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Delta variant taking hold in Europe: WHO | World News

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The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Europe director has warned that the highly transmissible Covid-19 variant first identified in India is “poised to take hold in the region”, as many countries prepare to ease restrictions and allow more social gatherings and travel across borders.

During a briefing on Thursday, the WHO’s Hans Kluge said the coronavirus variant also known as Delta, has shown signs of being able to evade some Covid-19 vaccines and warned that many vulnerable populations, particularly those over the age of 60, remain unprotected.

The European Parliament has urged the EU to reverse its position and support a proposed temporary lifting of intellectual property rights (IPR) for Covid-19 vaccines, backing a push by many developing nations to allow more production.

EU lawmakers backed by 355 votes to 263 a resolution on accelerating the global roll-out of vaccines, the parliament announced on Thursday.

The resolution says only a fraction of the 11 billion shots needed to vaccinate 70% of the world’s population has been produced. South Africa and India have been pressing for eight months at the WTO for a temporary waiver of IP rights that could allow more manufacturers to produce shots.

In Canada, researchers have claimed to have demonstrated an effective treatment for a rare blood clot caused by the Covid-19 vaccine made by AstraZeneca. “The use of high-dose intravenous immune globulin plus anticoagulation is recommended for the treatment of VITT, a rare side-effect of adenoviral vector vaccines against Covid-19,” scientists at the McMaster Platelet Immunology Laboratory at McMaster University, in Hamilton, Ontario, said in a study published in New England Journal of Medicine.

(With inputs from Anirudh Bhattacharyya in Toronto)

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