Covid live: Brazil passes 500,000 deaths; 70% of England’s adults ‘should be fully vaccinated by 19 July’
Canada has secured enough potential coronavirus vaccines to fully protect every resident nearly seven times over, even as a global shortage has forced poorer nations to wait.
After initial hiccups with its vaccination plan, more than 65% of Canadians have now received at least one dose, edging ahead of early leaders Israel and the UK, and on Friday, Justin Trudeau said 68m doses will have arrived in Canada by the end of July.
But a recent pledge by Canada to donate 100m doses to hard-hit countries, has highlighted persistent questions about its commitment to addressing such inequities.
Details of the deliveries, however, remain unclear, and of the 100m pledged, 87m doses reflect previously announced funding commitments – not actual physical doses ready to ship. Only 13m actual new doses will be sent to nations in need.
“This isn’t this isn’t new money, and the vaccines don’t seem to be starting to move immediately, so it feels a little bit too little too late,” said Isha Berry, a PhD candidate in epidemiology at the University of Toronto.
A permanent switch to more home working following the pandemic will cause rising gender inequality in the workplace, according to experts in the UK, unless employers carefully monitor their new working policies to make sure women aren’t disadvantaged.
Traditionally, more women than men – particularly those with children or caring responsibilities – have requested flexible working. The switch to working from home necessitated by coronavirus lockdowns has, 15 months on, resulted in a permanent change in corporate culture, to the extent that the British government is considering legislating to make home working the “default” option.
During Covid, millions of previously office-based employees enjoyed more family time and tasted life without the commute.
Earlier in the pandemic, there were hopes that the wider adoption of remote working might remove the gender divide, while also reducing the so-called “maternity penalty” and getting rid of a culture of presenteeism.
Covid jabs passes one billion mark in China – report
The Thai island of Phuket is racing to vaccinate as many people as possible in the hope that, if 70% of the population receives a dose before 1 July, the island will become the first Thai destination to reopen to foreign tourists.
If the island can build its immunity, it could soon come back to life again, said infectious disease nurse Bang-orn Rungruang, who is helping to coordinate vaccines at the Angsana Convention and Exhibition Space. The pandemic, she said, had devastated the island’s businesses.
“It was like a domino effect. With no tourists coming into Phuket, the economy just collapsed: no buyers, no sellers.”
The island, famed for its idyllic beaches, drew 10 million visitors a year before the pandemic, and the economic impact of the virus has been felt by almost all residents.
Drivers who once ferried around an endless stream of tourists can now barely afford to lease their vehicles. Street sellers have packed up
It is hoped that Phuket, which is set to ease restrictions from 1 July, could provide a model for the rest of the country, and potentially other tourism destinations in Asia.
“We will be the first country east of Maldives to open up,” said Ravi Chandran, managing director of Laguna Phuket, a resort in the island’s north-west, who described the programme as a stepping stone towards restarting tourism.
The drive to vaccinate all adults over the age of 18 in the UK could lead to the concentration of Covid-19 cases in schoolchildren, a leading British virologist has warned.
Under-18s would then become reservoirs in which new variants of the virus could arise, said Julian Tang, of Leicester University.
Tang was speaking as Public Health England revealed a 79% rise in one week in cases of the Delta variant of Covid, first identified in India. A race is now on between the vaccination programme and the emergence of a third wave of the virus, say scientists.
Many believe there are grounds for cautious optimism that the vaccine will hold back hospitalisations and deaths in the wake of rising case numbers triggered by last month’s partial release of lockdown measures, as well as the arrival of the Delta variant.
70% of adults to be double vaccinated by 19 July – England health official
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Bookings surge at London stadium vaccination centres
Londoners received tens of thousands of Covid jabs in just a few hours on Saturday as football grounds in the capital were transformed into mass vaccination centres.
Huge jab clinics have been set up at West Ham’s London Stadium, Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge, the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the Valley, home of Charlton Athletic, and Crystal Palace’s Selhurst Park.
Smaller events are taking place in community venues in a drive to vaccinate as many Londoners as possible on what has been dubbed a “super Saturday”.
Young people in the capital had been urged to book vaccination slots as Covid-19 cases are soaring among children and young adults. The number of people infected with the virus is increasing rapidly in England, doubling every 11 days.