Virus: a new vaccine authorized in the United States, Biden calls not to “lower our guard”

Published on : 28/02/2021 – 01:58Modified : 28/02/2021 – 01:55

Washington (AFP)

The United States on Saturday granted an emergency authorization for Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine against Covid-19, a news hailed by President Joe Biden who, however, called not to “lower our guard” in the face of the epidemic.

This single-dose vaccine, which can be stored at refrigerator temperatures, joins those of Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna in the huge vaccination campaign in the United States, where the pandemic has killed more than 500,000.

After studying in detail the data of clinical trials, conducted on more than 43,000 people, a committee of experts had recommended Friday the marketing of the vaccine of the American company.

At least three million doses of the product are ready for distribution as early as next week, according to the US government. Johnson & Johnson has committed to ship 100 million doses to the United States by the end of June.

“This is great news for all Americans, and an encouraging step in our efforts to end the crisis,” Biden said in a statement. “But we cannot let our guard down or take it for granted that victory is inevitable,” he added.

With 600 million doses ordered in total from Pfizer and Moderna, the United States will have, by the end of July, enough vaccines to immunize almost the entire population. The addition of those from Johnson & Johnson could further accelerate the vaccination campaign.

– “Give me back my vaccine” –

South Africa, the country most affected by the virus in Africa, received a second delivery of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on Saturday, as it works to speed up its immunization campaign.

Some 80,000 vaccines have arrived from Brussels by plane, according to local media.

According to the ministry, more than 63,600 public and private sector health workers have been vaccinated since the launch of the national vaccination campaign 11 days ago.

In Argentina, several thousand people demonstrated on Saturday in different cities to protest against “VIP vaccinations” against covid-19, a scandal that cost the Minister of Health his post.

“Stop wasting our money,” “Give me back my vaccine,” read the protesters’ signs.

The scandal erupted last week when a journalist said on the radio that he had been vaccinated thanks to his friendship with the Minister of Health, Ginés Gonzalez Garcia.

The Health Ministry on Monday released a list of 70 people, including 38-year-old Economy Minister or former President Eduardo Duhalde, his wife and their children, who received the vaccine outside of the official campaign launched late December.

– Reconfinements –

In the United Kingdom, where nearly 35% of the adult population has already received at least one dose of the vaccine, Prince William and his wife Catherine published a video on Saturday calling on the British not to believe the false rumors circulating on the networks social topics about vaccines. Thursday, Queen Elizabeth II, 94, had encouraged her compatriots to be vaccinated, explaining that the bite did not “hurt her at all” and that it was necessary “to think of others”.

The pandemic has killed more than 2.5 million people worldwide since December 2019, according to a report established by AFP on Saturday. More than 113,374,410 cases of infection have been diagnosed.

The United States is the most bereaved country with 510,467 dead, ahead of Brazil (252,835), Mexico (184,474), India (156,938) and the United Kingdom (122,415).

France, which is closely monitoring the situation in about twenty of the 101 French departments, is reconfiguring this weekend and the following part of the Côte d’Azur (South-East) and the agglomeration of Dunkirk.

Elsewhere in Europe, the Czech Republic is partially confined from Monday, the country’s per capita contamination rate being the highest in the world. It will be forbidden to move outside the department of his place of residence and the mask will be compulsory outside in inhabited areas and in workplaces.

In Oceania, New Zealand is reconfiguring for at least seven days from Sunday its main city, Auckland (1.7 million inhabitants), after new cases of Covid-19. The prestigious America’s Sailing Cup is due to start there on March 6 and its organizers said on Saturday that they were “studying the situation”.

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