There is so much negativity in the news about COVID-19, we want to give you all the positive good news that is happening with research, clinical trials, improvements, vaccines and anything that we can be positive about that you may not have seen.


Latest stories

COVID-19 hospitalizations tumble among U.S. senior citizens


COVID-19 hospitalizations among older Americans have plunged 80 percent since the start of the year, dramatic proof the vaccination campaign is working. Now the trick is to get more of the nation’s younger people to roll up their sleeves.

The drop-off in severe cases among people 65 and older is so dramatic that the hospitalization rate among this highly vaccinated group is now down to around the level of the next-youngest category, Americans 50 to 64.

That slide is especially encouraging because senior citizens have accounted for about 8 out of 10 deaths from COVID-19 since the virus hit the United States.

Overall, COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. have plummeted to about 700 per day on average, compared with a peak of over 3,400 in mid-January. All told, the scourge has killed about 570,000 Americans.

“What you’re seeing there is exactly what we hoped and wanted to see: As really high rates of vaccinations happen, hospitalizations and death rates come down,” said Jodie Guest, a public health researcher at Emory University.


Covid 3rd wave peak in France ‘appears to be behind us’: PM


The peak of the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in France “appears to be behind us”, Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Thursday, announcing that travel restrictions will be relaxed from early next month.

He told reporters there had been a “genuine fall in the circulation of the virus over the last 10 days”, confirming that restrictions confining people to a 10-kilometre (six-mile) radius of their homes would be dropped from May 3.

France is currently under its third lockdown to stem the coronavirus but this time it has been considerably more relaxed than the previous ones, with outdoor activities encouraged to promote mental health.

Most non-essential shops have been closed, however, along with cafes, restaurants and also cultural venues, with players in many sectors piling pressure on the government for a reopening after months of closure.

Castex said “shops, certain cultural and sporting activities and the cafe terraces” could reopen “around mid-May”, depending on the evolution of the health situation.

He emphasised that the government could also allow reopenings on a regional basis starting with those areas with lower virus prevalence.


Germany could start offering COVID vaccines to everyone by June


German Health Minister Jens Spahn said on Thursday that he expected coronavirus vaccinations to be available for all those willing to be vaccinated in Germany by June at the latest.

He told Germany’s upper house of parliament that he assumes “that we can lift the prioritization in June.” He said he would be happy if it were possible even earlier.

Currently, half of people over 60 in Germany have already been vaccinated at least once, Spahn said, adding that the pace of vaccinations will pick up now, with the number of available vaccines and inclusion of distribution practices increasing. Currently, more than one in five in the population will have received a first vaccination, and by the end of May, that figure will be one in three.

According to the Federal Health Ministry, around 21.6% of the population had received a first dose by Thursday, while 5.7 million people, or 6.9% of Germany, had been fully vaccinated.

“A total of more than 23.6 million doses have been given so far, with 689,000 yesterday, ” Spahn wrote on Twitter.


90% of people in eligible groups have already had first jab as UK roll-out accelerates


The UK’s vaccination programme is accelerating again with nine in 10 of all those in eligible age groups in England having already received their first jab, according to NHS data.

The health service said that almost 60 per cent of those in the 45-49 age group were given a first dose within the first week of opening up bookings to them. The next cohort, aged 40-44, is likely to be called up within the next fortnight but ministers have not yet decided when to extend the rollout.

Overall the weekly pace has risen over the course of this month to 3.5 million, faster per head of population than any other large European country despite fears of a supply shortfall slowing the rollout down. Some 33.3 million have had at least one dose, just under half the UK’s total population, and 11.2 million have been given both doses.


U.S. vaccination pace holds above 3 million shots per day for two weeks straight


The U.S. vaccination pace has held above 3 million shots per day for two weeks straight, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.

That figure is based on a seven-day average of daily reported vaccinations, and has fallen slightly in recent days, down from a peak of 3.4 million reported shots per day on April 13 to just over 3 million Tuesday.

