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Coronavirus - 15th March

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Post by Kitkat Mon Mar 15 2021, 11:10

Summary for Monday, 15th March

  • The Netherlands is the latest country to suspend use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine
  • It comes amid reports of blood clotting - but the World Health Organization says it is safe
  • The UK medicines regulator says people should carry on getting their vaccines and evidence "does not suggest" the jab causes clots
  • Vaccination expert Prof Anthony Harnden has told the BBC he will carry on using the AstraZeneca jab
  • Prof Harnden also says all over-50's will be vaccinated 'in the next few weeks'
  • Met Police Commissioner Dame Cressida has defended how officers responded to a crowd, which gathered during lockdown restrictions
  • Hospitality bosses in the UK threaten to take the government to court over plans to reopen after lockdown
  • More pupils in Wales and Scotland are returning to the classroom on Monday
  • Former US president Donald Trump is being urged to encourage his supporters to get vaccinated
  • Globally, there have been 2,653,644 deaths and 119,874,650 cases, according to Johns Hopkins University


Welcome to Monday's coronavirus live page

Good morning and welcome to our live page coverage as we bring you the latest on coronavirus news from the UK and around the world.
Here are some of the main headlines this morning.

  • The Netherlands has suspended use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine as a precaution, after concerns about reports of blood clotting. The World Health Organization says it is safe
  • More pupils in Wales and Scotland are returning to schools from today
  • Hairdressers and barbers are reopening in Wales
  • Two of the biggest names in hospitality have threatened to take the government to court over its plans to release England from lockdown

Join us for the latest on these and other stories.

Netherlands suspends use of AstraZeneca vaccine

The Netherlands is the latest country to suspend use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine , over concerns about reports of blood clotting.
It will be suspended until at least 29 March as a precaution, the Dutch government said.
The Republic of Ireland has also made a similar decision after reports from Denmark and Norway about possible side effects.
But the World Health Organization says there is no link between the coronavirus vaccine and an increased risk of developing a blood clot.
Manufacturer AstraZeneca also says there is no evidence of a link.
The European Medicines Agency is carrying out a review but says the benefits of the vaccine continue to outweigh any risks.
And in the UK, medicines regulator the MHRA has urged people to still get their vaccine, and that evidence “does not suggest” the jab causes clots.

UK vaccines expert: 'I would not be using jab if wasn't safe'

BBC Breakfast
Prof Anthony Harnden, deputy chairman of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), says all the current evidence shows the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab is safe.
If there were any concerns about it, the public would be informed "straight away", he told BBC Breakfast.
He said the European regulator of medicines, the British regulator - the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the World Health Organisation and AstraZeneca have "all said this vaccine is safe".
"At the moment, the message is absolutely clear - go and get your vaccine when offered," he said.
"I spent all yesterday in our practice vaccinating with the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine - I would not be immunising my own patients unless I felt it was safe."
He said there was "no demonstrable difference" in the number of blood clots seen between the general population and the 11 million who have received the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab to date.
"We have to remember that there are 3,000 blood clots a month on average in the general population and because we're immunising so many people, we are bound to see blood clots at the same time as the vaccination, and that's not because they are due to the vaccination," he said. "That's because they occur naturally in the population."
He added "the risks of not having the Covid vaccination far outweigh the risks from the vaccinations".

AstraZeneca concerns and other global developments

Looking beyond the UK, here are the coronavirus stories that are making headlines across the world today.

Key developments from the last few hours:

