The US will have 600 million doses of coronavirus vaccine available by the end of May, enough for every US citizen, President Joe Biden has announced.
Getting vaccinated is a “patriotic responsibility,” Biden said during a visit to a cancer center in the US state of Ohio.
In addition, the US government has secured another 200 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson-developed single-dose shot.
More than 45.5 million people have already been fully vaccinated across the country, according to government data. Roughly 260 million are believed to eligible to get vaccinated in the US.
Here is an overview of the latest coronavirus news from around the world.
Hong Kong and Macau have suspended the use of the BioNTech-Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine after being informed of defective packaging with a batch of vials.
The German manufacturer notified Hong Kong and Macau of issues with packaging lids, the South China Morning Post newspaper has reported.
BioNTech and Fosun Pharma, the Chinese company that is distributing the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in China, have launched an investigation. The firms have requested the suspension until their investigations have been completed.
The Hong Kong government has stressed that the suspension is a preventative measure.
Hungary set records on Tuesday for the number of COVID-19 patients being treated in Hungarian hospitals and the number of new daily virus deaths amid a surge in cases.
The total number of hospitalizations for COVID in the central European country on Tuesday reached 8,270, breaking the previous record of 8,045 set in early December. COVID-19 deaths in Hungary increased by 158 within 24 hours.
The Dutch government is extending the coronavirus lockdown measures by three weeks until April 20, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Tuesday.
The restrictions are being extended due to rising numbers of COVID-19 infections and hospital admissions.
Poland is also set to announce new restrictions from Thursday as infections rise again.
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has provided no further information on what the new curbs might be.
Germany’s Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases has registered 15,813 new cases within 24 hours.
This is an increase of 2,387 from the same time the previous week.
The increase in figures comes a day after Germany’s state premiers and Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed to extend the coronavirus lockdown until April 18.
Brazil has suffered a record 3,251 COVID-19 daily deaths on Tuesday, sparking nationwide pot-banging protests at the government’s inability to contain its outbreak.
The virus is spiraling out of control in part due to the country’s patchy vaccine rollout and messy public health restrictions. President Jair Bolsonaro has repeatedly played down the virus , calling it a “little flu” in the early days of the pandemic and then sowing doubts about vaccines. He has also fought state and local lockdown measures.
The chief of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Carissa Etienne, has warned that: “vaccines are coming but they are still several months away for most people in our region.”
“The dire situation in Brazil is also affecting neighboring countries,” she said, adding that COVID-19 cases have risen in Venezuela’s Bolivar and Amazonas states,and in border regions of Peru and Bolivia.
kmm/dj (dpa, Reuters, AFP, AP)
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