The North American nation is about to exceed 600,000 deaths from the disease, being the country with the most accumulated infections and deaths worldwide since the beginning of the pandemic. In other news, AstraZeneca announced the failure of its antibody “cocktail”, which was purported to be an alternative to vaccines. And in Latin America, infections and deaths continue to set records, while Colombia approaches 100,000 deaths from Covid-19.
Although the United States is no longer the epicenter of the pandemic, which has moved to India and the south of the American continent, the United States is close to 600,000 deaths from Covid-19 and continues to lead the tragic world list, being the country most affected according to accumulated cases.
In the world, according to the independent count of Johns Hopkins University, there are more than 176.3 million confirmed cases, there are more than 3,813,089 deaths and 2,393,161,577 vaccines have been administered.
However, vaccination is progressing unevenly across the planet. More than 988 million people have received at least one dose, according to Our World in Data. An insufficient figure to achieve group immunity, as stated by the health authorities.
Here are some of the most outstanding news this June 15 regarding the impact of Covid-19 in the world:
- The United States, about to exceed 600,000 deaths from Covid-19
The North American nation encompasses almost 15% of total deaths from coronavirus worldwide with 599,945 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University. The United States continues to lead the tragic list of countries most affected by the pandemic, adding more than 33.4 million infections, followed by India, with 29.5 million positives, and Brazil, with 17.4 million cases.
These dramatic numbers have dropped as the American population receives the vaccine, but it remains the hardest hit country in terms of cumulative deaths. On Sunday, June 14, the United States reported 363 deaths, the lowest number since the first contagion was detected in March 2020.
The rate of vaccination –the United States administers approximately 1.10 million doses every day, a rate that has decreased in recent days compared to previous months– is reflected in the incidence of the disease on the population: the average number of deaths fell almost 90% from its peak in January.
The country is now focused on convincing the youngest of the importance of inoculation for a return to “normality” after a year of confinements and restrictive measures to prevent the spread of the virus. This includes campaigns such as free gifts in exchange for vaccines, free transportation to vaccination centers or raffles, all focused on getting the majority of Americans to get the shot.
So far, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) more than 52% of the nation’s population has received the first dose, about 174.2 million people, of which almost 145 million are fully inoculated with the serum against the pathogen.
The pandemic exposed just how badly we need to invest in the foundation of our country, and in the working people of our country. That’s why we proposed the American Jobs Plan — we need to make generational investments today to succeed tomorrow.
– Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) June 14, 2021
President Joe Biden promised that 70% of American adults will have received at least one dose of the serum against the pathogen and 160 million will be fully vaccinated by July 4. This weekend, during his meeting in Brussels with NATO members, he sent a message to those affected by the global health crisis: “My heart goes out to those who have lost a loved one. We have work to do to sell this virus and now is not the time to lower our guard. “
Regarding the number of infections and hospitalizations due to Covid-19, which have also fallen thanks to vaccination, the youngest are being the most affected by the new variants of the pathogen and are those who now occupy hospital beds.
- AstraZeneca’s Antibody Cocktail Doesn’t Prevent Coronavirus
This Tuesday, the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical AstraZeneca – involved in several controversies regarding its vaccine against the coronavirus – admitted that the experimental treatment created with antibodies does not help prevent the disease in people exposed to the virus.
What does the treatment consist of? Monoclonal antibody therapy, AZD7442, belongs to a group of drugs that mimic the natural antibodies that the human body develops to fight the virus when it is infected.
The phase III study, tested in people over 18 years of age who have not contracted the disease, made it clear that monoclonal antibody therapy of the AstraZeneca laboratory it was 33% effective in reducing the risk that people exposed to the virus would develop symptoms, compared to a placebo. A result that is not significant or relevant to determine that the therapy works.
The announcement represents a setback in the efforts of the pharmaceutical company to find an alternative solution to vaccines against the pathogen, but from the multinational they trust to carry out more extensive studies. “While this trial did not meet the primary endpoint against symptomatic disease, we are encouraged by the protection seen in PCR-negative participants after AZD7442 treatment,” AstraZeneca Executive Vice President Mene Pangalos said in a statement.
- The Covid-19 does not give truce in Colombia
The peak of infections and deaths in the South American nation has become an extensive plateau. According to the Colombian Ministry of Health, the country registered 24,376 new positives for coronavirus last Sunday and broke a new record with 588 deaths, for a total of 96,366 deaths. Figures that continue to increase daily in the third country most affected by the disease in Latin America, only behind Brazil and Argentina.
Colombia is mired in a deep social crisis derived from more than a month of demonstrations, but also in its worst disease peak since the start of the pandemic, with more than 3.7 million infections. The Minister of Health, Fernando Ruiz, attributed this situation to the massive social mobilizations that, according to him, would have lengthened the third peak.
“After 45 days of agglomerations and a related excess of mortality of about 5,000 deaths, Colombians have to stop this situation altogether. The Unemployment Committee must understand that the epidemiological situation does not give more,” Ruiz said on Twitter to the organizer of the National Strike.
However, despite this increase in figures and with the climate of mobilizations, the Colombian authorities have opted for a total opening of most sectors to face the deep economic crisis derived from the pandemic. For the moment, schools are still closed, but face-to-face classes could start this week, according to the Fecode union.
The pandemic has exacerbated inequalities in the nation, with more than 21 million people living in poverty and more than 7 million in extreme poverty. Despite these figures, the Government of Iván Duque announced that June would be the last month in which people in need will receive Solidarity Income. This was a measure that began with the pandemic to alleviate the economic emergency derived from the coronavirus and guarantee food to thousands of families.
Regarding immunization, the National Vaccination Plan of the Colombian authorities is progressing at a moderate pace and the effects of inoculations are not reflected in a decrease in cases. So far, just over 13 million doses have been injected, over a population of more than 50 million inhabitants, where 3.8 million have received both doses of the serum against Covid-19.
This Tuesday Colombia will receive the first batch of the Janssen vaccine (from the Johnson & Johnson laboratory) with 480,000 doses, which will be applied in a single injection, being the first Latin American country to start this treatment. The single-dose will go to rural populations, where the storage capacity of the rest of the vaccines and the access of health personnel is very limited.
With Reuters, EFE and local media