Nearly a year after the first case of novel coronavirus was reported from the Chinese city of Wuhan, a 90-year-old woman on Tuesday became the first recipient of a widely tested and independently reviewed Covid-19 vaccine, rolled out in the UK. The world is now keenly watching the global immunization program that is expected to gain momentum as more serums win approval. Meanwhile, in an encouraging sign, India reported fewer than 27,000 daily cases for the first time today since July.
Here are the top Covid-19 developments that you need to know today
UK gives first doses of COVID-19 vaccine
The UK kicked off its biggest-ever vaccine campaign in history Tuesday, as 90-year-old Margaret Keenan became the first person in the world to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech jab against Covid-19. She received the shot at University Hospital Coventry at 6:31 a.m. Keenan said she felt “so privileged to be the first person vaccinated against Covid-19.”
Public health officials are asking the public to be patient because only those who are most at risk from the virus will be vaccinated in the early stages. Medical staff will contact patients to arrange appointments, and most will have to wait until next year before there is enough vaccine to expand the program.
The first 800,000 doses are going to people over 80 who are either hospitalized or already have outpatient appointments scheduled, along with nursing home workers. Others will have to wait their turn. Read full AP report here
Among those older Britons scheduled to get vaccinated is 87-year-old Indian-origin man Hari Shukla.
PM Modi lays out plan on India’s vaccination strategy
Amid the global race for the vaccine, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the mobile technology will be used for mass inoculation against the pandemic. Speaking at the India Mobile Congress, he said mobile technology has enabled benefits worth billions of dollars to reach the deserving and also helped the poor and vulnerable during the pandemic. “It is also with the help of mobile technology that we will embark on one of the world’s largest COVID-19 vaccination drive,” he said.
First details of Covid-19 immunisation in India
As vaccines that are expected to finally defeat the novel coronavirus that has sickened 67 million people and killed over 1.5 million around the world seems increasingly close, the high-level expert group working on the logistics of administering it to Indians has firmed up some key decisions.
- 100 individuals will be administered the vaccine during each session at a vaccination centre.
- The vaccinator will take at least 30 minutes to complete the process of vaccinating each recipient, to ensure tracking of a possible adverse event.
- Both government and private healthcare facilities will be roped in to conduct the first round of immunisations for frontline healthcare workers. Read more here.
Daily cases; early vaccination strategy: What the Health Ministry said today
India’s Covid active caseload has fallen below 4 per cent of the total infections reported so far, while new recoveries outnumbering the daily new cases has improved the national recovery rate to 94.59 per cent as on date, the Union Health Ministry said.
With a high number of Covid patients recovering every day and the sustained fall in the mortality rate, India’s steady trend of registering a dip in active cases continues, the ministry said. “India has achieved a significant milestone in its fight against COVID. The new confirmed cases in a span of 24 hours have fallen below 27,000 (26,567) for the first time after nearly 5 months,” the ministry said. The new cases were 26,506 last on July 10.
Meanwhile, data on frontline healthcare workers are also being uploaded on Co-WIN software in preparation of COVID-19 vaccination, the ministry said. The National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration has recommended that around 1 crore health workers should be given priority in vaccination.
In Kerala, Covid patient in PPE votes in local body elections
#KeralaLocalPolls: A Covid positive person and another who is in quarantine coming to vote at Nedumbakkad in Cherthala town of Alapuzha district.
Video: PRD, Gov of Kerala pic.twitter.com/kqzgmiIl0X
Morocco to kick off mass vaccination plan with Chinese drug
Morocco is gearing up for an ambitious Covid vaccination program, aiming to vaccinate 80 per cent of its adults in an operation starting this month that’s relying initially on a Chinese vaccine that has not yet completed advanced trials to prove it is safe and effective. The first injections could come within days, a Health Ministry official told The Associated Press.
Facing a public skeptical about the vaccines’ safety and effectiveness, medical experts and health officials have appeared on television in recent weeks to promote the vaccines and encourage Moroccans to get immunized.
Explained today: How Australia’s ‘Go for zero’ policy helped it bring Covid cases down to a trickle
Australia’s Victoria state has allowed up to 100 people to attend public gatherings and Melbourne welcomed its first international passenger flight in five months even as Western Australia is set to open its borders to people arriving from Victoria and New South Wales. The turnaround in the coronavirus situation in Australia — which had gone three weeks without any local transmission of Covid-19 till December 2 — has led to a significant easing of restrictions, with the country being one of the first to allow spectators into stadiums.
The lifting of curbs come on the back of Australia’s two most populous states recording little to no new cases in recent weeks. While Victoria has had no new cases for more than a month, with officials claiming to have “eliminated” the coronavirus, New South Wales recorded just one local infection in the last four weeks. We explain it here
(Inputs from AP)
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