The European Union was asked to allow an extra dose of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech to be taken from each vial, a practice allowed elsewhere that would make scarce supplies go further.

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 cross-border vaccination program of unprecedented scale on Dec. 27 as part of efforts to end the Covid-19 pandemic that has crippled economies and claimed more than 1.7 million lives around the world.

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.

The global tally of confirmed coronavirus cases hit 60 million on Nov. 25, with the pace of new infections accelerating and the United States reporting record numbers of hospitalizations, according to a Reuters tally.

The new coronavirus was circulating in Italy during September 2019, a study by the National Cancer Institute (INT) of the Italian city of Milan shows, signaling that it might have spread beyond China earlier than believed.

Pfizer Inc. received informal requests relating to operations in China from the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in June and August, respectively, according to a regulatory filing from the company.

Europe’s new Covid-19 cases doubled in five weeks, propelling the region across the bleak milestone of 10 million total infections, according to a Reuters tally.

(Reuters) – Europe became the second region after Latin America to surpass 250,000 deaths on Saturday, according to a Reuters tally, with record numbers of daily COVID-19 infections reported in the past two weeks.

Europe’s reported coronavirus cases more than doubled in 10 days, crossing 200,000 daily infections for the first time according to a Reuters tally, with many Southern European countries reporting their highest single-day cases.