According to US President Joe Biden, the United States will have sufficient vaccine for all adults in the country “by the end of May.” So far, Biden has been aiming to reach that milestone by the end of July. Biden said at the White House on Tuesday that recent approval of a third vaccine and government efforts to increase production of compounds allowed the target to be reached faster.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency approval for a Johnson & Johnson drug on Saturday. The company has signed a contract with the US government to deliver 100 million doses of the vaccine by the end of June. The vaccine will now be produced by rival pharmaceutical company Merck, the government announced Tuesday.
The US government will receive 300 million doses from each of its previously approved vaccine manufacturers, Biontech / Pfizer and Moderna, by the end of July at the latest. Two doses are required for each vaccination; Thus, the amount alone would be sufficient to provide the country’s nearly 300 million adults. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is effective with only one injection. So far, the vaccines have only been approved for adults.
Italy extends the travel ban with Corona in the country until after Easter
Italy is extending central Corona restrictions such as a travel ban in the country for one month, even after Easter. In addition, all schools in high-risk areas, called red zones, should be closed. Health Minister Roberto Speranza announced in Rome. Prime Minister Mario Draghi signed a corresponding decree on Tuesday.
This means that in the first major travel season on Easter until April 6, border crossing between 20 Italian regions is forbidden. There are exceptions for work and emergencies.
Minister Speranza and several experts indicated that the British virus is prevalent in the Mediterranean country, with more than 50% of cases. It is a more contagious type, which, according to initial studies, often causes severe disease.
Speranza said the contagion curve is generally upward. Since the spread of the British alternative affects the younger generation, Rome decided to tighten schools. The regulation takes effect from March 6 and provides for the retention of classification into risk areas introduced in 2020. In red areas, with 250 or more cases per 100,000 inhabitants, for a period of seven days, only distance teaching is possible.
The World Health Organization believes the end of the pandemic this year is unrealistic
The World Health Organization does not expect the Corona pandemic to end anytime soon. “It would be premature and unrealistic to believe that we will be able to deal with this virus by the end of the year,” said the emergency aid coordinator at the World Health Organization, Michael Ryan, on Monday evening in Geneva. However, if you act wisely, “hospital admissions, deaths and tragedies that accompany this epidemic could come to an end.”
The World Health Organization continues to focus on keeping infections as low as possible and vaccinating as many people as possible. Ryan said that the situation is much better compared to what it was ten weeks ago with the aim of providing the first vaccinations against the virus. “We still face a big challenge,” he stressed.
The virus still has the upper hand. Control of a pandemic could be accelerated if vaccines begin to significantly affect transmission dynamics and risk of transmission.
Trump was reportedly vaccinated shortly before leaving the White House
Former US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania were said to have been vaccinated against the Coronavirus before they left the White House in January. Several US media outlets reported this on Monday, citing an unnamed Trump adviser.
In order to instill confidence in the safety of vaccines, new US President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and former Vice President Mike Pence have publicly vaccinated themselves. On the other hand, Trump has linked the issue of vaccination to mainly self-promotion: He also sees one of his advantages that vaccines have been developed very quickly against the new virus.
In mid-December, then White House spokeswoman Kylie McCannani said Trump was open to vaccination and wanted to encourage Americans to do so. She said at the time that there were no plans to vaccinate Trump. Donald and Melania Trump contracted Covid-19 last fall. So the former president had to be treated in the hospital. Trump’s term expired on January 20.
Austria wants to be allowed again to offer outdoor food
In Austria, al fresco dining is allowed to reopen from March 27, according to strict rules such as corona testing and keeping distance. This is what Chancellor Sebastian Curtis said after his talks with experts, conservatives and opposition parties. Cultural institutions are allowed to reopen from April. In Vorarlberg, where accidents are at their lowest nationally, there should be opening steps in the fields of sports, culture and gastronomy as early as March 15th. In addition, it has been decided that youth and school sports will be possible again from mid-March.
