TheIran will start its vaccination campaign on Wednesday.
The FOPH is considering a possible booster vaccination against mutated variants.
■ In Texas, “vaccinodromes” for people at risk
In this American state, 82 large medical structures are authorized to vaccinate on a large scale in “hub”, centers of concentration of the means where the patients can remain in their car and receive the dose by simply rolling down their window. Each time, the hospitals or public health services selected must focus on populations or territories at risk. In exchange, they are assured of stability in their delivery.
The Texas Department of Health estimates that vaccination will be extended to the general public in the spring. For now, it is reserved for those over 65, medical staff, residents of long-term care facilities or people with “chronic medical problems that increase their risk of serious Covid-19 infection. “.
■ In Iran, vaccinations will start by Wednesday
The vaccination campaign “will start (…) before 22 Bahman (February 10, according to the Persian calendar), over the next few days, based on the priorities of the Ministry of Health,” said President Hassan Rouhani during a meeting of the Pandemic Control Committee, without giving an exact date.
The first batches of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine arrived Thursday in Iran, the country hardest hit in the Near and Middle East: 58,412 deaths out of a total of 1,459,370 cases confirmed since the announcement of the first contaminations in February 2020, according to official statistics published by the Ministry of Health. Two more lots are expected in Tehran by February 18 and 28.
The Islamic Republic also began clinical trials of its own vaccine in December.
■ The Confederation discusses a possible booster vaccination
The Confederation is preparing for the possibility of reduced effectiveness of vaccines against mutated variants of the coronavirus. The relevance of a booster vaccination is under discussion, indicates Nora Kronig, vice-director of the FOPH, in an interview published on Saturday by the Day indicator.
“We take precautions at an early stage because we don’t know how long the vaccine works and whether it protects against mutations in the virus,” says Kronig. The latter, also head of the international division of the Federal Office of Public Health (OFSP), answered the question of why Bern ordered a vaccine for 17 million people.
At present, the situation is difficult to assess, she emphasizes. It cannot be ruled out that the vaccines are not sufficiently effective for certain variants of the virus.
■ Beijing approves a second vaccine made in China (Sinovac)
Chinese drug regulatory authority gives “conditional” approval for Sinovac’s CoronaVac. The vaccine has already been used to vaccinate certain “at risk” populations, but this authorization allows it to be used by the general public. A conditional authorization allows emergency treatments to be deployed on the market, in cases where clinical trials have yet to be continued but already indicate that these treatments will work.
This authorization comes after several trials of the vaccine in countries such as Brazil and Turkey, although “the results in terms of efficacy and safety have yet to be confirmed,” Sinovac said in a statement.
■ Several international sports stars infected
Slovakian cycling star Peter Sagan, his brother Juraj and their compatriot Erik Baska have tested positive, their team announces. They have “mild symptoms” and are in quarantine.
In basketball, imbroglio around Kevin Durant: the star of the Brooklyn Nets was prevented from starting a game against Toronto on Friday because he was the subject of a traceability investigation. The number 7 was then cleared to play by the NBA before being definitively sent back to the locker room.
■ Joe Biden wants to speed up the adoption of a gigantic bailout
The President of the United States on Friday promised to “act quickly” in the face of the economic difficulties of Americans linked to the pandemic, hammering out his desire to have his rescue plan adopted ($ 1.900 billion including aid for SMEs and households most vulnerable) after worrying signals sent by the labor market. The unemployment rate, which had not budged in December, fell to 6.3% in January. And 49,000 jobs were created, after a negative December.
The Democratic-controlled Senate and House of Representatives on Friday approved resolutions instituting a simple majority voting procedure for the Biden plan to bypass the opposition and save time. Everything should take at least two weeks, said Nancy Pelosi, the leader of the Democrats in the lower house.
■ Spain, Romania and Greece limit use of AstraZeneca vaccine
Spain’s health ministry said on Friday it would limit the use of the AstraZeneca / Oxford vaccine to people under 55, after other European countries like Romania said they had similar restrictions. Greece, for its part, has indicated that it reserves the use of this vaccine for those under 65.
France, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden and other countries have set age limits for this vaccine, developed by the Anglo-Swedish company AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, due to the lack of risk assessment in older populations. Swissmedic said Wednesday it lacked data to allow its authorization in Switzerland.
■ Nearly 500 Covid-19 screening tests carried out in Villars
The canton of Vaud started its large-scale screening tests for the coronavirus in the Pre-Alps on Friday. The operation began in the ski resort of Villars. A total of 484 tests were performed. Seven have tested positive.
These tests in Villars take place over three days until Sunday 7 p.m. and will then continue from Monday in Les Diablerets and then from next Thursday in Leysin, still over three days. They are done on a voluntary basis and without an appointment, are free and are intended for anyone from 12 years old, including people who do not live in one of these three stations.