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Corona: Vaccinated people are more likely to be infected with the B.1.351 variant from South Africa than unvaccinated people.

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  • FromPamela Durhofer

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A study from Israel indicates that the Coronavirus vaccines no longer work properly against the South African variant B.1.351. Does the mechanism of antigenic sin apply?

TEL AVIV – Do existing vaccines also protect against virus mutations? This appears to be the case for the British variant B.1.1.7, which almost completely displaced the „wild type” of Sars-CoV-2 in several countries and also in Germany; With at most a small loss of efficacy. The situation differs with variant B.1.351, which first appeared in South Africa.

Then there is bad news from Israel: According to a recent study by Tel Aviv University and the Universal Health Organization – the largest health insurance company in Israel – people who were vaccinated were infected eight times more than those who had not been vaccinated in the south. The African alternative. However, the numbers are generally very small, as this virus strain rarely spreads in Israel, 90 percent of infections there are due to the British alternative. The study was only published after it was previously printed on medRxiV and has not yet been reviewed.

Coronavirus vaccination protection is not always effective for the South African Corona variant

In Israel, 4.9 million people – about 53 percent of the population – received two doses of the vaccine. Only mRNA vaccines are injected, and most of them come from Biontech / Pfizer, which is a smaller fraction of Moderna. In order to study it, the research team examined samples from 150 people who had tested positive for the Coronavirus and were partially asymptomatically infected, but also partially sick, although they had either already received the first vaccination or even two vaccinations.

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The Times of Israel quoted the director of the study, Adi Stern, as saying: „Based on the picture in the general population, we were expecting to find one case of the South African type, but we saw eight cases.” Compared to the original virus strain and the British variant, the South African variant is able to penetrate vaccination protection. Ran Palser, director of research at the public health organization Clalit, said the study was „very important”, as it was the first to draw on data from the real world.

As early as the end of March, scientists from Ben-Gurion University in the Negev found in laboratory tests that the vaccine from the Biontech-Pfizer was not able to completely neutralize the South African variant and was also less effective against strains that had characteristics of both the British and who also carried the southern variant. African.

studying

The study from Israel can be found at www.medrxiv.org

The Corona study with „real world data” comes out worse than laboratory tests

This research team worked with samples from people who survived a natural infection, as well as samples from people who were fully vaccinated and with the first dose for their study. This substance was exposed to so-called pseudo-corona viruses in a petri dish. At that time, the result appeared to be low but still effective against the South African alternative. This was higher than after surviving a „wild type” SARS-CoV-2 virus.

The results of the current study with „real-world data” appear worse by comparison. Ran Pleaser of the Clalit Health Organization stresses the importance of being vigilant. This includes continuing to wear masks indoors and practicing social distancing. Epidemiological monitoring and systematic sequencing of virus material in corona-positive samples are also essential.

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Until now, the South African alternative was scarce in Israel. Study leader Addy Stern assumes she is responsible for only about one percent of injuries. No other mutations were found in the study. Researchers believe that conditions in Israel are more favorable to the British than the South African alternative.

Astrazeneca vaccine hardly protects against the South African variant

Weeks ago, a study from South Africa showed that the Astrazeneca vaccine, which relies on a different technology as a vector vaccine, barely protects against the South African variant. Therefore, vaccination with the vaccine was stopped in South Africa.

Even more disturbing about the study from Israel is the fact that people who were vaccinated were more likely to be infected with the South African type than unvaccinated people – even if there were only eight cases in total. The study also did not provide any indication of whether the vaccinated people infected with the B.1.351 virus had contracted Covid-19 and how severe the disease was. Could so-called „antigenic sin” play here? There is already separate scientific work devoted to this theory regarding Sars-CoV-2. It is important to emphasize that antigenic sin is a theory, not a proven fact.

Is antigen sin valid? The immune system is based on an old version of the antigen

Assumption: If the immune system has already been infected with a virus and then encounters a new variant, it can tend to form antibodies only against structures familiar to it from the original pathogen. According to this theory, the immune system will always produce copies of the antibodies against this antigen, which it recognized upon first contact, and will not be able to adapt properly. The principle can also be applied to grafting. In the worst-case scenario, this could be harmful when a person is exposed to a new variant of the virus because the immune system is focused on an old version of the antigen. In the case of SARS-CoV-2, this target structure is a spike protein; All vaccines are based on the original version of this protein.

