U.S. drugmaker Merck & Co. joined Gilead Sciences Inc. on April 27 in lending support to India as the world’s second-most populous country scrambles to address drug shortages and bring a raging new wave of Covid-19 cases under control.
European countries prepared on April 21 to resume deliveries of Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine and speed up the rollout after Europe’s drug regulator backed the shot.
Fewer Europeans trust the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine after several countries reported side effects, such as blood clots, an opinion poll by YouGov showed on March 22, even though scientific studies have found it is safe and effective.
Confidence in Covid-19 vaccines is growing, with people’s willingness to have the shots increasing as they are rolled out across the world and concerns about possible side effects are fading, a 14-country survey showed on March 5.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca is effective across all age groups, after Germany recommended the shot be given only to under-65s.
AstraZeneca denied the company’s Covid-19 vaccine is not very effective for people over 65 years old, after German media reports said officials fear the vaccine may not be approved in the European Union for use in the elderly.
Worldwide coronavirus cases surpassed 90 million on Jan. 11, according to a Reuters tally, as nations around the globe scramble to procure vaccines and continue to extend or reinstate lockdowns to fight new coronavirus variants.
The EU campaign to vaccinate Europeans against Covid-19 got off to an uneven start in what will be a marathon effort to administer shots to enough of the bloc’s 450 million people to defeat the viral pandemic.
Europe launched a mass Covid-19 vaccination drive on Dec. 27 with pensioners and medics lining up to get the first shots to see off a pandemic that has crippled economies and claimed more than 1.7 million lives worldwide.
Countries across the globe shut their borders to Britain on Dec. 21 due to fears about a highly infectious new coronavirus strain, causing travel chaos and raising the prospect of food shortages days before Britain is set to leave the European Union.