HAVE YOUR SAY.
Join us in The Bullpen, where the members of the Scientific Inquirer community get to shape the site’s editorial decision making. We’ll be discussing people and companies to profile on the site. On Wednesday, September 14 at 5:30pm EST, join us on Discord and let’s build the best Scientific Inquirer possible.
MEASLES DEATHS IN ZIMBABWE.
Another preventable tragedy is driving home the benefits of taking advantage of the vaccines available around the world. This time it’s a major measles outbreak in Zimbabwe. Per the Associated Press,
The death toll from a measles outbreak in Zimbabwe has risen to almost 700 children, the country’s health ministry has said. Some are calling for the enactment of legislation to make vaccination mandatory in a country where anti-modern medicine religious sects hold sway on large swathes of the population of 15 million people… The latest figures are more than four-times the number of deaths announced about two weeks ago when the ministry said 157 children, most of whom were unvaccinated due to their family’s religious beliefs, had succumbed to the disease.
Unfortunately, in today’s political climate, where basic public health measures are openly questioned and disdained, tragedies like this will be more common. https://bit.ly/3TLftEf
ZERO-COVID STRATEGY SOLDIERS ON.
One of the more interesting things to watch these days is how Beijing’s Zero-Covid strategy is playing out. Several cities have been placed under some form of lockdown as the Mid-Autumn Festival is set to kick off. Per the Associated Press,
China has locked down 65 million of its citizens under tough COVID-19 restrictions and is discouraging domestic travel during upcoming national holidays. Across the country, 33 cities including seven provincial capitals are under full or partial lockdown covering more than 65 million people, according to a tally published late Sunday by the Chinese business magazine Caixin. It said that outbreaks have been reported in 103 cities, the highest since the early days of the pandemic in early 2020. Despite a relatively low number of infections, authorities have adhered to a ‘zero-COVID’ policy requiring lockdowns, quarantines and the confining of people suspected of being in close contact with any confirmed case.
You have to wonder how long the constant, snap lockdowns can remain tenable. So far, however, the country appears to be staying the course. https://bit.ly/3RnqxG7
SHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD I GO?
The combination of Zero-Covid and natural disaster has led to an absurd situation in Chengdu. (We’re not using absurd in the derogatory sense, mind you. We’re using it in its proper literary sense.) When an earthquake hit the city, its inhabitants were presented with a lose-lose proposition. Per The Globe and Mail,
As the walls of their apartment shook around them, Ken He yelled at his mother to get down, just as her phone pinged with an earthquake alarm. The tremor lasted about 10 seconds. As it eased, Mr. He went to run for the door. The 23-year-old grabbed for his mother’s hand, but she looked uncertain, asking him, “Are we allowed to go outside?” On social media, some asked frantically what they should do, while others shared their outrage at discovering emergency exits blocked or being shouted at by epidemic control workers. One video shared online showed a man admonishing residents through a loudspeaker, asking them, “Did the building fall down?”
Boggles the mind… https://tgam.ca/3eqOIF4
FIRST INHALABLE COVID-19 VACCINE APPROVED.
With all the Covid-craziness going on in China, credit where credit is due. They’ve managed to develop and approve the world’s first inhaled Covid-19 vaccine. According to CNN,
China has become the first country to green-light an inhaled Covid-19 vaccine, paving the way for potential use of the needle-free product in the country, where suppressing the spread of Covid-19 remains a top priority. The vaccine maker, CanSino Biologics, said in a statement Sunday that China's medicines regulator had approved the inhaled dose for emergency use as a booster vaccine. The product, known as Convidecia Air, delivers a vaccine dose through a puff of air from a nebulizer that is then inhaled by mouth. CanSino's injected Convidecia Covid-19 vaccine is already in use in China and has been approved in a handful of other countries. According to a database maintained by the World Health Organization (WHO), CanSino's new product is one of two specifically "inhaled" vaccines that had reached clinical phase development, as a number of companies worldwide research innovative ways to deliver Covid-19 protection via the nose and mouth.
Obviously, needleless vaccines would do wonders for uptake, though it would still be hard to convince hardcore anti-vaxers to join the parade. https://bit.ly/3egoHYM
Thanks for reading. Let’s be careful out there.