- Denmark is halting the use of Oxford-AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, the head of the Danish Health Administration announces.
- India’s worst-hit and richest state Maharashtra is set to impose stricter restrictions for 15 days to stem the surge of coronavirus infections.
- France says it will proceed with its plan to give above-55s the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which has been suspended in the United States and South Africa over rare blood clots.
- More than 137 million people around the world have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and about 78 million have recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 2.96 million people have died globally.
Wednesday, April 14
Russia says Sputnik V vaccine does not cause blood clots
The developer of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine said Wednesday its jab did not cause blood clots, a potential side effect that has disrupted rollouts in several Western countries.
The United States has recommended pausing its rollout of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after one person out of nearly seven million Americans died from a rare type of clot in the brain following inoculation.
Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez receives a dose of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine [File: Argentina Presidency/Handout/REUTERS]
Romania PM sacks health minister over pandemic
Romania’s Prime Minister Florin Citu sacked his health minister in a move he said was in response to the country’s coronavirus epidemic, but which threatens the future of his governing coalition.
Citu said Vlad Voiculescu’s dismissal would shore up citizens’ trust in state institutions.
Deputy Prime Minister Dan Barna, who heads the centre-right USR-Plus that Voiculescu is a member of, said Citu had acted without consulting the party and should himself be replaced.
EU plans Pfizer vaccine contract extension
The head of the European Union’s executive arm has announced plans for a significant contract extension for COVID-19 vaccines with Pfizer stretching to 2023.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Wednesday that the EU will start negotiating to buy 1.8 billion doses of the Pfizer vaccine through 2023.
Von der Leyen expressed full confidence in the technology used for the Pfizer vaccine, which is different from the technology behind the AstraZeneca vaccine.
India’s Maharashtra to impose more restrictions
India’s Maharashtra state will impose stricter restrictions for 15 days in an effort to stem the surge of coronavirus infections that is threatening to overcome hospitals.
Top Maharashtra officials stressed that the closure of most industries, businesses, public places and limits on the movement of people did not constitute a lockdown.
France to continue to give Johnson & Johnson vaccine to above-55s
France is sticking to its plan to give those aged 55 and above the Johnson & Johnson vaccine suspended in the United States and South Africa over rare blood clots, a government spokesman said.
Gabriel Attal also reaffirmed the government’s confidence in the AstraZeneca jab as an “essential tool” in the fight against COVID-19, hours after Denmark said it was stopping its use of the shot over rare incidents of clots in people who received the vaccine.
Denmark halts use of AstraZeneca vaccine
Denmark is halting the use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, the head of the Danish Health Administration has said, taking the country’s policy a step beyond other nations that have restricted the drug’s use only for certain age groups.
The vaccination campaign will continue without the shot from the British-Swedish company, Soren Brostrom said at a news conference in Copenhagen.