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World The Latest: Germany OKs J&J, AstraZeneca jabs for all adults

13:30  10 may  2021
13:30  10 may  2021 Source:   msn.com

AstraZeneca Covid vaccine sales hit $275 mn in first quarter

  AstraZeneca Covid vaccine sales hit $275 mn in first quarter British pharmaceuticals giant AstraZeneca said Friday that its Covid vaccine generated $275 million (227 million euros) in sales in the first quarter, as its chief executive defended performance in the face of EU legal action. The EU is suing AstraZeneca on the basis of breaches of an advanced purchase agreement, but the firm has dismissed the legal action "without merit" and stated that it will strongly defend itself in court. AstraZeneca said it is due to have delivered about 50 million doses to Europe by the end of April, but that is far lower than the amount Brussels insists should have come.

BERLIN — Germany is making the one-shot Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine available to all adults as it did with the AstraZeneca vaccine, though the bulk of the expected deliveries is still some way off.

Several hundreds of people line up to receive an AstraZeneca vaccination against the coronavirus at the forum of the DITIB central mosque in Cologne, Germany, Saturday, May 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner) © Provided by Associated Press Several hundreds of people line up to receive an AstraZeneca vaccination against the coronavirus at the forum of the DITIB central mosque in Cologne, Germany, Saturday, May 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Germany has recommended the AstraZeneca shot mainly for over-60s because of a rare type of blood clot seen in an extremely small number of recipients. But amid a push to get as many people inoculated as possible, the government decided to allow doctors’ offices to vaccinate any adults with it -- putting aside a priority system under which the oldest and most vulnerable have been vaccinated first.

The Latest: Fire at India hospital kills 18 virus patients

  The Latest: Fire at India hospital kills 18 virus patients NEW DELHI — A fire in a COVID-19 hospital ward in western India killed 18 patients early Saturday, as the country grappling with the worst outbreak yet steps up a vaccination drive for all its adults even though some states say don’t have enough jabs. India on Saturday set yet another daily global record with 401,993 new cases, taking its tally to more than 19.1 million. Another 3,523 people died in the past 24 hours, raising the overall fatalities to 211,853, according to the Health Ministry. Experts believe both figures are an undercount. The fire broke out in a COVID-19 ward on the ground floor and was extinguished within an hour, police said.

Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) cryogenic containers are unloaded from Indian naval vessel INS Trikand that arrived from Hamad Port, Qatar at Naval Dockyard In Mumbai, India, Monday, May 10, 2021. The consignment is part of the French mission © Provided by Associated Press Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) cryogenic containers are unloaded from Indian naval vessel INS Trikand that arrived from Hamad Port, Qatar at Naval Dockyard In Mumbai, India, Monday, May 10, 2021. The consignment is part of the French mission "Oxygen Solidarity Bridge" to support India's fight against COVID-19 pandemic. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)

Health Minister Jens Spahn said authorities decided Monday to take the same approach with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, about which there are similar concerns. He estimated that 5 to 6 million over-60s in Germany still need to be vaccinated and that should be concluded by early June.

Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) cryogenic containers are unloaded from Indian naval vessel INS Trikand that arrived from Hamad Port, Qatar at Naval Dockyard In Mumbai, India, Monday, May 10, 2021. The consignment is part of the French mission © Provided by Associated Press Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) cryogenic containers are unloaded from Indian naval vessel INS Trikand that arrived from Hamad Port, Qatar at Naval Dockyard In Mumbai, India, Monday, May 10, 2021. The consignment is part of the French mission "Oxygen Solidarity Bridge" to support India's fight against COVID-19 pandemic. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)

Spahn said the largest deliveries from Johnson & Johnson, more than 10 million doses, are expected in June or July.

The world is in the midst of its worst Covid crisis so far. It didn't have to be this way

  The world is in the midst of its worst Covid crisis so far. It didn't have to be this way A year ago, when the Covid-19 pandemic was still in its relative infancy, the head of the World Health Organization stressed that a global approach would be the only way out of the crisis. © Fariha Farooqui/Getty Images MUMBAI, INDIA - APRIL 29: People line up to receive their Covid-19 vaccines at a mass vaccination center on April 29, 2021 in Mumbai, India. With recorded cases crossing 380,000 a day and 3000 deaths in the last 24 hours, India has more than 2 million active cases of Covid-19, the second-highest number in the world after the U.S.

Germany has now given nearly one-third of the population at least one vaccine shot.

