The Code COVID19 International Update – 4 November 2021

close up photo of the coronavirus

Dr Priscilla Robinson

The Code COVID19 International Update is a weekly snapshot of the COVID-19 pandemic, assessing efforts by nations around the world to test, track and fight the virus. It’s compiled by Dr Priscilla Robinson, an Adjunct Associate Professor of Public Health at LaTrobe University, and an editor for the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health.

View the latest spreadsheet here

This will be short, because I am in the middle of a storm=-related power outage, now in its 6th day, and the internet connection is dropping in and out a lot so I cannot get to the usual places to hunt out interesting bits and pieces. Public health response = 0. Just like the 8 day outage in June. Apologies therefore for not so much news this week.

Now that some of the reporting issues have been ironed out, and some notifications have been added from previous weeks, the number of new cases this week over last is slightly up; so please remember that the numbers are about what is reported and when, and not so much about immediately recent situation.

The US is having a bit of a surge, as is Israel and the UK, despite fairly high vaccination rates, and I have not read anything plausible about why. Of course, the reports are of positive tests, not necessarily about sick people, and clearly the vaccines are working well to reduce disastrous disease in immunised people.

The three sheets for Africa, SE Asia, and the Pacific indicate mainly a quiet week, but we also know that COVID is beginning to reach some island nations which so far have been free of COVID and also have almost no vaccines on board yet, so we are certainly not out of the proverbial woods yet.

Now to vaccines.

Sadly the vaccination roll-out remains painfully slow in resource-poor settings. Meanwhile, wealthy countries are getting going with boosters. What a sad state of affairs.

However, the US Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the mRNA Pfizer and BioNTech vaccines for children over 5, which it is believed will reduce the likelihood of variant spreading. News available here.

And if you didn’t read the James Bond paper last week, go back and find it! (PHAA ed – it’s here.]

Until next week,

Priscilla

About Dr Priscilla Robinson and The CODE COVID 19 International Update

Dr Robinson is a public health epidemiologist with particular interests in international health and communicable diseases, and public health competencies. She has worked in health departments in England and Australia, has managed public health teaching programmes, and taught and researched many aspects of public health epidemiology and policy in many countries. She is an adjunct Associate Professor at LaTrobe University, and to stop herself being bored is an editor of PHAA’s journal ANZJPH, and holds board positions (almost all unpaid) on various NGOs, journals, and at her local hospital. Otherwise, 10 acres of untamed bushland on a hill in South Gippsland, VIC, makes weight-bearing gym exercise and strength training a bit redundant.

The CODE Update is a regular Intouch feature to keep readers informed of COVID-19 developments around the world.

The CODE Update originally began at the start of the SARS CoV-2 pandemic as Priscilla’s way of explaining to her friends and family around the world what was happening, and counter their experiences of information overload and misinformation. The update provides links to practical materials and papers written for people who are not versed in the language of outbreaks and epidemic curves. Published weekly, it includes a short commentary to provide context to the numbers included in the spreadsheets.

Note: While every attempt is made to transcribe all data faithfully, every now and again mistakes are made and not noticed until the next Update. Also, on occasion, numbers are revised after posting at the source databases.

We hope you will find these updates to be a helpful tool, and the links to current information useful.

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