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Now, however, mutations of new viral variants are occurring specifically on this spiky protein, in the largely South African variant of the British protein. American immunologist Matthew Woodruff of Emory University in Atlanta writes about this problem in the British science journal The Conversation. He is concerned that vaccine updates that have been adapted to new virus strains may be less effective in people who have already received the first vaccinations. In this case, the immune memory could interfere with the development of a good immune response to the adapted vaccine. The scientific world will have to deal with this emerging problem and work on „complex” vaccines that work against many strains of the virus. Vaccines are already being researched for influenza. Knowledge from this should, according to the US immunologist, be transferred to Sars-CoV-2 immediately. (Pamela Durhofer)

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The Kremlin is ready for a Normandy look: Macron wants to show Putin a non-violent course

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The Kremlin is ready for a Normandy look
Macron wants to show Putin a non-violent course

The French president could announce a diplomatic coup: Despite long resistance, Moscow has now agreed to continue discussing the Ukraine crisis in the Normandy format. Macron will show Putin a way to de-escalate, said with confidence from Paris.

Diplomatic efforts to settle the Ukraine conflict will continue on Wednesday in the so-called Normandy format. A meeting is scheduled between France, Germany, Ukraine and Russia at the level of political advisors, it was said in the evening from the Elysee Palace in Paris. French Head of State Emmanuel Macron will propose to his Russian colleague Vladimir Putin a „way to de-escalate” the Ukraine crisis at a meeting in the next few days.

The last summit meeting was held in Normandy format in 2019. Against the background of the current massive deployment of Russian troops on the Ukrainian border, European calls for renewing these talks are once again louder. However, critics question the suitability of the format for a lasting settlement of the conflict and argue that greater US involvement in talks with Russia is necessary. The meeting in Paris comes after a marathon of diplomatic talks on the Ukrainian crisis at various levels, which so far have not resulted in any breakthrough.

The European Union sees no cause for concern

“You have to remain calm and do what is necessary, but avoid a nervous breakdown,” Borrell said in the evening after a video conference between European foreign ministers and the head of the US Department of State. Anthony Blinken. In his view, there is no new information that justifies the growing fear of an imminent attack.

And unlike the US, Britain and Australia, EU countries have agreed not to reduce the number of their embassy staff in Ukraine, Borrell said. The Spaniard stressed that „there is no need for us to take such precautionary measures.” The foreign representative also said that this was not an „evacuation” of the relevant embassies in Kiev. Washington, London and Canberra only allowed non-essential individuals to leave the country freely.

The Cabinet also discussed sanctions against Moscow in the event of an attack on Ukraine. An EU diplomat said Russia’s complete exclusion from the international banking system Swift is not on the table, among other things due to German pressure. On the sidelines of the meeting, German Foreign Minister Annallina Barbock said that „the hardest stick is not always the smartest sword.” Together with partners such as the United States of America, the European Union must review fiscal measures in such a way that they have the greatest possible impact.

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How does the EU punish Russia if it invades?

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eIt is not easy to vote on possible sanctions against Russia, whether within the European Union or between it and the United States. USA President Joe Biden He gave a glimpse last week when, in his own words, he said that if Russia had only „minor intervention” in Ukraine, the appropriate response would be moot, while Moscow would face huge costs if it invaded.

Thomas Gotchaker

Political correspondent for the European Union, NATO and the Benelux countries, based in Brussels.

This was definitely not intended for the public; who – which White House Since then he has spent a lot of time not escalating the comment. The internal debate continued on Monday. EU foreign ministers discussed in Brussels, Ukraine was the most important topic. In the afternoon, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken joined via videotape from Washington.

On the European side, the European Union Commission to coordinate penalties. On the one hand, this is unusual, because usually the Council and Member States have their hats when it comes to this issue. They decide on the joint actions that are drawn up by the European External Action Service, which works „in tandem” with the Commission. On the other hand, it is now mainly about coercive economic measures; The commission is more efficient for that. Politically, Ursula von der Leyen took the lead when she presented a set of options at the European Council in December.

