The Hong Kong government reported on March 2 the death of an elderly man, two days after he received a Chinese-made COVID-19 vaccine. Health authorities are still investigating the cause of death to determine if it’s connected to the vaccine.
Since Feb. 26, the Hong Kong government has started the COVID-19 vaccination for priority and at-risk groups, including people over 60 years old, in the city.
The Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine has an efficacy of 50.6 percent, according to media reports. A number of suspected side effects of the vaccine have been reported worldwide, including death.
Recent Case Drops Could Change Due to New Variants
The number of daily new cases in the United States has dropped sharply in recent weeks but there’s evidence the declines are stalling around 70,000 cases a day, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky.
“With these new statistics, I am really worried about reports that more states are rolling back the exact public health measures we have recommended to protect people from COVID-19. I understand the temptation to do this. Seventy thousand cases a day seemed good compared to where we were just a few months ago. But we cannot be resigned to 70,000 cases a day, 2,000 daily deaths,” she said during a virtual briefing.
A Year Into Pandemic and Anti-Asian Hate Crime Incidents Grow
The number of racially motivated harassment and assaults has surged since the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus entered the United States. More than 3,000 incidents have been reported to Stop AAPI Hate, a California-based reporting center for Asian American Pacific Islanders, and its partner advocacy groups, since mid-March 2020.
Police in several major cities saw a sharp uptick in Asian-targeted hate crimes between 2019 and 2020, according to data collected by the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism, California State University, San Bernardino.
New York City went from three incidents to 27, Los Angeles from seven to 15, and Denver had three incidents in 2020—the first reported there in six years.
Merck & Co to Help Produce Rival J&J’s Vaccine
Drugmaker Merck & Co. will help produce rival Johnson & Johnson’s newly approved CCP virus vaccine in an effort to expand supply more quickly, a Biden administration official confirmed Tuesday.
The announcement comes as the White House looks to speed the production of the single-dose vaccine. Officials have said J&J faced unexpected production issues with its vaccine and produced only 3.9 million doses ahead of its receiving emergency use authorization on Saturday. The company says it is on pace to deliver 100 million doses by the end of June.
New Rules Appear to Push International Air Travel Down in Canada
Canada’s new CCP virus testing and quarantine rules for international air travelers appear to have convinced even more would-be travelers to stay put in recent weeks.
In the last two weeks of January international arrivals fell to 106,000 people, and in the first two weeks of February, the figure fell further to 94,000 people, according to data from Canada Border Services Agency.
The drop in international arrivals in early February is about four times the decline seen between early January and early February in 2019 and 2020.
China’s Top COVID-19 Expert Predicts the CCP Virus Outbreak May End This Summer
A top Chinese COVID-19 expert said on Mar. 1 that he hoped the CCP virus outbreak might end this summer or next year.
Director of Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) George Fu Gao said in his speech organized by the U.S. Brookings Institution that there are too many unknowns about the CCP virus, and the Chinese CDC has to deal with the pandemic based on common sense and knowledge, such as the best prevention methods should be 3Ws: wearing a mask, watching distance, and washing hands.
3 Dozen Cases of Spontaneous Miscarriages, Stillbirths Occurring After COVID-19 Vaccination
Thirty-four cases of pregnant women experiencing spontaneous miscarriages or stillbirths after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine have been submitted to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).
VAERS is a passive reporting system that allows people to submit a report of an adverse event after vaccination and is run by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Research funded by the CDC has shown that fewer than 1 percent of reactions from vaccinations are being reported on VAERS.
US Trial of COVID-19 Blood Plasma Halted After No Benefit Found
The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) said on Tuesday that it has halted a trial of convalescent blood plasma in the treatment of patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 symptoms as it was unlikely to benefit this group.
The health agency’s move comes less than two months after an international trial of convalescent plasma was halted as no benefit was found. Other studies conducted in India and Argentina have also found no apparent benefit for those severely ill with the disease.
Alex Wu, Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report