Covid-19 vaccines in US lie unused
More than two-thirds of the 15 million Covid-19 vaccines shipped within the US have gone unused, health officials said even as New York detected the first case of a new strain of coronavirus that was first found in the UK.
New York hospitals must administer vaccines within a week of receiving them or face a fine and a reduction in future supplies, governor Andrew Cuomo said. “I don’t want the vaccine in a fridge or a freezer, I want it in somebody’s arm.”
Cuomo announced that the more contagious mutant of the virus had been confirmed in a man in his 60s living in a town north of Albany. One case each had already been detected in Florida, California and Colorado, all in patients without recent travel history. Iran on Tuesday confirmed its first case of the new UK variant.
As the virus continues to rage, Germany is set to extend its nationwide lockdown until the end of the month and introduce tougher restrictions. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the possibility of jointly producing vaccines in a phone call, the Kremlin said.
After an outcry, France is promising an “exponential” acceleration of vaccinations.
In a rare critique of Beijing, World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom said on Tuesday he is “disappointed” that Chinese officials haven’t finalised permissions for the arrival of team of experts into China to examine origins of Covid-19. He said members of the international scientific team have begun over the last 24 hours to leave from their home countries to China as part of an arrangement.
Chinese officials have not yet finalised the necessary permissions for their arrival, he added.
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- Other forum subjects broached on the first day was global taxation of digital giants, a priority for France that until recently has been opposed by the United States.