Latest updates: millions of Europeans due to get inoculated today; Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is set for approval in the UK this week
- UK scientists call for nationwide lockdown after spread of variant
- Spain, Sweden and Canada report cases of UK Covid variant
- AstraZeneca chief believes Covid vaccine will work on variant strain
- Breakthrough medicines that could change the course of Covid
A nurse has become the first person in Malta to get vaccinated, according to a tweet by prime minister Robert Abela.
A German pilot has traced the image of a syringe on a flight path to celebrate the arrival of the vaccine in Germany, Flightradar24 reports.
Taking off from Bodensee Airport Friedrichshafen (FDH) at 10.04 local time on 24 December, the pilot proceeded to draw an intricate depiction of a syringe, complete with droplets from the needle. The flight-path pattern required rather sharp turns, but the nimble Diamond DA20 Katana aircraft with registration D-ENIG was well-suited to the task.
The pilot reached a height of 5,475ft and a top speed of 121 knots just as they were completing one side of the syringe’s barrel. The thin line of the needle was accomplished by backtracking the exact flight path they had taken to its tip.
A 96-year-old living in a care home in central Spain has become the first Spaniard to be vaccinated against Covid-19, in an event broadcast by national television, AFP reports.
Russia reported 28,284 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, bringing the total number of confirmed infections to 3,050,248 after it crossed the 3 million mark the previous day.
Russia’s coronavirus crisis centre said 552 coronavirus patients had died in the last 24 hours and the overall national coronavirus death toll was at 54,778.
Число заразившихся новой коронавирусной инфекцией в России выросло за последние сутки на 28 284 и сейчас составляет 3 050 248 человек, из них 786 204 в Москве: https://t.co/xeGq1Yntu3#coronavirus #коронавирус #ТАССтатистика_коронавирус pic.twitter.com/FDA8vyFEaS
The Sunday Times says the jab developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca is expected to be approved for use in the UK by Thursday. In an interview, the AstraZeneca chief executive, Pascal Soriot, said: “We think we’ve figured out the winning formula to maximise the protection offered.” He believes the vaccine will work against mutations of the virus, but admits further tests will be required to prove this.
Cases of the new variant strain first detected in the UK have been confirmed across Europe including in France, Spain, Denmark, Italy, Iceland, Switzerland, Sweden and the Netherlands, as well as around the globe in Australia, Japan and Lebanon.
And Dr Barbara Yaffe, the associate chief medical officer of Canada’s Ontario province, said the first two confirmed cases were a couple from the country’s Durham region with no known travel history, exposure or high-risk contacts.
The Czech Republic started administering vaccinations against the new coronavirus on Sunday, part of a push against the pandemic across the European Union.
Welcome to a Sunday edition of our Coronavirus live blog covering both the UK and global developments on the virus.
The official vaccination programme against coronavirus gets underway in several EU countries today. In some places inoculations began last night when health workers in Hungary, Slovakia and Germany got their first injections of the Pfizer/BioNtech jab. The Czech prime minister, Andrej Babis, was vaccinated this morning at a military hospital in Prague.
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