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The Newest: WHO: Report on virus origins delayed every week

GENEVA — A World Well being Group spokesman says a broadly anticipated report by a staff of consultants who travelled to China to look into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic is “doubtless” to be pushed again till subsequent week.

Spokesman Christian Lindmeier says the report was “merely not prepared” and the staff members who’ve been working with Chinese language officers to draft it “need to get it proper.”

“What we hear from the technical consultants — from the mission members — is that the report largely doubtless now will come out subsequent week,” Lindmeier informed a U.N. briefing on Tuesday.

The U.N. well being company beforehand revised its plans to first publish a abstract report, then an extended model, opting as an alternative to difficulty a single full report. The staff chief, WHO’s Peter Ben Embarek, mentioned this month the plans have been to launch the report within the week of March 15.

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THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— Warning forward of Tokyo Olympic torch relay next week

— Moderna begins examine of COVID-19 vaccine in kids youthful than 12

— EU regulator ‘satisfied’ AstraZeneca benefit outweighs danger

— Thailand’s PM receives AstraZeneca vaccine as a lot of Asia shrugs off reported blood clots in Europe

— Comply with AP’s pandemic protection at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

PARIS — France’s well being minister is praising the AstraZeneca vaccine as a “valuable software” towards the coronavirus and hopes the federal government will shortly rescind its resolution to droop its use.

France is amongst European international locations ready for the European regulator to clear up any doubts about reported unintended effects. France suspended photographs of the vaccine on Monday, whereas the European Medicines Company investigates stories of blood clots.

The company mentioned Tuesday it stays satisfied that the advantages of the AstraZeneca shot outweigh the dangers, and it expects to difficulty a advice about its use on Thursday.

Veran additionally reiterated complaints voiced by France about delays in deliveries of the AstraZeneca vaccine. He says deliveries anticipated within the coming three weeks are “infinitesimal — I weigh the phrase — in comparison with the guarantees that have been made.”

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NEW DELHI, India — India pharmaceutical firm Gland Pharma has agreed to make 252 million doses of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine in India.

Gland Pharma is a subsidiary of Chinese language pharmaceutical firm Fosun Pharma. That is the second deal for manufacturing between Russia’s sovereign fund and an Indian firm. Earlier, it had mentioned that Indian firm Hetero Biopharma would make 100 million doses of the vaccine yearly. India has been pledged 125 million doses.

In line with this settlement, Gland Pharma will make the vaccines in its services after which fill it into vials. The corporate is prone to begin manufacturing between July and September, whereas deliveries are estimated to happen between October and December.

In November, Russia’s sovereign fund had introduced a pact with one other Indian drugmaker, Dr. Reddy’s, to conduct trials and distribute the doses.

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BOSTON — U.S. pointers for college students stored 6 ft aside in colleges are receiving new scrutiny from federal well being consultants.

State governments and training officers working to return as many kids as attainable to the classroom. The distancing pointers have remained a significant hurdle for colleges as they intention to open with restricted house.

As extra lecturers obtain vaccinations, the distancing pointers have remained a significant hurdle for colleges as they intention to open with restricted house.

Amid new proof that it might be secure to seat college students nearer collectively, states together with Illinois and Massachusetts are permitting 3 ft of distance, and others together with Oregon are contemplating it. Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention, mentioned Monday the company is exploring whether or not kids will be seated nearer collectively than beforehand advisable. The CDC mentioned in February that colleges may safely function in the course of the pandemic with masks and instructed 6 ft and bodily distancing “needs to be maximized to the best extent attainable.”

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — The coronavirus vaccine can be out there to anybody in Ohio 16 years and older by the tip of the month, Gov. Mike DeWine introduced Tuesday.

A major improve in vaccine provides anticipated within the state warrants the eligibility enlargement, the governor mentioned. At the moment, Ohioans 50 and older are eligible, together with quite a lot of others corresponding to nursing dwelling residents, entrance line medical staff, and other people with sure congenital well being points.

Starting Friday, individuals 40 and older and people affected by coronary heart illness, most cancers, power kidney illness, power obstructive pulmonary illness and weight problems can be eligible. All these over the age of 16 can be eligible starting March 29.

Greater than 2.3 million individuals have acquired at the very least one dose of the vaccine in Ohio as of Monday, or about 20% of the inhabitants, in keeping with the state Well being Division. About 1.4 million individuals have accomplished the vaccination course of, or about 12%.

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TOKYO — Organizers plan to train excessive warning when the Olympic torch relay begins subsequent week. They know any stumble may imperil the opening of the Tokyo Video games in simply 4 months.

