Italy’s vaccination campaign is gathering speed. The country is considering the possibility of letting citizens receive second shots while on holiday.
Europe’s third-largest economy has accelerated its vaccination campaign, with more than 500,000 shots given per day. This means most second doses are scheduled for August, when most Italians are on holiday.
While regional and national authorities debate the logistics of such a step, allowing shots away from home would boost the country’s battered tourism industry.
COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective even after the first dose, according to a large-scale study by the Italian National Institute of Health.
Infections, hospitalizations and deaths all declined significantly about 14 days after the first shot. After 35 days, infections were 80 percent lower than among those who had not received a dose, while hospitalizations were 90 percent lower and deaths 95 percent lower.
More than 7 million Italians who had received at least one vaccine dose between Dec. 27 last year and April 4 were surveyed. Two-thirds were given the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine, while 29 percent received AstraZeneca PLC’s shot.
A health travel pass in the EU could be available from about June 20, French Secretary of State for European Affairs Clement Beaune said in an interview yesterday on Europe 1 radio.
The pass would show either proof of vaccination against COVID-19, immunity due to past infection or the result of a negative polymerase chain reaction test.
France would implement its own health pass from June 9 for major gatherings of more than 1,000, Beaune said.
In the UK, which is allowing leisure travel to resume from today, the spread of the Indian variant could threaten the final phase of lockdown easing set for June 21, British Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock said.
Meanwhile, a cyclone is set to hit the western coast of India, prompting authorities already grappling with a deadly second virus wave to begin evacuating citizens.
Cyclone Tauktae is expected to make landfall on Tuesday morning in the southern districts of Gujarat, with wind speeds touching 175km per hour, the India Meteorological Department said.
Authorities in Mumbai have already moved hundreds of COVID-19 patients to other facilities.
Three cases of Candida auris, a fungus that can cause a yeast infection known as candidiasis in humans, have been reported in Taiwan over the past few years, but they did not display drug resistance, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) said yesterday. Lo made the statement at a news conference in Taipei, one day after the Washington Post reported that the potentially deadly fungus is spreading in US hospitals. The fungus was first discovered in Japan in 2009 and poses a danger to immunocompromised people, with an estimated mortality rate of 30 to 60 percent, Lo
‘COINCIDENCE’: The former president should keep in mind local and global response to his actions and abide by the law to safeguard national interests, the MAC said The Presidential Office yesterday confirmed that it has received an application from former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to visit China next week and would be discussing his security detail. “As the travel restrictions on former president Ma have expired, we respect his plan to pay respect to his ancestors in China,” Presidential Office spokeswoman Lin Yu-chan (林聿禪) said. “We will review his travel plan and consult concerned agencies to assist him in arranging his security detail.” “We also hope that Ma, as a former commander in chief of Taiwan, acts in a manner that aligns with national interests and does not hurt
‘DIRE’: Taiwan would not engage in ‘dollar diplomacy,’ the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, after China reportedly offered Honduras up to US$3 billion to establish relations The government yesterday recalled its ambassador to Honduras after the Central American nation sent its foreign minister to China, signaling that it would sever diplomatic ties with Taiwan. Suspicions concerning ties with Honduras are rife after Honduran President Xiomara Castro on Tuesday last week wrote on Twitter that her country would pursue diplomatic ties with China. Honduran Minister of Foreign Affairs Eduardo Enrique Reina traveled to China on Wednesday “to promote efforts for the establishment of diplomatic relations” on instructions from Castro, Reuters yesterday quoted Honduran presidential spokesman Ivis Alvarado as saying. The government “has decided to immediately recall the ambassador to Honduras
‘NOTHING NEW’: China should not use Tsai Ing-wen’s transits through the US as a pretext to step up aggressive activity in the Taiwan Strait, a Washington official said President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) is to stop over in the US on her way to and from Central America next week, but her administration would not confirm a meeting with US House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Tsai’s delegation is to leave Taipei on Wednesday next week and stop over in New York City, Presidential Office spokeswoman Lin Yu-chan (林聿禪) told a news conference yesterday. Tsai is then to head to Guatemala on Saturday next week for talks with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei and to meet with Taiwanese expatriates, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. On April 3, Tsai is scheduled to travel