World The Latest: Joint venture aims to make 1B doses for Chinese
Fact check: Biden's speech had an estimated 26.9 million viewers
The president’s first address to Congress had 26.9 million viewers, not 11.6 million as claimed in a social media post.An April 29 Facebook post from James T. Harris, a conservative radio host and social media personality, lists television ratings for five past presidential addresses — four from former President Donald Trump and one from Biden. The post says Biden’s address to Congress had only 11.6 million viewers, compared to 37.2 million viewers for Trump’s 2020 State of the Union speech.
BEIJING — A Chinese pharmaceutical company and BioNTech SE, the co-developer of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, are setting up a joint venture in China with the capacity to manufacture up to 1 billion doses of the shot to protect against COVID-19.
Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group Co. said in a stock filing on Sunday night that the companies will invest up to $100 million each to set up the venture.
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Rep. Ron Wright died just weeks into office after a COVID diagnosis. His widow, endorsed by Donald Trump, is now in a runoff for his seat.But who she will face remained too early to call. With nearly all votes counted, Republican Jake Ellzey led Democrat Jana Lynne Sanchez by 354 votes in the race for the second runoff spot in Texas' 6th Congressional District, which has long been GOP territory.
The vaccine has yet to be approved in mainland China, where regulations require an in-country clinical trial. BioNTech’s CEO has said the company expects the shot to be approved in July.
The joint venture aims to supply shots for the Chinese population, but no timing was given on when the shots would be distributed.
China has based its vaccination campaign on domestically produced vaccines with a goal of vaccinating 560 million of the country’s 1.4 billion people by mid-June. Most of its vaccines require two doses, but China hasn’t broken down its vaccination figures by how many have received one or both doses.
THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
— In coastal, beginning of the fishing season renews hope for industry ravaged by COVID-19
Russia 'Unlikely' to Meet Promised 630M Target for COVID Vaccine Doses, Now Partnering with China
Russia, scrambling to meet the ambitious inoculation goals it set when it first authorized its Sputnik V vaccine, will team with Chinese manufacturers to accelerate production of the vaccine in time for its target deadlines. © Pavel Golovkin, File/AP Photo In this Dec. 10, 2020, file photo, a Russian medical worker prepares a shot of Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine in Moscow. Russia is turning to multiple Chinese firms to manufacture the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine in an effort to speed up production as demand soars for its shot.
— While wealthier nations stockpile, poorest countries yet to receive any, even for medical staff on front lines
— Joyful reunions among vaccinated parents and children marked this year’s
—advocating vaccine equity pulls in $302 million, exceeding its goal
Follow more of AP’s pandemic coverage atand
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Sri Lanka authorities are converting garment factories and other buildings for facilities to treat COVID-19 patients amid fears existing hospitals may run out of capacity.
Military troops are completing the transformation of a garment factory in Seeduwa, on the outskirt of the capital Colombo, to create the island’s biggest COVID-19 hospital, with a capacity of 1,200 beds.
Another garment factory in Yakkala, about 40 kilometers from Colombo, is being converted to a treatment center with a 2,000-bed capacity.
States prepare for long grind as demand for COVID-19 vaccinations in US slows
The U.S. vaccination drive has shifted from mass immunization to an "intense ground game" as public health agencies work to get shots in arms.But the pace of the nation’s unprecedented immunization effort is slowing. Inoculations have retreated more than 40% from the peak on April 10 of 4.6 million daily shots. Lines of vehicles at stadium-style mass vaccination clinics are winding down. Coveted appointments that required luck, timing or both a month ago are increasingly unfilled as growing numbers of clinics and chain pharmacies take nonscheduled walk-ins.
Armed forces are acquiring buildings in all parts of the country and converting them to hospitals to increase capacity, said army commander Gen. Shavendra Silva, head of the country's COVID-19 operations center.
Sri Lanka is experiencing a sharp surge in infections, reporting 2,000 new cases for the first time on Monday.
Sri Lanka has counted 125,905 coronavirus infections with 801 fatalities. Besides, 20,642 patients are being treated at hospitals and treatment centers.
PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron welcomed the decision from the European Union not to renew its order for the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
Macron said the EU policy is aiming at “responding in particular to the variants... We see that some other vaccines are more efficient.”
The bloc’s Internal Market Commissioner, Thierry Breton, said Sunday the EU Commission has not ordered AstraZeneca shots for after June. Two weeks ago, the EU launched legal proceedings against the pharmaceutical group for allegedly failing to respect the terms of its contract.
South Africa halted earlier this year the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine after preliminary data indicated it may be only minimally effective against the variant which is dominant in the country.
In France, the variant first identified in Britain has become largely dominant and the South African variant represents only a small percentage of the virus detected in the country.
Across the Channel, Britain has made the AstraZeneca vaccine the centerpiece of its successful vaccination campaign.
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