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Most Reported U.S. Omicron Cases Have Hit the Fully Vaccinated — CDC

Reuters reported:

Most of the 43 COVID-19 cases caused by the Omicron variant identified in the United States so far were in people who were fully vaccinated, and a third of them had received a booster dose, according to a U.S. report published on Friday.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that of the 43 cases attributed to Omicron variant, 34 people had been fully vaccinated. Fourteen of them had also received a booster, although five of those cases occurred less than 14 days after the additional shot before full protection kicks in.

1 of Every 100 Americans Over 65 Has Died From Coronavirus, CDC Data Shows

Business Insider reported:

One in every 100 Americans over the age of 65 has now died from coronavirus, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show.

That same population is also the most vaccinated of any age bracket, according to the Mayo Clinic’s vaccine tracker.

Over 89% of the 65 to 74 population and 84% of the 75 and older group is fully vaccinated, the data shows.

Joyful Moment or Risky Move? Europe Divided Over Kids’ Vaccines

Reuters reported:

As Europe starts vaccinating younger children, countries are pursuing very different strategies in what will be a major test of parents’ willingness to get their kids inoculated.

One region in Italy is sending in clowns and jugglers to clinics, France and Germany are targeting only the most vulnerable kids, while Denmark has been administering shots even before the specially-designed vials and syringes have arrived.

But a major hurdle will be winning over parents. A lack of data on the effects on children was given as the main reason for the hesitancy, while a third thought that children would be less likely to get infected and 9% worried about long-term side-effects.

Gen Z Is Done With the Pandemic

The Atlantic reported:

Taylor Robertson wasn’t expecting his freshman year of college to end at home. The 21-year-old William & Mary junior spent most of 2020 away from his campus after classes went remote in March, and like so many other students, found that the virtual format didn’t work for him.

A year later, Robertson’s classes are entirely in-person. His college has a vaccine and indoor mask mandate, and almost everyone he knows is living a “normal” life.  “People don’t want to talk about COVID anymore,” Robertson told me.

Robertson echoes a feeling that has permeated the minds and lifestyles of many young people who have missed out on experiences, friendships and milestones over the past two years of coronavirus disruption. There is a sense of needing to make up for lost time and reclaim a sense of normalcy, even as case counts rise and new variants take root.

As the Pandemic Raged, at Least 75 Lawmakers Bought and Sold Stock in Companies That Make COVID Vaccines, Treatments and Tests

Business Insider reported:

Dozens of Republican and Democratic lawmakers on Capitol Hill have invested in companies that have a direct stake in the nation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an Insider analysis of federal financial records.

In 2020, at least 13 senators and 35 US representatives held shares of Johnson & Johnson, the medical behemoth that produced the single-shot COVID-19 vaccine that more than 15 million Americans have received.

At least 11 senators and 34 representatives also held shares in 2020 of another COVID-19 vaccine manufacturer, Pfizer. Two representatives or their spouses held shares of Moderna during the same year that the world went on lockdown in response to the pandemic.

Dem Governor Declares COVID Emergency ‘Over,’ Says It’s ‘Their Own Darn Fault’ if Unvaccinated Get Sick

Fox News reported:

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, a Democrat, declared in a new interview that the COVID-19 emergency is “over” and that he won’t be implementing another statewide mask mandate in response to the spread of the Omicron variant, explaining that if people aren’t vaccinated at this point it’s their “own darn fault” if they get sick.

“You know, public health [officials] don’t get to tell people what to wear; that’s just not their job. You don’t tell people to wear a jacket when they go out in winter and force them to [wear it]. If they get frostbite, it’s their own darn fault.

“If you haven’t been vaccinated, that’s your choice. I respect that. But it’s your fault when you’re in the hospital with COVID,” he added.

Hospitalizations, Mortality Cut in Half After Brazilian City Offered Ivermectin to Everyone Pre-Vaccine

ZeroHedge reported:

Early on in the pandemic, before the vaccines were available, the Southern Brazilian city of Itajai offered Ivermectin as a prophylaxis against the disease.

Between July and December of 2020, roughly 220,000 people were offered a dose of 0.2mg/kg/day (roughly 18mg for a 200lb person) as an optional treatment for 2 days, once every two weeks. 133,051 people took them up on it, while 87,466 did not.

After analyzing the data, a team of researchers spanning several Brazilian institutes, the University of Toronto, and Columbia’s EAFIT concluded in a December pre-print study that hospitalization and mortality rates were cut in half over the seven month period among the Ivermectin group.

COVID Lab Leak Probe After Scientist Bitten by Infected Animal

Newsweek reported:

Taiwanese officials are investigating links between a mouse bite and a COVID-19 infection in Taiwan, after a laboratory worker tested positive for the virus last week.

Health officials are scrambling to investigate how the worker at Academia Sinica’s Genomics Research Center, a high-security laboratory, became infected with COVID-19 as the island’s borders remain shut.

The worker, a fully vaccinated woman in her 20s, tested positive for COVID-19 last week after coming into contact with the virus at the country’s top research institute in mid-November.

Israeli Study Finds Pfizer COVID Booster Protects Against Omicron

Reuters reported:

Israeli researchers said on Saturday they found that a three-shot course of the Pfizer/BioNTech (PFE.N), (22UAy.DE) COVID-19 vaccine provided significant protection against the new Omicron variant.

The findings were similar to those presented by BioNTech and Pfizer earlier in the week, which were an early signal that booster shots could be key to protect against infection from the newly identified variant.

Cyprus OKs COVID Vaccinations for Children Aged 5 to 11

Associated Press reported:

Cyprus will start vaccinating kids between the ages of 5 to 11, the government said Monday in fresh bid to head off another COVID-19 surge following the first confirmed cases of the Omicron variant on the eastern Mediterranean island nation.

Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantela also said individuals can receive booster shots two weeks sooner than the previously mandatory six-month waiting period after their second vaccine shot.

Indonesia to Start Vaccinating Children Aged 6 to 11 Against COVID

Reuters reported:

Indonesia will start administering COVID-19 vaccinations for children aged between 6 to 11 on Tuesday, a health ministry official said, as the Southeast Asian country becomes one of the first in the region to immunize the very young.

Indonesia approved China’s Sinovac Biotech vaccine for the age group last month and about 26.5 million children have been targeted for vaccination, Maxi Rein Rondonuwu, a senior health ministry official, told a briefing.