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THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— In coastal Senegal, beginning of the fishing season renews hope for industry ravaged by COVID-19

— While wealthier nations stockpile vaccines, some of the poorest countries have yet to receive any, even for medical staff

— Joyful reunions among vaccinated parents and children marked this year’s Mother’s Day

Concert advocating vaccine equity pulls in $302 million, exceeding its goal

Follow more of AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine

Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) cryogenic containers are unloaded from Indian naval vessel INS Trikand that arrived from Hamad Port, Qatar at Naval Dockyard In Mumbai, India, Monday, May 10, 2021. The consignment is part of the French mission © Provided by Associated Press Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) cryogenic containers are unloaded from Indian naval vessel INS Trikand that arrived from Hamad Port, Qatar at Naval Dockyard In Mumbai, India, Monday, May 10, 2021. The consignment is part of the French mission "Oxygen Solidarity Bridge" to support India's fight against COVID-19 pandemic. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)

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German far-right crime rises; police arrest alleged neo-Nazi

  German far-right crime rises; police arrest alleged neo-Nazi BERLIN (AP) — Berlin police arrested a 53-year-old German man on suspicion of sending dozens of threatening letters to politicians, lawyers and journalists that were signed with the acronym of a neo-Nazi group, as officials warned Tuesday of a disturbing rise in far-right extremism across Germany. © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Feb. 19, 2020 file photo, a projectile lies on the sidewalk near a restaurant at the scene of a shooting in central Hanau, Germany. About one year ago a far right man shot nine people before he shot himself. Hanau will commemorate the victims this Friday.

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

German Health Minister Jens Spahn briefs the media during a news conference on the progress of Germany's vaccinations campaign against the coronavirus in Berlin, Monday, May 10, 2021. Germany is making the one-time vaccine Johnson and Johnson against the corona virus available to all adults and is eliminating a priority system for this vaccine. (Kay Nietfeld/dpa via AP) © Provided by Associated Press German Health Minister Jens Spahn briefs the media during a news conference on the progress of Germany's vaccinations campaign against the coronavirus in Berlin, Monday, May 10, 2021. Germany is making the one-time vaccine Johnson and Johnson against the corona virus available to all adults and is eliminating a priority system for this vaccine. (Kay Nietfeld/dpa via AP)

TOKYO — Japan's leader insisted Monday that the country can host the Summer Olympics safely despite repeated questions from opposition lawmakers asking him to explain how that’s possible and consider canceling the event.

Concerns are rising about the ability of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's government to infections under control ahead of the Olympics, which start in just over two months. Suga decided Friday to extend a state of emergency in Tokyo until May 31 and expand the measure to six prefectures from the current four.

Japan logged about 7,000 new cases Saturday, a highest since mid-January.

UK to offer under-40s alternative to AstraZeneca shot

  UK to offer under-40s alternative to AstraZeneca shot LONDON (AP) — People under 40 in Britain will not be given the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine if another shot is available because of a link to extremely rare blood clots, the government said Friday. It said the change would not affect the goal of giving all U.K. adults at least one vaccine dose by July. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization said people aged 30 to 39 without underlying health conditions should receive an alternative vaccine, “where available and only if this does not cause substantial delays in being vaccinated.” Last month it gave the same advice for people under 30.

A student wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of the coronavirus, sits on a bench at a junior high school in Athens, Monday, May 10, 2021. More than 1.1 million pupils and 127,300 teachers returned to school on Monday as primary and junior high school reopened its doors with mandatory home self-tests. (AP Photo/Michael Varaklas) © Provided by Associated Press A student wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of the coronavirus, sits on a bench at a junior high school in Athens, Monday, May 10, 2021. More than 1.1 million pupils and 127,300 teachers returned to school on Monday as primary and junior high school reopened its doors with mandatory home self-tests. (AP Photo/Michael Varaklas)

Opposition lawmakers on Monday asked if Suga is determined to hold the Olympics even if coronavirus infections soar. The prime minister repeated that his role is to do his utmost to ensure the health and safety of all during the July 23-Aug. 8 games.

A teacher wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of the coronavirus, welcomes her students at a junior high school class in Athens, Monday, May 10, 2021. More than 1.1 million pupils and 127,300 teachers returned to school on Monday as primary and junior high school reopened its doors with mandatory home self-tests. (AP Photo/Michael Varaklas) © Provided by Associated Press A teacher wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of the coronavirus, welcomes her students at a junior high school class in Athens, Monday, May 10, 2021. More than 1.1 million pupils and 127,300 teachers returned to school on Monday as primary and junior high school reopened its doors with mandatory home self-tests. (AP Photo/Michael Varaklas)

“I have never put the Olympics first,” Suga said. “We will do everything we can to provide safety for athletes and other participants, while protecting the lives and health of the Japanese people."

A technician prepares a Pfizer vaccine in the pharmacy area of the newly opened COVID-19 Vaccination Centre in Sydney, Australia, Monday, May 10, 2021. (James Gourley/Pool Photo via AP) © Provided by Associated Press A technician prepares a Pfizer vaccine in the pharmacy area of the newly opened COVID-19 Vaccination Centre in Sydney, Australia, Monday, May 10, 2021. (James Gourley/Pool Photo via AP)

Suga added he arranged for Pfizer to donate its vaccine for athletes via the IOC, which would contribute to holding the games safely.

