in Singapore, although vaccine rollout has been accelerated.

The Southeast Asian city-state has around one of the highest vaccination rates in the world 85% of the population fully vaccinated according to the Ministry of Health. But the country had to Adjust social distancing measures several times, as the highly infectious Delta variant spreads.

“Very Unjust” Vaccine Rollout

The “very unjust” introduction of Covid vaccines is partly responsible for the prolongation of the pandemic, said Clark.

“We’re not going to be really safe in New Zealand or Canada or China or wherever unless everyone in the world has access to vaccines and therapeutics and so on,” she said.

the WHO and other health professionals, including famous epidemiologist Larry Brilliant, have already made similar comments.

Clark co-chaired an independent panel set up by WHO to review global pandemic preparedness and response.

In its final report released in May, the panel recommended that high-income countries redistribute at least one billion doses of Covid vaccines to 92 low- and middle-income countries by September 1, and an additional billion doses by mid-2022.

Analytics company Airfinity said in a report dated Oct. 20 that only 350 million cans were dispensed.