A woman holds a small bottle labeled with a Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccine sticker and a medical syringe in front of displayed UK flag in this illustration taken, October 30, 2020 - Sputnik International

COVID-19 Live Updates: UK Approves Pfizer/BioNTech Vaccine for Rollout From Next Week

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The global death toll from the coronavirus infection has topped 1.47 million, with a total of 63.7 million cases of the virus having been detected worldwide, according to Baltimore, Maryland's Johns Hopkins University.

At the moment, the most affected countries in the world are the US (over 13.7 million infected, 270,000 deaths), India (9.4 million infected, 137,600 fatalities), and Brazil (6.3 million cases, 173,800 deaths). European nations are also suffering from a second wave of the pandemic, with many of them imposing lockdowns over the last month, including France, Germany, the UK, Belgium, Hungary, and others.

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02:43 GMT 03.12.2020

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The number of people, who have died of the coronavirus in the United States, has risen by 2,733 people within the past 24 hours, marking the largest daily increase since the start of the outbreak, the COVID Tracking Project said.

The World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic on March 11. To date, more than 64.4 million people have been infected with the coronavirus worldwide, with over 1.49 million fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins University (JHU).

02:08 GMT 03.12.2020

BERLIN (Sputnik) - Germany is still far from the goal of reducing the incidence of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), pursued by restrictive measures introduced in November, they may be extended, tentatively, until January 10, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said.

“We discussed what to do with Christmas and New Year getting closer. We already said in November that it was very likely that, if there were no significant changes, the rules in effect until December 20 would be extended. Today we reaffirmed our common position on the issue," Merkel said after a meeting with the heads of German regions.

She recalled that the purpose of restrictive measures was to reduce the dynamics of the incidence below the mark of 50 new infections per week per 100,000 population.

"We are very far from it on average countrywide. In some federal states, the dynamics is declining, in some, unfortunately, growing a little," Merkel said.

02:07 GMT 03.12.2020

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The number of coronavirus patients, who currently remain in hospitals across the United States, has exceeded 100,000 for the first time since the start of the outbreak, the COVID Tracking Project said.

The exact number of hospitalized patients stands at 100,226.

This number is almost twice higher than during the first wave of the pandemic in spring. At the same time, the percentage of patients treated in hospitals is lower than in spring. Some states reported that they were facing a shortage of hospital beds.

17:14 GMT 02.12.2020
17:01 GMT 02.12.2020
16:36 GMT 02.12.2020
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16:28 GMT 02.12.2020
15:50 GMT 02.12.2020

UNITED NATIONS, (Sputnik) - More than 100,000 people have already received the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine against the novel coronavirus, Russia’s Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said on Wednesday.

"To date, more than 100,000 citizens have already been vaccinated. Vaccine Sputnik V is being delivered to all regions of Russia to launch a mass vaccination campaign shortly," Murashko said during a presentation of the vaccine at the United Nations.

Earlier on Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed the government to start mass vaccination by the end of the next week. According to Putin, Russia has "manufactured or will have manufactured" more than 2 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine.

Murashko said that Russia is working to increase the production of the vaccine domestically and globally.

"We are going to increase the production of the vaccine in Russia and globally. It currently ranks among top candidate vaccines approaching the end of clinical trials and the start of mass production on the World Health Organization list," he said.

During the coronavirus pandemic, Russia emerged as a leader in vaccine development, as two of its products - Sputnik V, developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute, and EpiVacCorona, developed by Siberia's research center Vector - are already in the phase 3 trials. Another vaccine, by the Chumakov research center of the Russian Academy of Sciences, will begin phase 3 trials early in 2021. The clinical trials of the trailblazer Sputnik V vaccine have demonstrated more than 90 percent efficacy.

Murashko said that post-registration clinical trials launched on August 25 have involved more than 40,000 people in Russia, Belarus, India, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela.

"Discussions are held about medical trials in Brazil and other countries," he said. Minister assured that collected data shows that "the vaccine causes a strong anti-body and cell immune response," he said.

15:48 GMT 02.12.2020
15:40 GMT 02.12.2020

MOSCOW, (Sputnik) - Russia will supply its Sputnik V vaccine coronavirus to other countries at the same price of below $10, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) Kirill Dmitriev said Wednesday.

