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The Latest: Warp Speed leader decries pressure put on FDA – The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Moncef Slaoui, the chief scientist main the White Home’s Operation Warp Speed, stated President Donald Trump’s public pressuring of the Meals and Drug Administration commissioner final week to rapidly approve the coronavirus vaccine was not useful for constructing public confidence within the inoculation marketing campaign.

Trump on Twitter and his chief of workers Mark Meadows privately lambasted FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn final week for shifting too slowly earlier than the FDA issued an emergency authorization on Friday for an authorization for the vaccine produced by Pfizer Inc.

Requested in regards to the pressuring of Hahn, Slaoui stated on Fox Information Sunday that “if that cellphone name occurred, I believe it was ineffective and unlucky, so are a number of the tweets.”

An Associated Press-NORC Heart for Public Affairs Analysis printed final week discovered solely about half of People are able to take the vaccine.

Slaoui additionally urged People to maintain an open thoughts in regards to the vaccine and warned that the virus will proceed to plague the nation past the spring if too few folks take it.

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THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— Vans with the first COVID-19 vaccine containers within the US are rolling out to vaccination websites, and all states are anticipated to have some by Monday. About 3 million doses have been anticipated to be despatched out within the first shipments, that are staggered via Wednesday. Germany is stepping up its lockdown measures via the Christmas vacation — from Dec. 16 to Jan. 10. Chancellor Angela Merkel says current restrictions imposed in November did not considerably cut back the variety of new infections. New instances are decrease however nonetheless rising in components of Asia, with both Japan and South Korea hitting file numbers in day by day new infections.

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

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

WASHINGTON — The head of the U.S. Meals and Drug Administration says he’s hopeful that the company’s exterior advisers will clear a second coronavirus vaccine for emergency use later this week.

However FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn says he gained’t “prejudge” the end result of Thursday’s assembly.

That’s when FDA advisers will evaluate the company’s unbiased evaluation of knowledge equipped by Moderna about its coronavirus vaccine.

Hahn tells CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that it’s his “honest hope” that his company can transfer ahead “expeditiously” on the Moderna vaccine.

The similar FDA panel final Thursday endorsed the primary coronavirus vaccine, made by Pfizer and its German companion, BioNTech. The FDA permitted that vaccine for emergency use on Friday.

Pfizer started delivery out its vaccine on Sunday.

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WASHINGTON — The director of the Nationwide Institutes of Well being is that stressing the primary doses of a COVID-19 vaccine being distributed this week are secure and efficient and is urging People to put apart any skepticism in order that as many individuals could be vaccinated as potential.

Dr. Francis Collins tells NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he hopes folks will get previous the “noise” and “conspiracy theories” in regards to the Pfizer vaccine’s security as a result of approval was based mostly on “scientific choice-making of essentially the most vigorous kind.”

He says face masks are nonetheless going to be “part of our life” within the coming months as a result of it stays unknown whether or not a vaccinated individual might unfold COVID-19 to others.

However he believes the virus may very well be considerably stunted by June if 70% to 80% of People are vaccinated, the extent most consultants consider is required to achieve “herd immunity.”

Collins says masks may very well be all however gone within the latter half of subsequent yr. If solely half of People are keen to take the vaccine, he says, “this might go on and on and on.”

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ROME — Italy’s particular commissioner for the pandemic says the vaccination marketing campaign towards COVID-19 will start in all 27 European Union nations on the identical “symbolic” day, to be adopted with particular person nations’ rollouts of bigger inoculation applications.

“The concept that one European nation might start earlier than one other is way” from what is going to happen, the official, Domenico Arcuri, instructed reporters on Sunday. “The marketing campaign will start in all nations on a symbolic day” earlier than the beginning of the particular marketing campaign of mass vaccinations.

He didn’t say when the primary day was or how many individuals could be vaccinated that day.

Italy’s first section of vaccinations, concentrating on 1.8 million well being care personnel and residents and workers of nursing houses, needs to be underway in mid-January, Arcuri stated. Some 300 pavilions will likely be arrange on the town squares and different public locations, the place folks can obtain the photographs.