In the European Union, countries continue to take very different paths in the Corona crisis
While mitigation measures are pending in Denmark, measures are being tightened in the Czech Republic and the Norwegian capital, Oslo, again. In Italy, there is both tightening and easing depending on the region. In Austria, three weeks after all stores open, the government decides how to proceed. The last time in the room was to restart the restaurant and hotel industry before Easter. However, Health Minister Rudolf Anschober (The Greens) described the development in the number of new infections as a “worrying reversal of trend” on Sunday.
Currently, the incidence rate in Austria for a period of seven days is about 160 cases. Recently, the number of new infections among young people has increased significantly. On a weekend in Vienna, among other things, the police broke up a party with 100 guests in a student dormitory.
In Italy, starting Monday, many students will have to follow lessons online again. This applies, among other things, to the Basilicata and Moulesi regions in southern Italy, where there will be lockdowns from Monday. Health Minister Roberto Speranza ordered the new division on Saturday. Coronavirus has gotten worse again recently. Various types of virus are spread. The infection value increased to 145 cases per 100,000 population for the period covered by the survey from February 15 to 21.
Meanwhile, Sardinia will be the first Italian region to drop into the White Zone on Monday and can hope for more normality with possible gyms opening, among other things. Sardinia has achieved a seven-day incidence of less than 50 cases per 100,000 population for three consecutive weeks.
In the Czech Republic, a stricter lockdown against the coronavirus will be implemented from Monday. In exceptional cases, people are only allowed to leave their area for three weeks. Trips to work, the doctor and the authorities are permitted if written evidence is provided. The size of the 77 counties corresponds to the rural areas of Germany. More than 25,000 police and up to 5,000 troops are supposed to monitor compliance with the strict procedures. Failure to comply may result in fines in excess of € 400. Walking and sports are only permitted in their city or municipality. Visiting relatives is prohibited. Still only absolutely essential stores are allowed. The background to this is that the Czech Republic has the highest rate of new coronavirus infections among all European Union countries.
In the Norwegian capital, Oslo, all restaurants and shops have been closed due to the spread of the British virus. The mayor of the city, Raymond Johansen, announced Sunday evening at a press conference. Restaurants are only allowed to serve fast food, and the exceptions for temporary business closures apply to supermarkets and pharmacies, among other things. Organized leisure activities for adults are not recommended, as is the case with private gatherings and visits.
In the far north of Germany, Denmark, most retailers will be able to welcome customers into their stores again starting Monday. After more than two months of closure in the fight against the spread of the Coronavirus, stores of less than 5,000 square meters are allowed to reopen, provided they are not in a mall. Larger stores are also allowed to reopen, albeit very limited. Customers need to reserve time to shop here in advance. Outdoor cultural institutions like zoos can now receive visitors again if guests can show a negative coronavirus test no more than 72 hours. Meeting restrictions on sports and club activities organized outdoors will be increased from 5 to a maximum of 25 participants. The number of new infections in Denmark has dropped sharply since the end of 2020.
One billion shots to the British economy
British Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said: “We know that companies especially in the hospitality and leisure, hotel and retail sectors have been affected by the restrictions and will remain closed in the coming weeks and will open slowly (…)” on Sunday in an interview with Sky News. The Treasury secretary added that the aid package should enable companies to retain employees and pay bills. Individual companies can be supported with one-time payments of up to £ 18,000 (around € 21,000). Around 650,000 companies across the country are expected to benefit from this. Overall, the British government wants to help companies with an aid package of five billion pounds (about 5.8 billion euros).
Sunak plans to present its budget for the new fiscal year on Wednesday. In addition to the numerous exemptions, he is also expected to announce an increase in corporate tax. On the other hand, protests erupted from the opposition over the weekend. Sonak also felt headwinds from within its ranks. Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently floated a plan to gradually lift the UK lockdown. All restrictions will be lifted by June 21.
Sunak also told the BBC that the certificate of vaccination against Corona will help the country and the economy to recover from the repercussions of the Corona pandemic. For example, major events can happen again. However, according to Sonak, the difficult question is whether vaccinated people should be allowed more freely than people who have not been vaccinated. Prime Minister Boris Johnson last week announced a review of the scientific, ethical and ethical issues surrounding the vaccination record.