Tag Archives: COVID-19

Merkel to take away powers from regional heads to fight COVID-19

The German Chancellor has clashed with the prime ministers of the states over restrictions on the coronavirus since the beginning of the pandemic, as some of them have not provided the measures agreed with her.

The coalition under the leadership of German Chancellor Angela Merkel decided to transfer to the government the right to impose restrictions due to the COVID-19 coronavirus throughout the country. About this on Saturday, April 10, writes Bloomberg.

It is reported that the Chancellor’s administration has developed a bill that will deprive the heads of 16 federal states of the ability to tighten or relax coronavirus restrictions. So far, the authorities of each German region can make such decisions independently. The government will be given the right to impose restrictions due to COVID-19 throughout the country.

The document, which was reviewed by the agency, says that Merkel plans to impose a curfew from 21.00 to 05.00 in those regions where the incidence rate over the past seven days will exceed 100 cases per 100 thousand people for three consecutive days. Non-food stores located in these lands will have to close, and companies will be required to test employees for coronavirus twice a week. In those regions where the incidence exceeds 200 cases per 100 thousand people, schools will also be closed.

“The biggest obstacle to this proposal is likely to be a vote in the upper house, where the governments of the states are represented, and Merkel’s ruling coalition, led by the Christian Democratic Union, does not have a majority,” the publication says.

Recall that the residents of Germany, who received vaccination against coronavirus, will soon be able to regain their rights and freedoms.

Boris Johnson refused to go to Prince Philip’s funeral

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson refused to go to the funeral of Prince Philip. This is reported by the Sky News channel, citing a statement from a Downing Street representative.

Due to restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus, only 30 people can attend the funeral. Johnson, in turn, wants to act entirely in accordance with what is best for the royal family. “Therefore, he will not attend the funeral on Saturday, so that as many family members as possible can do so,” the statement said.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the funeral of the husband of the British Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, can be held without mass events. It was noted that the funeral will not be able to attend all members of the royal family. In addition, due to coronavirus restrictions, the funeral is unlikely to be attended by royals from other countries and the heads of the Commonwealth of Nations (states that were formerly part of the British Empire).

Prince Philip died on April 9 at the age of 99, two months short of his centenary.

The Austrian Chancellor announced the completion of negotiations on the purchase of Sputnik V

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz announced the completion of negotiations with Russia on the purchase of the vaccine from COVID-19 “Sputnik V”.

“Purchasing for us in Austria is possible,” Kurz said.

Kurz noted that the purchase of a million doses of Sputnik V would speed up vaccination in Austria.

Earlier it was reported that Austria expects to get a quick admission of the Russian vaccine against the coronavirus “Sputnik V” from the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The country does not exclude that it will register the drug itself.

On March 4, the European Medicines Agency announced the start of the procedure for the sequential examination of the Sputnik V vaccine.

J&J vaccine and thrombosis: EU begins check

The EMA will check reports that those vaccinated against the coronavirus with the J&J drug in the United States have experienced side effects.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) will check information about possible severe side effects of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine before the drug is actually used in the European Union. This was reported by the EMA on Friday, April 9.

As specified in the agency’s message, we are talking about the occurrence of thrombosis after vaccination. The vaccine of the American pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson was approved by the European Commission for use in the EU in March this year.

Reports of side effects from J&J in the US

Earlier, on April 8, it was reported that in the US state of North Carolina, the vaccination center against COVID-19 was temporarily closed after several people showed side effects after being vaccinated with the J&J vaccine. A day earlier, the same measures were followed in the state of Denver, where patients after vaccination with this drug complained of dizziness and nausea.

J&J Vaccine Benefits

Unlike most other vaccines, the J&J vaccine only needs to be given once, so more people can get access to the vaccine. In addition, the J&J vaccine does not require ultra-low temperatures to be stored and transported. Like the AstraZeneca and Sputnik V vaccines, J&J is a vector vaccine.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) registered the J&J vaccine in February 2021. The results of phase 3 clinical trials indicate that this drug reduces the risk of moderate to severe coronavirus by 66% after four weeks of vaccination.

EU wants to buy additional 1.8 billion doses of Pfizer vaccines/Biotech

The European Commission is seeking approval from EU governments to begin negotiations with Pfizer/BioNTech to purchase up to 1.8 billion doses of their COVID-19 vaccines, which could be delivered in 2022 and 2023.

This was reported to Reuters by an EU official on the condition of anonymity.

Earlier on Friday, the German daily Die Welt reported that the European Commission will soon sign a contract for the purchase of up to 1.8 billion doses, but did not say with which company.

An EU official, who asked not to be named, said the EU leadership had decided to approach Pfizer/BioNTech, and EU governments supported the plan, although a final “yes” had not yet been given.

Separately, a representative of the European Commission confirmed that the EU leadership has already identified one supplier, the manufacturer of mRNA vaccines, but declined to comment on which company will be contacted for the contract.

“If the opportunity presents itself, Pfizer and BioNTech are ready to deliver hundreds of millions of doses of COVID vaccines to Europe in 2022 and 2023, produced at our facilities in Europe,” a Pfizer spokesperson commented.

According to him, both companies can produce more than 3 billion doses of the vaccine in 2022.

Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna are already supplying mRNA vaccines to the EU, while German biotech company CureVac is seeking EU approval for its mRNA vaccine.