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Round-up of Covid-19 news.

Posted on 8th December 2021

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There has been an avalanche of Covid news in the last few days, so I thought I should post another update.

Tougher Health Regulations

This update on Schengen Visa Info reports that, from January 2022, Czechia (previously known as the Czech Republic) is reducing the validity of COVID-19 vaccination certificates to only nine months. Croatia and Austria have taken similar action.

This article on the BBC reports that Italy has toughened restrictions for unvaccinated people, making many public activities off limits to anyone without a so-called Covid Super Green Pass from Monday this week.

The city of New York has mandated that all New Yorkers must be vaccinated in order to go to work, as reported here by the BBC.


There is very mixed data on the effectiveness of the various vaccines against the Omicron variant. The BBC reports, here, that the WHO have said that existing vaccines should still protect people who contract the Omicron variant from severe Covid cases, although laboratory tests of the new variant in South Africa suggest it can partially evade the Pfizer jab, as reported here by The Daily Mail. This report on gives similar data.

The Guardian reports, here, that following a first dose of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine with a second dose of either the Moderna or the Novavax immunisation yields far higher levels of neutralising antibodies and T-cells compared with two doses of the AstraZeneca jab. This CNN report describes similar results with a Johnson & Johnson booster vaccination followed by the Pfizer jab. This supports previous data on mixing vaccines brands.

This report on The Guardian gives us an idea of which people are not vaccinated in the UK.

New Variants

There is some preliminary data suggesting that the Omicron variant, although much more infectious, leads to less severe illness (here, on New Atlas) and that Omicron is rapidly displacing Delta and other variants (here, on City A.M.). If this turns out to be true, it would bear out predictions by some experts that Covid-19 will become more like the 'flu or common cold: endemic and less severe.

This article on Gloucestershire Live warns that the symptoms of the Omicron variant are different to those of other variants, and explains how to spot if you have caught it.

Social Distancing and Masks

This article on Digg reports on an interesting study on the effectiveness of social distancing and masks in preventing Covid-19 infections. The conclusion is that social distancing alone is ineffective, but that wearing a mask is much better, and wearing a mask as well as social distancing gives very high levels of protection.

The Unvaccinated

This sad, but rather unsurprising, story on the Stoke Sentinel reports on a UK woman whose baby died of Covid-19 shortly after birth, because the woman decided not to get vaccinated. That is the price of believing disinformation: Darwinism in action.