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Coronavirus

Red Cross Warns ‘Fake Vaccine News’ Could Cause “Second Pandemic”

Calls for defeat of “parallel pandemic of distrust” in vaccines

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Andrea Ronchini/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The head of the Red Cross has warned that the spread of “fake news” concerning vaccines could cause a “second pandemic”.

German news agency Deutsche Welle reports that Francesco Rocca, president of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, commented during a virtual round table discussion that there is a “parallel pandemic of distrust” that needs to be defeated.

The report notes that Rocca warned of a “growing hesitancy” globally toward vaccines, noting that “a vaccine in-and-of-itself will not be enough to end this pandemic.”

Rocca also asserted that the lack of trust in vaccines “is by no means a Western phenomenon,” further noting that “In several African countries, we have seen a common skepticism towards vaccines in general, with a common belief being that foreigners use Africa as a medical `testing ground.”‘

“We believe that the massive, coordinated efforts that will be needed to roll out the COVID vaccine in an equitable manner need to be paralleled by equally massive efforts to proactively build and maintain trust,” Rocca said.

“We stand ready to support government efforts to roll out a COVID-19 vaccine, including by leading and supporting efforts to counteract misinformation and build trust,” Rocca added.

Rocca warned against the rise of “vaccine nationalism”, a concern previously posited by Bill Gates that not everyone in the world will be given access to a COVID vaccine.

Rocca called for a globally coordinated effort to vaccinate everyone via a program known as the COVAX facility.

“We call again on all the governments who have not joined the COVAX facility to consider doing so and to show leadership at theinternational level. We also call on governments who have joined the COVAX facility to increase their allocation to this valuable multilateral mechanism to further increase equity in future vaccine distribution,” the Red Cross head said.

“The vaccine must go to where it is needed, not just to where it can be afforded,” Rocca added.

The comments come amid concerns that the vaccines will be made mandatory all over the world, either by law or by means of social coercion.

The UK government has today scrambled to clarify remarks made Monday by UK vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi, indicating that so called “immunity passports” may be required by bars, restaurants, cinemas and stadiums for people to enter.

Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove denied that the government is planning to implement such a scheme, but admitted that “Of course, individual businesses have the capacity to make decisions about who they will admit and why.”

Coronavirus

Omicron Variant First Detected in Four People Who Were Fully Vaccinated

Botswana government releases public statement on new mutant strain.

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Xinhua News Agency via Getty Images

The new ‘Omicron’ variant of COVID-19 was first detected in four people who were fully vaccinated, according to a public statement by the Botswana government.

The new variant, which some claim is three times more contagious, was initially discovered in Botswana before it spread across South Africa.

The news was met with global alarm, prompting financial markets to plummet and new travel bans to be put in place.

According to a public statement by the Botswana government, the new mutation was first discovered in four people who had received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

According to the report, four cases of the new variant “were reported and recorded” on November 22.

“The preliminary report revealed that all the four had been completely vaccinated for COVID-19,” according to Botswana authorities.

In a subsequent statement, the government revealed that the new variant “was detected on four foreign nationals who had entered Botswana on the 7th November 2021, on a diplomatic mission.”

“The quartet tested positive for COVID-19 on the 11th November 2021 as they were preparing to return,” according to the statement.

In a piece of good news, others who had close contact with the infectees “have no COVID-19 symptoms and have tested negative for COVID-19.”

As we highlighted earlier, according to Belgian Prime Minister , the Omicron variant is so potentially devastating that it should be called ‘COVID-21’.

Meanwhile, South Africa’s medical chief Dr. Angelique Coetzee described the panic as a “storm in a teacup,” adding that she had only seen “very very mild cases” of the variant so far.

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Coronavirus

Belgian Prime Minister Says New Variant Heralds Arrival of ‘COVID-21’

Claims it’s three times more infectious.

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The Prime Minister of Belgium says the new mutant variant of coronavirus is so potentially devastating that it should be called ‘COVID-21’.

Yes, really.

Alexander De Croo made the comments during a press conference after international markets plummeted in response to the news that the ‘Nu’ variant of the virus had been discovered in Botswana and spread across South Africa.

“You could say that this is Covid-21 instead of Covid-19: it is three times more infectious than the original virus,” said De Croo.

His remarks came in the aftermath of sustained media panic over the new mutation and the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) describing the variant as “the worst one we’ve seen so far.”

It was confirmed that the B.1.1.529 variant had reached Europe after it was detected in someone who had entered Belgium after traveling to Egypt.

Some European countries are already tightening COVID restrictions despite the fact that very little is known about the new strain and it could take weeks to determine if it is a major threat.

However, international alarm over the mutation was questioned by South Africa’s medical chief Dr. Angelique Coetzee, who described the response as a “storm in a teacup.”

According to Coetzee, South Africa has only recorded “very very mild cases” of the variant so far.

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Coronavirus

South Africa Medical Chief Says New COVID Mutation Has Only Produced “Very Mild Cases”

Expresses surprise at international alarm.

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Despite a flurry of international panic over the new COVID mutation, South Africa’s medical chief says the issue is a “storm in a teacup,” noting that the country has only recorded “very mild cases” of the new strain.

Well that’s not gonna be very good for pandemic panic clickbait is it?

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