About 40% of Americans have received at least one shot, CDC data shows, and roughly 1 in 4 are fully vaccinated.


Second vaccine: More than a fifth of UK adults have had both doses of Covid jab after shift in focus


More than one in five of all British adults have now been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 as the UK’s jabs rollout continues to focus on getting second doses to the most vulnerable groups.

Nearly all the over-70s, health workers and those who were told to shield are likely to have had their second dose by the end of next week. And within days, the proportion of the whole population who have had at least one dose will pass 50 per cent.

A total of 10,775,817 people have been given both doses of either the Pfizer or the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, according to figures published on Wednesday. That is slightly over 20 per cent of the UK’s adult population, which is estimated at 52.7 million.

Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said: “Another strong day vaccinating yesterday. We keep going, one in five adults are now protected with two doses.”

While most of the protection from vaccinations appears to kick in after just one dose, their efficacy rises after the second dose. In Israel, it was only after a critical mass of people had had two doses that the vaccines appeared to drive down the R number significantly.


Breakthrough Covid-19 infections “rare” among fully vaccinated nursing home residents, CDC says


Most fully vaccinated residents of nursing homes were not infected, even after someone in the same facility tested positive for Covid-19, according to a new study that looked at infections in nursing homes in Chicago from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Among the nearly 8,000 residents and nearly 7,000 staff that have received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine since December, there were only 22 breakthrough infections among the fully vaccinated, according to the CDC’s Weekly Morbidity and Mortality Report published on Wednesday.

The CDC considers people to be fully vaccinated two weeks after the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or two weeks after the single Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Of the 22 breakthrough cases, there were 12 residents and 10 staff members who tested positive for Covid-19 after being fully vaccinated. Two-thirds of those who tested positive, 14 people, were asymptomatic. Two residents were hospitalized and one of those residents died, the CDC said. The person who died had three underlying conditions, according to the CDC.

There was no facility-associated secondary transmission.


Masks, Distancing Can Be Relaxed If You Are Vaccinated, EU Says


Social distancing rules and mask requirements can be relaxed for those who get vaccinated, the European Union’s agency for disease prevention said, adding to signs that an accelerated rollout of shots against the coronavirus can pave the way for a gradual return to normality.

When fully vaccinated individuals meet other fully vaccinated individuals, physical distancing and the wearing of face masks can be relaxed, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said in a set of guidelines published Wednesday. The rules can be relaxed even when vaccinated meet people who have still to get the shot, as long there are no risk factors for severe disease or lower vaccine effectiveness in anyone present.

The reasoning is that people who have received the vaccines have a very low risk of developing severe illness, while the risk of contracting the virus from someone who has been vaccinated is also low.


Britons who test positive for coronavirus could be sent antiviral tablets to take at home


Britons who test positive for COVID-19 or are exposed to the virus could be sent antiviral tablets to take at home – as the prime minister aims to bolster the UK’s defences against another wave of infections this year.

Boris Johnson on Tuesday launched a government taskforce – modelled on the group that secured UK access to COVID vaccines – to identify the most promising new antiviral medicines.

The taskforce will be charged with supporting the development of new antiviral treatments through clinical trials to ensure they can be rolled out to patients as early as the autumn.

Speaking at a Downing Street news conference, the prime minister said the action was intended as a “further line of medical defence” against coronavirus.

“This means, for example, that if you test positive there might be a tablet you could take at home to stop the virus in its tracks and significantly reduce the chance of infection turning into more severe disease,” he added.

“Or if you’re living with someone who has tested positive, there might be a pill you could take for a few days to stop you getting the disease yourself.”

The government’s aim is to have at least two effective treatments this year – either in a tablet or capsule form – that the public can take at home following a positive COVID test or exposure to someone with the virus.

It is hoped the drugs could help combat any future rise in infections and limit the impact of new COVID variants, especially over the winter flu season.