  • AstraZeneca found ‘no evidence’ of blood clot risk. AstraZeneca Plc said on Sunday a review of safety data of people vaccinated with its Covid vaccine has shown no evidence of an increased risk of blood clots.
  • Netherlands suspended use of AstraZeneca vaccine, forcing cancellation of 43,000 appointments. Dutch health authorities will be forced to cancel 43,000 vaccination appointments due to the government’s decision to halt use of the Astrazeneca coronavirus vaccine for at least two weeks, news agency ANP reported Sunday.
  • Major arms sales flat in 2016-20 for first time in more than a decade. International deliveries of arms were flat in the period 2016-2020, ending more than a decade of increases, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said in a report on Monday. While the pandemic has shut down economies across the world and pushed many countries into deep recessions, Sipri said it was too early to tell whether the slowdown in arms deliveries was likely to continue.
  • Protests erupted across many of Jordan’s cities and provincial towns against the government’s coronavirus restrictions, a day after oxygen ran out at a state hospital leading to the deaths of at least six Covid patients, witnesses said on Sunday.
  • Italy’s northern region of Piedmont said on Sunday it would stop using a batch of AstraZeneca coronavirus shots after a teacher died following his vaccination on Saturday.
  • Australia’s Labor party says the government must provide PNG with Covid vaccines amid alarming outbreak . Labor has called on the Morrison government to provide emergency medical assistance to Papua New Guinea , including providing doses of the Covid vaccine for the country’s health workers, as concerns escalate about the growing number of cases in the Pacific nation.
  • Singapore, Australia discuss possible air travel bubble. Singapore and Australia are discussing an air travel bubble with each other to eliminate the need for quarantine as they look to reopen borders mostly shut for nearly a year because of the coronavirus crisis.
  • Japan weighs 50% cap on Olympics spectators – reports. Japan is considering limiting spectators at the delayed Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics to half of venue capacity because of coronavirus risks, the Sankei newspaper said on Sunday. For large venues the limit could be 20,000, but more spectators may be allowed if the situation improved, it added.


Oxford vaccine group director: 'No increase in blood clot phenomenon in UK'

Today Programme - BBC Radio 4
Professor Andrew Pollard, director of the Oxford vaccine group which developed the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab, has said "safety is clearly absolutely paramount" and no link had been found between the vaccine and blood clots.
He was speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme after several European countries suspended use of the coronavirus vaccine over concerns about possible side effects.
He said there was "very reassuring evidence that there is no increase in a blood clot phenomenon here in the UK, where most of the doses in Europe been given so far".
Finland has also done a "very careful study" and not found an increased risk, he added.
Prof Pollard warned there were "huge risks" from Covid and "if we have no vaccination and we come out of lockdown in this country, we will expect tens of thousands of more deaths to occur during this year".
He added that a number of countries around Europe are now seeing an increase in cases again.
"It's absolutely critical that we don't have a problem of not vaccinating people and have the balance of a huge risk - a known risk of Covid - against what appears so far from the data that we've got from the regulators - no signal of a problem," he said.
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Post by Kitkat Mon Mar 15 2021, 11:26

Protests erupt in Jordan after Covid hospital deaths scandal

The Guardian
Protests erupted across many of Jordan’s cities and provincial towns against the government’s coronavirus restrictions, a day after oxygen ran out at a state hospital leading to the deaths of at least six Covid patients, witnesses said on Sunday.
Reuters: Hundreds of people spilled into the streets in defiance of a night curfew in the northern city of Irbid and several other provincial cities including a neighbourhood in the capital and the city of Salt. Protesters also gathered further south in Karak city and the port city of Aqaba.
“Down with the government. We don’t fear coronavirus,” hundreds of youths chanted in Irbid where outrage at the hospital scandal combined with anger over tighter restrictions that include extending a night curfew to stem a major surge of infections driven by a more contagious variant of the virus.

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Protests erupted across many of Jordan’s cities and provincial towns against the government’s coronavirus restrictions, a day after oxygen ran out at a state hospital leading to the deaths of at least six Covid patients, witnesses said on Sunday. Photograph: Khalil Mazraawi/AFP/Getty Images

Jordan’s economy has been particularly hard hit by the shutdowns aimed at containing the virus with unemployment surging to a record 24 % and poverty deepening. It witnessed its worst contraction in decades last year.
Demonstrators who blamed the government for worsening economic conditions also called for an end to draconian emergency laws enacted at the start of the pandemic last year used to limit civil and political rights.
Prime Minister Bisher al Khasawneh fired the health minister and said he bore full responsibility for the initial deaths of six coronavirus patients that exposed gross negligence in the state health system when medical staff failed to act after oxygen ran out for two hours.
King Abdullah visited the hospital in Salt, a city west of the Jordanian capital of Amman, in a move officials said was intended to defuse tensions. Anger with the authorities over worsening living standards, corruption has in the past triggered civil unrest in Jordan.
The authorities detained the hospital head and their aides Saturday evening with officials saying another three deaths could be linked to the rupture in oxygen supplies.


