SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A respiratory therapist who handled the primary two COVID-19 sufferers hospitalized in Puerto Rico grew to become the primary particular person within the U.S. territory to be vaccinated towards the virus on Tuesday.
Yahaira Alicea had handled an Italian couple who visited the island aboard a cruise ship in March. The girl later died. Alicea stated it was a fearful second for her that wore her down bodily and emotionally as she urged everybody to get vaccinated.
“That is what we would like, for this pandemic to finish,” Alicea stated. “Don’t be afraid.”
The occasion was cheered by many on the island of three.2 million those who just lately imposed extra extreme measures to combat a rise in coronavirus circumstances and deaths. Puerto Rico has reported greater than 107,000 confirmed and possible coronavirus circumstances and greater than 1,280 deaths.
Alicea was immunized a day after FedEx planes carrying greater than 16,500 Pfizer vaccine doses landed in Puerto Rico, with one other greater than 13,600 anticipated later this week. The vaccine shall be distributed to 65 hospitals across the island, in line with Gov. Wanda Vázquez.
THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
— Poor nations face long wait for vaccines regardless of guarantees
— EXPLAINER: Why is the EU taking so long to OK vaccine?
— Pandemic backlash jeopardizes public health powers, leaders
— London and nearby areas will be placed below the best degree of restrictions beginning Wednesday
— U.S. COVID-19 deaths top 300,000 just as vaccinations begin
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
WASHINGTON: High U.S. infectious illness knowledgeable Dr. Anthony Fauci says President-elect Joe Biden and vice President-elect Kamala Harris ought to be vaccinated for COVID-19 as quickly as potential.
Chatting with ABC Information, Fauci says, “For safety causes, I actually really feel strongly that we should always get them vaccinated as quickly as we probably can.”
“You need him totally protected as he enters into the presidency in January,” he stated.
Fauci stated that whereas President Donald Trump, who was hospitalized with COVID-19 in early October, most likely nonetheless has antibodies to the virus that can defend him for not less than a number of months, he ought to get it as nicely to be “doubly certain.”
“You continue to wish to defend people who find themselves essential to our nation proper now,” Fauci stated.
BERLIN — After days of pressuring the European Union’s medical regulator, Germany’s well being minister stated Tuesday that he has obtained assurances that the European Medicines Company will approve a coronavirus vaccine by Dec. 23.
Well being Minister Jens Spahn advised reporters in Berlin on Tuesday he “welcomed” German media experiences that stated EMA would finalize its approval technique of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine by Dec. 23, as an alternative of at a Dec. 29 assembly.
“Our aim is an approval earlier than Christmas,” Spahn stated. “We wish to nonetheless begin vaccinating this yr.”
Spahn wouldn’t say from whom he had obtained the affirmation and the EMA couldn’t instantly be reached for touch upon precisely when it will launch its findings on the approval course of.
MOSCOW — Vaccination towards COVID-19 with the Russian-developed Sputnik V vaccine has began in all Russian areas, Russian authorities stated Tuesday.
President Vladimir Putin ordered the federal government to start out “large-scale” vaccination in Russia two weeks in the past, although the Sputnik V vaccine continues to be present process superior research wanted to make sure its security and effectiveness. The pictures have been supplied to medical staff for a number of months although the vaccine was nonetheless in the course of late-stage trials, and over 150,000 folks in Russia have already been vaccinated, in line with its builders.
Well being Minister Mikhail Murashko stated Tuesday the vaccine has been delivered to all Russian areas, and the pictures are being administered in over 1,200 medical services throughout the nation. Medical staff, academics and social staff are the primary in line to get the pictures.
Russia’s state coronavirus job power has reported over 2.7 million confirmed circumstances within the pandemic and almost 48,000 deaths. The Russian Sputnik V vaccine obtained regulatory approval in August in a transfer that drew worldwide criticism, as by that point the pictures had solely been examined on a number of dozen folks.
BRUSSELS — The Belgian cities of Brugge and Knokke-Heist are planning to introduce checks on consumers coming from the neighboring Netherlands to keep away from a scramble of their streets in the course of the festive season.
After the Dutch authorities introduced Monday a troublesome five-week lockdown comprising the closure of nonessential retailers till Jan. 19, the cities near the Netherlands border expect an enormous inflow of Dutch consumers.
“Similar to the Belgians, the Dutch will wish to do their Christmas procuring,” Brugge mayor Dirk De Fauw was quoted as saying Tuesday by native broadcaster RTBF. “We’ll should be on our guard.”
Within the coastal resort of Knokke-Heist, native authorities stated police and stewards will handle visitors in procuring road and will shut entry roads to the city well-known for its infinite sandy seashore as they don’t have the authority to close down the border.
PARIS — As the vacation season approaches, French Prime Minister Jean Castex is encouraging the French to self-confine for 8 days earlier than Christmas, reasonably than taking an automatic coronavirus take a look at.
Talking on Europe-1 radio on Tuesday, Castex stated such an strategy prevents laboratories and pharmacies from turning into clogged. He additionally indicated that youngsters can select to skip college on Thursday and Friday in order that they’ll start self containment.
France on Tuesday is lifting a lockdown imposed on Oct. 28, however strict measures are nonetheless in place as infections are nonetheless excessive. There shall be a nationwide curfew from 8 p.m. to six a.m., which shall be lifted on Christmas Eve however not on New Yr’s Eve. Theaters and cinemas will stay shut as will bars and eating places.
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Authorities in Sri Lanka stated on Tuesday that greater than 3,000 COVID-19 circumstances have been detected within the nation’s extremely congested prisons, as infections additionally surge within the capital and its suburbs.