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BERLIN — Most shops shut, tight limits on social contacts, no singing in church and a ban on fireworks gross sales: Germany is ratcheting up its pandemic restrictions to chop the stubbornly excessive price of coronavirus infections.

Chancellor Angela Merkel stated she and the governors of Germany’s 16 states agreed Sunday to step up the nation’s lockdown measures from Dec. 16 to Jan. 10 to cease the exponential rise of COVID-19 instances.

“We’re compelled to behave and we’re appearing,” Merkel instructed reporters in Berlin, noting that current restrictions imposed in November did not considerably cut back the variety of new infections.

The seven-day rolling common of day by day new instances in Germany has risen over the previous two weeks from 21.23 new instances per 100,000 folks on Nov. 28 to 26 new instances per 100,000 folks on Dec. 12.

Beginning Wednesday, faculties nationwide will likely be closed or swap to residence education; most non-meals shops will likely be closed, as will companies equivalent to hairdressers; restaurant takeout will stay permitted, however consumption on-site — together with alcohol— will likely be banned.

Excluding Christmas, the variety of folks allowed to satisfy indoors will stay restricted to 5, not together with kids underneath 14.

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PARIS: Authorities on the Mediterranean island of Corsica are making COVID-19 assessments compulsory for any guests touring from the French mainland for the Christmas-New Yr interval.

The measure is extraordinary in that it units Corsica aside from all of mainland France’s different areas, which don’t require assessments for journey between them.

Below the measures introduced this weekend by the French authorities’s prime administrator for Corsica, Pascal Lelarge, all vacationers aged 12 and over might want to endure a virus take a look at within the 72 hours earlier than taking a aircraft or boat to the island. The guidelines will apply from Dec. 19 to Jan. 8, 2021.

Vacationers might want to fill out a kind confirming that they examined unfavorable. A effective of 135 euros ($164) could be levied from vacationers who don’t get examined. Lelarge additionally warned of potential authorized motion towards individuals who infect others. Police at airports and ports in Corsica will perform checks, and vacationers will want to have the ability to produce paperwork from labs or pharmacists proving that they received examined.

The measures are aimed toward protecting down Corsica’s an infection charges, that are far decrease than the nationwide common, and to protect the island’s hospitals.

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LONDON — Aged residents of Scottish nursing houses will begin receiving the coronavirus vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech on Monday.

The residents, together with nursing residence workers, would be the subsequent to get the innoculations after 5,000 well being service staff and vaccinators in Britain obtained the photographs, Scottish officers stated Sunday.

It’s a part of the primary section of Britain’s mass vaccination program, which launched earlier this month and entails giving out 800,000 doses.

Authorities within the U.Ok., which has reported greater than 64,000 COVID-19 associated deaths, gave emergency authorization to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine earlier this month, making it the primary nation to approve its widespread use.

Officers stated they have been capable of lengthen the rollout to nursing houses after fixing some logistical challenges with the vaccine, which needs to be saved at minus-70 levels Celsius (minus-94 levels Fahrenheit).

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ISLAMABAD — Pakistan has elevated its funds allocation for buying COVID-19 vaccines amid a surge within the coronavirus.

Dr. Nausheen Hamid, parliamentary secretary for Nationwide Well being Companies, says the price range for the vaccines has been enhanced to $250 million. Earlier, the federal government had put aside $150 million.

Pakistan recorded 3,369 new instances of the virus and 72 new deaths on Saturday.

A surge within the virus comes amid large disregard by folks for precautionary measures regardless of fixed warnings by the authorities.

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UNITED NATIONS — A world alliance of greater than 1,000 organizations has introduced $20.6 billion in pledges to assist ladies, newborns, younger kids and adolescents cope with the COVID-19 pandemic in addition to longstanding points.

The Partnership for Maternal, New child and Baby Well being, which is hosted by the World Well being Group, says $16.1 billion are new commitments to deal with COVID-19, $2.2 billion is new cash not linked to the coronavirus, and $2.3 billion is new funding for current applications.

