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There are several topics associated with the Covid-19 pandemic. This topic is the main or primary topic on this subject. The easiest way to find all topics related to coronavirus is to invoke a “tag display”. Simply click on the “ covid-19 ” tag (white characters on black background) that you see displayed near the top left of this topic.

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Significant pandemic milestones:

  • February 21st: Likely transfer of coronavirus from a teacher (who had traveled to Europe)  to Panama's first coronavirus death victim (Norato González); Click Here
  • March 3rd: Resolution passed raising national alert level regarding coronavirus epidemic; Click Here
  • March 8th: First confirmed coronavirus death (Norato González) in Panama; Click Here
  • March 9th: First confirmed case of coronavirus in Panama; not the date of case arrival in Panama, but the date the coroniavirus link was confirmed; Click Here
  • March 12th: President Cortizo declares a a national state of emergency; Click Here
  • March 15th: Certain business hours regulated, elective surgeries and routine medical consults suspended; Click Here
  • March 15th: Several provinces invoke a "dry law" (banning sales of alcoholic beverages) and implementing curfews; Chiriqui Province included; Click Here
  • March 15th: Foreigners banned from entering Panama; Click Here
  • March 17th: Countrywide curfew (9:00PM to 5:00AM) mandated; Click Here
  • March 22nd: All commercial flights into and out of Panama suspended; Click Here
  • March 23rd: Countrywide curfew (5:00PM to 5:00AM) mandated; Click Here
  • March 25th: Countrywide quarantine with restricted mobility mandated; sales of alcoholic beverages banned; Click Here
  • May 11th: Effective date of lifting the ban on the sales of alcoholic beverages; Click Here
  • May 13th: The gradual reopening of certain categories of business; Click Here
  • May 18th: People are authorized to leave their homes to exercise outdoors, but on a short lease; Click Here
  • June 1st: Quarantine lifted, but a 7:00PM to 5:00AM curfew is in effect; Click Here
  • June 3rd: Hardware stores reopen with limited hours; Click Here
  • June 6th and June 8th: Curfew/mobility restrictions elevated for Panama, Panama Oeste, and Veragaus regions; Click Here and Click Here
  • July 25th: Full weekend quarantine (lockdown) re-implemented for Panama; Click Here
  • July 27th: More restrictive mobility constraints including gender restrictions re-implemented, including Chiriqui Province; Click Here and Click Here
  • August 14th: Tocumen International Airport begins to open up to limited flights; Click Here
  • August 17th: Some "Block 3" businesses will be permitted to start operations; Click Here
  • September 14th: Relaxation of mobility constraints for all but three provinces; Chiriqui, Colon, and Bocas del Toro constraints continue; Click Here
  • September 28th: Restaurants and inns reopen providing they follow Minsa guidelines; Click Here
  • October 12th: Cinemas, swimming pools, and casinos allowed to reopen, and borders reopened; Click Here and Click Here
  • October 24th: All quarantines lifted and curfews standardized across the country and relaxed to 11:00PM until 5:00AM; Click Here
  • December 25th: Total lockdown countrywide for Christmas and New Years; Click Here and Click Here
  • January 4th, 2021: Total lockdown countrywide until January 14th, 2021; Click Here
  • March 4th, 2021: Phase 2 of vaccinations against Covid-19 to start; Click Here

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Sent: 7/12/2021 4:59:52 PM
Subject: Travel Advisory: Panama Level 4: Do Not Travel (July 12, 2021)
 

Seal with blue background

 

Event: Travel Advisory – Panama Level 4: Do Not Travel (July 12, 2021)

 

Do not travel to Panama due to COVID-19. Exercise increased caution due to crime. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for Panama due to COVID-19, indicating a very high level of COVID-19 in the country. Your risk of contracting COVID-19 and developing severe symptoms may be lower if you are fully vaccinated with an FDA authorized vaccine. Before planning any international travel, please review the CDC's specific recommendations for vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers. Visit the Embassy's COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in Panama.

Do not travel to:

·         Parts of the Mosquito Gulf due to crime.

·         Parts of the Darién Region due to crime.

Read the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Panama:

·         See the U.S. Embassy's web page regarding COVID-19.

·         Visit the CDC’s webpage on Travel and COVID-19.

·         Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.

·         Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.

·         Review the Crime and Safety Report for Panama.

·         U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Parts of the "Mosquito Gulf" – Do Not Travel

The “Mosquito Gulf” is an extremely remote and inaccessible area along part of the north (Caribbean) coast.

Do not travel within 10 miles of the coastline, from Boca de Rio, Chiriqui to Cocle del Norte. Drug trafficking and other illicit activities occur in this area.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in this region as U.S. government personnel must obtain prior approval before traveling there and face additional restrictions before such travel is approved.

