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China ramps up vaccination drive with free eggs, other goods

Apr 16, 2021
China's success at controlling the coronavirus outbreak has resulted in a population that has seemed almost reluctant to get vaccinated. So it is accelerating its inoculation campaign by offering incentives — free eggs, store coupons and discounts on groceries and merchandise — to those getting a shot. After a slow start, China is now giving millions of shots a day. On March 26 alone, it administered 6.1 million shots. A top government doctor, Zhong Nanshan, has announced a June goal of vaccinating 560 million of the country’s 1.4 billion people.

US opens more distance in worldwide race against coronavirus

Apr 16, 2021
The United States opened more distance between itself and much of the rest of the world Thursday, nearing the 200 millionth vaccine administered in a race to protect the population against COVID-19, even as other countries, rich and poor, struggle with stubbornly high infection rates and deaths. Nearly half of American adults have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine, and about 30% of adults in the U.S. have been fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But the picture is still relentlessly grim in parts of Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia as variants of the virus fuel an increase in new cases and the worldwide death toll closes in on 3 million.

India's biggest cities shut down as new virus cases hit 200K

Apr 16, 2021
India's two largest cities imposed stringent restrictions on movement and one planned to use hotels and banquet halls to treat coronavirus patients as new infections in the country shot past 200,000 Thursday amid a devastating surge that is straining a fragile health system. The soaring cases and deaths come just months after India thought it had seen the worst of the pandemic — and have forced the country to delay exports of vaccines abroad. India is a major producer of COVID-19 shots, and its pivot to focus on domestic demand has weighed heavily on global efforts to end the pandemic.

Africa CDC urges India to lift COVID vaccine export limits

Apr 16, 2021
Africa's top health official said Thursday he wants to believe that India will lift export restrictions on COVID-19 vaccines as soon as possible, warning that “India is not an island” while some African nations still have seen no shots at all. John Nkengasong, director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, spoke as the African continent of 1.3 billion people doesn’t know when second doses of key vaccines will arrive and India sees a devastating resurgence in infections.

St Vincent fears COVID-19 outbreak with volcano evacuations

Apr 16, 2021
Officials in St. Vincent said Thursday that they were extremely worried about a COVID-19 outbreak given the lack of water and more positive cases being reported as thousands of evacuees fleeing the erupting volcano crowd into shelters and private homes. About a dozen cases have been reported in recent days, with at least five evacuees staying in two homes and one shelter testing positive, exposing at least 20 people to the virus, said Dr. Simone Keizer-Beache, chief medical officer on the Caribbean island.

AP sources: Tool behind crackdown on opioids could expire

Apr 16, 2021
The Biden administration has been slow-walking its work on the extension of a legislative order that would keep in place a sweeping tool that's helped federal agents crack down on drugs chemically similar to fentanyl, three people familiar with the matter told The Associated Press. In recent weeks, the people said, the White House and Justice Department leaders have, on several occasions, canceled meetings with officials at the Drug Enforcement Administration to discuss the plan around so-called fentanyl analogues, which are generally foreign-made drugs with a very close chemical makeup to the dangerous opioid.

A tiny number of vaccinated people will be hospitalized. We have to learn why.

Apr 16, 2021
Experts say we should investigate “breakthrough infections” to look out for variants and understand who’s vulnerable. In many cases, that’s not happening. Crucial pieces of the puzzle are being tossed in the trash.

With 200,000 in 1 day, India skyrockets past 14M virus cases

Apr 15, 2021
India reported more than 200,000 new coronavirus cases Thursday, skyrocketing past 14 million overall as an intensifying outbreak puts a grim weight on its fragile health care system. In the capital, New Delhi, more than a dozen hotels and wedding banquet halls were ordered to be converted into COVID-19 centers attached to hospitals.

Homeless Americans finally getting a chance at COVID-19 shot

Apr 15, 2021
Homeless Americans who have been left off priority lists for coronavirus vaccinations — or even bumped aside as states shifted eligibility to older age groups — are finally getting their shots as vaccine supplies increase. While the U.S. government has only incomplete data on infections among homeless people, it’s clear that crowded, unsanitary conditions at shelters and underlying poor health increase the danger of COVID-19 infections, severe complications and death.

Study finds that blocking seats on planes reduces virus risk

Apr 15, 2021
A new study says leaving middle seats open could give airline passengers more protection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Researchers said the risk of passengers being exposed to the virus from an infected person on the plane could be reduced by 23% to 57% if middle seats are empty, compared with a full flight.