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Poland won’t give AstraZeneca shot to elderly, vaccine shortage in California & other Covid news

As the Covid-19 pandemic shows no signs of letting up, ThePrint highlights the most important stories on the crisis from across the globe.

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New Delhi: The novel coronavirus pandemic continues to devastate countries across the world — the latest count being over 10 crore cases and more than 22 lakh deaths.

Poland has recommended coronavirus vaccine for only for people aged 18-60 as the government claimed that it is not sure about its effectiveness. California is dealing with a shortage of vaccines and Hong Kong is thinking of sending children back to school.

ThePrint brings you the most important global stories on the coronavirus pandemic and why they matter.

Poland will not give vaccine to those above 60 years

Poland will administer Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine only to people between the ages of 18-60 following a recommendation from the country’s medical council. People over 60 will not be given the vaccine, as the government claimed that there is not sufficient evidence that it is effective, reported The Guardian.

Michael Dworczyk, the top aide to Poland’s prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki, announced Tuesday at a press conference that the country’s medical council has advised against administering the vaccine to people above 60.

Poland’s decision follows recommendations by medical experts in Austria, France and Sweden that the vaccine should be given only to people between the ages of 18 and 64. Germany had also recommended the vaccine for people under 64 after suggestions by the  European Medicines Agency.

Poland has recorded 1,520,215 Covid-19 cases and 37,476 deaths so far.

California dealing with shortage of vaccines 

Health officials in California are worried about the lack of a sufficient and reliable stream of vaccine doses. The officials stated that the problem is twofold – first, there’s a limited supply of vaccines, and some areas of the state, including Los Angeles, have seen their shipments shrink over the last few weeks. Second, as the vaccines require two doses, taken weeks apart, more initial doses mean there is a bigger need for follow up shots.

There have been instances when some people seeking a first shot have even had their appointments cancelled because vaccines were in short supply or were needed for second doses, the Los Angeles Times reported.

For the week of 11 January, Los Angeles received 193,950 vaccine doses; the following week, it received only 168,575 doses and only 146,225 doses the week after that.

The US has recorded 27,027,347 Covid-19 cases, out of which 9,819,069 are active.

Also read: Japan set to extend state of emergency to 7 March to contain Covid

0.54% of Israeli healthcare workers developed Covid after vaccination 

A study by a group of Israeli doctors and scientists from the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer suggested that medical personnel should not be quick to dismiss post-vaccination symptoms. The study has found that out of 4,081 vaccinated healthcare personnel from Israel, 22 (0.54%) developed Covid-19 10 days after the vaccination, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Among these 22, 13 had common influenza-like symptoms which are easily dismissed. The other nine were tested because they were exposed to confirmed or suspected Covid patients.

Israel has recorded 663,665 Covid cases, of which 3,687 are new cases.

Hong Kong weighs allowing 1/3rd students to schools

The Hong Kong authorities are weighing up whether to allow one-third of a school’s student capacity to return to classrooms after the coming holidays, South China Morning Post reported.

According to the report, education officials held a meeting with school heads Tuesday on the arrangements for resuming classes next month after the Lunar New Year holiday. The in-person classes in schools were suspended on 2 December 2020 due to the fourth wave of the coronavirus in the country. But a sixth of the student capacity was allowed to return on a half-day basis to attend lessons or take tests starting last month.

Hong Kong has seen 10,512 coronavirus cases and 183 deaths, out of which 780 cases are active.

Victoria’s multibillion-dollar business tourism industry hit 

Amid a wave of event cancellations during the first half of the year, Victoria’s multi-dollar business tourism industry has taken a huge hit, The Age reported.

The Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event, Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show and Arnold Sports Festival are among a few of the larger events in March which have now been cancelled. Those involved in the business tourism sector fear that the business will be 70 per cent of recent pre-pandemic years.

Australia has, so far, recorded 416,763 Covid-19 cases out of which 13,600 are currently active.

What else are we reading 

Canadian doctors call for schools to return to in-classroom learning: The Globe and Mail

Booze, pools, and late(r) nights – Covid lockdown eased: Mail and Guardian

Also read: US hits milestone with more vaccinations than Covid cases


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