Moscow must be left in the dark

Almost nothing is known about its contents. The heads of government circulated among themselves, without any other officials; Before that they had to hand over their cell phones. UNHCR is now in in-depth talks with individual countries – especially those that will be most affected by the impacts. In addition, groups of states coordinate among themselves, all informally. On the other hand, the responsible working groups of the Council were not involved. “What goes in there is instantly made public,” says one diplomat. On the other hand, leaving Moscow in the dark about exactly what to expect is part of the strategy. If the worst comes to the worst, you will be able to make a decision very quickly. A senior EU official noted that in September 2014, it only took three days for the union to coercive measures to tighten. At that time, pro-Russian separatists bombarded the city of Mariupol with artillery.

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Corona pandemic: no concessions because of Corona – Berlin MPs get more money

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aunder Than in Brandenburg Members of the lower house of parliament in Berlin are not giving up on increasing diets during the Corona pandemic. Starting this month, these amounts will increase by 125 euros to 6,657 euros per month. It came beforeBZ„.

The 1.9 percent additional cost is an adjustment based on the evolution of average wages from 2019 to 2020. In a national comparison of state parliaments, Berlin MPs’ bonuses are still in the lower midfield. In 2020, there was a significant increase in diets of nearly 60%. This was with Shifting from free time to a full-time parliament.

In Brandenburg, SPD, CDU, Greens, Left and BVB/Free Voters announced a suspension of the increase with dire economic and social impacts of the pandemic.

All developments in the live broadcast tape:

8:15 a.m. – Companies ask that infected people asymptomatic work in key positions

In light of the impending bottlenecks in critical infrastructures, the Municipal Corporations Association (VKU) has introduced a role in employing asymptomatic infected persons in important positions. „It will be important to get help from politicians in the event of an emergency, such as the recent abolition of quarantine to strengthen communications,” VKU general manager Ingbert Liping said upon request. „Specifically, for example, the use of asymptomatic infected persons in key positions should be allowed.”

Thus, the association builds on more recent calls from business associations for so-called quarantines for work. „This tool, which allows employees in quarantine to continue working as part of a special concept of hygiene, has already proven its value in the first and second waves of the epidemic,” the Federation of German Employers’ Associations (BDA) announced at the beginning of January.

8:04 am – More Covid patients in Berlin hospitals

As the number of infections increases, so does the number of Covid-19 patients in Berlin hospitals. In the past seven days, 16.3 of 100,000 residents received inpatient treatment, according to the health department. A week ago it was 13.1, two weeks ago it was 4.0. The corresponding traffic light in the Senate’s warning system is red, but it still shows a yellow one when intensive care units are occupied — their occupancy with coronavirus patients has remained relatively flat for weeks.

06:24 am – Lockdown lifted in Chinese city of millions after a month

A month later, authorities in the city of Xi’an lifted the lockdown on 13 million residents of the central Chinese capital on Monday. According to the city administration, the status of the ancient imperial city, which has seen 2,000 good infections since December, has been reduced to „low risk”. Lifting the curfew.

6:05 am – Schulz promised poor countries more German help in the fight against Corona

Development Minister Svenja Schulz promised poor countries more German assistance in the fight against the Corona pandemic. The German Social Democratic Party politician told Reuters news agency that Germany had already provided more than 500 million euros to boost good framework conditions for vaccine production in Africa. One cooperates above all with South Africa, Rwanda, Ghana and Senegal. “I want to expand this support even more,” the development minister said. Schultz will meet the head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in Geneva on Monday.

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5:15 a.m. – Two-thirds of clinics anticipate staff shortages when vaccination begins

On average, 89 percent of clinic staff who come into contact with patients have been vaccinated against COVID-19 at least twice. This was the result of a survey conducted by the German Hospital Association (DKG), whichGermany editorial networkPresent. Varying by professional groups, the vaccination rates in the hospital nursing service are the highest with an average of 95 percent. In intensive care, however, the rate is only 87 percent. The vaccination rate among physicians is exactly an average of 89 percent. .

According to the survey, two-thirds (66 percent) of hospitals expect restrictions on patient care if unvaccinated staff are no longer allowed to work as of March 16. 34% do not expect it. The head of the DKG, Gerald Gass, told „RND” that the numbers showed a „satisfactorily high” vaccination rate in clinics. „However, at the same time, it is also becoming clear that adherence to facility-related immunization can cause problems for patient care.”