They stated that 2,984 inmates and 103 guards have been confirmed to have the illness in seven prisons across the nation.
Sri Lankan prisons are extremely congested, with greater than 26,000 inmates crowded in services with a capability of 10,000.
Eleven inmates had been killed in pandemic-related riots inside a jail early this month. Unrest has been rising, with prisoners demanding higher services and care as COVID-19 circumstances enhance. Inmates have staged a number of protests inside prisons in latest weeks.
Sri Lanka’s confirmed circumstances since March reached 33,477 on Tuesday, together with 154 fatalities.
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — The Maldives president’s workplace says it’s discussing easy methods to present a “humane response” to a request from neighboring Sri Lanka to permit burials for Muslims who die of COVID-19.
Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Hood stated Tuesday that President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has obtained a request from Sri Lanka to look into the potential for permitting such burials.
“The request has been obtained. At current we’re contemplating and discussions are ongoing with regard to what can be the suitable and humane response,” Hood advised The Related Press.
There was no fast affirmation from Sri Lanka of such a request.
Sri Lanka’s authorities in March introduced it would cremate the our bodies of all individuals who die of COVID-19, saying the coronavirus may contaminate underground water.
Sri Lankan Muslims have urged the federal government to permit burials, citing their non secular beliefs. They accuse the federal government of denying Muslims a fundamental proper with out scientific grounds, since many nations on the planet enable burials.
TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan has set a aim to vaccinate 60% of its inhabitants with a COVID-19 vaccine, or 15 million folks, a well being official stated Tuesday.
Taiwan has signed an settlement with COVAX to buy a COVID-19 vaccine, however can also be actively in talks with vaccine corporations who’ve candidates in part 3 trials for a possible bilateral settlement as nicely, stated Jing-Hui Yang, a deputy director on the Central Epidemic Command Heart. COVAX, a worldwide plan to distribute vaccines equally, has not but began sending out shipments of vaccines.
The island will prioritize frontline well being staff and important personnel to obtain the vaccine first, Yang stated. In a while, the immunization marketing campaign will goal the aged in addition to those that have present power sicknesses.
Officers anticipate the vaccines to reach early subsequent yr. Nonetheless, an immunization marketing campaign will take time, and won’t be completed in only a month or two, Yang warned.
SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea has reported one other 880 new circumstances of the coronavirus because it slipped deeper into its worst wave of the pandemic but.
That introduced the nation’s caseload to 44,364 on Tuesday, which was the thirty eighth consecutive day of triple-digit day by day will increase. Greater than 10,000 infections have been reported within the final 15 days alone, largely from the densely populated Seoul metropolitan space the place well being staff are struggling to stem transmissions tied to varied locations, together with hospitals, long-term care services, eating places, church buildings and faculties.
The demise toll was at 600 after 13 COVID-19 sufferers died prior to now 24 hours. The Korea Illness Management and Prevention Company stated 205 amongst 11,205 lively sufferers had been in severe or important situation as fears develop over potential shortages in intensive-care models.
Critics say the nation’s viral resurgence underscores the chance of encouraging financial exercise when vaccines are not less than months away. The federal government had lowered social distancing restrictions to the bottom tier in October out of considerations about sluggish development charges regardless of consultants warning of a viral surge throughout winter when folks spend longer hours indoors.
The federal government restored some restrictions over the previous weeks, corresponding to shutting down nightclubs, halting in-person college lessons and requiring eating places to offer solely deliveries and take-outs after 9 p.m.
WASHINGTON — Well being and Human Companies Secretary Alex Azar and Surgeon Common Jerome Adams pressured the vaccine’s security and effectiveness, whereas elevating problems with social fairness.
The officers spoke Monday at a George Washington College Hospital occasion Monday to launch the vaccination of well being care staff within the nation’s capital.
Adams, who’s Black, stated it will be a tragedy if the disparate impression of COVID-19 on communities of coloration bought worse due to hesitancy to get the vaccine. “We all know that lack of belief is a significant trigger for reluctance, particularly in communities of coloration,” stated Adams.
Azar stated the vaccines deliver hope, however “all of that hope doesn’t matter if we don’t bridge to that time” the place widespread vaccination places and finish to the pandemic. So he referred to as on Individuals to double down on training accountable behaviors corresponding to avoiding journey and gatherings, sustaining social distance, sporting masks and washing their palms regularly.
TORONTO — Canada has administered its first doses of COVID-19 vaccine.
5 front-line staff in Ontario are among the many first Canadians to obtain the vaccine at considered one of Toronto’s hospitals.
Three private help staff, a registered nurse, and a registered sensible nurse who work on the Rekai Centre nursing dwelling are among the many first to obtain it.
Ontario obtained 6,000 doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine Sunday evening and plans to present them to about 2,500 health-care staff.
Residents of two long-term care houses Quebec would be the first to obtain the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in that province.
NEW YORK — Coronavirus vaccinations have begun in New York.
A nurse at Lengthy Island Jewish Medical Heart in Queens bought what Gov. Andrew Cuomo referred to as the primary shot given within the state’s marketing campaign to vaccinate entrance line well being care staff.
“I really feel hopeful immediately. Relieved,” stated important care nurse Sandra Lindsay after getting a shot within the arm.
The pinnacle of the hospital system, Michael Dowling, stood over Lindsay as a physician, Michelle Chester, administered the dose. Cuomo watched by way of a livestream.
All 4 applauded after the shot was given. “That is the sunshine on the finish of the tunnel. However it’s an extended tunnel,” Cuomo stated.
This story has been corrected to indicate that the French prime minister inspired his nation to self-isolate for 8 days earlier than Christmas, not 10 days.