clearn.png
Saturday October 16th, 2021 10:19PM

The Latest: WHO asking rich countries to donate 10M vaccines

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

GENEVA — The head of the World Health Organization is asking rich countries to donate at least 10 million coronavirus vaccines so the U.N. health agency can reach its goal of vaccination in all countries within the first 100 days of 2021.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says supply problems faced by the U.N.-backed effort COVAX, which aims to provide vaccines to all countries, means that about 20 countries are still awaiting their first doses of vaccines from the program.

Tedros says he’s also asking manufacturers to scale up their production so extra vaccines could be donated to poorer countries. He slammed the numerous private deals countries have struck with pharmaceuticals that have meant fewer vaccines for developing countries and warned COVAX would need many more hundreds of millions of vaccines in the coming months.

On Thursday, WHO’s COVAX partner Gavi, announced supply problems meant it would have to delay the delivery of about 90 million vaccines until about May.

___

THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— China outlines COVID-origin findings, ahead of WHO report

— Mexico's pandemic death toll passes 200,000

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

___

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The latest federal coronavirus relief package includes $81 billion to help schools reopen quickly.

However, some parents want to keep their children home, and social distancing guidelines determined by states may mean schools can’t bring all students back at once.

Oregon’s Hillsboro district plans to introduce limited in-person learning for some students this month. Ohio’s Youngstown district doesn’t expect the money to change its numbers before the school year ends. And surveys in Virginia’s Fairfax County indicate many families in the state’s largest district may not want more time in classrooms.

___

PHOENIX — Arizona on Friday reported 571 new coronavirus cases and 24 deaths as the number of virus-related hospitalizations remained fairly stable.

There were 626 COVID-19 patients occupying hospitals on Thursday, down from 628 on Wednesday and only a fraction of the pandemic high of 5,082 on Jan. 11, according to the state’s coronavirus dashboard.

The daily new cases rolling average dropped from 1,364 on March 10 to 483 on Wednesday. The daily deaths rolling average dropped from 46 to 33, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

The state’s pandemic totals increased to 838,558 confirmed cases and 16,898 confirmed deaths.

___

WASHINGTON — Dr. Anthony Fauci says scientists are trying to answer the two most pressing questions for millions of Americans already fully vaccinated against COVID-19: Can they become infected without showing any symptoms, and if so, can they transmit the coronavirus to someone else?

Fauci said at the White House coronavirus briefing Friday that a large trial is under way involving 12,000 college students at more than 20 universities.

“This is a question of extreme importance,” he said. “This will help inform science-based decisions about mask use and about social distancing post-vaccination.”

Half the students will get the two-dose Moderna shot and the other half will initially serve as a control group, while getting the same vaccine four months later.

All the students will keep an electronic diary, swab their noses daily and provide occasional blood samples. They’ll also provide the names of close contacts. Fauci says it may take about five months to get some answers.

___

BERLIN — Germany has declared all of France, including its overseas territories, as a “high incidence area” for the coronavirus.

The decision Friday by Germany’s disease control agency means people traveling from France must provide a negative test result before crossing the German border.

The Robert Koch Institute also added neighboring Denmark to its list of “risk areas,” requiring 10-day quarantine after arrival in Germany.

___

WASHINGTON — The White House announced three cities will become federally run mass vaccination centers as part of President Joe Biden’s new goal of vaccinating 200 million Americans by the end of April.

The cities are Boston, Norfolk, Virginia, and Newark, New Jersey, according to coronavirus coordinator Jeff Zients. Together, the three sites will be capable of vaccinating 15,000 people daily.

Zients says the U.S. is now vaccinating an average of 2.5 million people a day, a pace that allows the nation to meet the new goal Biden announced Thursday. States are moving up the dates for younger adults to get vaccinated and the federal government is taking steps to increase the number of vaccinators and vaccine sites.

Zients says Johnson & Johnson is on track to meet its target of delivering 20 million doses of its one-shot vaccine by the end of March, with at least 11 million doses expected next week. Meanwhile, daily virus cases and hospitalizations are rising.

“It is clear there is a case for optimism, but there is not a case for relaxation,” Zients says. “This is not the time to let down our guard.”

___

BERLIN — German health officials are urging people to stay home during the upcoming Easter break to help slow the rapidly rising numbers of new coronavirus infections.

Health Minister Jens Spahn says if infections continue unchecked, Germany’s health system could be stretched to its limit in April. The head of Germany’s disease control center says the country is just at the “beginning of the third wave” of the pandemic. Germany reported 21,573 new cases on Friday, compared to 17,482 a week earlier.

