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June 3, 2021

International update: France to vaccinate teenagers from 15 June

By Paul Dennis

3 June

Global: The global Covid death toll is still rising with a figure of 3,691,773 according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University. Meanwhile, infections exceed 171 million world wide.

US: Covid -19 infections have passed 33.3 million. Meanwhile, the US coronavirus death toll is 595,833 according to Johns Hopkins University data.

The number of new Covid cases is dropping in Minnesota, but an estimated 85% of have been traced to emerging variants of the virus, which have also sent a higher percentage of people to hospitals, said Kris Ehresmann, Minnesota Department of Health infectious disease director.

Mexico: Mexico reported 3,269 new cases of Covid-19 in the country and 306 more fatalities, Reuters reports. It brings the total to 2,423,928 infections and 228,146 deaths, according to health ministry data released on Wednesday.

Germany: In Germany, the Robert Koch Institute has confirmed that a third wave of the virus has been broken.

India: India added 134,154 new cases in a day, close to the lowest number since April 8, government data showed. The country’s death toll from the pandemic climbed by 2,887 to 337,989.

Vaccine news

US: The White House is set to announce which countries will receive the first vaccine donations from the US The Biden administration hopes the move will help fend off risks of more coronavirus variants emerging in countries with limited access to vaccines, people familiar with the matter said.

New Jersey will close all six of its vaccine mega-sites by July 23 as demand wanes and the state nears its goal of immunizing 70% of residents. “We’re localizing and this is yet another step in that direction,” Governor Phil Murphy said at a streaming virus update.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city would launch in-school vaccination sites in partnership with the United Federation of Teachers, the city’s largest teachers union, starting on Friday. The program will begin with four schools in the Bronx and expand to all five boroughs in the next few weeks.

France: France will start vaccinating teenagers from age 12 with the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine on 15 June, the government said.

Germany: Germany plans to pay vaccine manufacturers an annual reservation fee to build up reserve capacity of around 600-700m doses per year to help it fight future pandemics, the health minister said.

Vietnam: Vietnam’s health ministry said the country will have more than 120 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines this year. The total includes 5 million doses from Moderna Inc., 20 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine and 31 million doses of the vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE, it said. Vietnam will also acquire 30 million AstraZeneca Plc vaccine doses and 38.9 million doses through the Covax initiative, the World Health Organization-backed effort to buy and distribute vaccines to low- and middle-income nations.

India: India ordered 300 million coronavirus vaccine doses from local manufacturer Biological-E as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government comes under pressure from the nation’s Supreme Court to cover more of the population. An advance of 15 billion rupees ($205 million) will be paid to the Hyderabad-based company, the government said Thursday. Phase 3 trials are currently on and the firm will prepare the order between August and December.

Philippines: The Philippines said President Rodrigo Duterte got a commitment from Russian President Vladimir Putin for more Sputnik V deliveries on a phone call Wednesday. A statement from Duterte’s office said the Philippine leader also sought greater cooperation with Russia on trade and defense. The Southeast Asian nation has so far received 80,000 doses of Russia’s Covid-19 shot.

Bahrain: Bahrain started giving booster shots to vulnerable citizens who have been inoculated with Sinopharm vaccine using a different vaccine made by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE, Dow Jones reported, citing the country’s undersecretary of health Waleed Khalifa al Manea. The country is fighting a sharp resurgence of Covid-19. More than 90% of those hospitalized in the latest wave haven’t been vaccinated.

Brazil: Brazil’s Health Ministry said it expects to receive 39.8 million doses of vaccines in June, 3.9 million fewer than it had forecast, O Globo reported, without saying how it got the information. Until last week, the federal government expected to receive about 43.8 million vaccines in June.

Lockdown updates

EU: EU governments have agreed to add Japan to their small list of countries from which they will allow non-essential travel, it was reported earlier.

Spain: Spanish regions with a low Covid infection rate will be allowed to reopen nightlife before herd immunity is achieved, which is expected by mid-August, the health minister said.

Canada: The Canadian province of Ontario will keep schools closed for in-person learning until the new school year starts in September, premier Doug Ford announced.

Colombia: Colombia has began what its government called a gradual opening of its border with Venezuela after a 14-month closure intended to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

US: Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said employees should begin returning to offices in early September for at least three days a week.

UK: Prime minister Boris Johnson indicated his government remains on course to lift lockdown restrictions this month, a day after the UK recorded no new Covid-19 deaths for the first time. “I can see nothing in the data at the moment that means we cannot go ahead,” the British prime minister said in a pooled interview Wednesday. “But we’ve got to be so cautious,” he warned, given the recent rise in infections. Tuesday’s milestone has bolstered calls from business and members of Johnson’s Conservative Party for the government to proceed with the fourth and final stage of unlocking the economy on June 21.

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