Parts of the Darién Region – Do Not Travel

Do not travel to the following areas of the Darien:

·         All areas south of Jaque to Manene to Yaviza to Lajas Blancas cities to the Colombian border

·         The city of Lajas Blancas

·         The city of El Salto

Criminal elements and drug and human trafficking networks operate in these areas. Police presence and emergency response are extremely limited.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in these regions as U.S. government personnel must obtain prior approval before traveling there and face additional restrictions before such travel is approved.

Last Update: Reissued with updates to COVID-19 information.

 

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Highest number of new covid infections among under-20s

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Clandestine partying

Posted 14/07/2021

The highest number of new Covid-19 infections in Panama is among those under 20 years of age reports the Pan American Health Organization, although the figures reflect a slight decrease in the last week.

PAHO details that in the last two epidemiological weeks the country has exceeded 7,000 new cases in each one, with a stable trend of about 1,000 daily cases since the beginning of July.

Separating the new infections by age groups, the international body's report specifies that in epidemiological week 27 (July 4 to 10) the highest number is contributed by those under 20 years of age, exceeding 1,600 new cases.

In addition, the group of people between 20 and 30 years old registered approximately 1,500 new cases in this period; in the 30 to 40 years there are 1,400; in the one from 40 to 50 years with about 1,200; and between 50 and 60 years around 1,000 cases.

The director of the Metropolitan Health Region, Israel Cedeño, said on  Wednesday that the majority of infections have always occurred in the population aged 40 to 59, but: “The last two weeks most of the cases have been in the group of fewer than 20 years. That tells several things: it is a very active group both socially and economically, it moves a lot to work and for clandestine parties and that we have not been able to vaccinate until now, ”he said

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/highest-number-of-new-covid-infections-among-under-20s

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Long lines at vaccination centers

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Posted 14/07/2021

CHITRÉ, Herrera. - With long lines at the nine vaccination centers in the Chitré district (circuit 6-1) the sweep for the application of the  Pfizer covid–19 vaccine began on the morning of Wednesday, July 14, and will run until July 18.

"We will vaccinate until Sunday, even if we are in quarantine said the governor of Herrera, Víctor Roca Cuan.

 In the 6-1 circuit there is an estimated population of 38,857 over 16 years of age.

The governor asked the inhabitants of the other six districts of the province to "be patient", because on July 21 the sweep of circuits 6-2 and 6-3 will arrive.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/long-lines-at-vaccination-centers

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OPINION: Disinformation charlatans

Posted 14/07/2021

The disinformation campaigns against the anti-covid vaccines that we see in social networks have had an unexpected success among Panamanians who, acting as the disinformers suggest, choose to avoid receiving any vaccine, putting their own existence, that of their family members and their families at serious risk. lives of their work and personal environments, among others. Although the Ministry of Health carries out communication campaigns to inform about the logistics, schedules, and places where people are immunized, it has been little effective in convincing this mass of disbelievers of the benefits of being vaccinated. The worst thing is that many of them become repeaters of charlatans who, without any scientific support, lie and frighten thousands of people. LA PRENSA, Jul.14.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/opinion-disinformation-charlatans

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Disinformation on covid-19 vaccines a growing virus

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Since the first vaccines against the Covid-19 disease were developed and the vaccination campaign began in Panama and several countries around the world, the stories and lies that have emerged around these biologics have been multiple. AFP

Posted 14/07/2021

Disinformation and, conspiracy theories are a growing virus in the midst of the vaccination process against Covid-19 that needs an antidote of transparent information on the age and vaccination status of people who are hospitalized and die say Panama scientists.

Ivonne Torres Atencio, director of the Department of Pharmacology of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Panama, told La Prensa that disinformation has gained ground, in part because there has not been an appropriate campaign by the Ministry of Health (Minsa) with evidence of the benefits of vaccination  and fears and misinformation take a toll on the population that does not follow reliable sources of scientific information

Disinformation about vaccines is described by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) as one of the most serious risks to public health and is even more harmful when it fuels doubts.

Jorge Luis Prosperi, a member of the Health Advisory Council, stated that adequate communication has been and is the Achilles heel in controlling the epidemic. Achieving acceptance of the Covid-19 vaccine by the population is a great challenge facing the health sector at this stage of the fight to control the disease.

Data from the Expanded Program on Immunization of the Minsa show that in the country there are at least 26% of people with at least one dose and 14% with two doses of the anticovid vaccine, so that vaccination must still continue to be encouraged in the population.

Torres Atencio says that scientific evidence indicates that the two vaccines that are part of the vaccine portfolio in Panama, both Pfizer and AstraZeneca / Oxford University, are effective against the SARS-CoV-2 virus and its variants.

He recommended that the health authorities meet with the scientific community, put the personnel assigned to promotion and communication to work properly, and align the messages with the scientific movements.

