COVID-19: Latest on worldwide spread
THE European Union’s drugs regulator approved Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine, and the European Commission extended its scheme requiring authorisation for vaccine exports until the end of June due to continued concerns about supplies within the bloc.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
* Eikon users, see COVID-19: MacroVitals for a case tracker and summary of news.
* Health authorities in Denmark and Norway said they had temporarily suspended the use of AstraZeneca’s vaccine shots after reports of the formation of blood clots in some who have been vaccinated.
* Italy’s decision to ban a batch of AstraZeneca vaccine was taken following the deaths of two men in Sicily who had recently been inoculated, a source close to the matter said.
* Public Health England said a new coronavirus variant had been identified in the UK in two people who had recently been in Antigua, adding that it shared some traits of others but would not be categorised as concerning for now.
* France will ease some restrictions on international travel outside Europe, the foreign ministry said.
* Azerbaijan plans to import 432,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine and 300,000 doses of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine over the next half year, government documents showed.
* CVS Health is expanding the administration of vaccines to more states in the United States, the drugstore chain said, taking its program to nearly 1,200 stores across 29 states and Puerto Rico.
* Alaska has become the first U.S. state to make COVID-19 vaccines available to anyone age 16 or older.
* Moderna will submit to Thailand its application for approval for its vaccine this month, a health official said.
* Malaysia brought in a law to tackle fake news related to COVID-19 and the state of emergency imposed nationwide since January, with the threat of hefty fines and jail terms of up to six years.
* Japan has not decided whether to allow spectators from abroad at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Organising Committee President Seiko Hashimoto said, denying media reports that a decision had been reached.
* South Korea said it will authorise the use of AstraZeneca’s vaccine for people aged 65 years and older.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Turkey plans to vaccinate 50 million people against COVID-19 by autumn, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said.
* The pandemic is undermining nature conservation efforts, cutting park and anti-poaching patrols in more than half of Africa’s protected sites, the International Union for Conservation of Nature said.
* The Dutch medicines evaluation board said it expects Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine to work against all known variants of the new coronavirus.
* Pfizer and BioNTech said real-world data from Israel suggests their vaccine is 94% effective in preventing asymptomatic infections.
* Europe’s medicines regulator has started a rolling review of data on antibodies bamlanivimab and etesemivab being developed by U.S. company Eli Lilly.
* The first wave of the pandemic wiped out some 6 million jobs in the European Union, according to a study, with temporary contractors, young and female workers at times hit harder than in the 2008-09 financial crisis.