Health News Roundup: Global COVID-19 cases surpass 100 million as nations tackle vaccine shortages; Mexico eyes delivery of Russian Sputnik V vaccine next week and more
China injects more than 22 million doses of coronavirus vaccines China has administered about 22.8 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, a health official said on Wednesday, as the country steps up its campaign ahead of next month's Lunar New Year holidays and the accompanying flurry of travel.Reuters | Updated: 27-01-2021 11:05 IST | Created: 27-01-2021 10:30 IST
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Global COVID-19 cases surpass 100 million as nations tackle vaccine shortages
Global coronavirus cases surpassed 100 million on Wednesday, according to a Reuters tally, as countries around the world struggle with new virus variants and vaccine shortfalls. Almost 1.3% of the world's population has now been infected with COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, and more than 2.1 million people have died.
Mexico is very close to signing a contract for Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine and the first shipment of around 200,000 doses could arrive next week, a Mexican official said on Tuesday. Juan Ferrer Aguilar, a senior health official, was speaking at a regular government news conference a day after President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador telephoned his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, and announced Russia would supply Mexico with 24 million doses over the next two months.
China injects more than 22 million doses of coronavirus vaccines
China has administered about 22.8 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, a health official said on Wednesday, as the country steps up its campaign ahead of next month's Lunar New Year holidays and the accompanying flurry of travel. The world's most populous nation has widened its targeted inoculation scheme since mid-December to include more priority groups facing a higher risk of virus exposure, in a bid to prevent any outbreaks in winter and spring.
South Korea reports big jump in COVID-19 cases on outbreaks in Christian schools
South Korean authorities were scrambling on Wednesday to contain coronavirus outbreaks centered around Christian schools as the country reported a jump in infections, dampening hopes of a speedy exit from a third wave of the pandemic. A total of 297 COVID-19 cases had been traced to six churches and mission schools run by a Christian organization, senior health official Yoon Tae-ho told a briefing.
Peru volunteer in Sinopharm vaccine trial dies of COVID-19 pneumonia, the university says
A volunteer in the local Peruvian trial of a coronavirus vaccine produced by China's Sinopharm Group Co Ltd has died from COVID-19-related pneumonia, the university carrying out the trial said on Tuesday. Cayetano Heredia University, which is involved with the study, said on the instructions of the Peruvian health regulator it had unblinded the volunteer's participation in the trial and determined she had received the placebo rather than the vaccine.
Biden administration aims to have enough vaccine for most Americans by summertime
The United States aims to acquire an additional 200 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, President Joe Biden said on Tuesday, enough to inoculate most Americans by summertime, as he races to curb a pandemic he warned could still get worse. Biden's administration will purchase 100 million doses each of the vaccines made by Pfizer Inc and BioNTech, and Moderna Inc, increasing the overall total doses to 600 million, with delivery expected by summer.
Dry ice, containers, and overworked doctors: Olympic hurdles for Japan's vaccine roll-out
Japan's vaccination roll-out faces logistical hurdles that could further delay the slow-moving campaign, experts and officials say, complicating plans to deliver wide-scale coronavirus inoculations in time for the Olympics. Already the last major industrial country to start mass vaccinations, Japan is likely to be hampered on the ground by a lack of containers and dry ice, and difficulties in recruiting medical staff, more than a dozen people involved in the inoculation drive told Reuters.
Australia records 10th day of no local COVID-19 cases
Australia recorded a 10th straight day of no new local COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, allowing its most populous state of New South Wales (NSW) to relax coronavirus restrictions after controlling a fast-spreading cluster. NSW has recorded no local cases for 10 days after low single-digit numbers earlier in January. Victoria state, which is hosting the Australia Open tennis tournament, has gone three weeks without a local case.
China, India's COVID-19 vaccinations to stretch to late 2022 - study
COVID-19 vaccination programs in China and India will stretch until late 2022 due to the sheer size of their population, and more than 85 poor countries will not have widespread access to vaccines before 2023, a study showed on Wednesday. While the rapid development of vaccines has raised hopes for an end to the year-long pandemic, concerns over unequal distribution have also mounted due to production problems and large bilateral deals between wealthy countries and drug makers. EU contract did not leave time to fix vaccine hiccups: AstraZeneca CEO
AstraZeneca's Chief Executive on Tuesday said the European Union's late decision to strike a contract with the drugmaker to supply COVID-19 vaccines, months after Britain, meant the company did not have enough time to iron out glitches in setting up production lines with external partners. "We are basically two months behind where we wanted to be," Pascal Soriot told German daily Die Welt in an interview when asked about delayed deliveries in Europe.
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