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Thursday, 29 July 2021

Third dose of Pfizer vaccine boosts protection against delta

The Health Ministry reported 38 new covid-19 infections yesterday, up from 31 the day before. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 284,128 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported nine new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 16,507.

Third dose of Pfizer vaccine boosts protection against delta: Pfizer said that people may need a third shot within six to 12 months after their second dose to boost protection against the delta variant. "A third dose, a booster, will take up the immune response to levels that will be enough to protect against the delta variant,” said CEO Albert Bourla, based on new data (pdf) released by the company yesterday. The data, which included tests of 23 people, is yet to be peer-reviewed or published. Pfizer plans to submit research findings to US regulators about the effectiveness of a third Covid vaccine dose by mid-August.

Pfizer’s efficacy also drops over time: The vaccine’s efficacy is 96% between the first week and two months after the second dose, then drops to 90% from two to four months and 84% from four up to six months, according to separate data released.

Receiving two doses of AstraZeneca’s covid-19 vaccine doesn’t raise the risks of developing a rare blood clot, data published in the Lancet medical journal found, suggesting that people shouldn’t hesitate to get a second jab if they had no issues after the first. The estimated rate of clotting, medically known as thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS), was 2.3 per mn in people who received a second shot, which is in line with what rates seen in an unvaccinated population. However, the incidence after a single dose was found to be higher, at 8.1 per mn people. Bloomberg has the story.

The number of deaths caused by covid-19 around the world have jumped by 21% in the past week following an 8% increase in the number of new cases reported during 19-25 July from the week before, according to the World Health Organization. The total number of deaths reported this week has reached 69k, setting us on course to reach past a total death count of 200 mn in the coming two weeks if these trends persist, the WHO said in its weekly epidemiological update. The death count has grown this past week in every region around the world except for Europe.

UK removes quarantine for jabbed US, EU travellers: UK will allow fully jabbed visitors from the US and the EU to arrive without needing to quarantine starting 2 August in a bid to boost summer tourism, the government said yesterday. Visitors from France are being singled out and will continue to undergo quarantine because of the presence of the beta variant in the country. The move came shortly after the US announced earlier this week it'll continue to ban non-U.S. citizens from the UK and EU among other places from entering the country.

The story got wide coverage in the global press: Wall Street Journal | Financial Times | Reuters | Washington Post.

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