Italy Makes Jabs Mandatory, UK’s New Travel Rules: COVID-19 Bulletin


COVID-19 jab bookings increased in Italy on Friday after some of the world’s toughest anti-coronavirus measures have come into effect. As of October 15, any employee who does not present proof of vaccination, negative test or recent recovery from infection will be automatically suspended without pay.

Switzerland announced that all travelers who are not fully vaccinated will be required to show proof of a negative test when entering the country. Berne said the measures, which come into effect on September 20, are being introduced to avoid a spike in cases once people start to return from their fall vacation.

UK Transport Minister Grant Shapps announced relaxation of international travel rules to England, Friday, in a boost to the tourism industry. Fully vaccinated passengers will no longer need to undergo pre-departure PCR tests upon arrival from low-risk countries from October 4.

• From the end of October, people traveling to England from approved countries will only have to take a rapid lateral flow test on the second day of their stay. Under the new rules, eight countries, including Turkey and Pakistan, will be removed from the current red list, which requires passengers to quarantine themselves in a hotel.

Scotland will continue to require travelers to take PCR tests before departure and on day two “Due to significant concerns about the impact on public health. “

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo criticized those who refuse to be vaccinated to endanger others and slow down efforts to ease restrictions. “This epidemic is becoming an epidemic of unvaccinated people. It is not defensible,” De Croo said at a press conference.

New study published by the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention is the latest to suggest Moderna vaccine offers better long-term protection against hospitalization, compared to the Pfizer jab.

Police were among the injured as hundreds of protesters were arrested in Melbourne, the second most populous city in Australia, on Saturday during violent clashes during an anti-containment march. Officers used pepper spray and made more than 200 arrests as several hundred participants flouted stay-at-home orders and marched through a downtown suburb as the city crosses its sixth lockdown since it began of the pandemic.

Currently available vaccines offer strong protection against severe forms of the virus but are less reliable in preventing spread. / AFP / Bureau Martin

Currently available vaccines offer strong protection against severe forms of the virus but are less reliable in preventing spread. / AFP / Bureau Martin

Could delivering COVID-19 immunity straight to the nose help beat the pandemic?

The World Health Organization says clinical trials are underway to evaluate eight nasal spray vaccines targeting COVID-19. The most advanced effort to date by Xiamen University of China, University of Hong Kong and Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy has completed phase two trials.

“The idea is to close the door,” said researcher Nathalie Mielcarek, who is working with the Institut Pasteur in Lille to develop a nasal spray vaccine against whooping cough.

An article published in Scientific American in March urged development of nasal spray vaccines because they have an immediate effect on the virus in the mucus of an infected person.

They trigger the production of an antibody called immunoglobulin A, which can block infection.

“This overwhelming response, called sterilizing immunity, reduces the risk of people passing the virus on,” the article said.

Currently available vaccines offer strong protection against severe forms of the virus but are less reliable in preventing the spread of the virus. Boosting immunity directly in the nose “reduces the risk of infecting other people,” Mielcarek said. “From there, you have less virus infecting the lungs and therefore fewer severe cases since the viral load is lower. “

Another advantage is that the sprays do not need to be refrigerated and do not need to be administered by healthcare professionals, so people could self-administer.

Meanwhile, a French study in mice showed last week that 100% of subjects vaccinated with the spray survived COVID-19 while all unvaccinated mice died.

“This could allow us to come back to life before the pandemic, without social distancing, and without masks,” said Isabelle Dimier-Poisson, who led the research.

Source (s): AFP, Reuters

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