The relay is scheduled to start on March 25 from northeastern Fukushima prefecture. It’s going to crisscross Japan for months, with 10,000 runners carrying the torch. It’s additionally a symbolic curtain raiser for the postponed Olympics. Organizers say they’ll cease or reroute the torch if wanted.

Japan has registered about 8,600 deaths from the coronavirus, far fewer than most international locations its dimension of 126 million individuals. However there’s robust opposition to the Olympics, and far of it’s because of the concern of enormous crowds spreading the virus. Followers alongside the roadsides watching the torch relay can be requested to social distance, put on masks and quietly cheer.

Organizers are anticipated to announce quickly if followers from overseas can attend the Olympics. Athletes will function in a bubble, be examined commonly and a few already can be vaccinated.

The Olympics are scheduled to open on July 23 and have 11,000 athletes. The Paralympics observe on Aug. 24 with 4,400 athletes.

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TORONTO — Canada’s Nationwide Advisory Committee on Immunization is altering the advice on the AstraZeneca vaccine so seniors can get it.

Canadian well being authorities proceed to say AstraZeneca stays secure a day after a number of European international locations — together with Germany, France, Italy and Spain — suspended use its over stories of harmful blood clots in some recipients. The corporate and worldwide regulators say there isn’t any proof the shot is accountable.

The Nationwide Advisory Committee on Immunization initially advisable individuals 65 and over be prioritized for the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna as a result of extra proof from trials was out there concerning their efficacy on seniors, in contrast with AstraZeneca’s vaccine.

However Nationwide Advisory Committee on Immunization chair Dr. Caroline Quach-Thanh now says two research from Britain are why they modified the advice to permit Canadians 65-plus to get the AstraZeneca vaccine.

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BELGRADE, Serbia — Authorities in Serbia have introduced a nationwide lockdown for the remainder of the week, closing bars, eating places and non-essential retailers and companies.

Serbia’s Prime Minister Ana Brnabic says the measures can be reviewed on Monday. Serbia is experiencing a surge in coronavirus infections regardless of a mass vaccination effort with photographs from Sinopharm, Pfizer, Sputnik V and AstraZeneca.

The nation has vaccinated greater than 1.2 million individuals with at the very least one dose. Authorities have launched a marketing campaign to spice up the method, together with opening extra vaccination websites all through the nation.

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SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina — Bosnia has reported vital will increase in every day new instances and deaths from the coronavirus.

Authorities say 1,606 instances have been confirmed in comparison with a number of hundred reported previously days. The information previously 24 hours confirmed 53 deaths.

A key hospital within the capital of Sarajevo has declared an emergency scenario and requested workers return from holidays. Docs have warned that the Sarajevo College Hospital has been quickly filling up. A parliament session devoted to the well being disaster can be held on Thursday.

Bosnian Serbs have acquired Russia’s Sputnik V vaccines and crossed over to neighboring Serbia for photographs. The entity run by the Bosniaks and Croats have used a number of thousand AstraZeneca vaccines donated by Serbia whereas ready for shipments from the worldwide COVAX program.

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BRUSSELS — Virologist Yves Van Laethem says Belgium’s resolution to maintain utilizing AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine relies on scientific recommendation.

Talking Tuesday, Van Laethem says, “we needed to stay as scientific as attainable,” referring to the choice by a rising variety of European international locations to droop using AstraZeneca’s vaccine after some recipients had blood clots.

Van Laethem says AstraZeneca photographs have been massively used within the EU, with about 5.5 million doses injected.

“There are not any sign that we’re exceeding the anticipated regular charge of thromboembolic pathologies within the basic inhabitants,” he says.

Van Laethem provides AstraZeneca’s vaccine has proved its “excessive effectivity,” prompting the Belgian authorities’ resolution to proceed utilizing it in individuals over 65.

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BRUSSELS — The European Fee says it has sealed a cope with Pfizer to hurry up the dispatching of 10 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine over the subsequent three months.

European Fee president Ursula von der Leyen says rushing up the tempo of deliveries throughout the 27-nation bloc would deliver the overall variety of Pfizer doses within the second quarter to over 200 million.

“This is superb information,” Von der Leyen says. “It offers member states room to maneuver and presumably fill gaps in deliveries.”

The announcement comes amid a scarcity of vaccine provides in Europe and as a rising variety of European international locations — together with now Sweden, Germany, France, Italy and Spain — have suspended using AstraZeneca’s vaccine after some recipients had blood clots. The corporate and worldwide regulators say there isn’t any proof the shot is accountable for the blood clots.