COVID-19. Jean Castex "Exhorts" the over 55 years to be vaccinated "with Astrazeneca"

 COVID-19. Jean Castex © Patrick Hertzog / AFP Jean Castex during a visit in the east of France, Monday, May 3, 2021. after the visit of a vaccination in the Paris region this Saturday, May 8, Prime Minister Jean Castex called for some 13 million French people over 55 who are not vaccinated against CVIV-19 to do so "with all vaccines, in particular with astrazeneca ".

A technician prepares a Pfizer vaccine in the pharmacy area of the newly opened COVID-19 Vaccination Centre in Sydney, Australia, Monday, May 10, 2021. (James Gourley/Pool Photo via AP) © Provided by Associated Press A technician prepares a Pfizer vaccine in the pharmacy area of the newly opened COVID-19 Vaccination Centre in Sydney, Australia, Monday, May 10, 2021. (James Gourley/Pool Photo via AP)

Public calls for a cancellation have been on the rise. An online petition calling for the Olympics to be canceled has gained more than 300,000 signatures in a week. A weekend survey by Japan’s largest newspaper showed about 60% of the respondents calling for a cancellation.

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The United Arab Emirates has announced it will bar airline passengers arriving from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka starting May 12 until further notice, as concern mounts over a virus variant spreading in India.

The statement on the UAE’s state-run WAM news agency said anyone who has been in those Southeast Asian nations over the past two weeks are also forbidden from entering the country. They must first spend 14 days in another country before being allowed to enter the UAE.

A technician prepares a Pfizer vaccine at the newly opened COVID-19 Vaccination Centre in Sydney, Australia, Monday, May 10, 2021. (James Gourley/Pool Photo via AP) © Provided by Associated Press A technician prepares a Pfizer vaccine at the newly opened COVID-19 Vaccination Centre in Sydney, Australia, Monday, May 10, 2021. (James Gourley/Pool Photo via AP)

Emirati citizens, diplomats and a few others are exempt from the restrictions as long as they get tested on arrival and quarantine for 10 days in the UAE.

A Fire and Rescue worker receives a Pfizer vaccine at the newly opened COVID-19 Vaccination Centre in Sydney Monday, May 10, 2021. (Nick Moir/Pool Photo via AP) © Provided by Associated Press A Fire and Rescue worker receives a Pfizer vaccine at the newly opened COVID-19 Vaccination Centre in Sydney Monday, May 10, 2021. (Nick Moir/Pool Photo via AP)

Already, the UAE has halted all flights to and from India over the dramatic virus outbreak there. The decisions have a major impact on residents of seven sheikhdoms, home to millions of foreign workers from India, Pakistan and the other nations.

AstraZeneca finally reaches vaccine shipping milestone to EU that was due in January

  AstraZeneca finally reaches vaccine shipping milestone to EU that was due in January AstraZeneca finally reaches vaccine shipping milestone to EU that was due in JanuaryBRUSSELS (Reuters) - AstraZeneca Plc has delivered 50 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to European Union countries, according to EU's latest supply data, a milestone it was originally due to hit in January.

Ben Shepherd from the Rural Fire Service receives a Pfizer vaccine at the newly opened COVID-19 Vaccination Centre in Sydney Monday, May 10, 2021. (Nick Moir/Pool Photo via AP) © Provided by Associated Press Ben Shepherd from the Rural Fire Service receives a Pfizer vaccine at the newly opened COVID-19 Vaccination Centre in Sydney Monday, May 10, 2021. (Nick Moir/Pool Photo via AP)

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BERLIN — German pharmaceutical company BioNTech says it plans to create a state-of-the-art manufacturing site for its mRNA-based vaccines and other drugs in Singapore.

The company, which developed the first widely used coronavirus vaccine together with U.S. partner Pfizer, said Monday that it is also establishing a regional headquarters for Southeast Asia in the city-state.

BioNTech said the new manufacturing facility will boost the regional and global supply capacity of its products and ensure a rapid response to potential pandemic threats in the region.

FILE - In this Nov. 12, 2015, file photo, Mt. Everest is seen from the way to Kalapatthar in Nepal. China will draw a “separation line” atop Mount Everest to prevent the coronavirus from being spread by climbers ascending Nepal's side of the mountain, Chinese state media reported Monday. (AP Photo/Tashi Sherpa, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Nov. 12, 2015, file photo, Mt. Everest is seen from the way to Kalapatthar in Nepal. China will draw a “separation line” atop Mount Everest to prevent the coronavirus from being spread by climbers ascending Nepal's side of the mountain, Chinese state media reported Monday. (AP Photo/Tashi Sherpa, File)

The site, which could be operational by 2023, will have the capacity to produce “several hundred of million doses of mRNA-based vaccines depending on the specific vaccine,” the company said.