The number of new weekly infections per 100,000 people was 119 on Friday, compared to 70 two weeks ago, Spahn says.

He says more than 10% of Germans had received at least a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in a slow rollout of vaccines in Europe.

___

LONDON — The European Medicines Agency has approved new manufacturing sites for coronavirus vaccines made by Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca in a move that could significantly boost Europe’s supply of the shots.

In a statement published on Friday, the EU medicines regulator says it had approved sites in the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland for vaccines made by the companies.

The new approvals come amid the 27-nation bloc’s struggles to ramp up COVID-19 vaccination and repeated delivery delays and manufacturing problems. In addition, the EMA says it was granting “more flexible storage conditions” to the Pfizer vaccine -- which was cleared on the basis that it needed ultra-cold freezer temperatures for storage and delivery.

___

WARSAW, Poland — Poland’s authorities have vowed strict enforcement of new COVID-19 restrictions and stiff fines, calling the situation “dramatic” as the nation registered its record number of new infections for the third straight day.

The Health Ministry says there were over 35,100 new infections and more than 440 deaths in the nation of some 38 million that has already lost 50,000 people to the pandemic.

Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski says the situation was “dramatic but not hopeless” and the vaccine program offers promise.

Officials urged vigilance during the Easter holiday time and family meetings. Kaminski says police will hand out fines -- ranging from 1,000-30,000 zlotys ($250-7,600) for those breaking the new regulations. The new restrictions of five people at gathering and more closures of businesses begins Saturday.

Nearly 28,000 people were hospitalized with the coronavirus on Friday, some 660 more than the previous day.

___

KYIV, Ukraine — Coronavirus infections in Ukraine hit a record 18,132 on Friday.

The previous record of 16,669 cases was reported on Thursday.

Ukraine, a nation of 41 million, has reported a total of more than 1.6 million coronavirus cases in the pandemic and 31,461 confirmed deaths.

Ukraine began vaccinations against COVID-19 in late February after receiving 500,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. But reluctance to take the shots has been strong as new infections severely tax the country’s underfunded health care system.

___

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine officials eased a two-week ban on religious gatherings and allowed Lenten and Easter masses with strict coronavirus restrictions, ending an impasse with the Roman Catholic church.

The Department of Health reported 9,838 coronavirus cases Friday, the nation’s highest one-day total of the pandemic.

The government initially banned religious gatherings from March 22 to April 4, among other restrictions, as it struggled to contain an alarming spike in COVID-19 cases in the capital and outlying provinces. But the Manila archdiocese announced it would open its churches for worship with adequate safeguards, prompting President Rodrigo Duterte’s spokesman to warn the government could close defiant churches.

However, Presidential spokesman Harry Roque announced Friday that religious gatherings would be allowed once a day from April 1 to Easter Sunday with a limit of 10 percent seating capacity. He outlined other restrictions, including a ban on the gathering of people outside of places of worship.

The Philippines has reported more than 702,000 confirmed cases and 13,149 confirmed deaths, the second-highest totals in Southeast Asia after Indonesia.

___

SANT JOAN DESPÍ, Spain — A senior European Union official says 55 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine will be delivered to EU member states in the second quarter of this year, starting next month.

The EU’s internal market commissioner, Thierry Breton, says the bloc will receive another 120 million doses of the single-shot jabs between July and September.

Breton spoke Friday during a visit to a plant in northeastern Spain where the vaccine developed by the pharmaceutical company Janssen, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, is being bottled. It is one of four vaccines approved for use in the EU.

Across the bloc, 52 factories are currently churning out vaccines, according to Breton. He says the EU will be producing 2 or 3 billion doses by end of year, making it the world’s top vaccine manufacturer, and allow 70% of the EU population to be inoculated by mid-July.

___

BEIJING — Chinese officials have briefed diplomats in Beijing on the research into the origin of COVID-19, ahead of the expected release of a long-awaited report from the World Health Organization.

The briefing appeared to be an attempt by China to get out its view on the report. The U.S. and others have raised questions about Chinese influence and the independence of the findings, and China has accused critics of politicizing a scientific study.

The report is based on a visit by WHO team of international experts last month to Wuhan, the city in China where COVID-19 cases were first reported in late 2019.

The experts worked with Chinese counterparts and both sides must agree on the final report. It’s unclear when it will come out.