Xavier Sáez-Llorens, infectologist, pediatrician, and advisor to the Covid-19 Panama Vaccine Research Consortium, stated that misinformation is fought head-on, forcefully, clearly and daily. The Government, medical and scientific associations, the media, businessmen and workers must act as a common force so that the correct message reaches all inhabitants.

He said that it is urgent to have transparent and real-time information on the ages and vaccinated people who are hospitalized and die in the country. This information would serve to encourage more people to get vaccinated as the majority of serious cases and deaths from Covid-19 occur in unvaccinated individuals, he said.

Recently, the Panamanian Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology highlighted that figures from Minsa show that vaccines have reduced fatality in Panama by 58%.

The total (historical) fatality is 1.6% and the fatality in the last month is 0.68%. This number is expected to continue to decline as more people are vaccinated.

Currently, 99% of the population that dies from Covid-19 in Panama is unvaccinated; while those vaccinated represent only 0.8% of deaths .

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/disinformation-on-covid-19-vaccines-a-growing-virus-2

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COVID: 1,515 new cases, 7 deaths

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15,602 new tests were applied (positivity of 9.7%)

Posted 15/07/2021

While 1,515 new cases of covid-19 raised the total of active cases in the country to 13,643. on Wednesday, July 14 the Rt dropped from 1.10 last week to 1.01 reports the Ministry of Health(Minsa). 

In addition, 7 new deaths are reported. The cumulative death toll is 6,661.

The number of people in quarantine totals 12,900, with 12,538 in-home isolation and 362 in hotels While 632 people are confined in the hospital ward and 111 are in intensive care units (ICU).

The provinces where there is an increase in cases are Los Santos, Herrera, and Panama Oeste, but cases have dropped in the metropolitan area, in Chiriquí, and in the district of San Miguelito.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/covid-1515-new-cases-7-deaths

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Long delay between  AstraZenaca jabs is beneficial - study

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Posted 15/07/2021

Studies show that the AstraZeneca vaccine-induced immunity for at least a year after a single dose and strong immune responses after a late (up to 10 months) second dose - good news for countries with low supplies.

This is demonstrated by the results of a sub-analysis of the COV001 and COV002 trials published by the University of Oxford on The Lancet's prepress server, which included volunteers aged 18 to 55 years who were enrolled in the COV001 and COV002 trials and had received a single dose or two doses of the covid-19 AstraZeneca vaccine.

The University of Oxford said in a statement, that a prolonged interval between the first and second doses of AstraZeneca's covid-19 vaccine of up to 45 weeks resulted in an up to an 18-fold increase in antibody response, measured 28 days after the second dose.

“With a 45-week dosing interval between the first and second doses, the antibody titers were four times higher than with a 12-week interval, showing that a longer dosing interval is not harmful, but can generate stronger immunity, "it said.

The analysis further highlighted that a third dose of AstraZeneca's covid-19 vaccine given at least 6 months after a second dose increased antibody levels six-fold and maintained the T-cell response. A third dose also resulted in a greater neutralizing activity against the Alpha (B.1.1.7, 'Kent'), Beta (B.1.351, South African), and Delta (B.1.617.2, Indio) variants.

Both the late second dose and the third dose of AstraZeneca's covid-19 vaccine were less reactogenic than the first dose, Oxford University commented.

“This should be reassuring news for countries with lower vaccine supplies, which may be concerned about delays in supplying second doses to their populations. There is an excellent response to a second dose, even after a 10-month delay from the first, ”said Professor Sir Andrew J Pollard, Senior Investigator and Director of the Oxford Vaccine Group at the University of Oxford.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/long-delay-between-astrazenaca-jabs-is-beneficial-study

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Over 5,000, get second  AstraZeneca jab in 4 days

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Posted 16/07/2021

The Metropolitan Regional Health Directorate reported on Friday that in four days this week, at least 5,000 people were immunized against Covid-19 with doses of AstraZeneca.

Between Monday, July 12 and Thursday, July 15, in the Albrook Mall and Mega Mall, and the José Dolores Moscote Institute, nurses from the Ministry of Health (Minsa) and the Social Security Fund applied the second dose of AstraZeneca to 5,460 people.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/over-5000-get-second-astrazeneca-jab-in-4-days

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12 covid deaths and 1,225 new cases

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15,502 tests were applied with a positivity of 7.9%

Posted 16/07/2021

Twelve new deaths due to Covid-19,  reported by the health ministry on Thursday raises  the accumulated number to 6,674.

The number of new cases is 1,225, after the application of 15,503 tests, (positivity of 7.9%).

Active cases total 13,684. The number of hospitalized number is 727 with 614 in the ward and 113 in intensive care units.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/12-covid-deaths-and-1225-new-cases

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“Vaccine the only way out” of covid nightmare

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Posted 17/07/2021

A report from the National Center for Pharmacovigilance of the Health Ministry  (Minsa) specifies of 1,506,086 doses of vaccines against Covid-19 applied, until June 30, both from Pfizer and AstraZeneca   0.04% reported adverse reactions. the document details that 0.05% of I,153,177 vaccinated with Pfizer (618 cases) and 0.01% of 352, 909 who received AstraZeneca (29 cases) reported a side effect.

Specialists Javier Nieto, Arturo Rebollón, and Jorge Luis Prosperi agreed that the percentages of reactions are "very low" and that it is clear that vaccines are safe.

In the report,  Minsa clarifies that the events can be any health problem that occurs after vaccination, without necessarily being caused by the biological one.

 “The balance of risk and benefits for receiving the vaccine continues in favor of the benefit. The vaccine is the only way out of this nightmare. It is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel”

According to the Minsa report, “it is essential” to bear in mind that an adverse event is any health problem that occurs after vaccination, without necessarily having to be caused by the vaccine, since it may be medical problems that coincide with the weather.

In this context, it details that most of the reported events were classified as mild and moderate. In those vaccinated with Pfizer, 89% of the 618 reports of adverse events were rated as mild and moderate. In those who received the AstraZeneca vaccine, 93% of 29 reports were cataloged in the same way.

There is also a slight percentage of events classified as "serious", although according to what has been stated by the National Pharmacovigilance Center, although they coincide with the application of the vaccine, causality cannot necessarily be established with the treatment received.

In the opinion of epidemiologist Arturo Rebollón, adverse reactions due to the vaccine are, for the most part, so “mild” that people tend not to report them. “This is a very small amount and almost zero. In short, the long-term consequences that Covid-19 will leave in those who do not get vaccinated are riskier, ”he said.,

Organizations such as the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) have presented their position and argue that no totally innocuous biological or pharmaceutical product has yet been created and that vaccines are made based on the strictest standards of efficacy, safety, and quality of current technology.

Prosperi recalled that adverse events, such as fever or headache, are observed a lot in children during vaccination days against influenza.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/vaccine-the-only-way-out-of-covid-nightmare

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Vaccination for the common good

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Posted 17/07/2021

Local statistics on covid vaccination reveal that immunization is a success in terms of serious side effects, which, in our case, have been almost non-existent. In the case of deaths reported after being vaccinated, diseases that those immunized already had would have converged. Despite this, there are people who reject these biologics. And, although getting vaccinated is optional, the truth is that there will come a time when, in order to protect the lives of their clients, neighbors, friends, and family, there will be those who reserve the right for an unvaccinated person to enter an establishment or not, shopping center, party, travel or transfers in closed vehicles. It is the pandemic of a virus that causes a highly contagious disease that can cause death. Consequently, those who are still thinking about not getting vaccinated should consider that it is not an act of discrimination, but rather to seek the common good in the face of a serious public health problem that cannot go unnoticed after, due to the Covid-19, in Panama more than 6,600 people have died and in the world, more than 4 million. LA PRENSA, Jul. 17

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/vaccination-for-the-common-good-1

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Debunking vaccine misinformation

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Ivonne Torres Atencio,

Posted 19/07/2021

The scientific battle against misinformation about the anti-covid vaccines is ongoing, as many false messages circulate through instant messaging or social networks.

Hoaxes range from vaccines containing graphene oxide nanoparticles to causing Covid-19 itself.

Ivonne Torres Atencio, director of the Pharmacology department of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Panama and associate researcher at the Institute of Scientific Research and High Technology Services, has provided La Prensa with scientific answers as to why each of these statements is false and says that the best The antidote to misinformation is evidence-based information.

"Vaccines contain graphene oxide nanoparticles."

No. The components of the vaccines are clearly described in the technical sheets, which are public and describe the content of the messenger RNA or adenovirus material, plus excipients such as lipids and surfactants that form the nanoparticle, allowing the stability of the product. and the bioavailability to be administered. All excipients have been widely used in the pharmaceutical industry.

"Vaccines can make you sick with Covid-19."

Vaccines don't make anyone sick. This is what is known as passive immunity, in which the vaccine has a component of the virus that allows the human body to generate an efficient protection response.

"The long-lasting specific antibodies produced by vaccination are particularly adept at deactivating natural antibodies."

Fake. The long-lasting generated antibodies form the immunological memory that is stored (we do not know how long they last) and are directed against virus proteins.

"The probability of fatal side effects from the Covid-19 vaccine is approximately 10 times greater than the death rate from the infection."

False. Serious side effects have been described and so far pharmacovigilance systems have established that they are not fatal and are well below 0.1%.

"Deaths that are closely related to vaccines are not reported, because they are often misinterpreted as deaths caused by Covid-19."

Another falsehood. The reporting of vaccine-related deaths is mandatory and investigational, and they are clearly described in reports from the world's pharmacovigilance systems.

"After the two doses, I can't get  covid-19 myself or infect anyone else."

After the complete scheme (dose and time), it is possible to be infected, but the viral load will be much lower. There are studies that indicate that people with a complete regimen do not have greater infectivity. Therefore, the use of masks outside the family circle or bubble is mandatory.

“The virus affects only the elderly and not the very young."

The virus affects all ages, and the intensity and severity depend on the conditions of the affected people, the viral load, the variant, and comorbidities.

"Vaccines create new variants of the virus."

Vaccines cannot create new variants, since they prevent viral replication processes from taking place, contrary to infection, which, by allowing the virus to replicate, can modify its copies and generate errors that lead to the appearance of variants. It can only be stopped with vaccination.

"I don't have to get vaccinated because I have already had the disease."

Fake. Although the disease generates an immune response, it is possible that the antibodies generated are not as efficient, which is why immunization against Covid-19 disease is necessary. Natural infection offers temporary immunity, but it is not robust nor is it as long-lasting as previously thought.

"Vaccines cause infertility in men and women."

Vaccines have no connection, with our reproductive system. However, the consequences of the Covid-19 disease, are already presenting erectile dysfunction problems.

"Vaccines contain heavy and magnetic metals that attract magnets."

There is no magnetism per vaccine. The human being has many electrolytes or salts in the body, which makes us physically handle a magnetism, but it has nothing to do with vaccination. The human being is a structure that has a lot of mineral elements that do have electronegativity. This is hard science.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/debunking-vaccine-misinformation

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Relaxation of curfews and end to  Sunday quarantine

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Posted 20/07/2021

The Minister of Health, Luis Francisco Sucre, announced, on Tuesday, July 20, the relaxation of curfews and elimination of the total quarantine on Sundays in various regions of the country due to the decrease in Covid-19 infections   

From July 26  the curfew in Panama Metro will be from midnight to 4 am. Shops may stay open until 11 pm along with delivery service.

In the districts of Santiago, Soná and La Mesa ,Veraguas, the curfew will be at 10 at night to 4 in the morning, and the Sunday quarantine measure is lifted,

In the district of Alanje , Chiriquí, the curfew will be, from midnight to 4 in the morning.

In Donoso , Colón, the curfew is established, , from 12 midnight to 4 in the morning. The rest of the province maintains the same hours established previously.

In Azuero (Herrera and Los Santos) there are no changes, since there is only a slight decrease in cases. Sucre urged residents of these provinces not to lower their guard and continue to support the government's strategies to lower the rates of the deadly virus.

Vaccines
The Minister reported that on Tuesday Pfizer's batch number 24 arrived in Panama with 363,870 doses of the vaccine, and that the arrival of immunizations through the Covax mechanism is expected.

He thanked the US government for the donation of 503,100 doses of Pfizer that will arrive in Panama on Wednesday.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/relaxation-of-curfews-and-end-to-sunday-quarantine

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Vaccine misinformation a top-ten threat to health

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Posted 21/07/2021

Vaccination against the Covid-19 disease led to the activation of a group in society called anti-vaccines. Although it has always existed, during recent months its role has been more noticeable  says La Prensa

Since 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) has the movement on the list of the 10 greatest threats to health. The list includes dengue and cancer.

The misinformation shared ranges from: “vaccinated people will die in two years,” to: “fatal side effects with the Covid-19 vaccine is roughly 10 times higher than the death rate from the infection”.

Panamanian researchers maintain that most of the beliefs of this anti-vaccine group are based on unverifiable anecdotal testimonies and conspiracy theories.

Paulino Vigil De Gracia, of the National Research System of the National Secretariat of Science, Technology, and Innovation, explained that there are multiple criteria that a person must have to evaluate a scientific article before sharing.

Aspects that must be taken into account when it was published, which journal it was published in, or whether it was published in an indexed journal and its impact.

Vigil De Gracia explained that there are many predatory magazines, some false and others that only publish with payment. If it is one of these, the content will surely be far from the truth.

You also have to know if the article is a preprint –that has not been reviewed by experts–; check if the results show comparisons; analyze the results very well, and see if there are statistically significant differences.

Anti-vaccine groups take advantage of health crises to attract attention and access publications with a low level of evidence and are usually unaware of critical reading of the medical literature.

The anti-vaccines think that everything is black or white and science is not like that. A vaccine can be effective, even very effective, and have rare side effects. This in science is normal, but for the anti-vaccine, that vaccine is no longer useful, said Vigil De Gracia.

He cited as an example that the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is close to 80% effective, also has the risk of thrombosis for every 80,000 vaccinated. This very rare side effect is used massively by anti-vaccines and possibly that information and not the positive effect that reaches many people, he said.

Anti-vaccines appeared when Edward Jenner (late 18th century) carried out the first immunization in history against the smallpox virus. At that moment voices appeared opposing them out of misinformation and fear.

These groups grew stronger from an article by Dr. Andrew. Wakefield, published by the scientific journal The Lancet, on 12 children vaccinated against measles who developed autistic behaviors and severe intestinal inflammation. The author proposed the vaccine that had been used as a possible cause, so many parents were afraid and stopped vaccinating their children. In 2004, the Institute of Medicine in the United States concluded that there was no scientific evidence for the hypothesis that Wakefield had proposed and The Lancet rejected the work.

Vigil De Gracia argued that anti-vaccines can be identified because they respond with questions, denigrate medical and scientific organizations, use articles published in indexed or predatory journals, or withdrawn or retracted articles. They also have web pages (which make them look serious) and a network that spreads their manipulated information very quickly.

In addition, they constantly repeat the same, such as that vaccines kill, that they are experiments, that they have not been tested in such a condition, that they produce severe complications and have a great impact on health over time. Everything is false, he said

Xavier Saéz-Llorens, infectologist, pediatrician, and advisor to the Covid-19 Vaccine Research Consortium, stressed that to stop misinformation, education, participation of the scientific community and vaccine experts in social networks and media spokespersons are required; the commitment of the media to the verification and dissemination of reliable information; and the censorship of digital platforms that broadcast hoaxes and false news.

Saéz-Llorens recommended that the population seek reliable international and national scientific sources; verify information with experts before sharing it on networks; and calibrating the credentials of the spokespersons (their academic degree, research skills and evidence-based medicine, number and impact of publications on the subject).

He explained that the anti-vaccine groups are organized, they use trained people to ensure good articulation of their message, they are subsidized by organizations lacking academic prestige.

He stressed that they focus on discrediting the safety and benefit of vaccines and attack the pharmaceutical companies that produce these vaccines. These individuals are not necessarily opposed to other scientific advances and expert consensus in other medical fields, he said.

La Prensa has received emails in which people argue that the side effects of the Pfizer and AstraZeneca  vaccine killed more than 10,000 people due to the messenger RNA vaccine and the numbers of notifications of adverse reactions from February to March have increased fivefold.

One of the readers maintains that the messenger RNA vaccine is discouraged because it is experimental.    This has been propagated in  Newsroom reader comments.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/vaccine-misinformation-a-top-ten-threat-to-health

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Panama sets records new daily vaccination record

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Posted 22/07/2021

Panama registered, on Wednesday, July 21, a cord number of vaccines applied against Covid-19, immunizing 73,643 people almost doubling the previous high of 40,727 of June 10.

 The arrival this week of 966,970 doses of the Pfizer vaccine enabled the Health authorities to  he circuits where these sweeps are carried out are: 2-1 (Penonomé), 4-1 (David), 6-2 (Los Pozos, Parita and Pesé), 6-3 (Las Minas, Ocú, Santa María ), 9-2 (La Mesa, Las Palmas, Soná), 9-4 (Atalaya, Mariato, Montijo, Río de Jesús), 8-7 (Ancón, Bella Vista, Betania, Calidonia, Curundú, El Chorrillo, Pueblo Nuevo , San Felipe, Santa Ana) and 8-8 (Don Bosco, Juan Díaz, Parque Lefevre, Río Abajo, San Francisco).

Since last January 20, when the first batch of immunizations arrived, the country has received 3,006,842 doses of Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines against Covid-19.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/panama-sets-records-new-daily-vaccination-record

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Resisting vaccines endangers all

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Posted 22/07/2021

What percentage of hospitalized patients in public and/or private medical centers is not vaccinated against Covid-19? The exact figure is unknown, but data collected by La Prensa reveal that it is the vast majority. Very few people, having been vaccinated, have had to be admitted to a hospital. Or, put bluntly, vaccines have proven effective against severe disease.

However, there is still a current of Panamanians who refuse to be vaccinated, something that is their right. But the problem of this individual decision can have consequences for the community since the risk of contagion persists both for those who want to be vaccinated, and have not yet achieved it, and for those who do not want it. Those who resist potentially become disease vectors, putting at risk hundreds of thousands of people who have not yet been immunized because their turn has not come or because vaccines, for now, are insufficient for everyone. Those who are reluctant put a heavy economic and health burden on our health system. What will the government do in this situation? LA PRENSA, Jul. 22.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/resisting-vaccines-endangers-all

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Panama surpasses 2 million vaccinations

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Posted 23/07/2021

Some 84,568 vaccines against Covid-19 were applied on Thursday, July 22, and on Friday Panama exceeded 2 million doses of anti-covid vaccines administered since  January 20, when the vaccination process began.

As of 10:50 am Friday, 1,993,989 doses had been placed, with hundreds of people still waiting in line  according to data from the National Authority for Government Innovation (AIG) 

"They are good figures," said Health Minister, Luis Sucre, about the record immunization figures that have been achieved since last Wednesday, when a day of sweeps began, in 8 circuits of the country. The sweep strategy will continue, on more circuits, next week.

Next week the vaccination begins in Bocas del Toro and Veraguas from the age of 12, and in San Miguelito from the age of 16.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/panama-surpasses-2-million-vaccinations

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Long lines as over-16s seek vaccination

Posted 24/07/2021

Young people  in the metropolitan region of the Ministry of Health (Minsa) took advantage of the flexibility of the age requirements to get the Covid-19 vaccine in 16 vaccination centers enabled in circuits 8-7 and 8-8

Israel Cedeño, director of the metropolitan region, reported yesterday that the vaccination days in circuits 8-7 and 8-8 have been carried out in complete order, but they did observe a large influx of young people in the last three days.

Cedeño acknowledged that this large concentration of people has caused long lines, which can cause discomfort, but asked everyone for a little patience, since more than a million vaccines were received this week and there will be enough for everyone.

He also explained that the people who arrive to be inoculated and are not registered for some reason, the team of the Government Innovation Authority (AIG) in the vaccination centers is collaborating and entering them into the system to obtain their appointments.

According to Cedeño, the vaccine "is not denied to anyone", but stressed that registration for the registry is important.

Figures from the metropolitan region show that in the first two days of vaccination in the authorized centers of circuits 8-7 and 8-8, more than 42,000 doses of Pfizer were applied to people aged 16 years and over with the sweep method and 12 to 15 years with chronic diseases.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/long-lines-as-over-16s-seek-vaccination

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Young people flocking to get Covid vaccine

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Posted 24/07/2021

It is very good news for the country to realize that our young people have flocked to receive the Covid-19 vaccine. It is something that makes us proud, contrary to what causes the reluctance of many adults - who should lead by example - who do not want to be vaccinated, which, as we all know, has consequences not only for them but for a large number of people without getting immunized, including children and adolescents. Thanks to this large influx of young people and people aware that this is the way out of the pandemic, the country is moving towards what all nations want: to achieve herd immunity. The current rate of vaccination has improved remarkably, but it is necessary to add more actors to accelerate this vital process. And although some private hospitals will join, It is necessary to keep opening the compass, since the flow of vaccines now seems to be constant and the idea is not to store them but to reach as many people as possible in the shortest time possible. This will save lives, while the country could return to its rhythm of activity, the growth of the economy will be improved and we will recover our own peace of mind. – LA PRENSA, Jul. 24

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/young-people-flocking-to-get-covid-vaccine

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866 new covid cases lifts active infections to 13,195

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Posted 25/07/2021

The Ministry of Health (Minsa) reported on Sunday, July 25, that in the previous  24 hours there were  866 new infections of Covid-19 and seven deaths and 13,195 active cases of the disease.

Since March 2020, when the first death from the coronavirus was reported, to date 429,949 cases have been counted.

9,523 tests were applied with a positivity of 9%.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/866-new-covid-cases-lifts-active-infections-to-13195

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8 private hospitals join covid-19 vaccination program

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Francidco Luis Sucre

Posted 25/07/2021

The Minister of Health, Luis Francisco Sucre , confirmed on  Sunday that eight hospitals nationwide; six in the capital city, one in Colón and another in Chiriquí, will join the vaccination process against Covid-19 .

The strategy of expanding the centers to immunize more people occurs due to the great demand for people willing to be vaccinated and the massive arrival of doses against the coronavirus.

The names of the hospitals have not been released as operational plans are still being developed.

Sucre said that Panama will achieve herd immunity by October or November.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/8-private-hospitals-join-covid-19-vaccination-program

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Panama says YES to covid-19 vaccinations

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Posted 26/07/2021

Long lines, rain and sun  and a bombardment   of misinformation failed to deter Panama citizens from receiving a record of  439,527 doses   of covid-19,vaccine applied in five days from July 21 to 25.

The day that more doses were applied was Saturday, July 24 - 101,944 -, according to the records of the Ministry of Health(Minsa).

Eduardo Ortega Barría, National Secretary of Science, Technology and Innovation (Senacyt), said that this week a similar number of doses is expected to be applied in eight circuits of Panama City and provinces.

The acceleration of vaccination was achieved with the arrival, last week, of 967, 582 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, and this week 450,000  more are expected.

Of the total doses of Pfizer the country received, 363,870 are part of those negotiated bilaterally with the pharmaceutical company; 100,612 came through the Covax mechanism and 503,100 were donated by the United States.

Christmas  normality 

Xavier Saéz-Llorens, pediatrician, infectologist and advisor to the Covid-19 Panama Vaccine  Consortium said that if the rate of vaccinations is maintained or increased, by October or November there would be a large proportion of vaccinated with two doses, which would give hope that the country will have a Christmas season close to pre-pandemic normality.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/panama-says-yes-to-covid-19-vaccinations

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PANDEMIC – No room for charlatanism

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Posted 27/07/2021

A fact that should not go unnoticed is that local scientists predict that one of the most dangerous mutations of the new coronavirus will inevitably reach Panama. Faced with this scenario, once again it is urgent that the population maintain the recommended sanitary measures during this pandemic, but it also requires that all Panamanians be immunized as soon as the vaccines arrive in the country.

We suffer the third peak of infections and the arrival of virus mutations may worsen the already precarious situation in the country. Any citizen who refuses to be immunized becomes a vector of contagion and puts the lives of others who wait their turn to be vaccinated at risk. Eventually, the Government will have to take action on it, since, although it is a decision that belongs to each individual, its consequences affect third parties, who, having made and complied with the health recommendations, may face the risk of contagion and become seriously ill. 

Likewise, it is enormously irresponsible to divulge falsehoods and news without corroboration. The new scenario is very dangerous for everyone and, in the face of it, there should be no room for charlatanism. LA PRENSA, Jul. 27.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/pandemic-no-room-for-charlatanism

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Published fake covid-19 vaccine studies withdrawn

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Posted 28/07/2021

Two studies that claimed that vaccines against the Covid-19 disease cause almost the same deaths that they prevent and that masks are dangerous for children published in the journals Vaccines and JAMA Pediatrics,  have been retracted.

The Pan American Health Organization describes misinformation as one of the most serious threats to public health, and it is most damaging when it fuels indecision about vaccines

Both articles are based on rigged calculations made by the German researcher defender of homeopathy and other pseudosciences, Harald Walach, whose last study was based on surveys of 10 Catholic Christians, and in this, he concluded that praying the rosary “can generate benefits for health".

The studies published by the psychologist Walach quickly fueled the hoaxes in recent weeks, because in one he claimed that anticovid vaccines kill two people for every three they save, and in the other, he assured that children with masks are exposed to unacceptable levels of carbon dioxide, after taking measures in 45 minors.

Paulino Vigil De Gracia, researcher of the National Research System of t of Science, Technology, and Innovation (Senacyt), explained that in the study of vaccines, databases of success, on the one hand, and of adverse effects were used from another population.

All the discomforts or clinical findings of the patients were exclusively associated with the vaccines, although the reasons were other.

The researcher stated that in the study of the masks they used a methodology of quantification of gases eliminated and inhaled incorrectly, and the assertion of unproven damage. And the findings were not seen by clinicians in the pediatric population.

The vaccine study was published on June 24, and Vaccines retracted the study on July 2, after noting that Walach had made his calculations with a database from the Netherlands that included all the health problems observed after the vaccination, even if they had nothing to do with the injection.

The mask study was published on June 30, and the American Medical Association journal retracted the article on July 16.

Vigil De Gracia said these types of publications have always existed, but in a pandemic with an unknown disease and in need of knowledge and rapid disclosure, it is possible that they appear as a product of ill-intentioned people or with hidden interests.

With a new disease, reviewers of articles on the journal's editorial board may miss some details that have been strategically well used by "manipulative scientists."

According to Xavier Sáez-Llorens, infectologist, pediatrician, and advisor to the Covid-19 Panama Vaccine Research Consortium, in the scientific field, unfortunately, there are also corrupt and impostor people  Walach managed to publish two articles on the harmful effects of masks in children, on foods that strengthened the immune system to prevent Covid-19 and on some medications that improved their evolution.

However, the editors of the journals - when investigating the methodology used in their spurious investigations - found numerous falsifications of data and patients, plagiarism of all kinds, and blunders in the interpretation of results.

In addition, he described this case as similar to the one perpetrated by Andrew Wakefield in his fraudulent investigation of the relationship between autism and the measles vaccine, something that did a lot of damage to childhood immunization coverage in the world and forced the authorities to withdraw the professional suitability to the imposter.

The University of Poznan (Poland), where Walach worked, has announced that it will not renew the researcher's contract.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/health/published-fake-covid-19-vaccine-studies-withdrawn

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The vaccine is still classified as experimental use only.  This means the usual complete scrutiny afforded medications and vaccines has not yet come to full fruition as of right now.  The vaccines are not  FDA approved.  No vaccine for COVID has full FDA approval for general use.  That being said, the folks that are hesitant have reason for hesitancy. They have reason to want to have a full disclosure of any ill effect that has already occurred in the vaccinated group.    Alison, R.N.

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