Lunchtime News Monday 20th December 2021


European regulator to rule on Novavax vaccine - The European regulator is to rule today Monday 20th December on the authorization of the Novavax Covid vaccine, which uses a more conventional technology than those used for vaccines already authorized and could according to the American firm, reduce scepticism among the unvaccinated.

The serum, which could become the fifth anti-Covid vaccine authorized in the European Union, is, already widely used in childhood vaccines. The Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) is holding an extraordinary meeting today to consider Novavax's application for authorisation.

Meanwhile at 2 pm the High Authority of Health will make public its opinion on the opening to all children over 5 years of age of vaccination against Covid-19. Vaccination of children at risk or living alongside immunocompromised people already started last week in France.

Covid figures on the rise in the Alpes Maritimes - Meanwhile according to figures published on Sunday 19th December, by Public Health France the covid incidence rate stands at 883 in the Alpes-Maritimes which is a new record for the region. For four consecutive days the rate is at its highest in the Alpes Maritimes and is well above the national average which stands at 530.

The Alpes-Maritimes is among five departments the most affected by the 5th wave of covid in France behind the Drôme (1,118), the Ardèche (975), the Vaucluse (897) and the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence (892).

According to data compiled by CovidTracker, 4.1% of positive tests for covid in the Alpes Maritimes are suspected of being the Omicron variant. The number of hospital admissions is on the rise with 329 patients currently in hospital and 68 in intensive care, a number that had not been so high since July.

Covid figures are also reaching record highs in the Var region, with an incidence rate of 835 reported on Sunday. The number of hospitalisations stands at 320 and 45 patients are in intensive care. The regional health agency has announced at least five hospital transfers of critical care patients from the Provence Alpes Côte d'Azur region to other regions in France.

Latest figures nationally in France have shown that there are nearly 3,000 patients in intensive care units across the country and the average daily number of covid cases is just above 50,000.

Speaking to French media this morning the spokesperson for the National Union of Nurses in France has warned of a critical situation amongst care workers saying that "there are 60,000 nursing vacancies in hospitals in France today and of those that remain, 10% are on sick leave due to burnout or depression". Adding that during the first wave "there were six covid patients per nurse and in the last wave eight".

With the increase in cases French Prime Minister Jean Castex had on Friday December 17th, announced new restrictive measures announcing that the health pass would become a "vaccine pass" at the beginning of 2022, which can only be activated with a complete vaccination schedule and no longer a simple negative test for covid. In addition, cities across France are to cancel New Year celebrations and firework displays with a ban on the consumption of alcohol in the street. The prefect of the Alpes-Maritimes has already banned fireworks until January 2nd.

97-year-old resident dies from covid in the Principality - The Monaco government has expressed it condolences to relatives of a 97-year-old resident who died from covid on Sunday December 19th. Since the beginning of the pandemic 37 residents have died and 4,406 people have been affected by covid. Sixty-seven new cases were identified over the weekend. Eighteen people are currently in hospital and 260 are being followed by the Home Monitoring Centre.




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