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Illustration by Afra Almazrouei

The Brief: Corona at Your Door

From a new single-shot vaccine to stricter regulations on campus, The Gazelle brings you the latest Covid-19 news.

By the Numbers: Cases and Deaths
*Note: North America Cases and Deaths now includes the United States. All case and death statistics are derived from [WHO]( and [ECDC]( For more information about coronavirus cases around the world and interactive maps, visit [Our World in Data](*
Vaccine Frenzy
On the tails of the vaccine drive on campus, Johnson and Johnson has announced that their vaccine is 66 percent effective against preventing moderate and severe disease, but 85 percent effective against severe disease. It is the first to be a single-shot and affordable. The vaccine is also lauded as a potential factor in reducing the spread of the virus, while we wait for the production and distribution of more effective vaccines.
Journalist Yashar Ali explained in a Twitter thread the positives of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, citing its affordability and ease of transportation as valuable for developing countries.
“A one shot vaccine that prevents hospitalizations which also doesn't require super cold storage (like the Pfizer vaccine) is a boon for developing countries,” commented Ali.
Changes in Regulation
NYU Abu Dhabi recently sent a series of emails to students regarding the changes to public health measures and government guidance. In a Return to Campus Memo dated Jan. 28, NYUAD informed the campus community that blended classes would be rescheduled due to a rise in cases in the UAE.
It also announced that the new daily symptom checker app would be launched soon. Community members were encouraged to urge non-compliant members to follow the public health protocol. The email also included a list of contacts to reach out to if a community member persists in flaunting the rules.
The email also highlighted the rise in cases in the UAE, mentioning how the Center for Disease Control and Prevention had labeled the UAE as Level 4 or “Very High.”
Westermann announced that “universities in the UAE have been informed today that they should return to last year’s pandemic management protocols, including remote learning in most cases, until a high level of vaccination is attained later this semester.” The Gazelle was unable to find a public distribution of this announcement.
Despite highlighting the importance of vigilance, Westermann was able to provide a ray of hope in her email. “Once a large percentage of our campus population and the broader community is fully vaccinated we anticipate a gradual relaxation of health and safety protocols that will follow the guidance of the Ministry of Education, Department of Health, and international health experts,” she wrote.
Broader UAE News
Dubai has recently come under fire for its alleged hand in the recent coronavirus surges in several different nations. In November, Dubai allowed a travel corridor with the United Kingdom, bringing hotel occupancy rates up to pre-pandemic numbers for December.
Daily coronavirus cases have now tripled and triggered a flood of new regulations for the emirate. This comes on the heels of the aggressive vaccination campaign that has administered more than three million doses.
Mari Velasquez-Soler is Senior News Editor. Email her at
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