European agency studying new COVID-19 treatment

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HARTFORD, Conn. — Of the greater than 1.4 million Connecticut residents who at the moment are totally vaccinated, 242 later turned contaminated with COVID-19, in response to knowledge launched Friday from the state Division of Public Well being.

Among the many 242 so-called “vaccine breakthrough instances,” 109 individuals had no signs of the illness. DPH reported three deaths amongst vaccinated people who have been confirmed to have had underlying medical situations. They have been between the ages of 55-64, 65-74, and 75 years and older.

Nationally, there have been 132 vaccine breakthrough deaths, DPH mentioned.

“The principle takeaway is that COVID-19 vaccines are extremely efficient and instances of an infection after an individual is totally vaccinated are very uncommon,” Dr. Deidre Gifford, the state’s performing public well being commissioner, mentioned in an announcement. Circumstances of COVID-19 in totally vaccinated people in Connecticut is lower than 0.1%, in response to the DPH knowledge.

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THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

Pressure rises on India’s PM Modi to concern nationwide lockdown

— Norwegian Cruise Line threatens to skip Florida’s ports

— WHO panel OKs emergency use of China’s Sinopharm vaccine

— Spain relaxes nationwide coronavirus pandemic measures

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Comply with extra of AP’s pandemic protection at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

HELENA, Mont. — Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney introduced that Montana will share COVID-19 vaccines with Canadian truck drivers from neighboring Alberta.

In accordance with a memorandum of understanding signed Friday about 2,000 truck drivers from Alberta who transport items from Canada to the U.S. can be eligible to be vaccinated at a freeway relaxation cease close to Conrad.

The vaccines can be accessible between Might 10 and Might 23. The same program to vaccinate truck drivers from Canada started in North Dakota final month.

The Blackfeet tribe in northern Montana has given round 1,000 vaccines to their kin and neighbors throughout the border.

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The proprietor of a Northern California bar was arrested on suspicion of promoting made-to-order pretend COVID-19 vaccination playing cards to a number of undercover state brokers for $20 every in what officers mentioned Friday is the primary such foiled operation they’re conscious of nationwide.

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The plainclothes brokers from California’s Division of Alcoholic Beverage Management have been advised to write down their names and birthdates on Publish-it notes. They are saying bar staff minimize the playing cards, stuffed out the figuring out data and bogus vaccination dates, then laminated the completed product.

Vaccination playing cards are being utilized in some locations as a move for individuals to attend massive gatherings. The European Union is contemplating permitting in vacationers who can show they’ve been vaccinated.

Appearing on an an nameless tip from the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s workplace, 4 undercover brokers went to Outdated Nook Saloon within the city of Clements a number of instances in April and purchased 4 pretend laminated vaccination playing cards, officers mentioned.

They returned to the small-town bar this week and arrested the bar’s proprietor. Brokers say they discovered one other two accomplished playing cards and 30 further clean playing cards together with a laminator and reducing gadget.

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It wasn’t instantly recognized if the bar proprietor, Todd Anderson, has an lawyer who can communicate on his behalf. Nobody answered the cellphone on the bar Friday.

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DENVER, Colo. — A former Amazon warehouse employee has filed a criticism with the Colorado officers towards Amazon over its COVID-19 insurance policies and allegations that her firing was retaliatory.

Linda Rodriguez alleges Amazon fired her in 2020 as a result of she raised considerations in regards to the firm’s COVID-19 insurance policies that she mentioned put staff in danger. Her criticism was despatched Thursday to the state’s labor division.

An Amazon spokesperson in response to the criticism says Rodriguez was fired for timecard fraud that the corporate says was confirmed by time information and video footage. Amazon mentioned the federal Occupational Security and Well being Administration confirmed Rodriguez withdrew a criticism filed with the company.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — At a time when fewer and fewer North Carolinians are coming in for a COVID-19 vaccine, state well being officers are inspecting concepts from different states to see what incentives may work to spice up participation.

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Among the many proposals being actively mentioned are financial savings account funds to youthful adults. Mandy Cohen, secretary of the state Division of Well being and Human Companies, says that is a bunch that has been much less prepared to get the vaccine.

North Carolina’s prime public well being official says that her group has seemed into a brand new program in West Virginia, the place the state’s Republican governor just lately introduced that residents between the ages of 16 and 35 could be eligible for a $100 financial savings bond in the event that they get the vaccine or have already gotten it.

Cohen’s workplace says that it is usually inspecting Detroit’s Good Neighbor program, which permits individuals to get $50 for each Detroit resident they join a primary vaccine dose and usher in for an appointment. The primary $600 somebody might earn from this system is nontaxable.

