Coronavirus Live Updates | Israeli study finds Pfizer COVID-19 booster protects against Omicron

The findings were similar to those presented by BioNTech and Pfizer earlier in the week.

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Here are the latest developments:

Brazil justice rules vaccine passport mandatory for visitors

A Brazilian Supreme Court justice ruled Saturday that all travelers arriving in Brazil must present a vaccine passport documenting they have been vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The decision from Luís Roberto Barroso challenges a more lenient rule announced by the government of President Jair Bolsonaro, who has opposed mandatory immunization against the virus that can cause COVID-19.

The federal government announced Tuesday that travelers arriving in Brazil did not have to produce a vaccine passport though they would have to undergo a five-day quarantine.- AP

Israeli study finds Pfizer COVID-19 booster protects against Omicron

Israeli researchers said on Saturday they found that a three-shot course of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine provided significant protection against the new Omicron variant.

The findings were similar to those presented by BioNTech and Pfizer earlier in the week, which were an early signal that booster shots could be key to protect against infection from the newly identified variant.

The study, carried out by Sheba Medical Center and the Health Ministry’s Central Virology Laboratory, compared the blood of 20 people who had received two vaccine doses 5-6 months earlier to the same number of individuals who had received a booster a month before.- Reuters

France approves antibody therapy for high-risk Covid cases

French health authorities have approved the use of an anti-body treatment made by AstraZeneca for high-risk people who show resistance to vaccines against coronavirus.

The independent public health body HAS Friday night announced "a greenlight for the preventive use of Evusheld… for patients with a very high-risk of contracting a severe form of Covid-19".

Evusheld, developed by the British-Swedish pharma company, this week received emergency use authorisation in the United States for adults and children aged 12 and above.

The French approval is for adults only.

Evusheld, which is made from a combination of two monoclonal antibodies, is administered in two injections.- AFP

Finance ministry says Omicron likely to be a ‘less severe’ risk

India’s economic recovery is expected to gain further strength in the second half of this year, following the 8.4% GDP growth recorded in Q2, the Finance Ministry said on Saturday, citing preliminary evidence that the Omicron variant of COVID-19 may be a ‘less severe’ risk.

Stressing that India is one of the few countries to record four consecutive quarters of growth amid COVID-19, the ministry said the country will catch up with pre-pandemic levels of economic activity for the full year of 2021-22.

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