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   I'll take 20 times higher antibodies! Thank you for the info, Astreya! I hadn't read about the booster possibly having bigger reactions, so was unprepared.

  At least I have nothing to do for a few days! I took some alka-seltzer cold, and seem to have broken the fever. I'm very tired, but will go to bed early. Still definitely all worth it.

   One of my acquaintances, with serious health problems, has long covid and it's causing so many issues, and I'm frightened for her. She was running into the "it's all in your head" doctor bs, until more people started having the same problems post-covid. I don't want it at all, not even mild or symptomless. I don't want to take the chance it can cause problems down the road. There's still so much unknown and I'd rather not gamble. 

 

Ugh Lagie, that's disheartening to read. What a waste to have doses expire. I wish people who can get it would just do it, and get it over with, with whatever is available.

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so it's been 2 weeks since my booter, so i'm fully vaccinated again.  (until we need another booster, that is.... XD )

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@Uther_Pendragon

Here's one article about the advantages of a booster:

Quote

While the emergence of the omicron variant has caused concern worldwide, there is cause for some optimism: emerging evidence on vaccine booster programmes reveals that a third dose can take people’s coronavirus protection to unexpectedly high levels.

 

It has long been predicted that the covid-19 vaccines from Oxford/AstraZeneca and Pfizer/BioNTech, which were designed as two-dose regimens, may eventually require a third shot. After studies suggested that vaccine effectiveness was waning, many countries began booster programmes, including the UK, which began offering third doses in September to people who are 50 or older and certain other groups. It later widened that to those aged 40 and over.

 

There was disappointment that boosters were needed after only six months, but the initial signs for how well third jabs are working have been no let-down. In October, a randomised trial found that people who had received a third dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine had about 95 per cent fewer infections than people who had only had two jabs.

Source:  https://www.newscientist.com/article/2299420-covid-booster-shots-are-pushing-protection-to-unexpected-heights/

 

I'm not really sure where I read that 20 times more antibodies, thingy but yesterday it was late for me (I'm at GMT+1), but 95% fewer infections in people after the 3rd jab sounds good enough for me :D

 

By the way, my arm again feels like some professional boxer hit it.  So far no fever or nausea or shivers (yet).

 

I hope your acquaintance will get better ASAP, but unfortunately some people have been experiencing long Covid for many months.

 

Okay, now I found an article that has the info, here:

Quote

A new Northwestern University study on the effectiveness of COVID-19 boosters shows they generate a stronger antibody response than after a full two-dose vaccination.

 

These are the first findings showing the antibody response to booster doses is much larger than the response after the second vaccine dose and even higher than the responses among people who had natural infections as well as full vaccination.  

 

The study was done in a younger, healthy adult population, with a median age of 43, recruited from the Chicagoland area. Much of the previous information on COVID-19 booster efficacy had been from Israel, with the majority of data reported evaluating the adult population over age 65.

Boosters may last longer

The study also suggests protection after booster may last longer than after the second vaccine dose. 

 

“Because these antibody levels are so robust, the booster could potentially give us protection for a longer duration than what we saw for two doses of the vaccine,” said co-corresponding author Alexis Demonbreun, an assistant professor of pharmacology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

 

Key findings:

  • Nine months after individuals had two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, their neutralizing antibody levels to SARS-CoV-2 decreased about 10-fold. 
  • After the COVID-19 booster, protective antibody levels climbed 25-fold, five-fold higher than after two doses of the vaccine
  • Booster antibodies were 50-fold higher than those from natural infection

Source: https://news.northwestern.edu/stories/2021/11/boosters-increase-protection-over-full-vaccine-dose/

 

By the way, here's an article that has a nice explanation how the immune system response is set up (the whole article is a very good read, by the way):

Quote

1. What happens when you get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Your immune system has three main soldiers that work together to recognize and stop infections from wreaking havoc on your body: antibodies, B cells and T cells.

 

We’ve been hearing about antibodies since the beginning of the pandemic, and for good reason. These proteins are one of the most important components of immunity and they’ve also been used in both testing and treatment for COVID-19. They’re created by B cells.

