Many countries, including France, are facing a fifth wave of the epidemic. Six regions have already activated the “white plan” to reduce tension in hospitals. Follow all the news related to Covid-19 in France and around the world.
The vaccine from the American laboratory Pfizer is overall less effective against Omicron but protects 70% against severe cases, according to a study presented Tuesday and carried out in South Africa, which detected the new variant in November.
Many uncertainties hover over the nature of this new form of Covid-19. According to the first observations of scientists, it is more contagious but the unusually high number of mutations it presents raises many fears about its ability to resist vaccines.
The study developed by the country’s leading private health insurance company, Discovery, with scientists from the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), is based on the results of 78,000 PCR tests obtained between November 15 and December 7. “The double dose of the Pfizer vaccine shows 70% effectiveness in reducing hospital admissions,” Discovery president Ryan Noach told a news conference online. The vaccine was previously 93% effective against severe cases.
France is working on strengthening border measures to deal with the tidal wave of the Omicron variant in the United Kingdom, work which “will be successful in the coming days,” government spokesman Gabriel Attal said on Tuesday.
France has enough doses of vaccine against Covid-19, assured the Minister Delegate in charge of Industry Agnès Pannier-Runacher.
“We have 27 million doses in stock. In January and February we will have deliveries of 15 million doses per month. And within the European framework, I have made sure that we have orders of 67 million doses in 2022 and 2023. (…) This means that, whatever happens, we have the capacity to vaccinate the French, “she told Sud-Radio.
“We must prepare” for the deployment of Omicron, “because the variants always end up being essential”, declared this Tuesday morning the Prime Minister Jean Castex, on the second day of his trip to Marseille, questioned on France Bleu Provence on the fifth wave of Covid-19. “The truth is that we do not yet know exactly when this variant will deploy, but experience has led us to say that we must prepare for it because in the end the variants still do not impose themselves”, developed the head of government.
Australia will continue to ease restrictions before Christmas despite a further rise in the number of Covid-19 cases in the country’s most populous state, authorities said on Tuesday.
California authorities announced Monday that they were reinstating the obligation to wear a mask in all enclosed public places in order to curb a resurgence of Covid-19 cases recorded in the state for a few weeks. This obligation, which will come into force on Wednesday, applies to all individuals, whether or not they are vaccinated.
The use of FFP2 masks containing graphene, already temporarily suspended in France, should be avoided as a precaution due to lack of data on the toxicity of this synthetic material, judges the health security agency Anses on Tuesday.
“ANSES recommends that public authorities give priority to the marketing or making available of masks without graphene,” said the agency in a press release after an expert report requested by the Directorate General of Health (which depends on the ministry) .