The Johnson & Johnson corona virus vaccine is cleaned for use in the US, providing a third injection that could close a gap in the country’s immunization campaign as concerns grow over the virus variant. The development was warmly welcomed by many state governors.
Vaccination drive is gain traction across the Asia-Pacific. Thailand starts its inoculation program on Sunday; Australia received 300,000 injection doses from the University of Oxford / AstraZeneca Covid-19; and a giant ride-hailing Grab Holdings Inc. is setting up a drive-thru injection service in Indonesia.
British Variant Trackers Lead the Way (14:20 HK)
A UK project for tracking the evolution of the corona virus as signs of gaining the power to spread or kill have emerged as a global model as countries step up efforts to quell the pandemic. The Covid-19 Genomics UK Consortium, led by Cambridge University microbiologist Sharon Peacock, plans to expand training for everyone from lab technicians to policymakers to improve monitoring around the world. Other countries are also racing to catch up. “We haven’t seen this virus in many parts of the world,” said Peacock.
UAE Campaign Spotlighted by Sinopharm (12:43 HK)
The mass vaccination program using Sinopharm’s injections has significantly slashed hospitalization rates in the United Arab Emirates, according to China National Biotec Group Co., a unit of Sinopharm. China National Biotech quoted Dr. Nawal Al Kaabi, chairman of the National Covid-19 Clinical Management Committee, who also said in the online forum that there had been no intensive care or death among those vaccinated.
UK Like a ‘Coiled Spring,’ Said Top Chef (12:02 p.m. HK)
The UK economy will make a strong rebound as anti-virus restrictions are lifted, according to Clare Smyth, the first British woman to be awarded three Michelin stars in her own right. “People have saved a a lot of money this year and they want to finish it, ”Smyth said. The government plans to ease restrictions starting May 17, paving the way for restaurants to welcome returning visitors. “I’m very optimistic,” said Smyth. Economy is like a coiled spring.
Jabs for Indonesia Drive-Thru Grab Campaign (11:36 HK)
Southeast Asian ride-hailing giant Grab Holdings Inc. is setting up a drive-thru vaccination service throughout Indonesia to help the country inoculate more than 180 million people against Covid-19. The program, which is carried out in coordination with the government, starts on Sunday the resort island of Bali, with about 3,000 people working in the tourism industry to receive their first injection. Indonesia has required eligible citizens to take pictures.
Australia Receives AstraZeneca Shot (10:48 HK)
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said 300,000 doses of the University of Oxford / AstraZeneca Plc vaccine arrived in Sydney on Sunday.
The AstraZeneca injection is the second vaccine approved for use in Australia, after rigorous testing to ensure it is safe, effective and manufactured to very high standards, Morrison said. The vaccine will now undergo further batch testing, with a nationwide rollout set to start on March 8.
“We will now be able to scale up vaccination rollouts to our priority groups, including our most vulnerable Australians and to our frontiers and health workers,” said the prime minister.
Another 50 million vaccines will be produced on the ground and 1 million of these doses will be delivered weekly from the end of March.
Australia Considering Aid for Hard-Hit Airlines (10:19 HK)
Australian treasurer Josh Frydenberg said he was considering moving to aid companies such as Qantas Airways Ltd. and others who are still struggling with the effects of the pandemic after the local wage subsidy program ends next month.
While the domestic market will improve as vaccines are launched and national borders are not closed frequently, international borders “Remain closed, effective, for some time because clearly the world is still grappling with the virus,” Frydenberg told Sky News on Sunday.
Thailand Starts Driving Vaccination (9:45 am HK)
Thailand started inoculation program with a bunch health workers received the Sinovac Biotech vaccine on Sunday. Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy aims to inoculate 50% of its population by the end of this year to help reopen borders and revive a hard-hit tourism industry.
“Today’s event is to convince the public about the safety of vaccines,” said Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha, who was not inoculated as previously planned because Sinovac injections were not recommended locally for people his age.
Governor Praises J&J Decision, Awaits Photo Shoot (8:55 HK)
The US governor, who has been at the forefront of the fight against Covid-19, began to praise Johnson & Johnson’s single-use vaccine approval on Saturday. Many states complain that they don’t have enough vaccines and will be able to give more shots into guns. And they’ve been touting residents excited about the arrival of the J&J vaccine.
On Twitter, California Governor Gavin Newsom called it “good news” and said the state was expected to receive 380,000 doses “as early as this week.” Governor Brian Kemp said Georgia would receive 83,000 in the first week.
Giant Meat to Offer Jab to Workers (8:54 HK)
The world’s largest meat packer, JBS SA, will be offering vaccines around 8,500 workers in its American subsidiary. Employees of JBS USA and Pilgrim’s Pride Corp., the second largest producer of chicken in the US, will be offered injections in eight states. The industry has been hit by the virus, with thousands of employees infected. The disruption was so significant that many US factories were forced to close last year, fueling concerns about a meat shortage.
J&J Vaccine Cleansed for Use in the US (7:19 HK)
The Johnson & Johnson corona virus vaccine is cleaned up for use in the US, providing a third injection that could close a gap in the country’s immunization campaign due to growing concerns over the entry of a viral variant.
The Food and Drug Administration said on Saturday it had authorized emergency use for a single-dose vaccine for people 18 years and over.
The decision came after the US reached a sad milestone with 500,000 Americans dying from the virus, and at a time when health officials raised awareness that the recent drop in new cases may stall.
The UK Aims $ 7 Billion in Struggling Firms (17:42 NY)
The UK will create a 5 billion pound ($ 7 billion) grant program to help businesses affected by the pandemic.
The “Restart” program will mostly apply to retail, hospitality and leisure – industries most affected by the series of lockdowns that were imposed last year. The plans will be announced Wednesday as part of the national budget outlay, according to a statement from the Ministry of Finance.
Brasilia Towards Lockdown (17:03 NY)
Brasilia will insert the file broad lockdown on Sunday after Covid-19 patients put the Brazilian capital’s hospital at a breaking point. With 98% of the beds in the intensive care unit occupied, Federal District Governor Ibaneis Rocha imposed a 15-day restriction nearly a year after Brasilia first went into lockdown. That’s a sign that the pandemic is getting worse in Brazil, which has never imposed a national lockdown and has the second most Covid-19 deaths.
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