Italy's Piedmont region stops use of AstraZeneca vaccine batch

Italy’s northern region of Piedmont said on Sunday it would stop using a batch of AstraZeneca coronavirus shots after a teacher died following his vaccination on Saturday.
Reuters: The region, around the northern city of Turin, had initially suspended all AstraZeneca vaccines in order to identify and isolate the batch from which the jab administered to the teacher, from the town of Biella, came.
The decision, following similar moves elsewhere in Europe, was precautionary and the region is awaiting the results of checks which will verify whether there is a connection between the death and the vaccination, the regional government said in an online statement.
The statement did not specify what batch it had banned nor did it say how the teacher died. Italian newspapers reported it was batch ABV5811 and a source close to the regional government confirmed it.
“It is an act of extreme prudence, while we verify whether there is a connection. There have been no critical issues with the administration of vaccines to date,” Luigi Genesio Icardi, head of regional health services, said in the statement.
Italy’s medicines authority Aifa said later on Sunday that alarm over the safety of the AstraZeneca doses was not justified and that no link had been proved between the deaths and the administration of the jabs.
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Post by Kitkat Mon Mar 15 2021, 15:06

Thailand to resume using AstraZeneca jab

You may have seen reports that some countries have suspended the use of AstraZeneca vaccines over concerns about side effects. Last week Thailand became the first country outside of Europe to delay use of the vaccine but now the Thai government has said it will start administering it again on Tuesday.
Seven other countries also suspended the use of AstraZeneca vaccines. They are the Netherlands, the Republic of Ireland, Denmark, Norway, Bulgaria, Iceland and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Netherlands was the latest to halt the vaccine’s use , calling it a precautionary measure.
Several other European countries - including Italy, Austria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Luxembourg - have suspended using certain batches of the vaccine, also as a precaution.
In response to these suspensions, regulators and AstraZeneca have sought to reassure the public of the vaccine’s safety.
AstraZeneca said on Sunday a review of safety data had shown no evidence of an increased risk of blood clots.
That assessment has been echoed by UK regulators and the World Health Organization (WHO), which said there is no indication of a link between the vaccine and blood clots .

German doctors urge ‘immediate return’ to lockdown

Germany should reimpose coronavirus restrictions to avoid a “strong third wave” of infections at a precarious time in the pandemic, doctors have urged.
Christian Karagiannidis, director of Germany's intensive-care register, said he and his colleagues “would argue strongly to return immediately to a lockdown”.
He said the spread of a highly contagious variant of the virus first detected in the UK was contributing to a rise in cases.
Coronavirus infections have spiked since Germany gradually eased health measures in late February.
The country has recorded more than 10,000 new cases a day since Thursday last week, data showed.
“You can see very clearly that we will find ourselves in increasing intensive numbers again very quickly, provided we give the virus the opportunity to do so now,” Karagiannidis told broadcaster RBB on Monday.
The German government has been criticised for its coronavirus vaccine rollout, which has suffered delays and slow progress.
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Post by Kitkat Mon Mar 15 2021, 15:19

How do we know Covid vaccines are safe?

Michelle Roberts - Health editor, BBC News online
Several countries have paused use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine after reports that a small number of people who were recently given the shot also developed blood clots.
There have been 15 cases of deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) (a blood clot in a vein) and 22 cases of pulmonary embolism (a blood clot that has entered the lungs) reported among the millions of people vaccinated in the EU and the UK.
Regulators say there is no evidence that the vaccine is linked to or responsible for these events.
The Netherlands, Ireland, Denmark, Norway, Bulgaria and Iceland have paused use of the Oxford vaccine as a precaution, until further research has taken place.
Read on

AstraZeneca concerns aggravate vaccine delays in Europe

We’ve been reporting on the suspension of AstraZeneca vaccinations over blood-clot concerns in several countries.
Most of these countries are in Europe, where complaints about delays to vaccination programmes have put pressure on governments as coronavirus continues to spread.
The biggest problem has been supply, with AstraZeneca falling short of its production estimates.
However, of the AstraZeneca vaccines already delivered, many cannot yet be used in countries that have temporarily halted use of the jabs.
Hence, further delays can be expected.
The Netherlands, for example, said it would stop giving out the vaccine for two weeks until 29 March at least.
The country’s health authorities had scheduled around 290,000 AstraZeneca injections in the coming two weeks.
Elsewhere, the Republic of Ireland said it expected to receive more than one million doses of all vaccines per month in April, May and June.
Of those vaccines, 21% were expected to be AstraZeneca jabs, the government projected .
It's not clear how the country's suspension of the vaccine will affect the rollout of these jabs.

