sunny.png
Wednesday April 14th, 2021 7:54AM

The Latest: Germany: EU to approve vaccine by Dec. 23

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

BERLIN — After days of pressuring the European Union’s medical regulator, Germany’s health minister said Tuesday that he has received assurances that the European Medicines Agency will approve a coronavirus vaccine by Dec. 23.

Health Minister Jens Spahn told reporters in Berlin on Tuesday he “welcomed” German media reports that said EMA would finalize its approval process of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine by Dec. 23, instead of at a Dec. 29 meeting.

“Our goal is an approval before Christmas,” Spahn said. “We want to still start vaccinating this year.”

Spahn would not say from whom he had received the confirmation and the EMA could not immediately be reached for comment on exactly when it would release its findings on the approval process.

___

THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— Poor countries face long wait for vaccines despite promises

— EXPLAINER: Why is the EU taking so long to OK vaccine?

— Pandemic backlash jeopardizes public health powers, leaders

— London and nearby areas will be placed under the highest level of restrictions starting Wednesday

— U.S. COVID-19 deaths top 300,000 just as vaccinations begin

___

Follow AP’s coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

___

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

MOSCOW — Vaccination against COVID-19 with the Russian-developed Sputnik V vaccine has started in all Russian regions, Russian authorities said Tuesday.

President Vladimir Putin ordered the government to start “large-scale” vaccination in Russia two weeks ago, even though the Sputnik V vaccine is still undergoing advanced studies needed to ensure its safety and effectiveness. The shots have been offered to medical workers for several months even though the vaccine was still in the middle of late-stage trials, and over 150,000 people in Russia have already been vaccinated, according to its developers.

Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said Tuesday the vaccine has been delivered to all Russian regions, and the shots are being administered in over 1,200 medical facilities across the country. Medical workers, teachers and social workers are the first in line to get the shots.

Russia’s state coronavirus task force has reported over 2.7 million confirmed cases in the pandemic and nearly 48,000 deaths. The Russian Sputnik V vaccine received regulatory approval in August in a move that drew international criticism, as by that time the shots had only been tested on a few dozen people.

___

BRUSSELS — The Belgian cities of Brugge and Knokke-Heist are planning to introduce checks on shoppers coming from the neighboring Netherlands to avoid a scramble in their streets during the festive season.

After the Dutch government announced Monday a tough five-week lockdown comprising the closure of nonessential shops until Jan. 19, the cities close to the Netherlands border are expecting a big influx of Dutch shoppers.

“Just like the Belgians, the Dutch will want to do their Christmas shopping,” Brugge mayor Dirk De Fauw was quoted as saying Tuesday by local broadcaster RTBF. “We’ll have to be on our guard.”

In the coastal resort of Knokke-Heist, local authorities said police and stewards will manage traffic in shopping street and could close access roads to the town well-known for its endless sandy beach as they don’t have the authority to shut down the border.

___

PARIS — As the holiday season approaches, French Prime Minister Jean Castex is encouraging the French to self-confine for 8 days before Christmas, rather than taking an automated coronavirus test.

Speaking on Europe-1 radio on Tuesday, Castex said such an approach prevents laboratories and pharmacies from becoming clogged. He also indicated that children can choose to skip school on Thursday and Friday so that they can begin self containment.

France on Tuesday is lifting a lockdown imposed on Oct. 28, but strict measures are still in place as infections are still high. There will be a nationwide curfew from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., which will be lifted on Christmas Eve but not on New Year’s Eve. Theaters and cinemas will remain shut as will bars and restaurants.

___

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Authorities in Sri Lanka said on Tuesday that more than 3,000 COVID-19 cases have been detected in the country’s highly congested prisons, as infections also surge in the capital and its suburbs.

They said that 2,984 inmates and 103 guards have been confirmed to have the disease in seven prisons around the country.

Sri Lankan prisons are highly congested, with more than 26,000 inmates crowded in facilities with a capacity of 10,000.

Eleven inmates were killed in pandemic-related riots inside a prison early this month. Unrest has been growing, with prisoners demanding better facilities and care as COVID-19 cases increase. Inmates have staged several protests inside prisons in recent weeks.

Sri Lanka’s confirmed cases since March reached 33,477 on Tuesday, including 154 fatalities.

___

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — The Maldives president’s office says it is discussing how to provide a “humane response” to a request from neighboring Sri Lanka to allow burials for Muslims who die of COVID-19.

Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Hood said Tuesday that President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has received a request from Sri Lanka to look into the possibility of allowing such burials.

“The request has been received. At present we are considering and discussions are ongoing with regard to what would be the appropriate and humane response,” Hood told The Associated Press.

There was no immediate confirmation from Sri Lanka of such a request.

Sri Lanka's government in March announced it will cremate the bodies of all people who die of COVID-19, saying the coronavirus could contaminate underground water.

Sri Lankan Muslims have urged the government to allow burials, citing their religious beliefs. They accuse the government of denying Muslims a basic right without scientific grounds, since many countries in the world allow burials.

