The new COVID-19 variant identified in South Africa can evade the antibodies that attack it in treatments using blood plasma from previously recovered patients, and may reduce the efficacy of the current line of vaccines, scientists said on Wednesday.
Researchers are racing to establish whether the vaccines currently being rolled out across the globe are effective against the so-called 501Y.V2 variant, identified by South African genomics experts late last year in Nelson Mandela Bay.
China imposed sanctions Wednesday on 28 former Trump administration officials, including outgoing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
In a statement released just minutes after President Biden took office, China’s foreign ministry said it had decided to sanction those “who have seriously violated China’s sovereignty and who have been mainly responsible for such U.S. moves on China-related issues.”
People with a history of severe allergic reactions should be monitored after receiving the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and should reconsider getting the second dose if the anaphylaxis is severe, U.S. health officials said Wednesday.
Approximately 20 people have had confirmed cases of anaphylaxis after receiving the first dose of BioNTech SE BNTX, +2.13% and Pfizer Inc.’s PFE, -0.05% COVID-19 vaccine, as of Dec. 23, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which published new interim guidelines for anaphylaxis as it relates to the mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines. In total, there have been 29 cases.
Last year, as pandemic lockdowns put travel on hold, wealthy countries reduced their environmentally-harmful emissions in almost every sector of their economies.
There was one exception … one big, road-hogging, gas-guzzling exception. According to a recent report from International Energy Agency, carbon emissions from SUVs increased by 0.5% in 2020, even though the world’s energy-related emissions overall fell by 7%.
Companies have been falling over themselves to make impressive-sounding climate pledges. Last year saw some particularly bold targets, with Facebook, Apple, Walmart and even oil and gas giant BP promising to reach net zero emissions within a few decades.
Climate change cannot be tackled if businesses do not play their part, and there does seem to be new momentum to companies’ efforts to make changes. But while it’s easy to unleash bold proclamations and bask in a slew of positive media coverage, the real work is actually in fulfilling these promises and being transparent about progress.
Students across the country are heading back or have already arrived to their campuses for the spring semester. If history is any guide, that movement could result in a spike in coronavirus cases in the surrounding communities.
In the late summer and early fall, counties with large universities that held in-person instruction saw the incidence of COVID-19 increase 56.2% in the days surrounding the start of classes (from 15.3 to 23.9 cases per 100,000), according to research released by the Centers for Disease Control this month.
This year was supposed to be the year for climate action. Landmark climate and environmental summits were scheduled. At the highest-profile of these, COP 26, countries were expected to agree on new and more stringent targets for keeping the world’s temperatures from rising above levels which would tip us over into catastrophic climate change.
As we all know, it didn’t quite work out like that. The pandemic arrived, postponing plans and pushing climate change to the sidelines politically. But while action stalled, the climate crisis raged: countries boiled, burned and flooded.
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