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Omicron Boosters, what they mean for Turks and Caicos Islands inventory of Vaccines

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, September 18, 2022 – The Turks and Caicos Islands may be forced to dump boosters whether people want to take them or not if the UK follows the FDA’s lead on ‘updated boosters’.

During August the US Food and Drug Administration approved the emergency use of bivalent vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer as updated booster shots.  The shots have two components one that protects against the original covid19 strain and one that protects against Omicron BA.4 and BA.5.

But what the agency also did was rescind its emergency use approval for the original monovalent boosters. Those boosters were the same formula as the original vaccines which means they were made to fight the initial strain of Covid and had limited efficacy against omicron and its variants.

The Turks and Caicos received thousands of those doses from the UK over the past nine months.

Now that there are several bivalent vaccines including ones that protect against Omicron and the BA.5/4 variants specifically the FDA has determined that there is no need for the original boosters. Those boosters, depending on who made them, are eligible to be used as primary doses for people who have never had a shot to prevent waste but the majority of the TCI population have already had their primary doses.

Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic the UK has been one of the front runners in approving and using cutting edge treatments to protect people from the disease. They have already approved the bivalent that fights the original strain of omicron

If the UK gives Moderna and Pfizer the nod and puts a ban on the old boosters the doses may have to be dumped.

Based on the extremely low booster uptake, that would mean thousands of doses down the drain.

Health

Worst COVID case count for China, Supply Chain interrupted and protests erupt over ZERO COVID strategy

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By Dana Malcolm
Staff Writer

 

#China, November 25, 2022 – Mainland China is experiencing record levels of Covid-19 even as the government struggles to enforce some of the strictest Covid-19 protocols in the world.  Upwards of 31 thousand cases were recorded on Wednesday, the highest ever according to the National Health Commission of the PRC.  Mainland China does not include Hong Kong or Taiwan.

An inspection of China’s COVID infections from March 2021 straight to February 2022 would look like an almost completely flat line.  There were no major recorded spikes over the 12 month period and case counts hovered largely under 2000 cases per day.  It took the swift spreading omicron to break that streak sending cases as high as 29 thousand in April.  Now this winter outbreak shot past those numbers.

With less than 6,000 deaths the country has been one of the most successful in the world at keeping its citizens alive but many disagree with the strict and often long lasting lockdowns.

Several cities including Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou have tightened COVID restrictions as cases surge.

Violent protests erupted last week in Guangzhou after the city was locked down over less than two thousand Covid-19 cases.  This week protests at an Iphone factory in Zhengzhou erupted once more this time over a pay dispute.

So far officials have not bowed to pressure to lighten the protocols and the economy is suffering, stocks fell steeply on Wednesday.

Supply chain issues have started to rear their heads once more as Apple is already warning that there will be delays in deliveries of their newest Iphone thanks to the Zhengzhou dispute.

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Caribbean News

JAMAICA: New Feature Added to Tourism Health and Wellness Conference

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#Kingston, November 23, 2022 – A trade show will be the added feature at this year’s staging of the Tourism Health and Wellness Conference.

The new segment will showcase health and wellness products and services offered by local businesses.

The conference, being organised by the Tourism Linkages Network (TLN), a department of the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), takes place on November 24 and 25 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James, beginning at 9:00 a.m. each day.

It aims to strengthen connections between the health and wellness industry and other sectors, particularly manufacturing and agriculture. This, while promoting and presenting Jamaica’s distinctive health and wellness tourism products.

Chairman, Health and Wellness Linkages Network, Kyle Mais, told JIS News that the tradeshow kicks off at 11:00 a.m. on the conference’s first day and will remain open for the event’s duration.

“It’s the first stand-alone tradeshow for [the] Health and Wellness [Linkages Network]. We always take part, and there is a section, normally, in the Christmas in July event that we put on, via the TLN. This is an extension of that, but focusing on health and wellness products,” he said.

The trade show floor will feature various businesses, with a focus on skincare products, wellness excursions and tours, nutrition and wellness products, technology, and spas.

Meanwhile, the conference will facilitate presentations and panel discussions covering several thematic areas.

These include global wellness trends and insights, wellness travel experiences; nutrition; medical tourism, the health and wellness tourism value chain, wellness in the community, spas, wellness music, and investing in wellness.

Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett and Health and Wellness Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, head the list of slated speakers.

They will be joined by Head, Department of Government, University of the West Indies Mona Campus, Professor Lloyd Waller; recording artiste, Jeffrey “Agent Sasco” Campbell; Caribbean Maritime University President, Professor Andrew Spencer, and Mr. Mais

Persons wishing to attend the conference, which will be held in a hybrid format, are invited to register online for free at www.wellnessinja.com.

Those who want to watch online, may visit @tefjamaica on Facebook and YouTube.

 

Contact: Shanna K. Salmon

Release: JIS

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Caribbean News

Dominican Republic gives statement rebuffing report saying hundreds of children were deported without parents

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By Deandrea Hamilton

Editor

 

#DominicanRepublic, November 23, 2022 – A UNICEF report to CNN is being rebuffed by the government of the Dominican Republic, after it exposed that hundreds of children were expelled from the country, mainly to Haiti without due consideration and without parents.

It was labelled in the report as a sweeping government push to remove undocumented migrants from the DR, where the United Nations Children’s Agency informed they had some 1,800 unaccompanied children in their care.

The children were delivered, says the November 20 report by Dominican immigration authorities; it’s been happening since the start of the year.

But the General Directorate of Migration of the Dominican Republic affirmed in a government statement on November 22 that, of the more than 150,000 foreigners who have been redirected to their country since 2020, there are no cases of minors who have been separated from their parents.

“At all times and in compliance with the laws of the Dominican Republic and international treaties, all deportations are carried out in total and absolute respect for the dignity of people and their human rights,”  said Venancio Alcántara, general director of Migration, emphasizing that “there are specific procedures when there are minors involved in the process. At all times the minors are with their parents and, when they have not been located, the minors are referred directly to the National Council for Children and Adolescents (CONANI) which is in charge of their care”.

Government in the DR said the clarification from the director general of migration was given after the international news channel CNN stated that “the Dominican Republic this year expelled hundreds of children to Haiti without their families.”

The UNICEF maintains that many of the children arrive without identification and are shipped into Haiti with adults; the child protection arm of the UN questioning how Dominican authorities were able to ascertain the nationality of the children given they lacked the documents.

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