CategoryPositiveNews

Eat out, work out, see a film: Belgium to ease lockdown

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Belgium plans to ease nearly all lockdown measures from June 9 provided the country’s vaccination campaign keeps up its momentum and the number of people in intensive care units remains under 500, the government said on Tuesday.

The plans to reopen mark a turnaround for Belgium, home to NATO and the European Union headquarters. It has one of the world’s highest per capita death rates from COVID-19, but its vaccination drive is now among the most efficient in the bloc.

“The more people are vaccinated, the faster we will get our freedom back,” Prime Minister Alexander De Croo told a news conference.

He said all sectors could reopen then if 80% of the population with a pre-existing medical condition could be vaccinated and the maximum number of people in intensive care units was 500.

He called on Belgians to get vaccinated and said the goal was for all measures to disappear on Sept. 1.

Already, from June 9, Belgians will be able to dine at restaurants until 10pm and outdoor terraces will remain open until 11.30pm.

Large events will be authorised, such as shows, exhibitions and theatres with a maximum of 200 people permitted inside.

The seven-day average of daily infections stands at just under 3,000, a 4% drop from last week, and more than 3.6 million Belgians, almost 40% of the adult population, have received a first dose of vaccine.

https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/dine-out-work-out-see-movie-belgium-ease-lockdown-june-9-2021-05-11/

Active COVID cases in Israel fall below 1,000 for 1st time since March 2020

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As Israel’s world-leading vaccination campaign continued to show its effects, the number of active COVID-19 patients in Israel dropped below 1,000 on Sunday, the lowest level since last March, while all Israeli cities have now been deemed “green” based on low infection rates.

According to Health Ministry data, there are now 985 active coronavirus patients in the country, with just 17 new cases diagnosed in the past 24 hours and 52 patients having recovered from the disease.

The number of COVID-19 patients in serious condition dropped below 100 last week, the lowest level since last July. On Sunday morning it stood on 84, with 50 of them on ventilators.

Late last month, Israel passed the milestone of 5 million people having received both vaccine shots.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/active-covid-cases-in-israel-fall-below-1000-for-1st-time-since-march-2020/

Israel – Only 13 new COVID cases diagnosed in 24 hours, lowest in 14 months

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As Israel continues its world-leading vaccination campaign, just 13 new coronavirus cases were diagnosed in the country on Saturday, the lowest rate in 14 months, according to Health Ministry data released Sunday.

According to the ministry, a total of 9,238 coronavirus tests were conducted Saturday, with 0.1 percent returning positive. While weekend numbers are generally significantly lower due to reduced testing, the new figures still represent a relative drop, with last weekend’s positivity rate at 0.5%.

Of the 1,310 active cases in the country, there were 100 serious cases, including 60 people on ventilators, the Health Ministry data showed. The death toll stands at 6,366.

As infections have dwindled, Israel has rolled back restrictions on public life, including lifting the requirement to wear face masks outdoors, which ended last month.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/only-13-new-covid-cases-diagnosed-in-24-hours-lowest-in-14-months/

Covid-19 vaccine bookings open in Northern Ireland for 35-39 age group

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Vaccine appointments for a limited number of people aged between 35 and 39-years-old are being made available from Monday.

The Department of Health said it is the latest phase of the vaccine roll out.

It said bookings will open to the entire 35-39 age group by the end of April.

The slots are mainly for the SSE Arena vaccine centre in Belfast and can be booked on a first come first served basis from 14:00 BST.

Appointments in community pharmacies will be made available to 35-39 year olds later this month depending on vaccine supplies.

Patricia Donnelly, who heads up Northern Ireland’s vaccine programme, told the BBC’s Evening Extra programme that vaccine wastage across Northern Ireland is less than 1%.

At the start, the aim was for about 10%. She said across pharmacies it had been a “military operation”.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-56799557

England gets third jab as Moderna rollout begins

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England is giving out its first doses of the Moderna jab, the third Covid-19 vaccine in the nation’s rollout.

It will be available at 21 sites, included the Madejski Stadium in Reading and the Sheffield Arena.

Along with the Pfizer jab, it offers an alternative to the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for under-30s, after concerns about a possible link to very rare blood clots.

Wales and Scotland began using the Moderna vaccine last week.

Emily Sanderson, a 28-year-old solicitor with an underlying health condition, said she felt “brilliant” after receiving her Moderna jab at Sheffield Arena.

She was due to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine but it was switched to Moderna, which she said made her really pleased “because it gives people in my situation an alternative”.