"In the spirit of partnership, Sputnik V will be available to other countries for mass vaccinations starting from early next year," Dmitriev said, adding that Russia was "building productions partnerships" and ready to share its technologies with all of the interested countries.

"Our vaccine will cost less than $10 per dose, which is significantly lower than some of the MRNA vaccines. And we focused on making this vaccine available to all the world. And it will be supplied to the world at the same price, to all of the countries," RDIF CEO  said.

Russia will be able to start deliveries of the vaccine in January or February for early requests and in March for later orders, Dmitriev said.

15:38 GMT 02.12.2020
15:30 GMT 02.12.2020

MOSCOW, (Sputnik) - Additional data on the efficacy of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine against the coronavirus will be published in a top peer-reviewed magazine, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) Kirill Dmitriev said Wednesday.

"We showed clearly efficacy [of the Sputnik V vaccine] is about 90 percent and additional data will be also published in one of the top peer-reviewed magazines," Dmitriev said at a presentation of the vaccine at the UN.

15:18 GMT 02.12.2020

MOSCOW, (Sputnik) - Russia will be able to produce more than 60 million doses of Sputnik V vaccine against the coronavirus per month starting in March, head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund Kirill Dmitriev said Wednesday.

"Basically, we have two types of production arrangements. So Russian manufacturing capabilities will mostly be producing for Russia ...  We will produce 4 million doses for 2 million people already in December," Dmitriev said during an online panel about the vaccine.

"We will be producing tens of millions of doses of the vaccine already starting from February in four key geographies - it's India, Brazil, China, Korea and Argentina. We already reached supply agreement and production agreement with those countries for 500 million doses of the vaccine from next year. So starting from March, we will be able to produce more than 30 million doses a month and we are working to increase our production capacity even further. When I talk [about] 30 million doses a month, I talk about 30 million people, so in the pharma lingo it's called 60 million doses a month," Dmitriev said.

15:16 GMT 02.12.2020
15:14 GMT 02.12.2020

WARSAW, (Sputnik) - Poland is expected to spend somewhere between five to 10 billion zlotys ($1.35 billion - $2.7 billion) on the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, Morawiecki announced that Poland had ordered 45 million doses from various COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers, including Pfizer/BioNTech, AstraZeneca, and Johnson and Johnson. The vaccination will be voluntary and free. The prime minister also expressed hope that mass vaccination would begin no later than in two months.

"It will cost between five to 10 billion zlotys. It all depends on how many additional doses we will buy," the prime minister said at a briefing in Warsaw.

Meanwhile, the European Commission has already contracted more than 2 billion doses of coronavirus vaccine with six companies.

At present, there are 48 candidate vaccines on the World Health Organization's list. Some manufacturers have already released the interim results of phase 3 trials of their vaccines. Russia's Sputnik V, as well as vaccines produced by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, have all reported over 90 percent efficacy, according to the preliminary data. The average efficacy of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine totals 70 percent, preliminary analysis shows.

15:13 GMT 02.12.2020
15:11 GMT 02.12.2020

TOKYO, (Sputnik) - The closure of North Korea's borders over fears of the spread of the coronavirus disease could result in hunger and riots in the country, media reported on Wednesday, citing South Korean intelligence.

According to the Japanese Tokyo Shimbun newspaper, the social environment in North Korea has deteriorated, prices have soared, and an increase in injustice and corruption has been reported. All these factors could lead to a tragic situation, including the death of people from hunger and riots.

The publication, in particular, notes that the North Korean authorities have blocked off the city of Hyesan on the border with China and the port of Nampho in the Yellow Sea; blocked the capital of the country Pyongyang for entry and exit; prohibited the import of any goods from abroad; practically stopped the foreign trade, which is 90 percent dependent on China.

Earlier in November, at the National Assembly of South Korea, the country's intelligence released data showing that trade between North Korea and China from January to October reached $530 million, which was only one-quarter of the amount reported during the same period a year earlier. Since the cessation of imports from China the prices of certain products have increased, including sugar, tobacco and condiments.

According to the newspaper, the North Korean authorities have even banned coastal fishing and salt mining, due to the fear of contamination of seawater with the coronavirus infection.

