There is a link between AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine and very rare blood clots but the causes are still unknown, an official for the European Medicines Agency told an Italian newspaper. AstraZeneca declined to comment.
Meanwhile, coronavirus-related deaths worldwide passed 3 million.
• Spain is accelerating its vaccination rollout and will have fully inoculated 25 million people by late July, the prime minister said, also confirming the end-August target of giving 70% of all Spaniards their shots.
• France is likely to prioritize citizens based in its overseas territories and those with low income for the single-dose COVID-19 vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson.
• Britain has not given up on resuming international travel on May 17, but needs to be cautious given rising infections in Europe, the prime minister said.
• President Joe Biden announced on Tuesday that the U.S. delivered 150 million vaccines since he took office and will move up by nearly two weeks a deadline to make doses widely available.
• Colombia’s capital Bogota will introduce new restrictions this week, including a three-day lockdown starting on Saturday.
• Mexico’s foreign minister said he planned to visit Moscow and China as part of his government’s efforts to ensure that its supply agreements for vaccines against COVID-19 are honored.
• The Indian capital of New Delhi imposed a night-time curfew until April 30 with much of the country struggling to contain a second surge in infections.
• Indonesia has reported its first case of a more transmissible new variant of the coronavirus known for reducing vaccine protection, but the government said vaccines being used in the country could withstand the mutation.
• The European Union denied blocking shipments of 3.1 million doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine to Australia as it steps up scrutiny of vaccine shipments to address EU shortages.
• New Zealand and Australia will create a “travel bubble” without COVID-19 testing or quarantine from April 19.
• South Korea is considering all options to secure enough vaccine supplies, a top vaccine official said in response to questions about possible export curbs on locally made vaccines.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
• Tanzania’s new president, Samia Suluhu Hassan, said her government would form a committee for scientific research into COVID-19, in a departure from the pandemic-sceptic policies of her late predecessor John Magufuli.
• South Africa signed an agreement with Pfizer Inc for 20 million dual shot vaccine doses, boosting plans to start mass vaccinations from April.
• Contract manufacturer Catalent has signed an agreement with Moderna to increase the speed of vaccine production at its U.S. facility.
• Valneva reported positive results for its COVID-19 vaccine in early-stage clinical trials and said it planned to launch a Phase III trial this month.
• World stocks hit record highs supported by strong economic data from China and the United States, while currency and bond markets paused after a month of rapid gains in the dollar and Treasury yields.
• The International Monetary Fund raised its forecast for British economic growth which is set to outpace the euro zone this year after its slump in 2020 but is unlikely to regain its pre-pandemic size until some time in 2022.