Low and center earnings nations together with Afghanistan, India, Kenya, Liberia and Nigeria pledged a complete of $6.6 billion whereas $14 billion got here from worldwide assist and grants from Germany, Canada, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States and the Invoice & Melinda Gates Basis, the partnership stated. The pledges have been introduced Thursday and Friday.

Former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, who chairs the partnership, says: “Our concern is that assets — inadequate to start with — are being diverted away to answer the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Clark, who additionally led the U.N. growth company from 2009 to 2017, stated the $20.6 billion will guarantee ladies, kids and adolescents can entry well being providers and precedence social protections all through the COVID-19 disaster and restoration intervals.

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SAN DIEGO — California’s legal professional common has instructed the homeowners of two strip golf equipment to comply with orders as a result of he stated they’re violating the state’s new keep-at-residence coverage, which bars social gatherings in an effort to restrict the unfold of the coronavirus.

In a letter despatched Friday to Halfway Ventures LLC and F-12 Leisure Group, the homeowners of Pacers Showgirls Worldwide and Cheetahs Gents’s Membership, respectively, Xavier Becerra stated the golf equipment should change their insurance policies as a result of they’re in violation of the order, issued Dec. 6, that covers Southern California.

Becerra stated the state will pursue authorized motion if the businesses don’t comply.

The golf equipment couldn’t instantly be reached for remark.

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TOKYO — Japan’s day by day coronavirus instances have exceeded 3,000 for the primary time whereas the federal government delays stricter measures for concern of injuring the economic system forward of the vacation season.

The 3,030 new instances, together with 621 in Tokyo, took Japan’s nationwide tally to 177,287 with 2,562 deaths, the Well being Ministry stated Sunday.

Consultants say severe instances are on the rise across the nation, placing burden on hospitals and affecting the day by day medical remedy for different sufferers. They urged authorities to take measures equivalent to suspending out-of-city journeys and requesting shops to shut early.

Current media surveys present help scores for the federal government of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga have dropped about 20 factors from round 70% amid public discontent over his coronavirus dealing with.

Japan issued a non-binding state of emergency within the spring and has survived earlier an infection peaks with no lockdown.

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SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea has set one other file for its day by day coronavirus tally with 1,030, as authorities battle to suppress the viral unfold.

The Korea Illness Management and Prevention Company stated Sunday the extra instances together with two deaths raised the nationwide caseload to 42,766 with 580 fatalities.

About 80% of the brand new instances have been discovered within the densely populated Seoul space, the place authorities have shut nightclubs and different excessive-danger venues, banned late-night time eating and brought different steps to sluggish the unfold. However such measures have proven little impact.

Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun stated Saturday his authorities might must implement its highest-stage social distancing guidelines if the virus doesn’t decelerate. Such restrictions would ban a gathering of greater than 10 folks, shut down faculties, theaters and shops and droop skilled sports activities leagues.

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BALTIMORE — The U.S. has recorded greater than 16 million instances of COVID-19, by far essentially the most of any nation on this planet, based on information stored by Johns Hopkins College.

Circumstances of the virus have been rising throughout a lot of the U.S., inflicting file loss of life totals in latest days.

India and Brazil are the one two different nations which have reported greater than 3 million instances of COVID-19. Globally, greater than 71 million instances have been confirmed. The precise variety of instances is believed to be far larger as a result of many individuals haven’t been examined and a few who get the illness don’t present signs.

The U.S. additionally leads the world in deaths associated to the coronavirus at greater than 297,600, together with a file 3,309 recorded on Friday.

The will increase come as tens of millions of doses of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer begin rolling into U.S. hospitals on Monday. The first vaccines will go to hospital workers and different well being care professionals.

The coronavirus has triggered greater than 1.6 million international deaths.

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FRESNO, Calif. — California public well being officers say the variety of out there intensive care unit beds within the huge San Joaquin Valley has dropped to zero for the primary time Saturday. Only a day earlier, ICU capability in area comprised of 12 counties was at 4.5%.

The information comes as ICU models refill throughout California amid spiking COVID-19 instances. Final week, San Joaquin Valley and the big Southern California area have been ordered to comply with the strictest anti-COVID-19 guidelines underneath a brand new keep-at-residence order.

