JUST GIVE ME POSITIVE NEWS

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.

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Latest stories

‘Cautious hugging’ and pints: UK PM Johnson to ease England’s lockdown

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday gave the green light to cautious hugging and the serving of pints inside pubs after months of strict restrictions as he set out the next phase of coronavirus lockdown easing in England.

Johnson confirmed that England could continue to the next stage of his four-step plan to bring the country out of lockdown by the summer, as the COVID-19 situation improved thanks to the rollout of vaccines and social restriction measures.

“This unlocking amounts to a very considerable step on the road back to normality and I am confident that we will be able to go further,” Johnson told a media conference.

“We are announcing the single biggest step on our road map, and it will allow us to do many of the things that we’ve yearned to do for a long time.”

https://www.reuters.com/world/uk/uk-pm-johnson-announce-covid-lockdown-easing-junior-minister-says-2021-05-10/

Third of UK adults are now fully vaccinated against Covid-19

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A third of UK adults are now fully vaccinated against Covid-19, latest figures have shown.

A total of 17,669,379 people have received both jabs – the equivalent of 33.5% of all people aged 18 and over.

England and Northern Ireland are both estimated to have given two doses to 33.6% of their adult population, slightly ahead of Wales (33.4%) and Scotland (33.1%).

Responding to the figures for England, Dr Nikki Kanani, GP and medical director for primary care at NHS England, said: “Yet another incredible NHS milestone has been reached as one in three adults in England have now had both doses of the Covid vaccine – meaning that they have maximum protection from the virus.

“Reaching this milestone is no accident – it is down to months of hard work and everyone in the NHS who has played a role in this is helping to protect millions of people from serious illness and saving lives.”

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/covid-vaccinated-third-uk-b934085.html

U.S. turning corner on pandemic, says White House COVID coordinator

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The United States is closer to getting the coronavirus pandemic under control and health officials are focused on the next challenge: getting more Americans vaccinated, the White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients said on Sunday.

“I would say we are turning the corner,” Zients said in an interview with CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Zients said about 58% of American adults have received at least one coronavirus vaccine shot. The task now is to continue building confidence in vaccines and get enough Americans vaccinated to mitigate the spread of the virus and its variants, he said.

U.S. health officials are aiming to meet President Joe Biden’s goal of 70% of American adults having at least one shot by the July 4 U.S. Independence Day.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said another surge in coronavirus infections would be unlikely if the Biden goal is met or exceeded.

“The larger proportion of the population that’s vaccinated, the less likelihood that in a season like the coming fall or winter you’re going to see a significant surge,” Fauci said on NBC’ “Meet the Press.”

“That’s the reason why vaccinations are so important. That’s the wild card that we have now that we didn’t have last fall or the last winter.”

https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-turning-corner-coronavirus-pandemic-white-houses-zients-2021-05-09/

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/

Canada sets new single-day vaccination record logging more than 400,000 doses

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Canada reached a new milestone in its COVID-19 vaccination effort Friday, logging more than 400,000 doses in a single day.

Canada administered a total 400,489 doses of combined first and second doses Friday, according to CTV News.ca’s vaccine tracker.

Numbers released by the federal government showed that 375,636 of the 400,489 doses were first doses, while the remaining 24,853 were second doses.

More than 14 million people have now had at least one dose, which equates to about 37 per cent of all Canadians. In total 14,104,164 Canadians had received at least one dose of a vaccine as of Friday afternoon.

https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/canada-sets-new-single-day-vaccination-record-logging-more-than-400-000-doses-1.5419495

California ‘weeks away’ from reaching herd immunity, UCSF doctors say

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California could reach herd immunity by June 15, according to projections by doctors at UCSF.

“I am predicting that Gov. Newsom was actually right,” said Dr. Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease physician with UCSF. “June 15th is when we’re going to be done…get to herd immunity.”

June 15 is about six weeks away. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced plans last month to fully reopen the economy on that date.

https://abc7.com/society/ca-weeks-away-from-reaching-herd-immunity-ucsf-doctors-say/10586281/

More than 70% of Americans at least 65 years old now fully inoculated as U.S. Covid cases

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More than 70% of Americans aged 65 and older are fully vaccinated, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data published Wednesday.

CDC data shows an average of 2.1 million reported vaccinations per day over the past week, down from a peak of 3.4 million in mid-April.

At the same time, the rate of new infections fell further. About 46,600 new cases are being reported each day in the U.S., based on a seven-day average of Johns Hopkins University data, the lowest level since the fall.

Among seniors, one of the most vulnerable groups and to whom vaccine eligibility opened earliest, those figures are much higher. 83% are at least partially vaccinated and more than 70% are fully vaccinated.

President Joe Biden on Tuesday set a goal of getting 70% of U.S. adults to receive at least one dose of a Covid vaccine by July 4. As of Wednesday, about 57% of adults have done so.

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/05/06/covid-19-cases-deaths-vaccinations-daily-update.html

Tweaked Moderna vaccine ‘neutralises Covid variants in trials’

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The first “tweaked” vaccine against the worrying coronavirus variants that emerged in South Africa and Brazil has successfully neutralised them in laboratory trials, the US company Moderna has said.

The results of the small trial suggest that boosters against the variants will be feasible and could be rolled out this year to counter the threat from variants that have appeared around the world and are feared in some cases to be more transmissible or partially vaccine-resistant.

Leading companies have been racing to produce adapted versions of their Covid vaccines. Pfizer/BioNTech, which has a similar mRNA vaccine to Moderna’s, and Oxford/AstraZeneca are also in the process of developing tweaked vaccines against the South African variant, B1351, and the Brazilian variant, P1, which appear to be the major threat to current immunisation programmes.

Moderna became the first to announce results on Wednesday night. They appear to be very positive, although only basic information from an initial analysis of results is available so far.

The US company has tested both a booster shot of its standard Covid vaccine and also a tweaked version of the vaccine in people who have previously had the full double dose. Twenty adults were recruited for each arm of the trial, or 40 in total.

Two weeks after the new jab, Moderna says both the booster shot and the tweaked vaccine increased the antibodies in the blood that can neutralise the two variants of concern.

But the tweaked vaccine – called mRNA-1273.351 and designed specifically to combat the South African and Brazilian variants, which have similar mutations to the spike protein – produced higher levels of neutralising antibodies than the standard booster shot, mRNA-1273.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/may/05/tweaked-moderna-vaccine-neutralises-covid-variants-in-trials

S.Korea says AstraZeneca, Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines 87% effective after first shot

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One dose of COVID-19 vaccines from AstraZeneca Plc (AZN.L) and Pfizer (PFE.N) was 86.6% effective in preventing infections among people aged 60 and older, real world data released by South Korea showed on Wednesday.

Data by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) showed the Pfizer vaccine, jointly developed by BioNTech , was 89.7% effective in preventing infection at least two weeks after a first dose was given, while the AstraZeneca shot was 86.0% effective.

Its analysis is based on more than 3.5 million people in South Korea aged 60 and older for two months from Feb. 26 and included 521,133 people who received a first dose of either Pfizer or AstraZeneca shot.

There were 1,237 COVID-19 cases in the data and only 29 were from the vaccinated group, the KDCA said.

“It is shown that both vaccines provide a high protection against the disease after the first dose. (People) should get full vaccinations according to recommended schedule, as the protection rate will go up further after a second dose,” it said.

https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/skorea-says-astrazeneca-pfizer-covid-19-vaccines-87-effective-after-first-shot-2021-05-05/