Live: Daily Coronavirus Updates, June 2: What to know today about COVID-19 in the Seattle area, Washington State and the world

Live: Daily Coronavirus Updates, June 2: What to know today about COVID-19 in the Seattle area, Washington State and the world
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The United States will know “a lot of unnecessary loss of life“Unless Congress provides billions more dollars for COVID-19 vaccines, tests and treatments in preparation for the next wave of the pandemic,” the Biden administration said.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 infections have reportedly increased in South Africa despite research that suggests 98% of the population had antibodies.

We update this page with the latest news on the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on the Seattle area, the United States, and the world. Click here to see the rest of our coronavirus coverage and here to see how we’re tracking the daily spread across Washington.

Pfizer submits COVID vaccine for children under 5 for FDA clearance

Pfizer Inc. has asked U.S. regulators to clear its COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in children under age 5, an effort to extend protection against the virus to the nation’s youngest.

The drugmaker and BioNTech SE have finalized their continued application to the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization of their vaccine in children ages 6 months to 4 years, the companies announced in a statement on Wednesday. communicated. The vaccine partners began the submission process in February.

Pfizer and BioNTech announced in late May that a three-shot regimen was highly effective and elicited a strong immune response in children under 5, based on early results from a highly anticipated trial that will likely pave the way for infants and toddlers. immune.

Preliminary analysis found the vaccine to be 80.3% effective in preventing COVID infections in young children, with 10 infections occurring in all participants. Final results will be determined once 21 children enrolled in the study have been infected, the companies said.

Read the story here.

—Riley Griffin, Bloomberg News

South Africa has been hit by a wave of infections, although most people have antibodies

Coronavirus infections have increased in South Africa in recent months despite research suggesting around 98% of the population have antibodies from vaccination, previous infection or both.

The study, published Thursday but not yet peer-reviewed, analyzed the prevalence of two types of antibodies in 3,395 blood donors collected in mid-March across the country to estimate national prevalence. He found that at that time about 87% of the population had probably been infected with the coronavirus. About 11% had antibodies, which the study authors said suggested a person had been vaccinated but not recently infected.

But although the vast majority of the South African population has antibodies against the virus, many were still infected during the latest wave of the virus, which started in April and was driven by BA.4 and BA.5, new omicron subvariants.

As the surge peaked in late May, new confirmed cases of the virus averaged more than 7,000 a day, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. New daily deaths have also increased, averaging around 50 per day, but remained well below the peak of South Africa’s second wave in January 2021, when data showed more than 500 people died. on average per day.

The researchers say the study provides even more evidence of the virus’s ability to evolve and evade immunity.

Read the story here.

—Livia Albeck-Ripka, The New York Times

WHO thinks COVID is getting worse, not better in North Korea

A senior World Health Organization official said the United Nations health agency assumes North Korea’s coronavirus outbreak is “worsening, not better”, despite the country’s recent secret claims that which COVID-19 is slowing down there.

During a briefing on Wednesday, WHO emergencies chief Dr Mike Ryan called on North Korean authorities to get more information about the COVID-19 outbreak there, saying “we we have real problems accessing the raw data and the real situation on the ground”. .” He said the WHO had not received any inside information about the outbreak – unlike typical outbreaks where countries can share more sensitive data with the organization so it can assess public health risks to the community. world.

The WHO has previously expressed concerns about the impact of COVID-19 on North Korea’s population, which is believed to be largely unvaccinated and whose fragile health systems may struggle to cope with a surge of cases. caused by the super-infectious omicron and its subvariants.

Ryan said the WHO has offered technical assistance and supplies to North Korean officials on several occasions, including offering COVID-19 vaccines on at least three separate occasions.

Read the story here.

—Maria Cheng, Associated Press

More than two-thirds of people have COVID antibodies, WHO says

More than two-thirds of the world’s population likely have significant levels of COVID-19 antibodies, meaning they have been infected or have been vaccinated, the World Health Organization has said.

So-called seroprevalence rates jumped to 67% in October from 16% in February 2021, the WHO said, in a summary of studies from around the world. Given the emergence of the fast-spreading omicron variant, the figure is likely even higher now.

The WHO roundup offers a glimpse of how the world is increasing resistance to the pandemic. While vaccines offer only modest protection against omicron infection, WHO has still urged countries to increase vaccination rates, especially for people in high-risk groups. , as vaccination provides higher levels of protection against severe disease than a previous COVID infection.

Read the story here.

—Thomas Mulier, Bloomberg

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