Japan approves first vaccine, five months away from Olympics



Passers-by wearing masks in New Zealand, Auckland, November 13, 2020 (Photo by Fiona Goodall / Getty Images)


© Fiona Goodall
Passers-by wearing masks in New Zealand, Auckland, November 13, 2020 (Photo by Fiona Goodall / Getty Images)

Japan approves first vaccine. Japan has given its first green light to a vaccine against the coronavirus, the one developed by Pfizer. This decision paves the way for the launch of a vaccination campaign, five months before the opening of the Summer Olympics. Japan is set to start administering the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine to 10-20,000 healthcare workers starting Wednesday, before expanding vaccination to other healthcare workers and the elderly from April, also using d ‘other coronavirus vaccines. The government has not yet presented its strategy to generalize vaccines to the rest of its population of 126 million. The organizers of the Olympics have repeatedly assured that the Games, which should have been held last summer, would take place in July regardless of the state of the pandemic elsewhere in the world.

A first Lebanese vaccinated against the Covid in Beirut. A doctor this Sunday became the first Lebanese to receive the anti-Covid vaccine in Beirut. Mahmoud Hassoun, the head of the intensive care unit at Rafic Hariri hospital, the main public establishment mobilized in the fight against the coronavirus, was administered the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. “We hope that this will be the beginning of the end of this epidemic in the country”, did he declare. Present at the hospital, the resigning Prime Minister, Hassan Diab, paid tribute to «sacrifices» medical staff. The first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine arrived Saturday in Lebanon, a country plagued by corruption where leaders are regularly criticized for disastrous management of public affairs and accused of indifference and inaction.

Video: AstraZeneca: young caregivers vaccinated – 02/07 (BFMTV)

AstraZeneca: young caregivers vaccinated – 02/07

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The EU will authorize variant vaccines more quickly. The European Union, accused of slowness in managing the Covid pandemic, will speed up the authorization procedure for improved vaccines to respond to variants of the virus, Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides announced on Sunday. “We have analyzed the procedure with the European Medicines Agency and we have now decided that a vaccine improved by a manufacturer to fight against new variants by on the basis of an already existing vaccine” and certified “Will no longer need to go through all the authorization stages”, she told the German daily Augsburg General published Sunday.

A three-day lockdown ordered in Auckland. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Sunday ordered a three-day lockdown in Auckland (north) after the discovery of a new source of coronavirus contamination. 1.7 million inhabitants will be required to stay at home from midnight Sunday evening. Schools and businesses will remain closed on Monday, with the exception of businesses deemed “essential”.

A new outbreak detected in New Zealand. An outbreak of coronavirus was detected over the weekend in New Zealand, where three members of the same family have tested positive, including a woman working for a catering company serving international flights. The source of the contamination has not yet been identified. New Zealand authorities have downplayed any link to onboard meals, stressing that eight days had passed between the contaminated woman’s last day of work and her positive test. New Zealand recorded several cases of Covid-19 three weeks ago, ending a period of over two months without any contamination.

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