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Post by Kitkat Mon Mar 15 2021, 15:23

'Half of US prison staff' refuse vaccines

You may have read earlier about the call to President Donald Trump to use his influential voice with Republican supporters to urge them to take up the government offer of a Covid-19 vaccine.
Well, there's another group out there which appears to be reluctant to be inoculated: prison staff.
According to the Associated Press News Agency and the Marshall Project - a non-profit news organisation which reports on the US criminal justice system - the figure of refuseniks hovers around 50%. They asked correctional officers, doctors working inside prisons and public health officials for their reasons - and the answers they got ranged from fear of side effects to conspiracy theories.
Some even went as far as saying they would rather be fired than vaccinated.
Prisons in the US, and elsewhere, have been shown to be coronavirus hotspots. In some US state one in three staff members have been infected in addition to the inmates.
You can read more of the findings here.

Indonesia delays AstraZeneca jabs

Indonesia has now joined seven other countries - mainly European - halting AstraZeneca vaccinations.
"To be conservative, the food and drug agency delayed implementation of AstraZeneca as it awaits confirmation from the WHO," Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin told MPs on Monday.
It came as Thailand resumed vaccinations after a brief halt because of concerns about possible blood clots amongst those inoculated. But the vaccine remains on hold in the Netherlands, the Irish Republic, Norway, Denmark, Bulgaria, Iceland and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Several European countries, including Italy and Austria, have suspended the use of certain batches of the drug as a precautionary measure.
The World Health Organization has again stressed there is no evidence so far that the cases of blood clotting are linked to the administration of the AstraZeneca vaccine - in use in 65 countries.
Experts say cases of clotting in vaccinated people are lower than the number seen in the general population. About 17 million people in the EU and the UK have received a dose of the vaccine, with fewer than 40 cases of blood clots reported as of last week, AstraZeneca said.

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Post by Kitkat Mon Mar 15 2021, 15:32

Call for calm over Tanzania leader's whereabouts

Tanzanian Vice-President Samia Suluhu has called for calm amid concerns about President John Magufuli's whereabouts.The president has not been seen in public for more than two weeks and there has been speculation he was outside the country - in Kenya - being treated for coronavirus.
Addressing residents of Handeni District in the north-eastern Tanga region, Suluhu said the president had asked her to pass his greetings to the locals and "urged us to continue living in harmony".
"I would like to assure you Tanzanians that everything is OK. It's normal for human beings to be indisposed due to a flu or fever or whatever," she said in a live address covered by the state-run TBC TV.
"If there is any time for Tanzania to remain united, it is this crucial period," the vice-president said, adding: "This is not the time to listen to rumours from outside (the country) which could confuse our minds."
Magufuli has faced criticism for his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, with his government refusing to buy vaccines. The East African nation has not published its coronavirus cases since May.

WHO stresses need for AZ vaccination to continue

More now on the latest from the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding concerns over the AstraZeneca vaccine and reports of blood clots.
WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier told Reuters News Agency:
"As soon as WHO has gained a full understanding of these events, the findings and any unlikely changes to current recommendations will be immediately communicated to the public.
"As of today, there is no evidence that the incidents are caused by the vaccine and it is important that vaccination campaigns continue so that we can save lives and stem severe disease from the virus."


Breaking News 

Germany halts AstraZeneca jabs

Germany has announced it will stop administering the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine immediately, over concerns it is causing blood clots.
The Health Ministry said it followed a recommendation from the Paul Ehrlich Institute, which advises the German government on vaccinations.
Germany has become the latest European country to suspend the use of the vaccine - the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway and Ireland have also paused as a precaution.
Bulgaria and Iceland have also temporarily halted inoculations with the vaccine, while the Democratic Republic of Congo and Indonesia have postponed the launch of their rollouts.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has said there is no evidence that the vaccine causes blood clots.
Read more on this story here .
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Post by Kitkat Mon Mar 15 2021, 15:38

