Coronavirus Morning News Brief – Oct. 21: More Americans Are Getting the Updated Vaccine, BA.5 Continues Dominance in U.S.

A dose of the original Moderna vaccine

Good morning Jonathan Spira reports here. Here are the news of the pandemic from all over the world on the 925th day of the pandemic.

The United States recorded its 99 millionth case sometime Thursday, surpassing the country in the No. 2 slot, India, by more than 100%, and it’s worth noting that the United States has a much smaller population to begin with.

It is good news, therefore, that the United States is one of the few nations to have approved a newly formulated bivalent mRNA vaccine that combines two currently predominant – but slowly dying out – sublineages of the Omicron variant, BA.4 and BA.5 , treated the vaccination program started slowly.

About 7.5 million people received the new vaccine in the first three weeks, but the good news is that in the last three weeks there has been a 60% increase to almost 12 million, giving the total number of vaccinations for the bivalent vaccine almost 20 million people. The bad news is that this is still less than 10% of the eligible population.

Half of the 20 million vaccinations so far have been given to people aged 65 or older, a demographic that is among the most vulnerable to the virus.

It’s a big step forward, but clearly more arms need to be exposed, especially with the threat of a covid twin demise and a particularly bad flu season ahead.

In other news we cover today, Spain is dropping its pandemic entry restrictions for visitors, the latest country in Europe to do so; The BA.5 variant continues to be dominant in the United States; and iPhone maker Foxconn is introducing new restrictions on its largest iPhone factory in China.


The BA.5 subvariant continues to be dominant in the United States, accounting for 67.9% of all cases in the week ended October 15. The CDC reported that 19% of people in the country live in a place where Covid transmission rates are also high, medium and high. Masking is recommended in areas with high Covid transmission. 81% now live in areas where community transmission is considered low.

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Drugmaker Pfizer, which plans to commercialize its mRNA coronavirus perhaps as early as next year, is reportedly planning to price at least $110 per dose. The final price will be determined in the further course of negotiations with the health insurance companies.


In the UK, over two million people had fallen ill with Covid at the beginning of October. One in 30 people in England and one in 25 in Wales was infected.

Citing low demand, vaccine maker Serum Institute of India said it had to destroy 100 million expired doses of vaccine. The vaccine was only 70% effective against symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 cases, while vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna were over 90% effective.


iPhone maker Foxconn has imposed its own restrictions on its Zhengzhou plant as a fresh wave of cases swept the city. According to a notice on the factory’s official WeChat account, it is closing its cafeteria and asking workers to take their meals to their dormitories. The company will offer workers three meals a day.


Spain ends all travel restrictions linked to a coronavirus pandemic ahead of a mid-year holiday in UK schools. Spain is a popular travel destination among Britons. Travelers aged 12 and over are no longer required to provide proof of vaccination, a negative test or recovery from Covid within the past six months to enter the country. The changes went into effect on Thursday.

The country was the last in Europe to drop such restrictions.


Here are the daily stats for Friday October 21st.

According to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information, the world has registered 632.2 million Covid-19 cases as of Friday morning, up 0.5 million cases and 6.6 million deaths. In addition, 610.9 million people have recovered from the virus worldwide, up by 0.9 million.

Global active coronavirus cases stood at 14,634,764 as of Friday, up 90,000. Of this number, 99.7% or 14,596,117 are considered mild and 0.3% or 38,647 are considered critical. The percentage of cases classified as critical has not changed in the last 24 hours.

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The United States reported 63,637 new coronavirus infections on Friday for the previous day, compared with 68,420 on Thursday, 28,124 on Wednesday, 46,146 on Tuesday, 7,040 on Monday, 2,776 on Sunday, 29,069 on Saturday and 75,172 on Friday, according to data from the US -Ministry of Health. The 7-day incidence rate is now 35,060. Weekend numbers (reported the following day) are typically 30% to 60% of weekday numbers due to less testing.

The average daily number of new coronavirus cases in the United States over the past 14 days is 38,007, down 8%, based on data from the Department of Health and Human Services, among others. The average daily death toll over the same period is 360, a 7% decrease over the same period, while the average number of hospital admissions for the period was 26,669, a 2% decrease.

Additionally, since the pandemic began through Friday, the United States has recorded 99 million cases, a higher number than any other country, and a death toll of 1.1 million. India has the second highest number of officially registered cases in the world at 44.6 million and a reported death toll of 528,953.

The latest data from Russia’s state statistics service Rosstat showed that the number of deaths from Covid or Covid-related deaths since the pandemic began there in April 2020 at the end of July now stands at 823,623, giving the country the second highest pandemic in the world. associated death toll, behind the United States. Rosstat reported that 3,284 people died from the coronavirus or related causes in July, up from 5,023 in June, 7,008 in May and 11,583 in April.

Meanwhile, France is the country with the third-highest number of cases at 36.5 million, and Germany is fourth with a total of 35.1 million cases.

Brazil, which has recorded the third-highest number of deaths from the virus at 687,544, has recorded over 34.8 million cases, ranking fifth.

The other five countries with total cases above 20 million are South Korea with 25.2 million cases, the United Kingdom in seventh with 23.9 million cases and Italy in eighth with 23.3 million. as well as Japan with 21.9 million and Russia with 21.4 million.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said as of Thursday, over 265.6 million people in the United States — or 80% — have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of this population, 68.2% or 226.6 million people have received two doses of vaccine and the total number of doses dispensed in the United States is now 632.9 million. Breaking it down further, 91% of the population aged 18 and over – or 234.9 million people – have received at least one primary vaccination, and 78% of the same group – or 201.4 million people – are fully vaccinated. In addition, 52.3% of this population, or 105.3 million people, have already received a first booster dose of the vaccine.

Beginning June 13, 2022, the CDC began updating vaccine data weekly and releasing the updated information Friday at 8 p.m. EDT, the agency’s website said in a statement.

About 68.4% of the world’s population has received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine as of Friday, according to Our World in Data, an online scientific publication that tracks such information. To date, 12.85 billion doses of the vaccine have been given worldwide, and now 2.09 million doses are being given every day.

Meanwhile, only 23.3% of people in low-income countries have received a dose, while in countries like Canada, China, Denmark, France, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States, at least 75% of the population has received at least one vaccine dose.

Only a handful of the world’s poorest countries – Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia and Nepal – have reached the 70 percent mark for immunization. However, many countries are below 20% and in countries such as Haiti, Senegal and Tanzania, for example, vaccination rates remain at or below 10%.

Furthermore, with the start of vaccinations in North Korea at the end of September, Eritrea remains the only country in the world that has not administered any vaccines.

Anna Breuer contributed to the coverage of this story.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)


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