What good news did the German scientist Ugur Sahin, the developer of the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine, bring to the world?

What is the other good news from Moderna?

And why did Japan record an unprecedented number of deaths from Covid-19?

And why do some see that although the Omicron wave is receding - and this calls for optimism - the epidemic is not over yet?

What good news did the scientist Ugur Sahin, the developer of the Biontech-Pfizer vaccine, bring to the world?

The good news is that the world has become more prepared for the new strains of Corona, as the scientist Ugur Sahin - the manufacturer of the first vaccine with messenger RNA technology (mRNA) - said that the world has become “more and more ready” to confront the new mutants of Covid-19 that he will have to live with for years.

"Other mutations will come, but we are always learning more, and we are better prepared," he told AFP.

The researcher points out that "we must accept having to live for the next ten years with the virus."

Moderna is looking to release an Omicron booster vaccine by August

The CEO of the American biotechnology company Moderna told Reuters that there may be an Omicron booster vaccine ready by next August, but the company is still collecting data from clinical trials to determine whether this vaccine will provide better protection compared to receiving a new dose of the vaccine. Present.

Moderna last month began clinical trials of a booster dose designed specifically to target Omicron, but preliminary results from studies in monkeys show that the Omicron vaccine may not provide stronger protection than a new dose of the current vaccine.

Moderna CEO Stephen Bancel said - in an interview - that the company aims to prepare a booster vaccine by August 2022, before next fall, when he said that more people who are most vulnerable may need it.

"We believe that a booster dose will be needed. I don't know yet whether it will be from the current vaccine or from the Omicron vaccine, or a combination of both ... in a single dose," he said.

A comprehensive vaccine that protects against COVID-19, influenza and other diseases

Bancel said a decision will be made over the coming months when clinical trial data is available.

He also confirmed that Moderna will have - in the best case scenario - ready by August 2023, what it calls a universal vaccine that simultaneously protects against Covid-19, influenza and other diseases that affect the respiratory system.

Japan records an unprecedented number of deaths from Covid-19 .. Why?

Japan recorded a new unprecedented number of daily deaths from Covid-19, in a wave of deaths fueled by the Omicron strain.

And a statistics conducted by the Japanese Broadcasting Corporation concluded that the number of newly recorded deaths increased to 271 on Thursday, the third consecutive day in which the number exceeded 200.

Since the beginning of February, 2,446 deaths have been recorded, which is already the second most fatal month due to the two-year pandemic.

A panel of experts in the health sector said that the increase in infections caused by the highly contagious Omicron strain had peaked, but that cases requiring hospital care and deaths were likely to continue, especially among the elderly.

The Japanese government has delayed distributing booster doses

Experts and local officials said that the Japanese government's delay in distributing booster doses of coronavirus vaccines made it more likely to increase the number of deaths due to Omicron than other rich countries.

Although Japan was relatively slow in launching its first vaccination campaign - according to Reuters - it boosted its speed, and by November it had the highest vaccination rate among the Group of Seven industrialized countries.

But after that, the Ministry of Health adhered to a protocol that stipulated a waiting period of 8 months between the first doses of the vaccine and the booster dose, although other countries reduced waiting times, and urged local governments - including the Tokyo government - to distribute the booster doses faster.

The waiting period was finally reduced to 6 months, which is still longer than the 3 months in South Korea and 5 months in Singapore.

Only 10% of the Japanese population received the third dose of vaccines, compared to more than 50% in South Korea and Singapore.

The Omicron wave is receding, and this is cause for optimism..but the epidemic is not over yet

A report published by "Time" newspaper (Time) prepared by Gavin Yami, Upper Crane and Rano Dillon says that the United States has witnessed a brutal winter wave of Covid-19, driven by the highly contagious Omicron mutant, as daily deaths are higher than they were during the peak The delta wave last fall, it stabilized at about 2,500 cases per day, many hospitals are still under great pressure and postpone elective surgeries, to provide beds for Covid-19 patients, and the rate of daily cases is higher than it was during the delta mutating period, and all of that Despite predictions in the past that we have reached herd immunity and that the epidemic is over.

The report states that there are promising signs that we are approaching a turning point. New daily cases are declining rapidly;

It is more than 75% lower than it was at the peak of the omicron wave, and the need for hospitalization is also reduced.

Although we are not yet clearly out of the crisis, the sharp decline in cases is cause for optimism.

The report explains that in the face of these declining cases, some critics are calling for an end to anti-epidemic measures, such as ending the wearing of masks in enclosed spaces and testing for those without symptoms, which some states have implemented by undoing the requirement for people to wear masks.

The writers say that they fully understand the frustration and impatience with these claims, as the epidemiological fatigue is real, but they also said that this yearning for “normal” ignores the fact that our society before Covid-19 was anything but normal, noting that if this were the case Why did we suffer from the pandemic in such a devastating way.


Great chances of transmission of the Corona virus

The authors of the report show that perhaps the biggest problem is that there is still a great deal of potential for transmission of the virus, with about 175,000 new infections daily, only less than two-thirds of Americans have been fully vaccinated with vaccines that no longer provide the same protection as they did. Prior to Omicron, only a quarter of Americans received a booster dose that provided the highest level of protection against infection, hospitalization, and death, along with persistent inequalities in vaccination, including racial inequality, where black and Hispanic populations are vaccinated at a lower rate than white populations, with Low vaccination rate among children and adolescents.

The book points to what the New York Times calls a "pandemic of the forgotten," in which about 7 million Americans have compromised immune systems due to transplants, cancer treatment, arthritis medications, or other medical conditions, and could become seriously ill if infected. With Covid-19, this push to return to normal realistically ignores them, and there is an increasing number of people suffering from long-term illness after surviving infection, a condition now known as "Long Covid" that we are just beginning to understand.

The authors stress that with the arrival of new antiviral drugs, such as "Paxlovid", and with the effectiveness of the early use of the antiviral "Remdesivir" (Remdesivir), it has become more urgent for everyone to obtain free tests, as these drugs can reduce the chances of entry into Hospitalization or death if taken soon after the onset of symptoms, which requires access to tests for early diagnosis, and increased access to tests must be accompanied by fair and equitable access to these drugs, especially for communities with low access to care .

The book concludes by emphasizing that the presence of many people around the world without vaccination, prompts caution about future epidemic flows, noting that if the United States wants to end the epidemic, it must do more to enhance global access to vaccines, including Donate multiple doses, share vaccine technology, and fund global mass production, and they must implement higher vaccination rates, better data and monitoring systems, data-driven policies and rapid testing, better ventilation in shared public spaces, and a more flexible preparedness system.

Keywords: