Pakistan reports four coronavirus deaths, 242 infections

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday registered another 242 coronavirus infections and four deaths from the disease during the last 24 hours, showed the statistics released by the National Institute of Health Pakistan on Friday morning.

As per the NIH data, the death toll in the country has now risen to 30,585 with the addition of four fatalities while the number of total infections now stood at 1,569,537 after adding the fresh 242 cases.

During the last 24 hours (Thursday), 13,455 tests were conducted throughout Pakistan whereas the positivity ratio stood at 1.80 percent. The number of patients in critical care was recorded at 115.

US CDC recommends boosters targeting Omicron

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday recommended Covid-19 booster shots from Pfizer and Moderna targeting the Omicron variant, clearing the way for the administration of the shots.

This new generation of anti-Covid vaccines targets both the original strain of coronavirus and the BA.4 and BA.5 lineages, the sub variants of Omicron that are causing the most cases in the United States. The Pfizer-BioNTech shot is recommended for people 12 and older and Moderna’s for those 18 years and up.

“The updated Covid-19 boosters are formulated to better protect against the most recently circulating Covid-19 variant. They can help restore protection that has waned since previous vaccination and were designed to provide broader protection against newer variants,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said in a statement.

“This recommendation followed a comprehensive scientific evaluation and robust scientific discussion,” she added. The new versions of the vaccines – which were approved by the US Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday – could potentially be available in the United States as early as next week.

The vaccines currently in circulation target the initial strain of the virus that first appeared in Wuhan, China. But they have gradually proven to be less effective against the variants that have appeared over time, due to rapid evolution of the virus. In contrast to the Alpha and Delta variants, which eventually waned, Omicron and its sub variants have come to dominate infections worldwide in 2022.

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