The event comes as North Carolina turns down tens of hundreds of doses from the federal authorities, considers returning a few of its provide to a federal pool for others to attract from and has almost 1.2 million doses ready for residents to take.

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MEXICO CITY — Greater than three months after COVID-19 infections peaked in Mexico Metropolis, the native authorities introduced Friday that the general public hospital community devoted to combating the illness is experiencing its lowest fee occupancy of the pandemic.

One 12 months after the nation instituted a color-coded alert system for the pandemic, the capital for the primary time moved from orange to yellow, one other step down from the highest class, pink.

Metropolis officers positioned occupancy fee in public hospitals devoted to COVID-19 care at 16%, a welcome change from January, when a surge following the vacation season pushed some hospitals to their limits.

Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum mentioned there was no scientific certainty to say why Mexico Metropolis is in a a lot better place, however she listed a half-dozen potential components together with better self-discipline by residents, expanded testing, a vaccination marketing campaign, improved climate and the truth that many individuals within the metropolis have already been contaminated.

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia will elevate its statewide masks mandate on June 20 after state officers projected greater than two-thirds of eligible residents can be vaccinated towards the coronavirus by then, Gov. Jim Justice introduced Friday.

And even when that focus on isn’t met, Justice mentioned the mandate will nonetheless finish on that date, also referred to as West Virginia Day, which marks the state’s admission into the union.

The state has tried to show round its sluggish vaccination drive for weeks after hesitancy led to plummeting demand. The Republican governor has already dangled the prize of a “patriotic” $100 financial savings bond for individuals aged 16 to 35 who get a shot. The state can also be making an attempt to make walk-up vaccine clinics ubiquitous, holding them at state parks, festivals, companies, colleges and different high-traffic locations.

Justice mentioned he expects 65% of all residents aged 12 and older to be a minimum of partially vaccinated by June 20.

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OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma’s lawyer common has secured a $2.6 million refund for the acquisition of a malaria drug as soon as touted by then-President Donald Trump as an efficient therapy for COVID-19.

Legal professional Normal Mike Hunter introduced the settlement on Friday with California-based FFF Enterprises.

The Oklahoma State Division of Well being bought 1.2 million hydroxychloroquine capsules in April 2020, at first of the coronavirus outbreak. The drug has since been proven to have little or no impact on extreme instances of COVID-19. A former state well being official chalked up Oklahoma’s buy to one thing that occurs in “the fog of battle.”

Oklahoma alleged that the worth paid for the drug could have been extreme underneath the state’s Emergency Value Stabilization Act, which prohibits a rise of greater than 10% for the worth of products and companies after a declared emergency. Below the refund settlement, FFF Enterprises denies any accusations associated to the pricing and supply of the drug.

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Whereas governments in a minimum of 20 different states obtained greater than 30 million doses of the drug via donations from the federal reserve or personal corporations, Oklahoma and Utah purchased them from personal pharmaceutical corporations. Utah later managed to safe a refund on the $800,000 no-bid contract it signed with a neighborhood pharmacy firm that had been selling the medication.

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MIAMI — Miami-based Norwegian Cruise Line is threatening to skip Florida ports due to the governor’s order banning companies from requiring that prospects be vaccinated towards COVID-19.

The corporate says Gov. Ron DeSantis’ order conflicts with tips from federal well being authorities that will let cruise ships sail in U.S. waters if passengers and crew members are vaccinated.

The CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, Frank Del Rio, says legal professionals assume federal legislation tops state legislation. The CEO says if Norwegian can’t function in Florida, it might probably go to different states or the Caribbean.

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Cruise traces have been barred from crusing in U.S. waters or stopping at U.S. ports since March 2020. Some are slowly resuming journeys in different international locations and requiring all passengers on these cruises be vaccinated.

The businesses are pushing the CDC to allow them to return the U.S. this summer season, though not one of the main corporations — Norwegian, Royal Caribbean Group and Carnival Corp. — have introduced any U.S. cruises.

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NEW DELHI — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi faces rising strain to impose a strict nationwide lockdown.

On Friday, India reported a brand new day by day document of 414,188 confirmed instances and three,915 further deaths. The official day by day loss of life rely has stayed over 3,000 the previous 10 days.

Many medical specialists, opposition leaders and even Supreme Courtroom judges are calling for nationwide restrictions, arguing {that a} patchwork of state guidelines is inadequate to stamp out the surge.

Indian tv stations broadcast pictures of sufferers mendacity on stretchers exterior hospitals ready to be admitted, with hospital beds and demanding oxygen in brief provide. Folks contaminated with COVID-19 in villages are being handled in makeshift out of doors clinics, with IV drips hanging from timber.