 

Vaccination spurs B cells to churn out the SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies that fill your blood after infection or vaccination and attach to different parts of the virus. Neutralizing antibodies are your best defense. They cling to the spike protein on the outside of the virus which stops it from entering your cells, effectively neutralizing the danger.

 

“Antibodies are fantastic. They take care of a lot of viruses that are floating around in your body,” says Richard Kennedy, a vaccine expert at the Mayo Clinic. “But once the virus gets inside a cell, antibodies can't do anything about it. So that's where your T cells come in.”

 

Vaccination also stimulates the production of T cells. Instead of recognizing the virus alone, like an antibody, T cells find and kill your own cells after they’ve been infected, so the virus can’t spread.

 

“The T cells are not that great in preventing an infection but absolutely crucial for terminating an infection,” says Alessandro Sette, an infectious disease and vaccine researcher at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology. “If you have a good T cell response, you’ll have less severe disease.”

Full article:  https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/six-questions-about-waning-immunity-to-covid-19-answered-180979135/

 

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As of today, Thursday, December 2, 11:45 GMT+1, my home town (population 211 000) has 834 (+86) active cases, while 13 567 (+64)  people are considered to have recovered. 389 (+-0) persons sadly died. 988 persons are currently quarantined. All in all there have been 14 790 (+150) people who suffered from Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. The number of newly infected people per 100 000 citizens in the last 7 days is 277.2 (+21.0)  / Incidence for NRW: 282.7 (+6.4).

 

Currently 47 (+5) persons are treated in hospital, with 11 (+2) of them in intensive care, 5 (+2) of them needing artificial respiration.

 

--------------

As of today, Friday, December 3, 09:45 GMT+1, my home town (population 211 000) has 892 (+58) active cases, while 13 623 (+56)  people are considered to have recovered. 389 (+-0) persons sadly died. 988 persons are currently quarantined. All in all there have been 14 904 (+114) people who suffered from Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. The number of newly infected people per 100 000 citizens in the last 7 days is 256.7 (-20.5)  / Incidence for NRW: 288.1 (+5.4).

 

Currently 46 (-1) persons are treated in hospital, with 10 (-1) of them in intensive care, 7 (+2) of them needing artificial respiration.

There have been 148 886 (1st jab, 70.6%) and 141 363  (2nd jab, 67.0%) and 16 909 (3rd jab, 8.0%) vaccinations so far. (Vaccination data from Nov 29, 2021).

Source: Stadt Oberhausen

Edited by Astreya

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I'm not aware of any cases at work yet, but I'm currently on study leave for my Diploma in Tropical Medicine, so I'm not being explicitly told the breakdown of infections - just twice-daily reminders of how many cases we have. And it is very slightly climbing again as winter progresses.

 

One of the interesting things is, as ever, how much has been achieved in only two years for a disease that affects HIC (High Income Countries) as well as LMICs (Low and Middle Income Countries). Given I'm currently going through Neglected Tropical Diseases that can be easily cured, controlled, perhaps even eradicated, that have ravanged the continent for decades and cause hundreds of thousands, even millions of deaths per year, it does highlight that when there is a real and present threat and we dedicate our resources we really can limit the effect of a disease.

 

Which makes stupidity like anti-vaccination, or choosing which vaccine to take and letting thousands go to waste, or refusal to wear a mask, even more ridiculous and really shows how privileged we are.

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@Kestra15

Isn't it expected that research is mostly funded where the most money is expected? Meds for poor countries don't yield as much profit as meds for common diseases in rich countries.

 

 

@AsymDoll13

Unfortunately it appears as if Omicron is both more infectious and an immune escape variant.

 

Here's an interesting twitter thread about it:

 

 

@Uther_Pendragon

I've recovered from the Moderna booster by now - I had quite some shivers again and flu-like symptoms with pain all over the body. Interestingly no headaches, even though this is listed as a common side-effect with 70%.

