The European Medicines Agency is expected to announce a decision on Wednesday on whether to permit the US-developed Moderna vaccine in the EU for use against COVID-19.
The EU agency in charge of the evaluation of medicinal products has sped up usual authorization procedures. It has come under pressure from European countries that are in need of more vaccine doses.
If the authority gives the green light, the EU Commission will then grant formal approval.
So far, the only inoculation available in the bloc is produced by BioNTech-Pfizer. The EMA gave the go-ahead for this on December 21.
The United States logged more than 3,900 COVID-19 deaths in a new 24-hour record, amid a winter surge in cases and deaths.
Los Angeles ambulances have been told to stop transporting some patients with extremely low survival chances, as hospitals reach capacity and resources run low. Ambulance services have also been instructed to use limited amounts of oxygen.
The Grammy music awards, slated for the end of January 2021, has been postponed to March due to pandemic conditions. The night is considered one of the major entertainment events in the US.
Germany recorded a total of 1,019 deaths and over 21,200 new COVID-19 infections, according to the latest figures from the Robert Koch Institute, Germany’s public health agency for infectious diseases.
The country has been struggling to bring a second wave under control. Germany on Tuesday announced an extension of a lockdown until the end of January.
Chinais enforcing stricter controls in northeastern Hebei province after 20 new cases were found. Those in the most-affected areas, including provincial capital Shijiazhuang with 11 million residents, were being tested and have had travel and gatherings restricted.
Thailand’s COVID-19 coordinating center has warned that the number of new daily cases could rise to more than 10,000 by later this month if the government does not do more to curtail the virus’s spread.
The warning comes as an outbreak was discovered in mid-December centered in a seafood market in Samut Sakhon, southwest of the capital Bangkok, breaking months of nearly zero infections.
South Korea rolled out mass testing for 52 prisons in the country. Authorities were prompted to act after half of the total 2,292 inmates and personnel in a prison in southeastern Seoul tested positive for the virus.
Australia is bringing forward the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines by two weeks to early March, the Health Ministry said in a statement.
The government plans to complete a mass inoculation program for its 25 million citizens by the end of this year.
kmm/sms (Reuters, AFP, AP, dpa)
Coronavirus digest: EU to decide on Moderna vaccine The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ Deutsche Welle.