Covid-19: Slovakia announces restrictions for unvaccinated, United States advises against travel to Germany and Denmark

The Covid-19 pandemic has killed more than 5,100,000 people worldwide since the end of 2019, according to a report established by Agence France-Presse (AFP) from official sources, Monday, November 22. The United States is the most bereaved (771,013 dead), ahead of Brazil (612,587), India (465,662), Mexico (292,372) and Russia (264,095).

However, the World Health Organization estimates, taking into account the excess mortality directly and indirectly linked to Covid-19, that the overall toll of the pandemic could be two to three times higher.

In graphics: Austria, Germany, the Netherlands… visualize the magnitude of the wave in certain European countries

The number of contaminations is increasing again and part of Europe is reinstating important restrictions, such as Slovakia, which has announced restrictions for people not vaccinated against Covid-19, this central European country facing the ‘one of the highest incidence rates in the world. For its part, the European Medicines Agency is evaluating the effectiveness of a recall with Janssen.

  • Slovakia announces restrictions for the unvaccinated

Prime Minister Eduard Heger said on state broadcaster RTVS that he has “Chooses a strict containment of unvaccinated people, because [nous] must protect them ”. Non-vaccinated people are therefore no longer allowed to enter “non-essential” shops, even with a negative test for the coronavirus. Heger added that he would propose to the government a compulsory vaccination plan for the elderly.

Slovakia has the fourth highest incidence rate in the world with 917 new cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 population in the last seven days, according to an AFP calculation, behind Slovenia, Austria and the neighboring Czech Republic.

“This high rate is the result of several factors, including, above all, the low rate of vaccination”, the president of the association of doctors’ unions, Peter Visolajsky, told AFP on Monday. “The restrictions adopted are still very weak and are not as effective as when the former variant of the coronavirus circulated”, he argued.

Only 45.7% of the 5.4 million Slovaks are vaccinated. It is one of the lowest vaccination rates in the European Union (EU).

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  • Washington advises against travel to Germany and Denmark

The American authorities on Monday advised their nationals to avoid traveling to Germany and Denmark, hit hard by the new wave of the Covid-19 pandemic which is spreading in Europe. The State Department issued two bulletins falling to Level 4, the highest level of warning, its level of alert for these two countries, indicating “A very high level of Covid-19”.

German Health Minister Jens Spahn, whose country recorded a record of more than 65,000 daily infections last week, darkly warned that “Almost everyone will be[it] vaccinated, cured or dead ” by the end of winter. In Germany, the vaccination rate is below 70%, which is a lower level than in other European countries such as France, where it reaches 75%.

The State Department had already raised in August its level of alert to level 4 concerning France, – since lowered to level 3 – then Switzerland, already because of the increased health risk in the face of the epidemic situation.

  • European Medicines Agency assesses effectiveness of recall with Janssen

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has announced that it is in the process of evaluating a Johnson & Johnson laboratory request to allow the injection of a booster dose with Janssen, the vaccine he designed against Covid-19, to people aged 18 or over in the EU.

If the EMA gives its approval, Janssen will be the third vaccine – after those from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna – to be able to be used in the EU for a booster in adults. It will then be administered at least two months after the administration of the single dose.

The data analyzed by the Amsterdam-based AEM will include results from more than 14,000 adults who received a second dose of the Janssen vaccine or a placebo, the agency said. Janssen is one of four vaccines approved by the AEM, along with that of AstraZeneca – which is also based on viral vector technology -, and those of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna – which are based on messenger RNA technology.

In the United States, the health authorities gave their authorization, Friday, November 19, for a third dose of the vaccines of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna for all adults fully vaccinated at least six months ago. Regulatory authorities had previously authorized booster shots for all recipients of the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, two months after their first dose.

  • In Israel, vaccination begins for 5-year-olds

Israel began its vaccination campaign for children aged 5 to 11 on Monday evening, becoming one of the first countries, after the United States, to lower the age of access to the vaccine. To launch this new campaign, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett must have his youngest son vaccinated Tuesday morning in a clinic in the suburbs of Tel Aviv, his services announced.

The Hebrew state was one of the first countries to launch, in December 2020, a vast vaccination campaign thanks to an agreement with the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer which gave it rapid access to millions of paid doses in large-scale vaccine effect data exchange. This campaign resulted in the double vaccination of more than 5.7 million of the approximately nine million Israelis, or more than 80% of adults.

Read also Covid-19: booster with Moderna or Pfizer could be more effective for vaccinated Johnson & Johnson

The World with AFP

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Covid-19: Slovakia announces restrictions for unvaccinated, United States advises against travel to Germany and Denmark