 

By the way, here's another article about the advantages of the booster:

Covid booster shots significantly strengthen immunity, trial finds - Jabs offer far higher protection than that needed to prevent hospitalisation and death, Cov-Boost trial lead says

 

--------------

As of today, Saturday, December 4, 10:15 GMT+1, my home town (population 211 000) has 931 (+39) active cases, while 13 650 (+27)  people are considered to have recovered. 389 (+-0) persons sadly died. 1133 persons are currently quarantined. All in all there have been 14 970 (+66) people who suffered from Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. The number of newly infected people per 100 000 citizens in the last 7 days is 253.4 (-3.3)  / Incidence for NRW: 288.5 (+0.4).

 

Currently 47 (+1) persons are treated in hospital, with 11 (+1) of them in intensive care, 6 (-1) of them needing artificial respiration.

There have been 148 886 (1st jab, 70.6%) and 141 363  (2nd jab, 67.0%) and 16 909 (3rd jab, 8.0%) vaccinations so far. (Vaccination data from Nov 29, 2021).

Source: Stadt Oberhausen

Edited by Astreya

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11 hours ago, Astreya said:

 

Unfortunately it appears as if Omicron is both more infectious and an immune escape variant.

 

What exactly does immune escape variant mean? I'm not sure and don't want to sound silly if I pretend to understand. lol

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55 minutes ago, AsymDoll13 said:

What exactly does immune escape variant mean?

An immune escape variant of a virus is a variant that is able to escape immunisation (either via having lived through an infection by the virus or vaccination).

 

The problem with Omicron is that is has numerous mutations, some of them mutations of the "spike protein".

 

A virus consists of genetic material that has a coat of proteins (called capsid) which then is covered in an envelope out of which the spikes protrude. The Covid vaccines tell the immune system of the body how SARS-CoV-2 looks like and how it can identify it by its typical spike proteins.

 

Imagine the original spike proteins are coloured pink and blue and violet. Now the mutation gives it some green spikes in between. The vaccine tells the body to prepare for the pink-blue-violet baddies, but now they have some green patterns attached. Now the immune cells are slightly confused and they will likely go after the pink-blue-violets with green, too, but some cells might say "oh, that's not what the vaccine told me about" and let the mutant slip away.

 

This means that it is possible that the mutated version can escape the immune reaction, at least partly.

 

I hope this is understandable - if not, just ask what was still unclear! :)

 

Here's some more info on SARS-CoV-2 with pictures that will probably make it easier to understand: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Severe_acute_respiratory_syndrome_coronavirus_2)

 

Edited by Astreya

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Oh wow! Thanks for being so informative guys! I didn't realize this. This is not going to go well with everyone meeting family and the like for Christmas...

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@AsymDoll13

Yeah, so far it is unknown how well Omicron can escape the immune system, but of course research is always ongoing.

The other thing that is still not clear is how severe the illness caused by Omicron will be.  There, too, research only recently started.

 

The bosses of both Moderna and BioNTech expect that their vaccines will need an upgrade to properly deal with the Omicron variant, but they hope that the current vaccines will still have a fairly good protection against severe disease and death.

 

It is best to continue being careful, though, and continue to wear a mask where too many people meet in confined settings and otherwise best try to keep a sound distance, if possible.

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I've been trying. I always wear a mask in crowded stores when I have to go, and I try to keep my distance. Just most of the people in my life are... less than believing for some of it. 

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@AsymDoll13

It's good that at least you take the precautions you can.

 

A saw a report today where several experts had one hour to try and convince four Covid skeptics and anti-vaxxers - and only one of them in the end agreed to be vaccinated. It is really sad that there are so many people who eschew all facts and prefer to believe non-factual non-sense about the virus and/or the vaccines.

 

Personally I think that the experts probably made the mistake not to explain things in pictures that the people could better grasp. I found that many people didn't understand the more expert-y explanations and didn't want to ask as they wrongly feared it would make them look stupid. IMO it often makes the experts look stupid if they don't manage to find good examples that make people understand things more easily. ^^

 

Edited by Astreya

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56 minutes ago, Astreya said:

A virus consists of genetic material that has a coat of proteins (called capsid) which then is covered in an envelope out of which the spikes protrude. The Covid vaccines tell the immune system of the body how SARS-CoV-2 looks like and how it can identify it by its typical spike proteins.

