CategoryItaly

Italy reports 44 COVID-19 deaths on Sunday, lowest daily tally since October

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Italy reported 44 coronavirus-related deaths on Sunday, down from 83 the day before and the lowest figure since mid-October, while the daily tally of new infections also dropped to 2,949 from 3,351, the health ministry said.

Italy has registered 126,046 deaths linked to COVID-19 since its outbreak in February last year, the second-highest toll in Europe after Britain and the seventh-highest in the world.

The country has reported 4.216 million cases to date.

The number of deaths is often lower on a Sunday but the latest figure confirms a declining trend. People reported dead due to COVID-19 stood at 72 last Sunday and 93 a week before that, down from 139 on Sunday May 9.

The number of patients in hospital with COVID-19 – not including those in intensive care – totalled 6,591 on Sunday, down from 6,800 a day earlier.

https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/italy-reports-44-covid-19-deaths-sunday-lowest-daily-tally-since-october-2021-05-30/

Italian study shows COVID-19 infections, deaths plummeting after jabs

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COVID-19 infections in adults of all ages fell by 80% five weeks after a first dose of Pfizer (PFE.N), Moderna (MRNA.O) or AstraZeneca (AZN.L) vaccine, according to Italian research published on Saturday.

The first such study by a European Union country on the real-world impact of its immunisation campaign was carried out by Italy’s National Institute of Health (ISS) and the Ministry of Health on 13.7 million people vaccinated nationwide.

Scientists started studying data from the day Italy’s vaccination campaign began, on Dec. 27 2020, until May 3 2021.

The analysis showed that the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection, hospitalisation, and death decreased progressively after the first two weeks following the initial vaccination.

“As of 35 days after the first dose, there is an 80% reduction in infections, 90% reduction in hospitalisations, and 95% reduction in deaths,” the ISS said, adding that the same pattern was seen in both men and women regardless of age.

“This data confirms the effectiveness of the vaccination campaign and the need to achieve high coverage across the population quickly to end the emergency,” ISS president Silvio Brusaferro said in the statement.

https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/italian-study-shows-covid-19-infections-deaths-plummeting-after-jabs-2021-05-15/

European regulator says Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is ‘safe and effective’

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The European Union’s medicines agency has said the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine is “safe and effective” to use following an investigation into reports of blood clots in a small number of recipients.

The decision by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) comes after more than a dozen European countries – including Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, France and Sweden – halted the vaccine’s rollout over clotting fears.

The EMA said the benefits outweigh the risks – and the vaccine is not linked to an “overall risk” of blood clots.

However, the agency’s safety committee has also said it can’t rule out a potential link with a “small number of cases” of a rare clotting disorder occurring after the vaccination.

It has therefore recommended that governments “raise awareness” of the possible effects by including them in product information.

https://news.sky.com/story/covid-19-european-regulator-says-oxford-astrazeneca-vaccine-is-safe-and-effective-12249663

Italy aims to vaccinate at least 80% of population by end of September

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Italy said on Saturday it aimed to vaccinate at least 80% of its population by the end of September, following criticism about the slow pace of the rollout of a coronavirus vaccination campaign in one of worst-hit nations in Europe.

Francesco Paolo Figliuolo, an army general and new special commissioner for coronavirus, released a national plan to administer 500,000 doses a day at full capacity, according to a cabinet office document.

Italy has registered 101,881 deaths since the outbreak emerged in the country in February 2020, the second-highest toll in Europe after Britain and the seventh-highest in the world. It has reported 3.2 million cases of infection to date.

Some 1.95 million Italians, equal to just 3.8% of the eligible population, have been administered two jabs of vaccine so far, sparking public criticism about the slow pace of the rollout and prompting the appointment of Figliuolo.

Italy expects to receive an increasing number of vaccines, with total deliveries raising from 15.7 million doses in the first quarter to 52.5 million between April and June to a peak of 84.9 million in the third quarter, the document said.