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India has registered greater than 21.4 million coronavirus infections and greater than 234,000 confirmed deaths. Well being specialists says the tolls are undercounts.

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GENEVA — A prime official on the World Well being Group says the explosive variety of coronavirus instances is simply partly pushed by the variants, warning international locations that loosening management measures could worsen the pandemic.

WHO emergencies chief Dr. Michael Ryan says the virus has “large kinetic vitality” in sure international locations and leaders who assume vaccination alone will cease the epidemic are mistaken.

“It’s being pushed each by human habits, by the emergence of variants and lots of different components,” Ryan mentioned. “We’re anticipating the virus to decelerate and we’re pushing the accelerators.”

He admonished some leaders to acknowledge “the brutal actuality” of the scenario. India has skilled a surge of instances and deaths.

“A few of you aren’t in an excellent place,” Ryan mentioned. “You could defend your well being system. You could get your oxygen provide sorted out.”

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Ryan says whereas new virus variants could assist unfold COVID-19, the driving force is “proximity between individuals.” He says crowds and the blending of individuals with out safety or handwashing are nonetheless probably harmful, even with the beginning of vaccination applications.

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NEW YORK — A U.S. well being official, who final 12 months shook the nation together with her frank evaluation of the U.S. coronavirus pandemic, is resigning.

Dr. Nancy Messonnier introduced the choice Friday in an e-mail to her colleagues on the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention. Messonnier, who joined the company in 1995, led the CDC’s work on respiratory ailments for 5 years and he or she was an early chief within the company’s COVID-19 response.

Throughout a briefing with reporters in February 2020, Messonnier contradicted statements by administration officers that the virus was contained. Shares plunged, and President Donald Trump was enraged.

Quickly after, a White Home process pressure moved to middle stage and Vice President Mike Pence took management of clearing CDC communications in regards to the coronavirus. Messonnier didn’t make extra public appearances.

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In her e-mail Friday, Messonnier says she was taking a brand new job with the California-based Skoll Basis.

At a White Home briefing, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky praised Messonnier as “a real hero.”

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LONDON — British residents can journey to international locations together with Portugal, Iceland and Israel later this month with out having to quarantine on their return.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps says a blanket ban on abroad holidays is being changed by a system classing international locations as low, medium or excessive danger. He says it’s the primary “tentative steps in the direction of unlocking worldwide journey.”

The “inexperienced record” of 12 low-risk territories additionally consists of Gibraltar, the Faroe Islands and the Falkland Islands — however not main trip locations for Britons similar to France, Spain and Greece. Britons touring to these international locations should self-isolate for 10 days on their return.

All however important journey stays barred to international locations with extreme outbreaks, together with India, Turkey and the Maldives.

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The modifications take impact Might 17, the following date on the federal government’s highway map out of lockdown. Pubs and eating places in England can reopen indoor areas the identical day, and venues together with theaters and cinemas can open to restricted audiences.

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GENEVA — The pinnacle of the World Commerce Group says the U.S. administration’s name to take away patent protections on COVID-19 vaccines might assist broaden truthful entry to vaccines however may not be probably the most “important concern.”

WTO Director-Normal Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s feedback Friday got here as officers in Europe more and more insisted that extra vaccine exports are the extra urgent precedence. Activists and humanitarian establishments cheered the American reversal in coverage Wednesday and urged others to observe go well with to take away the mental property protections on the COVID-19 vaccines.

However some world leaders have taken the U.S. to process for not sharing extra vaccines.

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German Well being Minister Jens Spahn says the principle concern just isn’t the query of patents however of manufacturing capability. And producing vaccines just like the one developed by German agency BioNTech and manufactured with Pfizer is sophisticated, he says.

Spahn burdened, as has the pharmaceutical business, that developed international locations whose vaccination campaigns are going nicely ought to export extra photographs.

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MADRID — Spain will chill out nationwide coronavirus pandemic measures this weekend, together with journey restrictions, because the vaccine rollout continues to hurry up.

Nonetheless, some regional chiefs are involved the six-month nationwide state of emergency can be changed by a patchwork of conflicting approaches.

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has refused to increase the sweeping order that gave authorized protection to curfews, social gathering curbs and journey bans throughout the nation.

Every area was taking a distinct path, and the response from courts was additionally assorted. Spain’s instances surged sharply in January however slowed in mid-March earlier than mildly selecting up once more.

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Madrid, whose lockdown-skeptic regional chief was re-elected this week, introduced there can be no extra curfews or journey restrictions out and in of the area beginning Sunday. The operation of bars and eating places could be prolonged from the present 11 p.m. restrict to midnight.

Copyright 2021 The Related Press. All rights reserved. This materials will not be printed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed with out permission.

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