 

Imagine the original spike proteins are coloured pink and blue and violet. Now the mutation gives it some green spikes in between. The vaccine tells the body to prepare for the pink-blue-violet baddies, but now they have some green patterns attached. Now the immune cells are slightly confused and they will likely go after the pink-blue-violets with green, too, but some cells might say "oh, that's not what the vaccine told me about" and let the mutant slip away.

 

This means that it is possible that the mutated version can escape the immune reaction, at least partly.

this is a perfect way to explain this, thanks!

i've learned so much from this thread, thanks everyone especially Astreya and PDC. :D 

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And I still believe we will never be free of the yoke of this pandemic. Interesting though. I feel like this will be the Dust Bowl for my generation. We'll be telling people what the world was like Before Covid. There's simply no way this debacle ends.

 

Think we get Vault Dweller jackets when the shutdowns happen every few months in 2035? XD

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@Dragon Mage

On the other hand, smallpox, lepra and the plague scoured mankind for thousands of years - today smallpox are but eradicated (except for some leftover specimen in two labs in the US and Russia) and there are meds against the bacteria-caused infections (albeit the latter are in danger due to irresponsible antibiotics use).

 

With the new mRNA vaccines, it is comparatively easy to adjust these vaccines to the mutations of viruses, so it would be actually pretty straight forward to eradicate Covid-19, too. The limiting factor (as most of the time) is money and the stupidity of people who refuse vaccines due to misinformation and wanton callousness (I bet quite some conspiracy theorists are in fact vaccinated and just find it funny to convince their fans not to take it because outrageous conspiracies and selling quack remedies make them ample money).

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49 minutes ago, Astreya said:

@Dragon Mage

On the other hand, smallpox, lepra and the plague scoured mankind for thousands of years - today smallpox are but eradicated (except for some leftover specimen in two labs in the US and Russia) and there are meds against the bacteria-caused infections (albeit the latter are in danger due to irresponsible antibiotics use).

 

With the new mRNA vaccines, it is comparatively easy to adjust these vaccines to the mutations of viruses, so it would be actually pretty straight forward to eradicate Covid-19, too. The limiting factor (as most of the time) is money and the stupidity of people who refuse vaccines due to misinformation and wanton callousness (I bet quite some conspiracy theorists are in fact vaccinated and just find it funny to convince their fans not to take it because outrageous conspiracies and selling quack remedies make them ample money).

It's not really the science I doubt. Far from it, actually. If anything, it's the sheer paranoia, overreaction, sheer panic, and shameless profiteering that makes me think this situation won't end. So long as someone stands to gain $25 per bag of diapers, this is gonna be ongoing. As said in the movie, Men In Black, "A man is smart. People are stupid." I feel this constant frenzy of 'the next dangerous twist has come to kill us all!' will never end. I think we ALL have that person in our family that blows everything up ridiculously? So, think if it like that, but on a global scale.

 

Science is solid.

 

People are stupid.

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@Dragon Mage

In that I'm actually going with you - I did mention money and people's stupidity as limiting factors after all. -_-'

 

--------------

As of today, Sunday, December 5, 10:15 GMT+1, my home town (population 211 000) has 974 (+43) active cases, while 13 668 (+18)  people are considered to have recovered. 389 (+-0) persons sadly died. 1148 persons are currently quarantined. All in all there have been 15 031 (+61) people who suffered from Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. The number of newly infected people per 100 000 citizens in the last 7 days is 257.2 (+3.8)  / Incidence for NRW: 290.2 (+1.7).

 

Currently 53 (+6) persons are treated in hospital, with 11 (+-0) of them in intensive care, 5 (-1) of them needing artificial respiration.

There have been 148 886 (1st jab, 70.6%) and 141 363  (2nd jab, 67.0%) and 16 909 (3rd jab, 8.0%) vaccinations so far. (Vaccination data from Nov 29, 2021).