4:53 a.m. – SPD Deputy Kuchaty calls for clarification of 4th vaccination

SPD Vice President Thomas Kochati expects a clear announcement from the Prime Ministers’ Conference on Monday that a fourth vaccination is not currently necessary. „Many citizens are asking in the doctor’s office if they need a fourth vaccination now,” the opposition leader in the North Rhine-Westphalian state parliament told DPA. Clarity is now required. With the so-called third vaccination, a person is well protected, which is also evidenced by the experiences of countries where vaccinations have already been given for the fourth time. „The priority remains that those who are not fully vaccinated can receive boosters until the third vaccination.”

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4:52 am – Poll: Third to tighten corona measures

In light of the huge increase in the number of corona infections, about a third of people in Germany (34 per cent) are in favor of tightening the measures. According to a survey conducted by opinion research institute YouGov on behalf of the German news agency, about another third (35 percent) consider the current restrictions valid and sufficient to counteract the rapid spread of the omicron virus variant. However, 24 percent are in favor of easing. Seven percent do not provide any information.

4:04 a.m. – Seven-day nationwide infection rate hits another high of 840.3

New cases of coronavirus in Germany have again reached a high level. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) gave The occurrence of seven days Monday with 840.3 employment. The value on Sunday was 806.8, and it was 528.2 on Monday last week. the number of new infections Within 24 hours, according to health authorities’ data on Monday 63,393 – After 85,440 the day before and 34,145 on Monday last week.

As announced by the RKI, citing data from health authorities, on Monday 28 new deaths Calculated in connection with the Corona virus.

According to the latest information received from the institute, the health authorities have recorded a total of 8,744,840 cases since the beginning of the epidemic. The total number of corona deaths recorded in Germany is now 116.746. The RKI estimates the number of people who have recovered from a disease caused by the Corona virus in Germany at 7,273,100.

03:44 a.m. – Minister of Family Affairs calls for schools and day care centers to be prioritized for PCR tests

In light of scarce laboratory capabilities, Federal Minister for Family Affairs Anne Spiegel (The Greens) is calling for teachers and children in primary schools and daycares to be prioritized for access to PCR tests. „If there are indeed fewer PCR tests available in the future, priority should also be given to teachers, daycare and primary school children,” Spiegel told Funk Media Group newspapers.

02:49 a.m. – Secretary Spiegel helps day care centers and schools

Due to the huge number of coronavirus infections, Family Minister Anne Spiegel is providing temporary help to schools and day care centers that have a particularly stressed out staff. Nearly 8,000 educational professionals from special federal programs can help care for children in the facilities for six weeks, the Green Party politician told Funk Media Group newspapers (Monday). Over the next few weeks, it will be important to mobilize all available resources so that schools and day care centers can maintain their regular operations. „This way, we give daycares and schools more flexibility and help fill the staff shortage.”

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12:01 am – Bavarian MPs are still hesitant on the subject of compulsory vaccination

A large percentage of the members of the Bundestag from Bavaria do not have a clear opinion on the subject of compulsory vaccination. This is the result of a survey conducted by the radio station Antenne Bayern. Accordingly, 29 percent spoke in favor of the general corona vaccination starting at the age of 18, and 18 percent opposed it. The majority – 39 percent – has not yet formed a final opinion and wants to wait for discussions in Parliament first. 14 percent did not respond to the radio station’s request or said they did not want to comment.

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According to the assessment, there are significant differences between the two parties. While 22 of the 33 answering politicians from CSU have not yet committed, 16 (with 22 answers) from SPD spoke out in favor of compulsory vaccination. In the AfD, all MPs who answered were against compulsory vaccination.

11:13 pm – WHO: The end of the Corona pandemic in Europe is „reasonable” after the Omicron wave

The World Health Organization does not rule out putting an end to the Corona epidemic in Europe after the current Omicron wave. „It is reasonable that the region is moving towards the end of the epidemic phase,” WHO Europe chief Hans Kluge told AFP on Sunday. But he cautioned at the same time to be careful due to the occurrence of other possible mutations in the Corona virus.

When the current omicron wave subsides in Europe, Kluge explained, there will be „global immunity for a few weeks and months, either thanks to vaccination or because people have immunity to infection.” In addition, the WHO representative added, there are seasonal effects on the upcoming spring and summer.

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Kluge summed up his forecast: „So we are preparing for the fact that there will be a period of calm before Covid-19 returns by the end of the year, but the epidemic does not necessarily return.”

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