It plans to broaden the health operators administering shots by boosting an existing agreement to employ family doctors and by using dentists, junior doctors, doctors from the Italian Sports Medicine Federation and others.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-italy-vaccines/italy-aims-to-vaccinate-at-least-80-of-population-by-end-of-september-idUSKBN2B50L0

Covid vaccinations: No reason to stop using AstraZeneca jab, says WHO

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Countries should not stop using AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine over fears it causes blood clots as there is no indication this is true, the World Health Organization says.

Bulgaria, Denmark and Norway are among the countries that have paused its use.

But on Friday a WHO spokeswoman said there was no link between the jab and an increased risk of developing a clot.

Margaret Harris said it was an “excellent vaccine” and should continue to be used.

Around 5 million Europeans have already received the AstraZeneca jab.

There have been about 30 cases in Europe of “thromboembolic events” – or developing blood clots – after the vaccine was administered. There were also reports that a 50-year-old man had died in Italy after developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

The WHO is investigating the reports, as it does any safety questions, Ms Harris said.

On Friday, AstraZeneca said the recorded number of blood clots in vaccinated people was “significantly lower… than would be expected among the general population”.

“An analysis of our safety data of more than 10 million records has shown no evidence of an increased risk of pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis,” a spokesperson said.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-56370636

The E.U. begins its vaccine rollout, aiming to inoculate more than 450 million people

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From nursing homes in France to hospitals in Poland, older Europeans and the workers who care for them rolled up their sleeves on Sunday to receive coronavirus vaccine shots in a campaign to inoculate more than 450 million people across the European Union.

The inoculations offered a rare respite as the continent struggles with one of its most precarious moments since the pandemic began.

Despite national lockdowns, restrictions on movement, shuttering of restaurants and cancellations of Christmas gatherings, the virus has stalked Europe into the dark winter months. The spread of a more contagious variant of the virus in Britain has raised such alarm that much of continental Europe rushed to close its borders to travelers coming from the country, effectively plunging the nation as a whole into quarantine.

“Today, we start turning the page on a difficult year,” Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission president wrote on Twitter. “The #COVID19 vaccine has been delivered to all EU countries.”

For Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte of Italy, the vaccine’s arrival could not come soon enough. Italy’s suffering at the outset of the pandemic served as a warning for the world, and the current death toll is again among the worst in Europe.

“Today Italy reawakens. It’s #VaccineDay,” he wrote on Twitter after a 29-year-old nurse at Rome’s Spallanzani hospital was the first person to be inoculated. “This date will remain with us forever.”

The nurse, Claudia Alivernini, said she hoped the vaccination campaign would signal “the beginning of the end” of the pandemic.

In Spain, a 96-year-old great-grandmother, Araceli Rosario Hidalgo, was the first to receive the vaccine. The Los Olmos nursing home, where she lives, is in Guadalajara,  a city that has a special storage facility where the first doses of the vaccine were delivered on Saturday, transported from Belgium.

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez wrote on Twitter that the  vaccinations marked “a hopeful new chapter.”

Similar scenes played out across the continent, although not every member of the bloc followed the rollout plans. In Germany, a nursing home in the eastern state of Saxony-Anhalt jumped the gun, inoculating dozens of residents and staff members on Saturday, hours after the doses arrived. Officials in the Netherlands said they planned to begin vaccinations on Jan. 8.

But all E.U. member nations now have a supply of vaccine on hand to distribute.

https://www.nytimes.com/live/2020/12/27/world/covid-19-coronavirus-updatesHELP US SPREAD GOOD NEWS!

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EU launches mass Covid-19 vaccination push in ‘moment of unity’

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European Union nations have launched a co-ordinated effort to give Covid-19 vaccinations to adults among their 450 million citizens.

Shots were administered on Sunday morning to the most vulnerable people, healthcare workers who take care of them, and some politicians to reassure the public that the vaccinations are safe.

The vaccines, developed by Germany’s BioNTech and American drug maker Pfizer, started arriving in EU countries on Friday. The EU has seen some of the world’s earliest and hardest-hit virus hot spots, including Italy and Spain.

Others EU countries, like the Czech Republic, were spared the worst early on only to see their healthcare systems near collapse in the autumn.

Altogether, the EU’s 27 nations have recorded at least 16 million coronavirus cases and more than 336,000 deaths – huge numbers that experts still agree understate the true toll of the pandemic due to missed cases and limited testing.