Source: Stadt Oberhausen

Edited by Astreya

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You guys totally came to mind when this showed up in a friend's status today:

 

Screenshot_20211205-172235.thumb.jpg.6f1a7a4a65071056771b04ab4fec2b2c.jpg
 

 

We are now at 22,836 cases. 20 in hospital, 4 of those in the ICU. Between new deaths and reclassified deaths, the death toll is now 705. :(

On the plus side, our positivity rate has been near or under 5% for almost a month now.

Edited by Lagie
Forgot image

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14 minutes ago, Lagie said:

You guys totally came to mind when this showed up in a friend's status today:

  Hide contents

Screenshot_20211205-172235.thumb.jpg.6f1a7a4a65071056771b04ab4fec2b2c.jpg
 

 

BAHAHAHAHAHA that is GREAT! I'm saving that image. I needed that laugh, thank you! 

 

Of interesting note, seems like I'm not the only one that think a wearisome pattern is emerging. Just saw USA TODAY had an article questioning if the new 'normal' is just a worrisome repetition of this new variant or that new mutation, on and on and on. Feels good to know it's not crossing my mind alone.

 

8 hours ago, Astreya said:

@Dragon Mage

In that I'm actually going with you - I did mention money and people's stupidity as limiting factors after all. -_-'

Oh for sure, but it's not just basic stupidity of things like 'I don't want no shot!' dumbness. I mean the kind of stupidity where my doctor refused to let me enter the building because my sinuses got a nasty infection. No fever whatsoever, no chills, nausea, aches, etc. Not even a headache. Just a miserable sinus infection that needed antibiotics.

 

My doctor literally said it's assumed I have COVID, and to come back in a week when I feel better. If I don't feel better in a week, call an ambulance.

 

To say that I was furious is an understatement. I had to go to the ER because I was literally coughing in my sleep as my body tried to clear the discharge from my throat. The ER doctor saw me and treated me with no problems. A sinus infection (literally green discharge and blood coming out of my sinus) meant a lot of gunk draining into my throat. I lost my voice and had a cough because of the irritation. I just needed antibiotic and something to stop the coughing so my poor vocal chords could recover! But nope. I had a cough and that was enough for my doctor to refuse even lookimg at me. In my book, that's the height of outrageous idiocy. A doctor is best informed and equipped to recognize, diagnose, and protect themselves from viruses, but I was told that only healthy people need apply for treatment at this office. Defeats the purpose of being a doctor, doesn't it? Infections, if left untreated, can lead to serious problems. My doctor was okay with me potentially facing severe, life-threatening problems later.... because I had a cough.

 

I even made an appointment 5 days later and the nurse cancelled me because my voice was still pretty raspy. I'd been coughing nonstop for 4 days and nights, it tears up your throat! But because I SOUNDED sick, I was considered a COVID vector and therefore not welcome inside the building. I was in the parking lot, checking in, and she cancelled my appointment over how I sounded alone! That is stupid. That is ridiculous. That is absolutely, balls to to the wall DUMB. And it is THAT kind of stupidity that vaults over the boundaries of caution or paranoia, that will take YEARS to dissipate and will continue hamper any kind of real progress to regaining a normal state of affairs.

 

So yeah, the anti-vaxxers are gonna be an issue. I know some folks are just worried about rolling up their sleeves for something that was, admittedly, put on a fast track; that's fine, a legitimate worry that some solid, consistent information can help fix. But the kind of stupidity like my cousin has, who won't let her uncle see her baby because he didn't get a 3rd shot and is therefore 'a carrier for the virus' -- that stupidity is going to keep kneecapping progress at every turn.

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@Lagie

Perfect! And sadly so true...

 

By the way, the positivity rate in Germany is currently at 21.19% and rising, meaning that the number of undiscovered infections is likely pretty high. While we have a number of 950 406 confirmed active infections, Prof.Dr. Lothar Wieler, the president of the RKI, warned that the real number of active infections is likely 2-3 times higher.

