What you need to know about the coronavirus right now – Metro US

What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

FILE PHOTO: Protest against vaccine COVID-19 mandates in Windsor
FILE PHOTO: Protest against vaccine COVID-19 mandates in Windsor

(Reuters) – Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:

Canada and New Zealand protests continue, French convoy heads to Paris

As protests against Canada’s pandemic measures enter their third week on Friday, police say they are dealing with sophisticated demonstrators blocking vital U.S.-Canada border crossings.

The “Freedom Convoy” by Canadian truckers opposing a vaccinate-or-quarantine mandate for cross-border drivers, mirrored by the U.S. government, began with the occupation of the Canadian capital, Ottawa. The truckers then blocked the key Ambassador Bridge earlier this week, and shut down two other smaller border crossings.

More people arrived outside New Zealand’s parliament on Friday, as protesters calling for an end to a vaccine mandate and tough COVID-19 restrictions refused to end their demonstrations despite arrests by the police.

France will deploy thousands of police in and around Paris on Friday and over the weekend and set up checkpoints at toll stations on major roads leading into the capital to keep “Freedom Convoy” motorists out, the city’s police force said.

Despite an order not to enter Paris, motorists protesting against COVID-19 restrictions are converging on the French capitals from multiple cities across France.

Novavax says COVID shot 80% effective in adolescent study

Novavax said on Thursday its two-dose vaccine was 80% effective against COVID-19 in a late-stage trial testing the shot in teens aged 12 to 17.

The trial involved 2,247 adolescents and took place between May and September last year when the Delta variant was the dominant strain in the United States. The vaccine was 82% effective against the variant.

Biden sees mask requirements for children easing

U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday said mask requirements for children were likely to start to fall away given federal plans to begin vaccinating children under the age of 5, but said it was probably premature to drop mask requirements entirely.

Biden told NBC News in an interview that Omicron and other COVID-19 variants had had a “profound impact on the psyche of the American people” and conceded that changing guidelines for the wearing of masks were “confusing.”

Record Hong Kong COVID infections strain hospitals

Hong Kong reported a record number of new daily COVID-19 infections on Friday and China said it would fully support the city with its “dynamic zero” coronavirus strategy, as local authorities struggle to control a growing outbreak.

Hong Kong’s chief secretary John Lee, Health Secretary Sophia Chan and Security Chief Chris Tang will meet Chinese officials in neighbouring Shenzhen on Saturday to discuss support measures, the government said in a statement.

Australians told to get boosters to be considered fully vaccinated

Australian residents will need to receive booster shots to be considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19, although authorities said foreign travellers will continue to need only two shots to enter the country.

Australia’s national cabinet late on Thursday endorsed the revised guidance from the country’s vaccination advisory group to classify “up-to-date” inoculations as including boosters.

German court rejects petitions against targeted vaccine mandate

Germany’s top court said on Friday it had rejected emergency petitions filed against a targeted vaccine mandate obliging healthcare staff to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Compulsory vaccination for staff in hospitals and care facilities is due to come into force in Germany on March 15. Numerous people who will be affected had filed the emergency petitions with the constitutional court in Karlsruhe.

(Compiled by Linda Noakes; Editing by Tomasz Janowski)

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