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen released a video celebrating the vaccine rollout, calling it “a touching moment of unity”.

https://www.lbc.co.uk/news/eu-launches-mass-covid-19-vaccination-push-moment-unity/HELP US SPREAD GOOD NEWS!

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Italy loosens COVID restrictions in five regions, including Lombardy

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The Italian government will ease anti-COVID restrictions in five regions from Sunday, including in the country’s richest and most populous region Lombardy, the Health Ministry said.

Lombardy, Piedmont and Calabria will be downgraded from red to orange zones, while Sicily and Liguria will drop from the orange to the yellow zone, which has least restrictions.

Friday’s decision follows a gradual decline in hospitalisations from coronavirus in much of Italy over the past week, with the number of new cases also retreating from highs seen earlier this month.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-italy-regions-idUSKBN2872C6HELP US SPREAD GOOD NEWS!

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Nasal Spray Prevents Covid Infection in Ferrets

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A nasal spray that blocks the absorption of the SARS-CoV-2 virus has completely protected ferrets it was tested on, according to a small study released on Thursday by an international team of scientists. The study, which was limited to animals and has not yet been peer-reviewed, was assessed by several health experts at the request of The New York Times.

If the spray, which the scientists described as nontoxic and stable, is proved to work in humans, it could provide a new way of fighting the pandemic. A daily spritz up the nose would act like a vaccine.

“Having something new that works against the coronavirus is exciting,” said Dr. Arturo Casadevall, the chairman of immunology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, who was not involved in the study. “I could imagine this being part of the arsenal.”

The work has been underway for months by scientists from Columbia University Medical Center in New York, Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands, Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., and the University of Campania in Italy. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Columbia University Medical Center.

The team would require additional funding to pursue clinical trials in humans. Dr. Anne Moscona, a pediatrician and microbiologist at Columbia and co-author of the study, said there was a patent on the product, and she hoped Columbia University would approach the federal government’s Operation Warp Speed or large pharmaceutical companies that are seeking new ways to combat the coronavirus.

The spray attacks the virus directly. It contains a lipopeptide, a cholesterol particle linked to a chain of amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. This particular lipopeptide exactly matches a stretch of amino acids in the spike protein of the virus, which the pathogen uses to attach to a human airway or lung cell.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/05/health/coronavirus-ferrets-vaccine-spray.htmlHELP US SPREAD GOOD NEWS!

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Steve Buscemi – 9/11 Hero

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In 2013, the Brotherhood of Fire Facebook page reminded people of his selfless act of courage, writing beneath a picture of Buscemi.

​”Do you recognise this man? Do you know his name? Lots of people know he’s an actor, and that his name is Steve Buscemi. What very few people realise is that he was once one of New York’s Bravest.

“In 1976 Steve Buscemi took the FDNY civil service test when he was just 18 years old. In 1980 Steve Buscemi became a New York City Firefighters. For four years, Buscemi served on one of FDNY’s busiest, Engine Co. 55 in Manhattan’s Little Italy. He later left the fire service to become a successful actor, writer and director. 

“After 9/11/2001… Brother Buscemi returned to FDNY Engine 55. 

“On September 12, 2001 and for several days following Brother Steve worked 12-hour shifts alongside other firefighters digging and sifting through the rubble from the World Trade Center looking for survivors. 

“Very few photographs and no interviews exist because he declined them. He wasn’t there for the publicity.”

Buscemi also been an advocate for firefighters’ welfare, telling CBS News: “Firefighters are great at helping others, they’re great at helping each other. But they’re not always—they don’t always know that they, themselves, are in need.

“Their first reaction would be: ‘Oh, the next guy has it worse, you know?'”

During the 11 September attacks 343 firefighters gave their lives protecting and rescuing others.

Buscemi still serves on the Board of Advisors for Friends of Firefighters, an organisation dedicated to New York firefighters and their relatives.

www.facebook.com/FireBrotherhood/photos/do-you-recognize-this-man-do-you-know-his-namelots-of-people-know-hes-an-actor-a/624804580886536/