 

@Dragon Mage

Yuck, this GP of yours is really a particular case of stupid *smh*

 

My GP has a special "Covid consultation hour". If you have cold-like symptoms, you are supposed to show up at a very unholy time in the morning before the proper consultation hours are held, where she looks at the patients to determine what's up and then takes the appropriate actions (including doing a PCR covid test on each, just to be on the safe side).

Edited by Astreya

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On 12/4/2021 at 10:55 AM, Astreya said:

@Kestra15

Isn't it expected that research is mostly funded where the most money is expected? Meds for poor countries don't yield as much profit as meds for common diseases in rich countries.

 

Sort of. There is a lot of money poured into treatment and control of diseases in LMICs from HICs, but the problem is much more complex than simply "where can I make a profit?" Bearing in mind that meds for things like TB, HIV and malaria as well as some NTDs are commonly given over at cost or even for free, it's not just how much money a company makes that dictates these things. NTDs are diseases that unduly affect those in the billion-plus peopl affected by the most extreme of poverty, in countries with healthcare systems that cannot serve the full needs of the people because said of said poverty, and the disease keep people in poverty. One of our professors summed it up quite nicely by saying that these are diseases of poverty that perpetuate poverty. So even though drugs may be supplied at-cost/free of charge, without the right infrastructure and without the means to independently create that infrastructure it becomes a vicious cycle.

 

In some ways I am less optimistic than Astreya and believe COVID-19 is here to stay with us - unfortunately it is truly pandemic and even if elimination was possible, eradication and true extinction would probably take decades.  However like many viruses of it's ilk I believe it will become less and less deadly and damaging, and instead mellow out into something that is a lot more flu-like (not as mellow as its common-cold cousins what with all the coagulopathy issues, but still hopefully mellow enough). Yes, virulent. Yes, feel miserable if you get it. Yes, for the wrong person at the wrong time it can become deadly. But it will be treatable and maybe even one day cureable, that it will be mostly mild and even more so with vaccinations (maybe we'll need yearly combined flu-COVID-19 shots), but ultimately will join the ranks of all those other mild viruses that circulate around.

 

I am, however, all in favour of getting my Vault suit back out.

 

Vault15.jpg

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@Kestra15

I just try to hope for the best. ^^

 

My optimism stems from the really new vaccine technology, but of course viruses are often nasty buggers that love to exchange genetic material with about everything they encounter on the way.

 

What worries me are the numerous infections in animals that were already detected as they can easily become reservoirs, plus these encounters "give viruses new ideas" when viruses specific to these animals might use stuff like the Covid spikes as add ons and then become able to infect humans, too.

 

PS - out of curiosity what's this "vault suit" thingy about? It is some nickname for certain PPE suits?

Edited by Astreya

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7 hours ago, Astreya said:

PS - out of curiosity what's this "vault suit" thingy about? It is some nickname for certain PPE suits?

I think it's a reference to a video game series, Fallout. 

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@AsymDoll13

Thank you very much for the explanation! I didn't know Fallout, but now I could properly inform myself in the appropriate places! :)

 

Finally the new German government is taking form. I'm pretty positive that we finally got a Federal Health Minister who will really know what he's doing as the designated Health Minister Dr.Karl Lauterbach (he still has to be confirmed by the parliament) is a medical doctor and professor for epidemiology and health economics.

 

--------------

As of today, Monday, December 6, 09:00 GMT+1, my home town (population 211 000) has 892 (-82) active cases, while 13 806 (+138)  people are considered to have recovered. 389 (+-0) persons sadly died. 1037 persons are currently quarantined. All in all there have been 15 087 (+56) people who suffered from Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. The number of newly infected people per 100 000 citizens in the last 7 days is 272.0 (+14.8) / Incidence for NRW: 290.3 (+0.1).

 

Currently 45 (-8) persons are treated in hospital, with 10 (-1) of them in intensive care, 4 (-1) of them needing artificial respiration.

There have been 148 886 (1st jab, 70.6%) and 141 363  (2nd jab, 67.0%) and 16 909 (3rd jab, 8.0%) vaccinations so far. (Vaccination data from Nov 29, 2021).

Source: Stadt Oberhausen

 

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