• Coronavirus cases in the US surpass 49 million. Source

• Health authorities in New South Wales announce five locally transmitted cases of Omicron in Sydney, in addition to ten travel-related cases. Source

• The cruise ship Norwegian Breakaway, which stopped in Belize, Honduras and Mexico before returning to New Orleans, reports that ten of the ship’s 3,200 passengers tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Source

• A pre-print paper compared immune responses among 65 people who were fully vaccinated (with the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine) six months before receiving a booster dose of either the J & J vaccine or another dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. The authors noted that both boosters increased antibody responses, and the J & J booster led to a greater increase of some cellular immune responses versus the Pfizer/BioNTech booster. Source

• Italy toughens its restrictions for unvaccinated people (who make up 12.3 percent of the adult population) with a “reinforced” Green Pass, only for people who have been vaccinated and/or recovered from COVID-19. “Reinforced” Green Pass holders can access indoor restaurants, bars and clubs; sporting and other public events; theatres and cinemas, while those with the regular Green Pass (given for vaccination, recovery or testing negative) are limited to their workplaces, public and air transportation, hotels, gyms and swimming pools. Source

• Omicron cases are surging in the UK, where they have doubled in two days, and Denmark, where they have tripled in two days. Dr. Peter J. Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, said “I think the question people want to know is whether Omicron is going to outcompete Delta, and it’s a possibility.” Source

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