15:08 GMT 02.12.2020

MOSCOW, (Sputnik) - Russia and UN Secretariat are discussing President Vladimir Putin's offer to supply UN staff with Sputnik V vaccine against the coronavirus, Russia's Permanent Representative to the UN Vassily Nebenzia said Wednesday.

"Our dialogue with the secretariat on this topic continues," Nebenzia said at an online conference on Sputnik V vaccine.

14:27 GMT 02.12.2020

Italians will receive coronavirus vaccine shots free of charge, with the shipments of the first doses expected in January, Health Minister Roberto Speranza said on Wednesday.

"The vaccine procurement will be centralized. It will be distributed free of charge to all Italians. A vaccine is a public good that all people, women and men, have the right to, regardless of their income and place of residence or work," Speranza said, presenting the COVID-19 vaccination plan in the parliament’s upper house.

According to the minister, Italian authorities are not going to make the vaccination mandatory, but hope the country to develop collective immunity as soon as possible.

"During the [vaccination] campaign, we will assess the level of participation of citizens," he added, noting that Italy would likely get the first doses in January.

In early 2021, the country will receive over 202 million vaccine doses, which will be sufficient to vaccinate the entire population, even if it is a two-dose jab, he specified.

"We have signed all the contracts that the European Union has secured, we do not want to risk having only one vaccine," Speranza said.

13:11 GMT 02.12.2020
13:01 GMT 02.12.2020
12:52 GMT 02.12.2020

BRUSSELS (Sputnik) - The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is reviewing applications by the German biopharmaceutical company BioNTech and its US partner Pfizer as well as the firm Moderna to register their vaccines against the coronavirus in the European Union and expects the first vaccines to be delivered to the bloc within weeks, EMA executive director, Emer Cooke said on Wednesday.

"Yesterday, we came a step closer to the authorisation of the COVID-19 vaccines. Two developers - Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna - have submitted marketing authorisation applications to EMA ... Over the past month, the EMA has already started to evaluate data ... EMA's job now is to assess the additional data that was submitted yesterday ... and depending on whether they are sufficiently robust and complete, an EMA opinion on the marketing authorisation in the EU could be issued within weeks”, Cooke said at a videoconference with EU health ministers.

12:40 GMT 02.12.2020
12:37 GMT 02.12.2020
12:24 GMT 02.12.2020
12:20 GMT 02.12.2020
12:11 GMT 02.12.2020

"I strongly urge people to take up the vaccine but it is no part of our culture or our ambition in this country to make vaccines mandatory. That is not how we do things", the prime minister said.

11:37 GMT 02.12.2020
11:31 GMT 02.12.2020
11:15 GMT 02.12.2020

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - US multinational pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has welcomed the United Kingdom's emergency use authorisation for its coronavirus vaccine as a landmark step in fighting the pandemic.

"Today’s Emergency Use Authorisation in the UK marks a historic moment in the fight against COVID-19. This authorisation is a goal we have been working toward since we first declared that science will win, and we applaud the MHRA for their ability to conduct a careful assessment and take timely action to help protect the people of the UK", Pfizer Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla said, as quoted in a press release.

11:03 GMT 02.12.2020
10:42 GMT 02.12.2020

Professor Wei Shen Lim, the chair of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, said that care home residents and their carers will be the first to receive the vaccine, followed by Britons aged 80+ and frontline health workers.

The scientist also stressed there is no suggestion that the vaccination will be compulsory.

 

10:34 GMT 02.12.2020
10:33 GMT 02.12.2020
10:04 GMT 02.12.2020

"It's very clear that separate teams have been working in parallel to deliver the most rigorous review of this vaccine. No corners have been cut", June Raine said. "Our expert scientists and clinicians have worked round the clock, carefully, methodically, poring over tables and analyses and graphs on every single piece of data, hundreds, over a thousand pages of data and, absolutely critically, analysing the pre-clinical evidence, the clinical trials, the manufacturing and quality controls, and then down to the final sampling".

09:57 GMT 02.12.2020

"EMA considers that the conditional marketing authorisation is the most appropriate regulatory mechanism for use in the current pandemic emergency", an official statement says.