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BRUSSELS — There were 16,000 excess deaths recorded in Belgium last year amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to the country’s Federal Planning Bureau.

In a statement Monday, the office said the 2020 excess mortality —a term which refers to the number of deaths from all causes during a crisis — was largely a result of the COVID-19 health crisis.

“These 16,000 people lost a combined 124,000 years of life, given their life expectancy, or an average of 7.7 years per person,” the bureau said.

More than 24,500 people have died from coronavirus-related causes in Belgium, a country with 11.5-million inhabitants that has been among the most battered by the deadly virus in Europe.

Focus on local: London pub emerges from lockdown with gusto

  Focus on local: London pub emerges from lockdown with gusto LONDON (AP) — “You come here often?” There may be more creative chat-up lines, but surely few as universal. There is little doubt that after months of lockdown across the U.K., those looking to make an early impression may have become a little rusty. So, the Prince of Peckham pub in a hugely diverse district in southeast London decided, as part of its four-year birthday week, to take the pressure off its patrons. A speed-dating night would kick off its festivities.Pubs were allowed to welcome guests inside this week, part of the British government's plan to gradually reopen society following a sharp fall in new coronavirus infections.

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark — The Norwegian Institute of Public Health — whose advice is normally followed by the government in Oslo — recommended Monday that the single-dose Johnson & Johnson jab be taken out of the country’s vaccine program to investigate reports of extremely rare but potentially dangerous blood clots.

Norway, which like neighboring Denmark has been very cautious with all vaccines, suspended the rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine on March 11. Both the J&J and AstraZeneca shots are made with similar technology.

“We believe that this is the right decision,” infection control director at the agency Geir Bukholm said, adding that the virus is under control in Norway.

The agency noted that the Johnson & Johnson jab has “several benefits,” namely offering “good protection against COVID-19 disease, is a single-dose vaccine and can be stored at refrigerator temperature.”

Several hundreds of people line up to receive an AstraZeneca vaccination against the coronavirus at the forum of the DITIB central mosque in Cologne, Germany, Saturday, May 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner) © Provided by Associated Press Several hundreds of people line up to receive an AstraZeneca vaccination against the coronavirus at the forum of the DITIB central mosque in Cologne, Germany, Saturday, May 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Bukholm said should the government decide to pull the J&J vaccine out of the vaccination program, it will cause a delay of up to two weeks in the vaccination program.

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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.

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.

A man fills out a form to receive an AstraZeneca vaccination against the coronavirus at the forum of the DITIB central mosque in Cologne, Germany, Saturday, May 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner) © Provided by Associated Press A man fills out a form to receive an AstraZeneca vaccination against the coronavirus at the forum of the DITIB central mosque in Cologne, Germany, Saturday, May 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

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.

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ISTANBUL— Turkey’s daily COVID-19 infections have dropped to levels last seen in mid-March as the country nears two weeks in its strictest restrictions.

Heath Ministry statistics showed 15,191 new infections Sunday and 283 deaths. Confirmed cases averaged around 60,000 per day during the peak week mid-April. More than 43,000 people have died in the pandemic.

The Turkish government introduced a full lockdown from April 29 until May 17, ordering people to stay home and closing down businesses and schools. Millions of people who work in jobs deemed essential — like factories, hospitals and the tourism sector — are exempt. Foreign tourists are also exempt.

Turkey’s president said the lockdown aims to bring daily infections below 5,000 and for tourists to come.

France and the United Kingdom recently introduced mandatory quarantines for travelers returning from Turkey. The British government told fans not to travel to Istanbul for the Chelsea- Manchester United Champions League final on May 29 and has offered to have Wembley Stadium in London host the game.

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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.

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. It has seen over 800 deaths in the pandemic.

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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.”

EU 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.

In France, the variant first identified in Britain has become largely dominant and the South African variant represents only a small percentage of cases.

Across the Channel, the British government has made the AstraZeneca vaccine the centerpiece of its successful vaccination campaign.

Focus on local: London pub emerges from lockdown with gusto .
LONDON (AP) — “You come here often?” There may be more creative chat-up lines, but surely few as universal. There is little doubt that after months of lockdown across the U.K., those looking to make an early impression may have become a little rusty. So, the Prince of Peckham pub in a hugely diverse district in southeast London decided, as part of its four-year birthday week, to take the pressure off its patrons. A speed-dating night would kick off its festivities.Pubs were allowed to welcome guests inside this week, part of the British government's plan to gradually reopen society following a sharp fall in new coronavirus infections.

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