In early fall 2020, I wrote to Congressman Brian Higgins with some suggested ideas to begin opening the Peace Bridge in a safe manner for residents of the United States and Canada. These ideas included allowing seasonal U.S. owners to obtain a limited entry visa from Canadian officials at the Peace Bridge, which would allow them limited access to their seasonal properties for 24-48 hours to verify their properties and provide routine maintenance. when seasonal owners returned to the United States via the Peace Bridge, they would surrender their limited entry visas to the United States or Canadian authorities. For people who could provide a full vaccination card from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Covid-19 at the Peace Bridge, their limited entry visas could be expanded to include a longer length of stay and a broader list of activities. authorized. A process similar to that described above was used by the Peace Bridge in the 1960s and 1970s for cross-border travel before the use of the computer. .
LONDON: The UK’s COVID-19 response has come under heavy criticism. The UK is one of the countries with the highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths on record. But with the vaccination campaign, his fortunes appear to have changed.
The UK is one of the world’s leading runners in terms of vaccine coverage. On December 8, 2020, it will be the first country to start giving its citizens a fully tested COVID-19 vaccine.
Since then, more than 18 million people in the UK have received the first dose of the vaccine, with more than 600,000 second doses also given.
The UK government has promised that all adults will be offered the vaccine before the end of July. This will be a major achievement less than eight months after vaccination has started.
Initially, this deadline was late autumn, which shows the success of the UK initiative to date.
The faster launch of the vaccine raises hopes for ending restrictions more quickly. Unsurprisingly, the launch has so far been described as a “rare pandemic success”.
The UK government’s end-of-July vaccination target appears achievable, and by maintaining the average rate of 2.9 million vaccinations per week – which has been achieved so far – the UK’s entire adult population can receive both doses by the end of September.
Reaching and maintaining this speed requires a consistent supply of vaccine, and the key lies in the supply chain.
Supply shortages have disrupted vaccine rollouts around the world. A prominent example is the dispute between the European Union (EU) and AstraZeneca. Manufacturers have drastically stopped shipping their vaccines, citing production problems.
While the UK and EU signed a broadly similar contract to AstraZeneca, UK negotiators demonstrated a better understanding of supply chains. The UK contract contains AstraZeneca’s commitment that the UK supply chain “will be appropriate and sufficient” for the dose supply the country buys.
If its supply chain is insufficient at any point, AstraZeneca will have to make up for any shortages elsewhere in its global network. EU contracts do not contain equivalent clauses.
Committing early to contract with suppliers is another positive thing about procuring vaccines in the UK, as is a willingness to invest. The UK has spent £ 11.7 billion (US $ 16.5 billion) on the purchase, manufacture and use of the COVID-19 vaccine and vaccine research.
Kate Bingham, former chair of the UK’s COVID-19 vaccine task force, has highlighted that her purchasing strategy focuses on which vaccines are developed quickly rather than cost.
The UK now finds itself in a position to have safe access to seven vaccine candidates and potentially more doses than is needed. They have ordered enough doses of the vaccine currently authorized to cover its population.
Once additional vaccines are approved, the supply will continue to grow. Manufacturing capacity has also been the subject of long-term investment from the British government.
READ: Comments: Pharmaceutical companies are saving the world with the COVID-19 vaccine in record time. But praise is also given to others
As a result, the manufacturing infrastructure was in place at the start of the pandemic and could be rapidly scaled up, which resulted in three vaccines being made in the UK, providing ready access to supplies.
The production process that started quickly also gave the UK the opportunity to tackle production problems early on; The European Union instead had to settle this recently, destroying its supply.
Long-term research investments also help. The UK, unsurprisingly, is in the forefront of the vaccine being developed by the University of Oxford with AstraZeneca, and has ordered more of these vaccines than any other.
Oxford scientists have been researching vaccines that could be used to fight diseases like COVID-19. Ready access to large stocks of working vaccines is somewhat dependent on the research investment that took place many years ago.
But initial investment and shrewd procurement alone did not account for a successful vaccine launch in the UK. They are paired with an excellent distribution network. The centralized structure of the NHS already offers an ideal platform for planning and coordination; but a varied and localized delivery system has ensured the rollout is effective.
In the UK alone there are more than 1,500 vaccination sites. These range from GP operations and community pharmacies on the smaller end to hospital hubs and mass vaccination centers set up in sports centers, racing courses and performance venues.