Overflowing ICUs was a significant component in Gov. Gavin Newsom’s choice to implement the brand new order.

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SPRINGFIELD, Unwell. — The U.S. has reached a file 3,309 day by day coronavirus deaths, based on information compiled by Johns Hopkins College.

The deaths reported Friday exceeded by 6% the earlier excessive of three,124 deaths reported Wednesday.

The U.S. additionally reached a file day by day confirmed infections at 231,775, based on a tally by Johns Hopkins College. That’s practically 4,000 greater than the earlier excessive on Dec. 4.

The will increase come as tens of millions of doses of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer begin rolling into hospitals on Monday. The first vaccines will go to hospital workers and different well being care professionals.

The U.S. leads the world in confirmed instances at 15.9 million and deaths at greater than 296,000. The coronavirus has triggered greater than 1.6 million international deaths.

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WASHINGTON — The Federal Aviation Administration says pilots might obtain the COVID-19 vaccine however might not fly for 48 hours.

The FAA says it’s requiring the statement interval “to take care of the very best stage of security” within the airspace it regulates. The 48-hour statement additionally applies to air site visitors controllers.

The U.S. Meals and Drug Administration on Friday permitted emergency use of a vaccine developed by Pfizer and shipments are anticipated in varied states on Monday. The Pfizer vaccine requires two doses taken three weeks aside. The 48-hour interval applies after each doses.

The FAA says it is going to monitor response to the vaccine. It requires comparable ready intervals after aviation staff obtain different vaccines, such tuberculosis and typhoid.

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ROME — Italy added one other 649 coronavirus deaths Saturday, bringing its official complete to 64,036 and simply shy of Britain’s Europe-main 64,123 useless.

Italy might overtake Britain regardless of having 6 million folks fewer than the U.Ok.’s 66 million, and trails solely the a lot bigger U.S., Brazil, India and Mexico, based on a tally by Johns Hopkins College.

Italy has essentially the most deaths per 100,000 inhabitants among the many most affected nations. Italy has added practically 29,000 useless since Sept. 1.

Greater than 1.8 million Italians have contracted the virus because the begin of the pandemic. Well being consultants say the numbers mirror an underfunded well being care system with few ICU beds, authorities delays in imposing restrictions and an aged inhabitants.

International instances and loss of life tolls are believed to enormously underestimated due to missed infections, restricted testing and totally different counting standards.

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PHOENIX — Arizona reported 8,076 confirmed coronavirus instances, one of many state’s largest day by day complete.

The Division of Well being Companies reported 77 extra deaths on Saturday, growing the state’s confirmed totals to 402,589 instances and seven,322 deaths.

The instances eclipsed Friday’s 6,983 because the third-largest day by day case report, behind 12,314 on Tuesday and 10,322 on Dec. 1.

The coronavirus hospitalizations on Friday reached 3,534, up 52 from Thursday and topping the summer season surge excessive of three,517 on July 13. There have been 799 sufferers in intensive care models.

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WASHINGTON — U.S. officers say the nation’s first COVID-19 vaccine will start arriving in states Monday morning.

Military Gen. Gustave Perna says vans will roll out Sunday morning as delivery firms UPS and FedEx start delivering Pfizer’s vaccine to almost 150 distribution facilities throughout the states. A further 450 websites will get the vaccine between Tuesday and Wednesday.

Perna is with Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration’s vaccine growth program. He says the vaccine was timed to reach Monday morning so well being staff could be out there to obtain the photographs and start giving them.

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BOISE, Idaho — Idaho Gov. Brad Little has licensed one other 150 Idaho Nationwide Guard troopers to assist medical services battle the coronavirus.

The Republican governor added the troopers to the 100 he activated final month to assist the state cope with surging infections and deaths. The 250 troopers will assist with cell testing help, facility decontamination and coronavirus screenings. They’re additionally serving to at meals banks.

State officers say practically 120,000 Idaho residents have been contaminated. There have been 1,151 confirmed deaths.

The positivity price is 20%, effectively above the 5% or much less state officers suggest.

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