___

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan has set a goal to vaccinate 60% of its population with a COVID-19 vaccine, or 15 million people, a health official said Tuesday.

Taiwan has signed an agreement with COVAX to purchase a COVID-19 vaccine, but is also actively in talks with vaccine companies who have candidates in phase 3 trials for a potential bilateral agreement as well, said Jing-Hui Yang, a deputy director at the Central Epidemic Command Center. COVAX, a global plan to distribute vaccines equally, has not yet started sending out shipments of vaccines.

The island will prioritize frontline health workers and essential personnel to receive the vaccine first, Yang said. Later on, the immunization campaign will target the elderly as well as those who have existing chronic illnesses.

Officials expect the vaccines to arrive early next year. Still, an immunization campaign will take time, and will not be finished in just a month or two, Yang warned.

___

SEOUL, South Korea -- South Korea has reported another 880 new cases of the coronavirus as it slipped deeper into its worst wave of the pandemic yet.

That brought the country’s caseload to 44,364 on Tuesday, which was the 38th consecutive day of triple-digit daily increases. More than 10,000 infections have been reported in the last 15 days alone, mostly from the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area where health workers are struggling to stem transmissions tied to various places, including hospitals, long-term care facilities, restaurants, churches and schools.

The death toll was at 600 after 13 COVID-19 patients died in the past 24 hours. The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said 205 among 11,205 active patients were in serious or critical condition as fears grow over possible shortages in intensive-care units.

Critics say the country’s viral resurgence underscores the risk of encouraging economic activity when vaccines are at least months away. The government had lowered social distancing restrictions to the lowest tier in October out of concerns about sluggish growth rates despite experts warning of a viral surge during winter when people spend longer hours indoors.

The government restored some restrictions over the past weeks, such as shutting down nightclubs, halting in-person school classes and requiring restaurants to provide only deliveries and take-outs after 9 p.m.

___

WASHINGTON — Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Surgeon General Jerome Adams stressed the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness, while raising issues of social equity.

The officials spoke Monday at a George Washington University Hospital event Monday to launch the vaccination of health care workers in the nation’s capital.

Adams, who is Black, said it would be a tragedy if the disparate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color got worse because of hesitancy to get the vaccine. “We know that lack of trust is a major cause for reluctance, especially in communities of color,” said Adams.

Azar said the vaccines bring hope, but “all of that hope doesn’t matter if we don’t bridge to that point” where widespread vaccination puts and end to the pandemic. So he called on Americans to double down on practicing responsible behaviors such as avoiding travel and gatherings, maintaining social distance, wearing masks and washing their hands frequently.

___

TORONTO — Canada has administered its first doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

Five front-line workers in Ontario are among the first Canadians to receive the vaccine at one of Toronto’s hospitals.

Three personal support workers, a registered nurse, and a registered practical nurse who work at the Rekai Centre nursing home are among the first to receive it.

Ontario received 6,000 doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine Sunday night and plans to give them to about 2,500 health-care workers.

Residents of two long-term care homes Quebec will be the first to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in that province.

___

NEW YORK — Coronavirus vaccinations have begun in New York.

A nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens got what Gov. Andrew Cuomo called the first shot given in the state’s campaign to vaccinate front line health care workers.

“I feel hopeful today. Relieved,” said critical care nurse Sandra Lindsay after getting a shot in the arm.

The head of the hospital system, Michael Dowling, stood over Lindsay as a doctor, Michelle Chester, administered the dose. Cuomo watched via a livestream.

All four applauded after the shot was given. “This is the light at the end of the tunnel. But it’s a long tunnel,” Cuomo said.

