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Coronavirus

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The head of the World Trade Organization called Thursday for expanded capability in developing countries to manufacture vaccines, saying the gaping imbalance in access to coronavirus vaccines that mostly favors rich, developed countries was unacceptable.

WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said she supports the creation of a framework that would give developing countries “some automaticity and access to manufacture vaccines with technology transf...


Reuters | Equities.com |

Countries in the Americas could see a worse surge in coronavirus cases than the previous surge last year, with Brazil, Uruguay and Cuba already suffering more, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said on Wednesday.

Director Carissa Etienne said the end of the Southern Hemisphere summer, following holidays where people grouped together and spread cases, had prompted spikes. She urged citizens to stay at home and governments to think hard before lowering movement restrictions.


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Pfizer announced Wednesday that its COVID-19 vaccine is safe and strongly protective in kids as young as 12, a step toward possibly beginning shots in this age group before they head back to school in the fall.

Most COVID-19 vaccines being rolled out worldwide are for adults, who are at higher risk from the coronavirus. Pfizer’s vaccine is authorized for ages 16 and older. But vaccinating children of all ages will be critical to stopping the pandemic — and helping schools, at least the upper grades, start to look a little more normal after months of disruption.


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The German state of Berlin has again suspended the use of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine for those aged under 60 due to new reports of unusual blood clots in people who have received the shots, officials said Tuesday.

The decision was taken as a precaution ahead of a meeting later Tuesday of representatives from all of Germany’s 16 states and further recommendations expected from national medical regulators, said Berlin’s top health official, Dilek Kalayci.


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More than a dozen states will open vaccine eligibility to all adults this week in a major expansion of COVID-19 shots for tens of millions of Americans amid a worrisome increase in virus cases and concerns about balancing supply and demand for the vaccines.

Meanwhile, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday that she had a recurring feeling of “impending doom” about a potential fourth wave of infections after cases in the U.S. rose 10% over the last week. She pleaded with Americans not to relax preventative practices such as social distancing and mask-wearing.


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Too many Americans are declaring virus victory too early, President Joe Biden and a top health official declared Monday, appealing for mask requirements and other restrictions to be maintained or restored to stave off a “fourth surge” of COVID-19. The head of the CDC said she had a feeling of “impending doom” if people keep easing off.

The double dose of warnings came even as Biden laid out hopeful new steps to expand coronavirus vaccinations, with all adults to become eligible over the next 5 weeks. Biden announced plans to expand the number of retail pharmacies that are administering vaccines, and investments to help Americans get to vaccination sites. But the optimism was tempered by stark warnings about the potential for another wave of cases.


Kimberly Redmond | Equities.com |

Amazon.com Inc (Nasdaq: AMZN) received emergency clearance on Thursday from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for an at-home COVID-19 test kit.

In its emergency use authorization (EUA), the FDA said the tech giant plans to use the nasal swab and PCR-based test, which is developed by Amazon subsidiary STS Lab Holdco, for its ongoing coronavirus screenings of employees.


Reuters | Equities.com |

The U.S. government will distribute 11 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine next week in its continued effort to get 200 million shots in people’s arms in the first 100 days of President Joe Biden’s term, the White House said on Friday.

The United States is still on track to deliver on its goal of making shots available to all adults by the end of May, Jeff Zients, the White House’s COVID-19 response coordinator, told reporters.


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The 9-year-old twins didn’t flinch as each received test doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine -- and then a sparkly bandage to cover the spot.

“Sparkles make everything better,” declared Marisol Gerardo as she hopped off an exam table at Duke University to make way for her sister Alejandra.

Researchers in the U.S. and abroad are beginning to test younger and younger kids to make sure COVID-19 vaccines are safe and work for each age. The first shots are going to adults who are most at risk from the coronavirus, but ending the pandemic will require vaccinating children too.


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Image source: Gencat, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

By MARIA CHENG

LONDON (AP) — AstraZeneca’s repeated missteps in reporting vaccine data coupled with a blood clot scare could do lasting damage to the credibility of a shot that is the linchpin in the global strategy to stop the coronavirus pandemic, potentially even undermining vaccine confidence more broadly, experts say.

The latest stumble fo...