___

BUCHAREST, Romania — New restrictions will start Friday in Romania as the country faces a surge of coronavirus infections amid a third wave of the coronavirus.

This week Romania has recorded its highest number of daily infections in three months, hospital intensive care units have reported record patient numbers and more than 600 people have died of the coronavirus in the last five days.

Officials are tightening restrictions in localities based on the coronavirus incident rate to try to slow the spread while avoiding a complete lockdown.

Six counties in Romania are currently above the four in 1,000 threshold, while only the western Timis County is above 7.5. In Bucharest, the infection rate reached 6.67 on Friday.

Romania has recorded more than 926,000 cases and 22,835 confirmed deaths. It has administered 2.6 million doses of vaccine.

___

KRNJACA, Serbia — Serbia has started vaccinating migrants amid a coronavirus outbreak despite a widespread inoculation campaign.

The first of some 530 registered migrants who have applied for the coronavirus shots received their first doses of the AstraZeneca jabs in a suburb of Serbia’s capital Belgrade on Friday.

Serbia, a top European nation in the number of administered coronavirus shots per capita, is among the first Western Balkan country to start vaccinating migrants who are considered a highly vulnerable group in the pandemic.

Earlier this month, a migrant camp in neighboring Bosnia experienced a major coronavirus outbreak.

There are thousands of migrants from the Middle East, Africa and Asia stuck in Serbia and Bosnia as they attempt to cross into neighboring European Union member Croatia on their way to Western nations.

___

LISBON, Portugal — Portugal’s government is extending its mandatory work-at-home order through the end of the year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The government says even if the current state of emergency decree allowing lockdowns is lifted, people must still work from home if they can.

Also, companies must have staggered working hours for staff to avoid large gatherings.

___

NEW YORK — Coronavirus contact tracing programs across the U.S. scaled back their ambitions as cases surged in winter, but New York City has leaned into its $600 million tracing initiative.

The city hired more tracers during the holiday season surge and in early March hit its goal of reaching at least 90% of people who test positive, a mark it hadn’t reached since around Thanksgiving. Last week, the number hit 96%.

Overwhelmed tracing programs elsewhere confronted the wave by switching to automated calls, limiting the types of cases they trace or telling infected people simply to reach out to their contacts themselves.

There’s some debate among public health experts over whether local governments should cut back on contact tracing and focus more on vaccination. However, contact tracing follow-up could help answer whether vaccinated people can transmit the virus.

___

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — Rutgers University says it will require all students be vaccinated for the coronavirus before arriving for classes in the fall.

The university says assurances from the federal government of vaccine supply for all Americans prompted them to make the decision. The university says students may request an exemption from vaccination for medical or religious reasons. Students participating in online-only classes will not be required to be vaccinated.

Brian Strom, chancellor of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences and executive vice president for health affairs, says the vaccine is the key “to the return of campus instruction and activities closer to what we were accustomed to before the pandemic.”

Rutgers says it has received approval from the state of New Jersey to administer vaccines on campus to faculty, staff and students once vaccine supplies are available to the university.

Faculty and staff are strongly urged to receive the vaccination and students enrolling at Rutgers who are under 18 will be advised to receive the Pfizer vaccine because it’s approved for people age 16 and up.

___

BERLIN — The German air force is flying dozens of ventilators to Brazil, which has been severely hit by the coronavirus outbreak.

Soldiers loaded 80 ventilators onto an Airbus A310 MRTT at the military section of Cologne-Bonn Airport on Friday morning.

They are being flown to the Amazon metropolis of Manaus, where hospitals have been overwhelmed by the large number of COVID-19 patients requiring oxygen and ventilators.