Norway ‘looking at rare events’ after AstraZeneca jabs

A top Norwegian health expert has explained why the country decided to suspend its use of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Sara Watle, a senior physician at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, said use of the vaccine had been put on hold while more information was gathered.
Several people in Norway became very sick days after receiving AstraZeneca jabs, including one person who died of a brain haemorrhage, she said.
In an interview with BBC Radio 4’s World at One programme , Watle said the cases were “young individuals” who had suffered blood clots and bleeding about five to 10 days after vaccination.
“So, we’re looking at very rare events that all came at the same time in our country,” she said.
When asked if these sorts of medical issues happened anyway, she said: “Yes, they absolutely do and that’s why we need to look more into these events.”
Norway was one of the first countries to suspend use of the AstraZeneca vaccine over concerns about possible side effects.
On Monday the World Health Organization said it had seen no evidence to suggest these reported medical issues had been caused by the vaccine. That view has been mirrored by regulators in the UK and the EU.

Is Europe's AstraZeneca decision-making flawed?

Nick Triggle - Health Correspondent
A number of countries have decided to suspend use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine as a precaution following reports that some people have suffered blood clots after being given the jab.
But is it a case of being too cautious? Are these governments missing the bigger picture?
The decision has been made on the basis of the precautionary principle - a well-established approach in science and medicine that stresses the need to pause and review when evidence is uncertain.
But in a fast-moving pandemic - when each decision can have major consequences - it is an approach which can sometimes do more harm than good.
Read on
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Post by Kitkat Mon Mar 15 2021, 15:42

Italian prosecutor orders seizure of AstraZeneca jabs

A prosecutor in northern Italy has ordered the seizure of nearly 400,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine after the death of a man who received the jab.
The prosecutor in the Piedmont region opened a criminal investigation over the death of Sandro Tognatti, a 57-year-old music teacher.
His death prompted the suspension of the vaccine’s use in the region on Sunday.
The seizure of the doses is another setback for Italy’s vaccination programme, which has been delayed by supply issues in Europe.
A similar seizure was ordered in Sicily last week following the deaths of two men who had recently been inoculated.
But the Italian government said there was no evidence of a link between the deaths and the jabs.

Breaking News 

France and Italy suspend AstraZeneca vaccine use

France and Italy have joined Germany in becoming the latest countries to suspend use of the AstraZeneca vaccine as a precautionary measure.
French President Emmanuel Macron said the country would stop administering the vaccine pending an assessment by the European Union's medicine regulator on Tuesday.
Italy's medicines authority halted the use of the vaccine nationwide.
The decisions come despite the reassurances of UK regulators and the World Health Organization, which have both said there is no link between the vaccine and blood clots.
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Post by Kitkat Mon Mar 15 2021, 17:19

Fauci warns US not to make the same mistakes as Europe

The White House chief medical adviser has warned that coronavirus safety measures must continue, otherwise the US could follow Europe in struggling to contain another wave of the pandemic.
Dr Anthony Fauci told NBC's Meet the Press the US was "not in the end zone yet" and that pulling away from the public health measures early could prolong the pandemic.
His warning comes as a number of US states begin to lift restrictions .
Fauci told Fox News that Europe's most recent spike of cases was partly due to safety measures being relaxed.
"They [Europeans] thought they were home free and they weren't, and now they are seeing an increase," he said, adding, "If you wait just a bit longer to give the vaccine program a chance to increase the protection in the community, then it makes pulling back much less risky."

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Macron: AstraZeneca jab decision ‘taken out of precaution’

We can bring you more on France’s decision to halt use of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
President Emmanuel Macron made the announcement in a news conference on Monday, following similar decisions by other European countries, including Germany and the Netherlands.
"The decision - which has been taken out of precaution - is to suspend vaccinating with the AstraZeneca vaccine in the hope that we can resume quickly if the EMA [the EU’s medicines regulator] gives the green light," Macron said.
"We are therefore suspending its use until tomorrow [Tuesday] afternoon."
On the question of coronavirus restrictions, Macron said his government would have to decide in the next few days if another lockdown was needed to curb the disease.
The suspension of the AstraZeneca jab will slow down the country's vaccination programme, at a time when coronavirus continues to spread.
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Post by Kitkat Mon Mar 15 2021, 17:26

EU's biggest states halt AstraZeneca vaccination

Just to recap then, Germany, France and Italy have halted rollouts of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine after a series of incidents in Europe involving blood clots.
They join several smaller European nations who have halted vaccinations as a precaution while checks are made.
The World Health Organization has said there is no evidence that the incidents are caused by the vaccine.
It said it was reviewing reports relating to the jab, but it was important vaccinations continued.
It was good practice to investigate potential adverse events, it added.
Read our full story here

Breaking News 

UK reports 64 further deaths and 5,089 new cases

Public Health England has published the latest coronavirus figures.
Across the UK, there have been 64 further deaths within 28 days of a positive test and 5,089 new cases.
According to the latest vaccination figures, more than 24.4 million people have had their first dose, and more than 1.6 million have had their second dose.