While the larger vaccination centers offer rapid inoculation for many people, the smaller community-based services ensure that access is broad. This diverse network of vaccination sites makes distribution even more challenging.
Supplies need to be divided between locations without a single site suddenly running out or doses being wasted.
Effective planning and stock management are essential, and for this reason, experienced drug distributors have been brought in to ensure that supplies can continue to be delivered.
Indeed, it is part of a broader effort to combine the strengths of different organizations and individuals and use their existing capabilities to make the launch as fast as possible.
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For example, along with industry experts, military planners and logistics personnel have been recruited to assist with distribution.
The launch of the COVID-19 vaccine is an unprecedented logistical effort. The UK is currently handling this challenge better than many other countries, which can learn from it.
However, after a high burden of death, disease, repeated lockdowns and economic damage, pressure was on the UK to keep its launch speed high. The country is still in lockdown, and hopes for an end to restrictions hinge on the success of vaccination campaigns.
Hear the authors outline what it takes to get the vaccine manufactured, transported and given away on our Heart of the Matter podcast:
Sarah Schiffling is Senior Lecturer in Supply Chain Management, Liverpool John Moores University and Liz Breen is Director of the Digital Healthcare Enterprise Zone (DHEZ), University of Bradford, Reader in Healthcare Operations, University of Bradford. This comment first appearance on The Conversation.
UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock has revealed that the country has decided to prioritize people by age and not by occupation, according to media reports.
Hancock emphasized that the second phase of vaccine inoculation will follow expert guidelines that will focus on age groups and not on occupational risks.
According to a BBC report, about one in three adults in the UK have received their first injection of the Covid-19 vaccine.
One of Britain’s top medics said the death rate from COVID-19 was lower for teachers than for some other professions.
Britain’s deputy chief medical officer Prof Jonathan Van-Tam said, as quoted in a BBC report, ONS data on the jobs with the highest Covid death rates. This includes restaurant and caterer managers or owners, followed by metalworkers and machine operators, food, beverage and tobacco processing operators, chefs, and taxi and taxi drivers.
Speaking at the coronavirus press conference, Van-Tam added that the male death rate in each of these groups was more than 100 deaths per 1,00,000, compared to 18.4 deaths per 1,00,000 male teachers.
“When we enter the second phase of the vaccine campaign … being in the queue is more important than your position on it,” added Prof. Van-Tam.
The UK government now intends to inject all those over 50 and those with comorbidities before April 15. It has promised to complete phase two – in which all other adults are offered their first dose – by July 31, the BBC report added.
Hancock said, “Thankfully, teachers are no more likely to catch Covid than other members of the population who go to work, and trying to come up with a scheme that prioritizes one group of professionals over another would be tricky to implement. and will not do what we ask JCVI to do … namely ensure that we minimize the number of people who die. “
The government is confident that the next phase of the vaccination program will be critical because it will reduce the pressure on hospitals and more lives can be saved.
Meanwhile, more than 19.1 million people in the UK have received their first shot of the vaccine.
Which city will cross our minds when we think of the coronavirus pandemic in the next few years? Wuhan is of course, the city in China where things most likely started. Maybe Bergamo, New York, Guayaquil and Manaus – the four cities worst hit by the outbreak. But what place will you remember for containing COVID-19?
That honor could go to Serrana, a small town in Brazil about 300 kilometers (185 miles) north of Sao Paulo. Despite being home to one of the country’s largest sugarcane factories, Serrana is not a household name even in Brazil. But that could change soon.
City officials began vaccinating Serrena residents with Coronavac, vaccines made in China, last week. Such a move could mean a huge leap in pathogen research.
Two out of three Serrana residents, the equivalent of 30,000 adults, have been invited to join the voluntary mass vaccination program. If everything goes according to plan and all of these individuals get the shot, researchers will soon be able to study whether the virus has been wiped out in the city – or whether it has managed to survive.
This ambitious project was initiated by Mayor Leonardo Capitelli. The energetic 38-year-old, known to the locals only as Leo, recently won the November mayoral election by a narrow margin of 600 votes.
Capitelli, born in Serrana and father of two, was eager to convince his supporters that they were choosing the right person to deal with the pandemic. He tirelessly garnered support for a vaccination program – dubbed Project S – in the media and online.
“As a community representative, I am very and very proud to be part of this historic project, and to help the Serrana people get protective vaccinations,” Capitelli told DW. “This makes us pioneers, serves science and helps increase global life expectancy.”