As of Monday, 32,250,481 first doses of a Covid vaccine had been given in the UK, as well as 7,857,396 second jabs, the latest government data shows.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-56727510

Moderna raises 2021 vaccine output forecast to at least 600 million doses

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Moderna Inc said on Monday it would produce at least 600 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine in 2021, up by 100 million doses from its previous forecast, as the United States continues to roll-out the vaccine.

The company was working to invest and hire in order to deliver up to 1 billion doses this year, the higher end of its production forecast, it said.

Moderna said it has so far supplied about 18 million doses to U.S. government as part of a deal for 200 million doses. It has also signed a deal with the Canadian government for 40 million doses.

https://www.reuters.com/article/health-coronavirus-vaccines-moderna/update-1-moderna-raises-2021-vaccine-output-forecast-to-at-least-600-mln-doses-idUSL4N2JF30FHELP US SPREAD GOOD NEWS!

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Oxford man, 82, first in world to get Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid vaccine

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An 82-year-old retired maintenance manager has become the first person in the world outside clinical trials to receive the vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca.

Brian Pinker, a dialysis patient, received the jab at 7.30am on Monday from Sam Foster, a nurse at Oxford University hospitals NHS foundation trust’s Churchill hospital.

Pinker, who describes himself as Oxford born and bred, said in a statement issued by NHS England that the jab would give him peace of mind as he continued to receive treatment, and he was looking forward to celebrating his 48th wedding anniversary in February.

“I am so pleased to be getting the Covid vaccine today and really proud that it is one that was invented in Oxford,” he said. “The nurses, doctors and staff today have all been brilliant and I can now really look forward to celebrating my 48th wedding anniversary with my wife, Shirley, later this year.”

Foster said: “It was a real privilege to be able to deliver the first Oxford vaccine at the Churchill hospital here in Oxford, just a few hundred metres from where it was developed.

“We look forward to vaccinating many more patients and health and care staff with the Oxford vaccine in the coming weeks, which will make a huge difference to people living in the communities we serve and the staff who care for them in our hospitals.”

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2021/jan/04/brian-pinker-is-first-to-get-oxfordastrazeneca-covid-19-vaccineHELP US SPREAD GOOD NEWS!

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Fauci: Vaccinations are ramping up in a `glimmer of hope’

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The U.S. ramped up COVID-19 vaccinations in the past few days after a slower-than-expected start, bringing the number of shots dispensed to about 4 million, government health officials said Sunday.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, also said on ABC’s “This Week” that President-elect Joe Biden’s pledge to administer 100 million shots of the vaccine within his first 100 days in office is achievable.

And he rejected President Donald Trump’s false claim on Twitter that coronavirus deaths and cases in the U.S. have been greatly exaggerated.

“All you need to do … is go into the trenches, go into the hospitals, go into the intensive care units and see what is happening. Those are real numbers, real people and real deaths,” Fauci said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

The U.S. death toll has climbed past 350,000, the most of any country, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, while more than 20 million people nationwide have been infected. States have reported record numbers of cases over the past few days, and funeral homes in Southern California are being inundated with bodies.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said the pandemic is getting worse in his city as the virus spreads rapidly within households and people let their guard down. “This is a virus that preys off of our weakness, preys off of our exhaustion,” he said.

Experts believe that the real numbers of U.S. deaths and infections are much higher and that many cases were overlooked, in part because of insufficient testing.

Fauci said he has seen “some little glimmer of hope” after 1.5 million doses were administered in the previous 72 hours, or an average of about 500,000 per day, a marked increase in vaccinations. He said that brings the total to about 4 million.

https://apnews.com/article/joe-biden-donald-trump-ap-top-news-anthony-fauci-coronavirus-pandemic-125e227ebad23e03215b18981e2c3d08HELP US SPREAD GOOD NEWS!

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US: Surgeon general insists vaccine rollout is gathering pace

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The surgeon general has insisted that the rollout of Covid vaccine was increasing as criticism of the delays mounted.

Jerome Adams pushed back against criticism of the Trump administration’s handling of the vaccination effort and pointed to improvements in the number of jabs being administered.

The speed of the vaccination programme has been blasted by the likes of Senator Mitt Romney, who called the rate of distribution “inexcusable.”

“I’m telling you that things are changing. 1.5 million doses in the last 72 hours. That’s meaningful change,” Dr Adams told CNN’s Jake Tapper.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/coronavirus-us-vaccine-rollout-jerome-adams-b1781746.htmlHELP US SPREAD GOOD NEWS!

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