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Post by Kitkat Mon Mar 15 2021, 17:29

Halting a vaccine roll-out in a pandemic has consequences'

Reaction is continuing to come in to countries such as France and Germany halting their roll-out of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine.
Dr Michael Head, Senior Research Fellow in Global Health at the University of Southampton, says the decision is "baffling".
"The data we have suggests that numbers of adverse events related to blood clots are the same (and possibly, in fact lower) in vaccinated groups compared to unvaccinated populations," he says.
"The UK MHRA [Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency], WHO [World Health Organization] and also the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis have recommended continuing the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine roll out.
“Halting a vaccine roll-out during a pandemic has consequences. This results in delays in protecting people, and the potential for increased vaccine hesitancy, as a result of people who have seen the headlines and understandably become concerned.
"There are no signs yet of any data that really justify these decisions.”

Quarter of US House refuse jab

Holly Honderich - BBC News, Washington DC
While US President Joe Biden urges all Americans to get a Covid-19 vaccine, some 25% of House members have so far avoided the jab – despite Congress having its own supply of the vaccine.
According to reporting from Axios, the vaccine refusal in Congress is higher among white Republicans than any other demographic group.
The hesitancy seems to be slowing the full return of Congress, which would see all 435 members back in the chamber together.
The top Republican in the chamber, Kevin McCarthy, sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi last week, saying it was time to “return to regular order”.
But some top Democrats have pushed back, saying the House is operating in accordance with public health guidelines.
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Post by Kitkat Mon Mar 15 2021, 17:32

Venice empties as Italy locks down

Canals, pathways and squares in Venice are largely deserted as Italy closes for fear of a "new wave" of coronavirus.
Shops, restaurants and schools are closed across much of the country.
For three days over Easter, 3-5 April, there will be a total shutdown.

France one year on from lockdown

Hugh Schofield - BBC News, Paris
More than half of France’s entire population – 35 million people, a record – watched President Macron on the evening of 16 March last year , telling them what most suspected was coming: that from noon the next day they were to be confined to their homes.
The previous days had seen a growing sense of foreboding, as first schools were shut, then cinemas – then bars and restaurants.
On the morning of Tuesday the 17th there was a rush on the trains, as Parisians and other city-dwellers sought refuge with relatives in the country.
And then the uncanny stillness descended.
It was to last not two weeks – as President Macron initially announced – but two months.
A year on France has been through a second lockdown, and is now under a night-time curfew.
The number of daily new cases is around 25,000, and in some areas like Paris the number of Covid patients in critical beds is reaching saturation point.
The vaccination programme is slowly moving into gear , with five million people so far having received at least one jab: but President Macron’s promise to inoculate all those who wish to be inoculated by the end of the summer will require a very rapid increase in the pace.
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Post by Kitkat Mon Mar 15 2021, 17:39

That's all for today

We're pausing our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic for now. Before we go, here are Monday's main stories again:

  • Several large EU countries - Germany, France and Italy - have halted their roll-outs of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine , after a series of incidents in Europe involving blood clots
  • Other European nations, including the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway and the Republic of Ireland, paused their roll-outs of the Oxford vaccine earlier
  • The World Health Organization says there's no evidence that the incidents are caused by the vaccine. It says it's reviewing reports linked to the jab but that it's important that vaccinations continue
  • Cabinet ministers and other senior officials in the UK have told the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg that Boris Johnson should have been tougher last autumn to prevent more coronavirus deaths
  • White House chief medical adviser Dr Anthony Fauci has warned that the US is "not in the end zone yet", and that it shouldn't make the same mistakes as Europe



Monday's live updates were brought to you by Julian Joyce, Lauren Turner, Joshua Nevett, Tiffany Wertheimer, Paulin Kola, Mal Siret, Ashitha Nagesh and Patrick Jackson.

    Current date/time is Mon May 17 2021, 15:08