A game plan for the rollout of vaccines
As scientists dealing with Covid-19 worry about the rise of the anti-vaccine movement, South Korea’s response to fighting misinformation may offer the world a model for when vaccines become widely available.
In October, reports of deaths started popping up shortly after the country kicked off its flu vaccine campaign. Scientists determined that the deaths were unrelated to the flu shots, but they worried these accounts might lead to public distrust of vaccines altogether.
A response: Health officials ramped up efforts to communicate with the public. The government received more than 100 reports of people dying after receiving a flu vaccine. Officials promptly disclosed the causes, which were unrelated to the inoculations.
The panic has mostly died down in South Korea and 19 million people have received their flu shots so far. Still, this falls short of the country’s target of 30 million.
Here are the latest updates and maps of the pandemic.
In other developments:
■ New research has convinced many scientists that an early mutation in the coronavirus made it more contagious and harder to contain. The mutation, known as 614G, was first spotted in eastern China in January and then spread through Europe and New York City, displacing other variants.
■ The makers of a Russian vaccine said that it showed an efficacy rate of 95 percent in preliminary results from a clinical trial. The figure was based on incomplete data.
■ Hong Kong ordered all bars and nightclubs to close starting on Thursday as coronavirus infections spike in the city. On Tuesday, Hong Kong reported 80 new cases, including 54 linked to dancers at a ballroom and Latin dance studio.
■ Australia’s largest airline, Qantas, will make coronavirus vaccines — once they become available — mandatory for all passengers who want to fly internationally. The head of Qantas predicted that other airlines will follow.
The New York Times