Stay informed here of the latest corona news from home and abroad.

90 percent of infected KLM passengers from South Africa have been vaccinated

Of the 61 infected passengers on the two KLM flights from Johannesburg and Cape Town to Schiphol, more than 90 percent said they had been vaccinated, a spokesperson for GGD Kennemerland reported on Thursday.

Just over half of the 44 travelers who are still in isolation in a quarantine hotel in Badhoevedorp are expected to leave the hotel on Thursday.

The two planes turned out to be infected travelers last Friday.

The GGD had to test more than 600 passengers.

61 of them were infected with the corona virus.

44 infected people had to be in isolation in the hotel.

Others had to be quarantined at home.

At least 14 of them were infected with the omikron variant, which was discovered in southern Africa.

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Previous corona infection does not seem to protect against omikron variant

In South Africa, many people are reinfected with the corona virus due to the emergence of the omikron variant.

Scientists say that many more people get the virus a second time than with previous variants.

"An infection protected against the delta variant, but that does not seem to be the case with the omikron variant," researcher Anne von Gottberg said in a press conference of the World Health Organization (WHO).

A team from the WHO's African Department is heading to South Africa to assist with source and contact investigations in the affected Gauteng region.

The team is also keeping an eye on developments around the omikron variant.

South Africa was the first country to establish the omikron variant.

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Britons order millions of corona vaccines because of the omikron variant

The United Kingdom is accelerating the purchase of corona vaccines because of the discovery of the omikron variant.

Health Minister Sajid Javid announced that the government has ordered an additional 114 million doses from Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech.

Those doses are to be delivered in 2022 and 2023,

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"This includes purchasing modified vaccines so that we can have the vaccines we need in the long term," says Javid.

The minister called vaccination the best defense against the virus.

"That is also the reason for the enormous expansion of our booster program."

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British approve new corona treatment

The British medicine watchdog MHRA has given the green light for the use of the drug sotrovimab.

This drug from pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), also known under the brand name Xevudy, is intended for people who have an increased risk of a serious course of COVID-19.

MHRA calls the so-called monoclonal antibody safe and effective.

One dose reduces the risk of death or hospitalization by 79 percent for corona patients from risk groups, the British regulator concludes.

The European regulator EMA is also considering the approval of the drug.

According to preliminary research results, Sotrovimab also appears to be effective in cases of contamination with the omikron variant, the maker reports.

The investigation is still ongoing.

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Stricter measures expected in Germany

The leaders of the German federal states are meeting today with Chancellor Angela Merkel and her intended successor Olaf Scholz about drastic restrictions on unvaccinated people. For example, according to German media, people may only be able to access non-essential shops, the catering industry, cinemas and theaters if they have been cured or vaccinated. For the catering industry, cinemas and theaters, an additional negative test can even be requested, the so-called 2G-plus policy.

The preliminary proposal also states that unvaccinated people may meet up to two people from another household indoors and outdoors.

The number of people allowed to attend events is also likely to be limited.

Schools in Germany will remain open, but all students and teachers must wear masks.

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People living at

home with Down invited

for a booster injection

from Friday

People with Down syndrome who live at home will receive an invitation for a booster injection from Friday. They will receive an invitation from their GP sometime in the coming weeks, the RIVM announced. People with Down syndrome who live in a care institution have been offered a booster vaccination since last Wednesday.

The Health Council says that despite vaccination against COVID-19, adults with Down syndrome have an increased risk of becoming seriously ill. "This risk is comparable to the risk for people aged sixty and older. That is why they are offered a booster vaccination at an accelerated rate," RIVM said.

People who are not mobile for psychological or physical reasons can receive the vaccine at home.

This also applies to people with Down who are unable to come to the vaccination site.

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The omikron variant of the coronavirus, which was recently discovered in the South African province of Gauteng, is causing concern.

How is such a new variant actually discovered?


