Health News Roundup: Mass vaccination sites open in New York City as COVID-19 batters U.S.; Seven in Marseille test positive for new UK COVID-19 variant and more

Mass vaccination sites open in New York City as COVID-19 batters U.S. For Claudia Zain, a home healthcare aid in New York City, getting the first shot of the coronavirus vaccine on Sunday felt like being "a little part of history" that left her excited and hopeful for the future as the United States struggles to contain the raging pandemic.

Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 11-01-2021 10:47 IST | Created: 11-01-2021 10:30 IST
Health News Roundup: Mass vaccination sites open in New York City as COVID-19 batters U.S.; Seven in Marseille test positive for new UK COVID-19 variant and more
Representative Picture. Image Credit: ANI

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

Mass vaccination sites open in New York City as COVID-19 batters U.S.

For Claudia Zain, a home healthcare aid in New York City, getting the first shot of the coronavirus vaccine on Sunday felt like being "a little part of history" that left her excited and hopeful for the future as the United States struggles to contain the raging pandemic. "There's so many emotions wrapped up in what's happening right now and I'd like to be an inspiration for people who are wondering, 'Can I do this? Should I do this?'," said Zain, 47 after getting the shot at Brooklyn Army Terminal on a frigid Sunday afternoon. "You should do it because this is the way to move forward."

Seven in Marseille test positive for new UK COVID-19 variant

Seven people in the southern French city of Marseille have tested positive for the new UK variant of COVID-19, local politician and former mayor Michèle Rubirola said on Sunday. These seven formed part of a previously reported group of 23 people believed to have come into contact with the new UK COVID variant, which has been analysed as having a greater transmission rate.

Northern Ireland hospitals under pressure 'like never before': health minister

Northern Ireland's health minister on Sunday night said COVID-19 was placing the healthcare system under pressure "like never before," as one hospital appealed on social media for the immediate help of all off-duty healthworkers nearby. The British-run region has struggled with persistently high coronavirus infection rates despite being in and out of some form of lockdown since October. Cases soared to by far their highest level since the pandemic began after the Christmas holidays.

Texas to speed COVID-19 shots by devoting more to fewer sites

Texas will allocate about half of its latest COVID-19 vaccine supplies to just 28 healthcare sites, officials said on Sunday, aiming to speed distribution amid rising infections and hospitalizations. Distribution efforts in the second most-populous U.S. state have been falling short, with people forced to wait for hours, online registration sites unable to keep up, or vaccine locations abruptly changed because of overwhelming demand. UK opens seven vaccination centres to boost COVID-19 immunisation drive

Britain will open seven large-scale vaccination centres on Monday, helping to accelerate the rollout of COVID-19 shots that the government wants to deliver to all vulnerable people by mid-February. The country, which was the first to approve vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and by Oxford-AstraZeneca, is currently immunising about 200,000 people a day, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Sunday. China sees biggest daily COVID-19 case rise in over five months

Mainland China saw its biggest daily increase in COVID-19 cases in more than five months, the country's national health authority said on Monday, as new infections in Hebei province surrounding Beijing continued to rise. A county in the northeastern Heilongjiang province on Monday moved into lockdown after reporting new novel coronavirus infections, state television also reported separately. Japan finds new coronavirus variant in travellers from Brazil

A new coronavirus variant has been detected in four travellers from Brazil's Amazonas state, Japan's Health Ministry said on Sunday, the latest new mutation of the virus discovered. A ministry official said studies were underway into the efficacy of vaccines against the new variant, which differs from highly infectious variants first found in Britain and South Africa that have driven a surge in cases.

New coronavirus strain first seen in Britain confirmed in Mexico The new variant of the coronavirus first detected in Britain has been confirmed in northern Mexico, health officials said on Sunday, adding a new layer of concern to an already severe national outbreak. The confirmation of the especially contagious new variant of the virus marks the first time it has been found in Mexico, home to the pandemic's forth-highest death toll globally.

Australia closes hospital emergency unit over virus case as city lockdown lifts A hospital emergency department in Sydney was closed after a patient tested positive for COVID-19, Australian authorities said on Monday, as the city of Brisbane made face masks compulsory at public venues. A man in his 40s tested positive for the virus on Sunday after coming to Sydney's Mount Druitt Hospital, prompting it to close its emergency unit for cleaning, with media reports saying ambulances were diverted to other hospitals.

Malaysia buys additional 12.2 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine Malaysia on Monday signed a deal to buy an additional 12.2 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by U.S. and German drugmakers Pfizer and BioNTech, the health ministry said in a statement. The deal brings the total amount of the Pfizer vaccines procured by Malaysia to 25 million doses, enough to cover 39% of its population, the ministry said.

(With inputs from agencies.)


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