The local population is embracing the vaccination effort
The map on Capitelli’s table shows the city divided into color-coded zones, showing who will be vaccinated when. The people in the green sector took their beating from Wednesday to last Sunday. Now it is time for the people in the yellow sector to get the shot, followed by the gray and blue sectors. After the people in each region received their first hit, the second round would begin.
The bulk inoculation process will take two months. Capitelli said residents were eager to get involved: “They are happy and have high hopes that they will not only be immunized but also help protect their families.”
Why did Serrana lead the attack?
Serrana was chosen because it is one of the main coronavirus hotspots in the country, said Ricardo Palacios, director of clinical research at Sao Paulo’s highly respected Butantan Institute and one of the principal investigators behind the city’s inoculation efforts. At some point, 5% of the population caught the virus after a major outbreak in nursing homes.
In addition, says Palacios, Serrana “has an easy measure to handle, the local government provides unquestionable support, and the local population supports it.”
Apart from a president famously downplaying the pandemic and comparing COVID-19 to a mild flu, Palacios said Brazilian researchers are working as hard as their international counterparts because it is “our duty.” But, he acknowledged, “Of course we will receive more support from the government.”
Brazil has been badly hit by the pandemic with more than 10 million infections and nearly 250,000 deaths from COVID-19, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. In terms of deaths from COVID, it is second only to the United States. The country is third in infections behind the US and India.
Aim for herd immunity
With the world’s scrutiny, Marco Borges, head of the Serrana general hospital, said he was optimistic that the inoculation would produce useful findings within three months.
“The project will run for one year, but we will get the main findings in 12 to 13 weeks,” he said. “Then we will be able to find out how vaccines affect transmission of the virus, and whether it reduces severe cases of COVID-19 and deaths.”
For now, the city is busy vaccinating residents. The only people excluded from this scheme are minors, pregnant women, nursing mothers, and individuals who have recently had a fever.
Borges said he can’t wait for the program to finish in May: “Then all cities will know how herd immunity works. Right now, nobody knows.”
NEW DELHI: While Indians wait to be vaccinated, a survey by online travel agency MakeMyTrip indicates that more than 88% of users are now comfortable with booking flights and hotels for future dates. Entitled “How India will travel once vaccinated,” the online survey of 2,000 people interviewed in January shows that more than 65% of travelers are actively seeking and planning a vacation in the next two months. The results indicate that once vaccinated, 81% of respondents will travel for leisure, 55% will travel to visit friends and relatives, and 46% will resume their business or work trips. Read also | Bitter truths at home for migrant workers To date, more than 70% of those surveyed have made a trip since the first phase of unlocking, with nearly 40% of travelers taking a mini-vacation or two and 18 % making more than three trips during the pandemic. In the months following unlocking, as people preferred to travel with their family and spouses, post-vaccination travelers seek to firm up their travel plans with their friends (48%), colleagues (20%) and find comfort when traveling alone (23%). Over 65% of respondents are comfortable with booking group tours after taking the jab. The survey stated that the safety and health measures applied in the vacation property as well as the reviews of the guests remain an important parameter for the screening of accommodation. While the preference for high-end properties will remain strong, travelers, mostly between the ages of 18 and 30, will consider villas, homestays and apartments. Around 95% of respondents indicated that guest reviews after unlocking will remain an important parameter when screening hotel properties in the future. Road trips will also remain a preferred mode of vacation, with 70% of respondents voting in favor of road trips to destinations within 300 km of the hometown. Of which 80% will prefer to drive in their own vehicle, even after being vaccinated. The survey indicates that travelers will resume engaging in hyper-local experiences after vaccination, preferring to leave the hotel premises to visit and local activities (85%) and indulge in local delicacies (72%). Over 70% look forward to engaging in adventure activities while almost 40% are waiting to return to cricket stadiums, concert grounds and other community events. Among the destinations, the hills remain the most favorable choice, followed by the seaside resorts (63%); adventure tours in national parks or sanctuaries (38%); and places of pilgrimage (28%). “The link between vaccination rollout and traveler sentiment is directly proportional and the survey results corroborate that as the vaccination program progresses there is a strong recovery in travel demand. As Indians plan their summer vacation this year after having to skip it last summer, safety and health remain a priority when making travel or accommodation reservations, ”said Vipul Prakash, director of the use of MakeMyTrip valid email * Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter.