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Round-up of Covid-19 news.

Posted on 29th November 2021

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Show all posts in this thread (Covid-19).
Tougher Health Regulations

Covid-19 continues to rampage across Europe, causing most nations to toughen their control regulations:

  • Travel restrictions have been tightened almost everywhere, and flights from some countries have been stopped;
  • Restaurants, bars and entertainment venues now require proof of vaccination or recovery in many countries (a negative test is no longer enough), and some countries, such as the Netherlands, have ordered restaurants and cafes to close;
  • Austria introduced a full national lockdown from 22nd November, and has introduced a legal requirement for its residents to be vaccinated from 1st February 2022.

In answer to those people who feel that lockdowns and vaccine mandates impinge on their rights and freedoms, the Austrian Chancellor said in a recent speech that "You don’t only have rights, you have obligations". Well said!


As many nations roll out booster vaccinations, this article on The Daily Beast reports on several studies which conclude that, at least in the case of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, people should have been given three doses to have full protection (in other words, the third dose should not be seen as a booster at all). This is similar to the conclusion that the Johnson & Johnson is not, after all, a one shot vaccine, but requires two doses for full protection.

Other studies have shown that you are better protected if you mix vaccination types, e.g. two shots of Pfizer and one shot of Moderna.


New treatments continue to emerge.

This report on Euronews describes a nasal spray, currently in trials, which is very effective in preventing infection by the coronavirus.

This report on Science Alert describes a new antiviral (thapsigargin), also still undergoing trials, which is very effective against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, in all its variants.

Both of the above will take a while to pass their tests and, if they pass, to become available, but are a good sign of progress.

New Variants

The world is mainly focused on the Delta variant of Covid-19, but Delta+ is already with us, and in the last few days news has come about the Omicron variant (reported on here, by the BBC), which seems to be even more dangerous. It has a total of 50 mutations, with more than 30 of them on the spike protein. The spike protein is the part of the virus that all our current vaccines target, leading to concerns that our vaccines will be less effective against Omicron.