___

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Health, 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.
Maritime traffic jam grows outside blocked Suez Canal
A maritime traffic jam grew to more than 200 vessels outside the Suez Canal and others began changing course as dredgers worked frantically to free a giant container ship that has been stuck sideways in the waterway and disrupted global shipping
1:32PM ( 8 minutes ago )
Small Texas border town is route to US for migrant children
A small border town in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley has become the latest epicenter of illegal crossings, where growing numbers of families and children enter the United States to seek asylum
1:30PM ( 9 minutes ago )
The Latest: WHO asking rich countries to donate 10M vaccines
The head of the World Health Organization is asking rich countries to donate at least 10 million coronavirus vaccines so the U.N. health agency can reach its goal of vaccination in all countries within the first 100 days of 2021
1:19PM ( 20 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
France launches 2-year experiment with medical marijuana
France’s government has launched a two-year nationwide experiment with medical cannabis with a view to eventual legalization
12:59PM ( 41 minutes ago )
The Latest: Fauci: Vaccine study to involve college students
Dr. Anthony Fauci says scientists are trying to answer the two most pressing questions for millions of Americans already fully vaccinated against COVID-19: Can they become infected without showing any symptoms, and if so, can they transmit the coronavirus to someone else
12:03PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: WH: 3 cities to become mass vaccination centers
The White House announced three cities will become federally run mass vaccination centers as part of President Joe Biden’s new goal of vaccinating 200 million Americans by the end of April
11:37AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Health
EXPLAINER: What's a SPAC, the latest craze on Wall Street?
Special-purpose acquisition companies, better known as SPACs, have been embraced by big institutions and small-pocketed investors alike
12:57PM ( 43 minutes ago )
Putin hails Russian military's performance in Arctic drills
Russian President Vladimir Putin has hailed the military’s performance during recent Arctic drills, part of Moscow’s efforts to expand its presence in the polar region
12:54PM ( 46 minutes ago )
US court sides with photographer in fight over Warhol art
A federal appeals court has sided with a photographer in her copyright dispute against a foundation that has marketed a series of Andy Warhol works of art based on her pictures of Prince
12:41PM ( 58 minutes ago )
AP Business
VW to seek damages from former executives for diesel scandal
Volkswagen is seeking damages from two former top executives for their role in the diesel emissions scandal that cost the German automaker billions of euros and a hefty dent to its reputation
9:36AM ( 4 hours ago )
WeWork attempts to go public again, this time through a SPAC
Nearly two years after its attempted initial public offering of shares disintegrated, WeWork says it will go public in a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company
9:31AM ( 4 hours ago )
China erasing H&M from internet amid Xinjiang backlash
H&M is disappearing from the internet in China as the government raises pressure on shoe and clothing brands
6:41AM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Business - Corporate News
Yemen rebels hit, set ablaze fuel tank in south Saudi Arabia
A fuel tank at an oil facility in Saudi Arabia caught fire after being struck in an attack claimed by Yemen's Houthi rebels
6:17AM ( 7 hours ago )
Egypt races to dislodge giant vessel blocking Suez Canal
A giant container ship remains stuck sideways in Egypt’s Suez Canal
6:13AM ( 7 hours ago )
EXPLAINER: Sanctioned Myanmar army businesses span spectrum
The two huge Myanmar military-controlled conglomerates targeted by U.S. and UK sanctions following the army coup last month span a wide spectrum of businesses
4:43AM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Business - Industries
The Latest: Easter celebrations to be in person in Romania
Romanian authorities have announced that Easter celebrations in the deeply Christian country will go ahead in person this year, even though Romania is battling a surge of COVID-19 infections that is threatening to overwhelm its hospitals
6:11PM ( 19 hours ago )
UN-backed vaccine delivery program warns of supply delays
The U.N.-backed program to ship COVID-19 vaccines worldwide has announced supply delays from an Indian manufacturer, in a major setback for the ambitious rollout aimed to help low- and middle-income countries fight the pandemic
1:37PM ( 1 day ago )
AstraZeneca confirms strong vaccine protection after US rift
AstraZeneca says that its COVID-19 vaccine provides strong protection even after counting additional illnesses in its U.S. study
11:59AM ( 1 day ago )
AP Business - Health Care
Maritime traffic jam grows outside blocked Suez Canal
A maritime traffic jam grew to more than 200 vessels outside the Suez Canal and others began changing course as dredgers worked frantically to free a giant container ship that has been stuck sideways in the waterway and disrupted global shipping
1:32PM ( 8 minutes ago )
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Larry McMurtry dies at 84
Pulitzer Prize-winning Texas author Larry McMurtry has died at the age of 84
1:31PM ( 9 minutes ago )
Small Texas border town is route to US for migrant children
A small border town in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley has become the latest epicenter of illegal crossings, where growing numbers of families and children enter the United States to seek asylum
1:30PM ( 9 minutes ago )
Colorado shooting suspect passed check in legal gun purchase
Authorities and a gun store owner say the suspect in the Colorado supermarket shooting bought a firearm at a local gun store after passing a background check
1:18PM ( 22 minutes ago )
Trains crash in southern Egypt, killing at least 32
Authorities say two trains crashed in southern Egypt, killing at least 32 people and injuring 108 in the latest of a series of deadly crashes on the country’s troubled railways
1:15PM ( 24 minutes ago )