09:41 GMT 02.12.2020
09:34 GMT 02.12.2020
09:26 GMT 02.12.2020

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Russian government prioritizes vaccinating the citizens against COVID-19, this is the main goal of the domestic production, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday.

"Of course, Russians and domestic production are a definite priority. Production inside Russia is already being deployed, and it will provide for the needs of Russians," Peskov told reporters.

09:18 GMT 02.12.2020
08:58 GMT 02.12.2020

"I consider this decision to be problematic and recommend that EU Member States do not repeat the process in the same way. A few weeks of a thorough examination by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) is better than a hasty emergency marketing authorisation of a vaccine," Peter Liese, a member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's party, said.

08:51 GMT 02.12.2020
08:35 GMT 02.12.2020
08:12 GMT 02.12.2020

MONTEVIDEO (Sputnik) - Uruguay plans to start vaccinations against the coronavirus disease in April 2021, President Luis Lacalle Pou has said, adding that the vaccination will not be mandatory.

"We have a reasonable date, which is the beginning of the second quarter of the next year, sometime in April... the vaccination horizon is on that date", the president said at a press conference on Tuesday.

Lacalle Pou added that the vaccination plan covers the first 700,000 doses and then another 500,000 doses.

At the press conference, the president also announced a series of new restrictive measures due to the surge in the new COVID-19 positive cases in the country.

"The remote work in all public offices, the cancellation of all indoor sports including basketball, the closure of bars and restaurants will be at 00:00 [06:00 GMT] and fines will be applied to workplaces that do not comply with protocols", the president said.

08:02 GMT 02.12.2020

"Next week, there'll be 800,000, so it's the first start," Hancock told the BBC broadcaster, reiterating that the UK had 40 million doses of the same vaccine "on order".

07:42 GMT 02.12.2020

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia has registered 25,345 COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, down from 26,402 the day before, bringing the total to 2,347,401, the federal response centre said on Wednesday.

"In the past 24 hours, Russia has confirmed 25,345 COVID-19 cases in 85 regions, of which 5,108 (20.2 percent) were detected among people showing no clinical symptoms", the response centre said, adding that the case count has reached 2,347,401.

07:09 GMT 02.12.2020

The secretary said that the number of people who want the vaccine is increasing, adding he is "just delighted" that the UK will be the first country with a clinically authorised coronavirus vaccine.

07:04 GMT 02.12.2020

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The United Kingdom has authorised the use of the coronavirus vaccine developed by German biopharmaceutical company BioNTech and its US partner Pfizer, it will be available next week, the government's Department of Health and Social Care announced on Wednesday.

"The government has today accepted the recommendation from the independent Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency to approve Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for use ... The vaccine will be made available across the UK from next week", the Department of Health and Social Care said in a press release.

The drug is said to be 95% effective against the coronavirus, and is now seeking emergency use approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as well as approval from the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

07:02 GMT 02.12.2020

TOKYO (Sputnik) - The Japanese parliament has passed a bill to make vaccinations against the coronavirus free for residents, obligating the government to cover all costs.

Under the legislation, passed unanimously by the upper chamber of the Japanese parliament on Wednesday, the government will also cover all expenses related to any possible adverse effects, and compensate pharmaceutical companies for possible lawsuits.

The revised law provides for voluntary immunisation. The Japanese government is now set to focus on a vaccine storage system and an explanatory campaign for local authorities.

06:48 GMT 02.12.2020
06:06 GMT 02.12.2020

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Hungarian experts have arrived in Russia to study the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, they will visit the healthcare facilities that organised clinical trials of the vaccine and explore vaccine production, the Russian Health Ministry said on Wednesday.

"During the visit, the delegation will also visit Moscow's healthcare institutions that hosted clinical trials, and vaccine production [sites]", the Russian Health Ministry said in a statement.

05:47 GMT 02.12.2020
04:41 GMT 02.12.2020

On Wednesday morning, Deol took to Twitter and wrote, "I got myself tested for coronavirus and the result has come back positive. I am in isolation and feeling well. I request that all those who came in contact with me recently should isolate themselves and get tested".

The 64-year-old actor had undergone shoulder surgery in Mumbai and was recuperating at a farmhouse near Manali in the state of Himachal Pradesh.

04:39 GMT 02.12.2020
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