This week, worldwide there are fewer infections compared with the week before, with the notable exception of the Africa region where infections have risen by 20%-50% week on week for a month now; and that is without any information from Tanzania. Otherwise (as usual) a few countries are having a blip in cases and fatalities – such as Thailand. The holiday islands on the coast of Africa continue to have problems, presumably driven by tourist influxes, and the Seychelles continues to have the highest case rate in the world at nearly 16%, followed by Czechia, the Maldives, Sweden and the USA. The highest fatality rates are in Peru and Mexico (both over 9% of cases), followed by Syria, China and Afghanistan – which begs some questions about +ve swab/case identification and notification, especially in the two obviously insecure settings.
Syria and Afghanistan have barely begun immunising their populations, but Sweden, China, Peru and Mexico are apparently going well, as are Czechia, Seychelles and the Maldives.
Now to vaccines more generally:
Iceland (with a population case rate under 2%) is a stand-out, with three quarters of its people having had one dose, and half already having two doses and being fully immunised, and better than any other country. To be fair, they are using the single dose J&J vaccine which helps, but they are using several others too. A country run by women. Maybe a few countries being led by men could ask them how they achieved that?? (I bet they won’t though.)
I’m pleased that someone has written a really sensible article about: Why most people who now die with Covid in England have been vaccinated
So, when your local Daily Galaxy starts yet another scare campaign, you will have some sound information to help stop people panicking about people getting sick and sometimes even dying even though they have been fully vaccinated. This is of course pre-emptive for those of us living in countries where full vaccination is still a way off in the future …
See you next week,
About Dr Priscilla Robinson and The CODE 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 makes weight-bearing gym exercise and strength training a bit redundant.
The CODE Update is a regular feature on the Intouch blog 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 a way of explaining it to Priscilla’s friends and family who happen to live all over the world, and who were being bombarded with information and misinformation in their own countries. The CODE Update provides links to practical materials and papers written for people who are not versed in the language of outbreaks and epidemic curves. It is sent out every week, and includes a short commentary to provide context to the numbers included in the spreadsheets.
Note: Whilst 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.