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The vaccines developed by Pfizer with German partner BioNTech and Moderna using mRNA technology could offer years of protection against the coronavirus-borne disease COVID-19, according to a new study published on Monday.
The study, conducted by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis, suggests that people vaccinated with these vaccines may not need a booster until the virus mutates or creates new vaccine-resistant variants. It also found that people who recovered from COVID prior to vaccination “produced the strongest serological responses,” indicating that they have a strong immune response.
The study was peer-reviewed, according to Nature, even though it was published prior to editing and proofreading.
Separately, an Oxford University study found that a third dose of the AstraZeneca AZN, +1.07% AZN, +1.96% vaccine given more than six months after the second could increase protection against COVID-19 . The researchers found that a third dose caused a significant increase in antibodies and greatly boosted the immune response to the virus, including variants. The as yet unapproved results were published in a preprint study on Monday.
Read: The UK has vaccinated 80% of adults, but cases of delta variants are increasing. Why?
The news comes at a time when many countries are struggling to stop the spread of a highly contagious variant of COVID called the Delta variant, which was first discovered in India but is now found in at least 85 countries, according to the World Health Organization. This variant has created clusters in Australia that some experts have dubbed the most dangerous phase of the country’s pandemic since the earliest days, the Associated Press reported.
Scientists and companies are trying to use mRNA technology to develop vaccines against cancer and other diseases.
Sydney to the east and Darwin to the north were locked on Monday. Perth, in the west, made mask compulsory for three days and warned a lockdown could follow after a resident tested positive after visiting Sydney more than a week ago.
Brisbane and Canberra have or will soon make wearing masks mandatory. The state of South Australia announced new nationwide restrictions starting Tuesday.
Australia has been relatively successful at containing clusters throughout the pandemic, registering fewer than 31,000 cases since the pandemic began. However, the new clusters have highlighted the slow adoption of vaccines in the country, with only 5% of the population being fully vaccinated.
As a sign of how fast the Delta variant is moving, most of the new cases are from a Sydney limo driver who tested positive on June 16. The driver, who was not vaccinated, reportedly drove a foreign flight crew from Sydney Airport despite not wearing a face mask.
Elsewhere, South Africa has reintroduced strict restrictions on movement, extended a night curfew and banned the sale of alcohol to contain a spate of delta-driven cases. South Africa recorded more than 15,000 new cases on Sunday, including 122 deaths, bringing the total to nearly 60,000 deaths, the AP reported.
Russia’s two largest cities, Moscow and St. Petersburg, recorded record deaths in a single day from COVID on Sunday, the Moscow Times reported. Moscow counted 124 deaths, St. Petersburg 110. Russia is also grappling with a wave of Delta cases and is struggling to get its citizens to vaccinate. Russia has vaccinated only 11.7% of its population, according to the Johns Hopkins University.
In the US, vaccine efforts are now firmly focused on convincing unvaccinated people to roll up their sleeves, and President Joe Biden’s administration is gathering senior officials to get the message across, the AP reported. The government also designs advertisements for specific markets and recruits community organizers to remind people that the Delta variant has arrived in the US and is infecting many young and unvaccinated people.
“We’re not just going to do the mass vaccination sites,” said Xavier Becerra, Minister of Health and Human Services. “It goes from door to door. They are mobile clinics. We do vaccinations in church, at the PTA meeting, at the hairdresser’s, in the grocery store. “
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s vaccine tracker shows that 153 million Americans, or 46.1% of the total population, are fully vaccinated. That means that they have two injections of the Pfizer-BionNTech PFE, + 0.23% BNTX, -0.32% or Moderna MRNA, + 1.71% two-dose vaccine, or one injection of Johnson & Johnson’s JNJ, -0 , 28% received one-jab therapy.
Of adults aged 18 and over, almost 59% are fully vaccinated, while 66% have received at least one dose.
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The global number of coronavirus-borne diseases rose to over 181 million on Monday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, while the death toll rose to over 3.9 million.
The US continues to lead the world with 33.6 million cases, while deaths also lead the world at 604,030.
India ranks second with 30.3 million total cases and third with 396,730 deaths, although these numbers are likely to be underestimated due to a lack of testing.
Brazil has the third highest number of cases at 18.4 million, according to Johns Hopkins data, and ranks second with 513,474 deaths.
Mexico has the fourth highest death toll with 232,564 and 2.5 million cases.
In Europe, Russia has overtaken Britain in deaths. Russia has 131,671 fatalities, UK 128,367, making Russia the fifth highest death toll in the world and the highest in Europe.
China, where the virus was first discovered in late 2019, had 103,727 confirmed cases and 4,847 deaths, according to official figures, which are widely reported as massively under-reported.