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The Newest: Afghanistan Begins Vaccination Drive | World Information

KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghanistan has begun administering a COVID-19 vaccine with a ceremony on the presidential palace.

Afghanistan obtained 500,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from the federal government of India earlier this month. After the vaccine’s approval by the World Well being Group, it has begun immunizing front-line personnel together with well being employees, reporters and safety forces.

Afghanistan has recorded 55,646 coronavirus instances, together with 2,435 deaths.

— Researchers in Scotland say its COVID-19 vaccination program has brought on hospitalizations to plummet

— British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to put out plan to ease coronavirus restrictions however pubs, gyms and hairdressers to remain closed for weeks

— Russia’s vaccine rollout picks up velocity however consultants say the marketing campaign remains to be transferring slowly

— Elementary colleges and kindergartens reopen in over half of Germany’s 16 states

— Each Democratic vote is required on $1.9 trillion COVID-19 aid invoice, however minimal wage and different points will pressure decisions

— Observe all of AP’s pandemic protection at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Sri Lanka’s authorities says it plans to vaccinate 14 million of the nation’s 22 million folks.

The federal government “will immunize 14 million folks, for which we’d like 28 million doses, and the federal government is able to buy that,” authorities spokesman Ramesh Pathirana mentioned Tuesday.

It plans to buy 10 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for $52.5 million from the Serum Institute in India, he mentioned. It’ll additionally purchase 3.5 million doses straight from the AstraZeneca Institute in Britain. The vaccine is the one one which has been authorized by Sri Lanka’s regulatory physique.

Sri Lanka is presently administering 500,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine that had been donated by India. By Tuesday, it had been given to 354,352 folks.

Sri Lanka is witnessing a spike in COVID-19 instances, largely within the capital, Colombo. It has recorded a complete of 80,516 instances, together with 450 deaths.

MEXICO CITY — Mexico has obtained its first cargo of Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine.

Some 200,000 doses arrived to Mexico Metropolis’s worldwide airport late Monday night time aboard a British Airways flight from Moscow. Officers plan to make use of the doses to start vaccinating seniors within the capital’s most marginalized boroughs on Wednesday. Mexico Overseas Affairs Secretary Marcelo Ebrard confirmed their arrival by way of Twitter.

Mexico obtained its first cargo of vaccines from Pfizer in mid-December, however turned to Sputnik V in January when different anticipated vaccine shipments had been delayed. Sputnik too arrives later than initially anticipated. Mexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador spoke with Russia President Vladimir Putin in late January.

In early February, Mexican regulators gave Sputnik V emergency approval and the federal government signed a contract to carry 400,000 doses to Mexico in February. It was unclear when the subsequent cargo of Sputnik would arrive.

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine president will reject suggestions to additional ease coronavirus quarantine restrictions throughout the nation till a delayed vaccination marketing campaign kicks off, his spokesman mentioned.

President Rodrigo Duterte additionally rejected a plan to renew face-to-face college lessons in some pilot areas till vaccinations, which have been set again by delays within the arrival of preliminary batches of COVID-19 vaccine, have been launched, presidential spokesman Harry Roque mentioned.

The scheduled supply on Tuesday of 600,000 doses from Sinovac Biotech Ltd. was postponed anew after the China-based firm failed to instantly safe an emergency-use allow from Manila’s Meals and Drug Administration. Sinovac acquired the authorization Monday.

Prime financial officers have requested Duterte to contemplate additional easing quarantine restrictions within the nation beginning in March to bolster the economic system, which has suffered one of many worst recessions within the area, and stave off starvation. However Duterte rejected the suggestions.

“The chief govt acknowledges the significance of re-opening the economic system and its influence on folks’s livelihoods,” Roque mentioned however added that the president “offers increased premium to public well being and security.”

The Philippines has reported greater than 563,000 confirmed instances of COVID-19 infections and greater than 12,000 deaths, the second highest in Southeast Asia. The federal government has confronted criticisms for failing to instantly launch a large vaccine marketing campaign for about 70 million Filipinos.

WASHINGTON __ President Joe Biden referred to as the U.S. topping of the edge of 500,000 deaths blamed on the coronavirus a “actually grim, heartbreaking milestone.”

Biden is urging Individuals to withstand turning into “numb to the sorrow” and “viewing every life as a statistic.” He says the folks misplaced had been “extraordinary.”

Biden additionally touched on the non-public tragedy he’s skilled in dropping his first spouse and child daughter in a automobile collision, and later dropping an grownup son to mind most cancers.

Biden tells the nation’s he is aware of it’s laborious however that “to heal, we should bear in mind.”

He spoke earlier than holding a second of silence within the White Home and welcoming the general public to affix.

WASHINGTON– Drugmaker Johnson & Johnson says it will likely be capable of present 20 million U.S. doses of its single-shot COVID-19 vaccine by the tip of March, assuming it will get the greenlight from federal regulators.

J&J disclosed the determine in written testimony forward of a Congressional listening to on Tuesday trying on the nation’s vaccine provide. White Home officers cautioned final week that preliminary provides of J&J’s vaccine can be restricted.

The corporate reiterated that it’ll have capability to offer 100 million vaccine doses to the U.S. by the tip of June. That offer will assist authorities officers attain the objective of getting sufficient injections to vaccinate most grownup Individuals later this yr. On a world scale the corporate goals to provide 1 billion doses this yr.

U.S. well being regulators are nonetheless reviewing the protection and effectiveness of the shot and a choice to permit its emergency use is predicted later this week. J&J’s vaccine can be the primary within the U.S. that requires solely a single shot.

At the moment obtainable vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna require two doses spaced a number of weeks aside. Executives from each corporations and two different vaccine makers may even testify at Tuesday’s listening to.

WASHINGTON — The Meals and Drug Administration mentioned Monday that it gained’t require enormous, months-long research if COVID-19 vaccines finally want tweaking to raised match a mutating virus — small, quick research will suffice.

The vaccines now being rolled out do nonetheless shield in opposition to completely different variants of the virus, the FDA burdened. However viruses mutate always, and a few new variations are beginning to elevate considerations. So FDA issued new pointers for vaccines — in addition to for virus exams and coverings — on steps that corporations can begin taking to prepare.

“We’re making an attempt to be ready prematurely,” mentioned Dr. Peter Marks, the FDA’s vaccines chief.

Already main producers have began updating their vaccine recipes if regulators finally determine that’s needed.

Marks mentioned the wanted exams would come with a couple of hundred folks reasonably than hundreds, and will take simply two or three months. Volunteers would obtain experimental doses of the tweaked vaccine after which have their blood checked to see if it revved up the immune system about in addition to the unique vaccines do.

Marks mentioned the hope is that if vaccines must be up to date, they might work broadly sufficient to cowl each the unique virus and a brand new mutant model — reasonably than requiring a mix shot like flu vaccines. Having to make a number of sorts of vaccine after which mix them would put a higher pressure on already stretched manufacturing capabilities.

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