___

This story has been corrected to show that the French prime minister encouraged his nation to self-isolate for 8 days before Christmas, not 10 days.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, AP Health, AP World News, AP Business, AP Business - Corporate News, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Health Care
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
The Latest: Germany: EU to approve vaccine by Dec. 23
Germany’s health minister has increased his pressure on the European Union’s regulatory agency and demanded that a coronavirus vaccine will be approved before Christmas
8:37AM ( 10 minutes ago )
EU regulators move up Pfizer vaccine assessment to Dec. 21
The European Union’s medicines agency said Tuesday it has moved up a meeting to assess the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for provisional approval in the 27-nation bloc to Dec. 21
8:36AM ( 11 minutes ago )
EXPLAINER: Why is the EU taking so long to OK vaccine?
As Canadians, Britons and Americans begin getting immunized with a German-developed vaccine against the coronavirus, pressure is building on the European Medicines Agency to approve the shot made by Pfizer Inc. and German company BioNTech
8:07AM ( 40 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Germany demands EU agency approve vaccine before Christmas
Germany is increasing the pressure on the European Union’s regulatory agency, with its health minister, a leading hospital association and lawmakers all demanding that the agency approve a coronavirus vaccine before Christmas
7:24AM ( 1 hour ago )
Respiratory therapist receives Puerto Rico's 1st vaccine
A respiratory therapist who treated the first two COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Puerto Rico has become the first person in the U.S. territory to be vaccinated against the virus
6:45AM ( 2 hours ago )
'Democracy prevailed': Biden aims to unify divided nation
President-elect Joe Biden has pointedly criticized President Donald Trump for threatening core principles of democracy even as he told Americans that their form of self-government ultimately “prevailed.”
6:31AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP National News
Which winter sports are safest to play during COVID-19?
To stay physically active this winter while limiting the risk of coronavirus infections, experts suggest activities you do alone or with members of your household
3:01AM ( 5 hours ago )
Pandemic prompts scaled back Christmas tradition in Alaska
Operation Santa Claus looked a little bit different this year in rural Alaska as COVID-19 safety precautions pared back the annual Alaska National Guard tradition
1:19AM ( 7 hours ago )
Obama-era program for immigrants faces new court challenge
A federal court will consider whether to invalidate a program that shields from deportation immigrants brought to the United States as children, potentially creating complications for the incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden
10:39PM ( 10 hours ago )
Top U.S. News short headlines
Australian PM says China coal ban would breach WTO rules
Australia’s prime minister says that China would be violating World Trade Organization rules and a bilateral free trade agreement if it banned Australian coal
4:34AM ( 4 hours ago )
World shares mixed as investors eye vaccines, US stimulus
Shares have opened higher in Europe after a lackluster day in Asia as investors wait to see if Congress can break a logjam on delivering more aid to people, businesses and local governments affected by the coronavirus pandemic
4:21AM ( 4 hours ago )
UK sees record number of job losses during 3- month period
The number of people in the U.K. who lost their jobs hit a record high in the three months through October during the run-up to the planned ending of a government salary support scheme
4:14AM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Business
UAW agrees to monitor, voting changes after corruption probe
An independent monitor will watch the United Auto Workers' finances and members will decide how they pick future leaders under a reform agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s office
8:44PM ( 12 hours ago )
The Latest: Nurse becomes 1st in Oklahoma to get vaccine
An Oklahoma City emergency room nurse has become the first person in the state to be vaccinated with Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine
5:36PM ( 15 hours ago )
Explainer: How bad is the hack that targeted US agencies?
Governments and major corporations worldwide are scrambling to see if they, too, were victims of a global cyberespionage campaign
5:08PM ( 15 hours ago )
AP Business - Corporate News
The Latest: West Virginia governor gets coronavirus shot
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has became one of the first top elected officials in the country to receive a coronavirus shot, even though the state’s rollout is supposed to prioritize giving the highly sought-after vaccines to health care workers and people in long-term care centers
7:46PM ( 13 hours ago )
U.S. stocks end mostly lower after an early rally evaporates
Stocks ended mostly lower on Wall Street Monday after an early rally evaporated
4:52PM ( 15 hours ago )
U.S. stocks turn choppy following worst week since Halloween
Stocks are moving sideways on Wall Street Monday as the country’s first vaccinations against COVID-19 have the end of the pandemic slowly materializing into hazy sight
3:10PM ( 17 hours ago )
AP Business - Industries
The Latest: COVID-19 vaccinations start in NY
Coronavirus vaccinations have begun in New York
11:29AM ( 21 hours ago )
The Latest: EU agency denies working too slowly on vaccine
The head of the European Union’s regulatory agency has defended the speed of its experts team after Germany’s health minister demanded that the agency work faster to approve a coronavirus vaccine and bring an end to the suffering on the continent
10:17AM ( 22 hours ago )
The Latest: Quebec, Ontario give their 1st vaccine shots
TORONTO _ Canadian health officials in Quebec and Ontario plan to administer the first COVID-19 vaccines on Monday
10:00AM ( 22 hours ago )
AP Business - Health Care
EU regulators move up Pfizer vaccine assessment to Dec. 21
The European Union’s medicines agency said Tuesday it has moved up a meeting to assess the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for provisional approval in the 27-nation bloc to Dec. 21
8:36AM ( 12 minutes ago )
EXPLAINER: Why is the EU taking so long to OK vaccine?
As Canadians, Britons and Americans begin getting immunized with a German-developed vaccine against the coronavirus, pressure is building on the European Medicines Agency to approve the shot made by Pfizer Inc. and German company BioNTech
8:07AM ( 41 minutes ago )
Germany: EU agency will OK coronavirus vaccine by Dec. 23
Germany’s health minister says he has received assurances that European regulators will approve a coronavirus vaccine by Dec. 23
8:00AM ( 48 minutes ago )
Jay-Z's Roc Nation forms book publisher with Random House
A decade after publishing his memoir “Decoded,” Jay-Z is forming a more lasting partnership with the book industry
8:00AM ( 48 minutes ago )
Pandemic doesn't break first lady holiday hospital tradition
Melania Trump isn't letting the coronavirus pandemic halt a decadeslong tradition of first ladies visiting a Washington, D
8:00AM ( 49 minutes ago )