UK gives 1st doses of COVID-19 vaccine: Live news

UK gives 1st doses of COVID-19 vaccine: Live news

The UK has started rolling out the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, the first Western country to begin vaccinating its population against infection from the new coronavirus.

Meanwhile in the US, Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease expert, warned that the upcoming Christmas and New Year holiday season may be worse than the recent Thanksgiving season in terms of spreading the virus.

And Japan announces fresh $708bn economic stimulus package to speed up the recovery from the country’s deep coronavirus-driven slump.

Here are the latest updates:

1 min ago (07:57 GMT)

UK’s Johnson thanks health workers after COVID vaccine launch

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson welcomed the start of a COVID vaccination programme on Tuesday and thanked health workers, scientists and people who had volunteered for testing.

“We will beat this together,” Johnson said in a message on social media, and urged the public to continue to follow guidance aimed at limiting the spread of the coronavirus.

45 mins ago (07:14 GMT)

British grandmother is the first person to get Pfizer vaccine outside trial

Margaret Keenan, a 90-year-old grandmother from Britain, has become the first person in the world to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine outside of a trial following its rapid clinical approval, Reuters reported.

Keenan received the jab at her local hospital in Coventry, central England, on Tuesday morning at 06:31 GMT, a week before she turns 91.

“I feel so privileged to be the first person vaccinated against COVID-19,” said Keenan.

50 mins ago (07:09 GMT)

India reports lowest daily rise in COVID-19 cases since July

India has reported 26,567 new coronavirus infections, data from the health ministry showed, the lowest daily increase since July 10, according to a Reuters tally.

Daily cases have been falling in India since hitting a peak in September. The country has 9.7 million cases, second-highest caseload in the world after the US.

Deaths rose by 385, the health ministry said, with the total now at 140,958.

50 mins ago (07:09 GMT)

Australia’s western state removes quarantine requirements for more travellers

The state of Western Australia has begun allowing travellers from Victoria and New South Wales (NSW) to enter without having to quarantine for the first time in eight months, the latest sign the country is returning to some kind of normalcy.

Passengers on a Qantas flight arrived in Perth, the capital of Western Australia, from Sydney to emotional scenes of families reuniting after months of separation.

The move comes as Australia’s two most populous states have seen little to no new cases in recent weeks, and underscores Australia’s success in containing the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed more than 1.5 million people worldwide.

49 mins ago (07:09 GMT)

Germany’s confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 14,054: RKI

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany has increased by 14,054 to 1,197,709, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases show.

The reported death toll rose by 423 to 19,342, the tally showed.

49 mins ago (07:09 GMT)

Japan unveils $708bn in fresh stimulus for COVID-19 recovery

Japan has announced a fresh $708bn economic stimulus package to speed up recovery from the country’s deep coronavirus-driven slump, while targeting investment in new growth areas such as green and digital innovation.

The new package will include about 40 trillion yen ($384.54bn) in direct fiscal spending and initiatives aiming to reduce carbon emissions and boost the adoption of digital technology, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said in a meeting with ruling party executives.

Policymakers globally have unleashed a wall of monetary and fiscal stimulus to prevent a deep and prolonged recession as the coronavirus closed international borders and sent millions out of work.