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TAIPEI, Taiwan — China has accepted one other COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, including a fifth shot to its arsenal.

The announcement got here from the Chinese language Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Microbiology. The vaccine was accepted to be used in Uzbekistan on March 1. The final section of scientific trials is ongoing. No peer-reviewed knowledge is publicly out there in regards to the vaccine’s security or efficacy.

It’s a three-dose shot, with one month every between photographs, an organization spokesperson says. Like different vaccines China has developed, it may be saved at regular refrigeration temperatures.

China has been gradual in vaccinating its inhabitants of 1.4 billion individuals, regardless of having 4 vaccines accepted for basic use. The most recent numbers, in keeping with authorities officers at a press briefing Monday in Beijing, is 64.9 million doses of vaccines have been administered. They’ve largely been given to well being care staff, these working on the border or customs, and particular industries.

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Moderna introduced Tuesday it’s starting a examine of its COVID-19 vaccine in kids youthful than 12 — one that may embody infants as younger as 6 months.

The announcement comes precisely a yr after the primary grownup acquired a take a look at dose of the shot, created on the Nationwide Institutes of Well being. It’s now getting used throughout the U.S. and in a number of different international locations.

Moderna additionally has examined the vaccine in 12- to 17-year-olds however hasn’t but launched the findings. The examine in youthful kids can be extra complicated, as a result of researcher want to find out whether or not to us smaller doses than in adults and adolescents.

The examine goals to finally enroll about 6,750 kids within the U.S. and Canada. That’s after a phase-in portion to find out the most effective dose to check in kids age 2 and older and the suitable dose in these youthful than 2.

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STOCKHOLM — Sweden is pausing using the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine as a precautionary measure amid considerations about stories of blood clots in some recipients in Europe.

“The choice is a precautionary measure,” Sweden’s chief epidemiologist, Anders Tegnell, mentioned in a press release.

The transfer by the Swedish Public Well being Company was to stay in impact till an investigation by the European Medicines Company into suspected unintended effects is full.

A rising variety of European international locations — together with Germany, France, Italy and Spain — have suspended use of AstraZeneca’s vaccine, although the corporate and worldwide regulators say there isn’t any proof the shot is accountable for the blood clots.

Sweden has stood out for its comparatively delicate response to the pandemic. The nation prevented lockdowns and relied as an alternative on residents’ sense of civic responsibility to manage instances. As of Tuesday, greater than 13,140 individuals had died from the coronavirus. It is extra per capita than Sweden’s neighbors however fewer than different European international locations that carried out strict lockdowns or curfews.

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UNITED NATIONS — China’s U.N. ambassador says China is donating 300,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to U.N. peacekeepers, with precedence given to these serving in Africa.

Ambassador Zhang Jun despatched a letter to U.N. Secretary-Normal Antonio Guterres informing him of the donation, China’s U.N. Mission mentioned Monday. It follows the announcement by China’s International Minister Wang Yi of Beijing’s intention to donate vaccines at a U.N. Safety Council assembly on Feb. 17.

The mission mentioned “China attaches nice significance to the security and safety of peacekeepers” and the donation “is an extra step to make China’s vaccines a worldwide public good, and in addition an indication of China’s agency and steady help to the U.N. and multilateralism.”

Final month, the U.N. thanked India for providing 200,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses for U.N. peacekeepers. The U.N. at present has a dozen peacekeeping operations, half in Africa with a complete of about 100,000 peacekeepers.

There was no quick phrase on what the U.N. plans to do with the 2 provides.

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NEW YORK — Two new research add proof {that a} virus variant first detected in Britain is extra lethal than the earlier dominant kind.

Different analysis had already demonstrated the pressure is extra transmissible, however a brand new paper revealed Monday within the journal Nature suggests the U.Ok. variant might also be related to an elevated danger of demise.

Evaluating instances in additional than 1 million individuals contaminated in England, researchers from the London Faculty of Hygiene and Tropical Drugs estimated the danger of demise was about 55% larger for these with the brand new variant versus the earlier one.

For males of their 50s or 60s, that meant the danger of demise went from 0.06% to 0.09% with the brand new pressure.

In a College of Exeter study revealed within the British journal BMJ final week, researchers adopted about 100,000 constructive COVID-19 instances, matching pairs of members on age, intercourse and different elements. In addition they discovered these with the U.Ok. variant have been at larger danger of demise in the course of the examine.

The variant has been present in all but a few states within the U.S. and is predicted to turn out to be the dominant pressure later this spring.

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