How scientists discover a new coronavirus variant

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People born in 1941 can arrange booster jab schedule

People born in 1941, Thursday from 10:00 to arrange a so-called

booster jab


This shot should boost and prolong their defenses against COVID-19.

Outgoing minister Hugo de Jonge (Public Health) announced this this morning via Twitter.

The group with 1941 as the year of birth can make an appointment via the website or call the national appointment number (0800-70 70).

They do not have to wait until they have received the written invitation to do so.

The injection is made by the GGD.

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Cause of thrombosis after AstraZeneca shot found, but further investigation needed

The very rare side effect of the AstraZeneca vaccine in which blood clots (thrombosis) form is probably due to a protein in the blood being attracted to a key component of the vaccine . Discovered


in Wales and the United States.

AstraZeneca's vaccine is estimated to have saved a million lives worldwide. Earlier this year, however, it was discredited, because there was a possible link between the vaccine and serious thrombosis. As a result, it was decided in the Netherlands to no longer use the vaccine.

The vaccine, which consists of genetic material and a common cold virus, is injected into a muscle.

Sometimes some of it gets into the bloodstream.

Then there is a chance that it will attract a certain protein in the blood, which in rare cases triggers an immune system response.

This reaction causes antibodies to attack the injected cold virus, which in turn can lead to the blood clots.

Although this probably explains what causes the blood clots, there is still a lot of research to be done, according to the researchers.

For example, it is not yet clear why some people are more susceptible to the side effect than others.

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Omikron variant is now dominant in South Africa

The omikron variant of the coronavirus is now dominant in South Africa, where the virus variant was discovered.

It now appears that the omikron variant is involved in 74 percent of the infections.

Healthcare experts are concerned about the large increase in the number of infections.

Previously, the average number of infections was around 300. The average increased to 1,000 last week and now to 3,500.

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South Korea again has record number of corona

infections On Wednesday, South Korea counted 5,266 corona infections, a day after the number of infections exceeded 5,000 for the first time.

At the same time, the country is struggling with a large increase in corona patients with severe symptoms. 

From Friday, all travelers to South Korea will be quarantined for ten days.

Previously, that rule did not apply to fully vaccinated people, but that exception has now been withdrawn.

So far, five cases of the omikron variant have been reported in South Korea.

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Pfizer vaccine approved for five to


in Italy

Italian drug agency AIFA has approved Pfizer and BioNTech's vaccine for use in children between five and 11 years old. The children receive one third of the adult dose. The Italians are thus following the advice of the European vaccine regulator, the EMA, which recently approved the vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech for children aged five to eleven.

The vaccine has "high effectiveness and there are currently no safety concerns," Italy's AIFA scientists said in a statement. In the Netherlands, the Health Council will shortly issue advice on vaccines for children. The cabinet will then decide on vaccination.

Elsewhere in the world, young children are already being vaccinated, in the United States, for example, millions of children between the ages of five and 12 have been vaccinated.

Experts from the French health authorities advised earlier this week that young children can receive a corona jab if they are at extra risk of being infected or if they live with vulnerable people.

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European airports angry about entry bans due to omikron variant

European airports have lashed out at countries that have announced entry bans to prevent the spread of the omikron variant of the corona virus. The Netherlands, among others, denies access to many travelers from countries in southern Africa, where the new variant was discovered. This kind of intervention does not help against the spread of the new variant and at the same time causes many people problems, according to the interest group for airports ACI Europe. The branch organization refers to the advice of the health organization WHO.

“Our experience over the past 20 months has confirmed that generic travel restrictions are not effective against the spread of new variants,” said Olivier Jankovec, CEO of ACI Europe.

"While they don't affect the epidemiological situation, they do have a dramatic impact on people's incomes."

Jankovec calls on governments worldwide to follow the advice of the WHO.

The health organization has also repeatedly spoken out against travel restrictions for people coming from certain countries, because they would have no effect.

Instead, countries should determine entry policies based on risk assessments and scientific knowledge.

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