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AstraZeneca vaccine row worsens as EU says it has legal right to jabs from drugmaker

AstraZeneca vaccine row worsens as EU says it has legal right to jabs from drugmaker's two UK plants

The EU slammed Covid-19 vaccine manufacturer AstraZeneca on Wednesday for allegedly failing to provide the bloc with its agreed number of jabs. It demanded the company give it some of the doses that have been produced in the UK.
rt - 32 minutes ago
‘Animal abuser killed stranger’s dog for chasing his car’ - metro

‘Animal abuser killed stranger’s dog for chasing his car’

James Franklin, 26, has admitted to allegedly killing the dog in West Monroe, Louisiana.
metro - 49 minutes ago
Hong Kong resorts to ‘ambush lockdowns’ to fight virus outbreaks in high-density housing - rt

Hong Kong resorts to ‘ambush lockdowns’ to fight virus outbreaks in high-density housing

The authorities in Hong Kong have begun employing “ambush lockdowns” with no prior warning given to residents, in an attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus beyond localized clusters.
rt - 1 hour ago
Anyone Want $2 Million Worth of Hydroxychloroquine? Asking for Oklahoma. - vice

Anyone Want $2 Million Worth of Hydroxychloroquine? Asking for Oklahoma.

The state of Oklahoma has wound up with 100,000 doses of the drug former President Trump falsely touted as a cure for COVID-19.
vice - 1 hour ago
Virgin Media launches 5G network in the UK - metro

Virgin Media launches 5G network in the UK

Virgin Media's 5G signal is now live in 100 towns and cities across the UK
metro - 2 hours ago
Madrid RUNS OUT of Covid-19 jabs, halts vaccinations for two weeks - rt

Madrid RUNS OUT of Covid-19 jabs, halts vaccinations for two weeks

Spain’s capital region of Madrid has halted new inoculations against Covid-19 as it is running out of vaccine doses, its deputy president has revealed, adding that immunization goals are unlikely to be met due to low supply.
rt - 3 hours ago
Protesters swarm streets of Tunisia over poverty, police brutality and a botched Covid-19 response (VIDEOS) - rt

Protesters swarm streets of Tunisia over poverty, police brutality and a botched Covid-19 response (VIDEOS)

Hundreds of protesters have taken to the streets of Tunisia to vent their ire at social inequality, police brutality and a lackluster response to the coronavirus pandemic which has exacerbated economic woes in the country.
rt - 3 hours ago
Restaurant ‘hosted swingers party with guests having sex on tables during Covid’ - metro

Restaurant ‘hosted swingers party with guests having sex on tables during Covid’

Staff allegedly had sex on the tables where customers had earlier eaten.
metro - 3 hours ago
Dutch police record quieter night with only 131 arrests, as anti-lockdown rioting continues into fifth day - rt

Dutch police record quieter night with only 131 arrests, as anti-lockdown rioting continues into fifth day

Police in the Netherlands have arrested a further 131 people, after five nights of civil unrest, as people take to the streets in anger against the government’s Covid-19 curbs.
rt - 3 hours ago
Iran accuses Israel of

Iran accuses Israel of 'psychological warfare' as it dismisses military threats

Iranian officials have dismissed recent military threats made by Israel's armed forces as nothing more than "psychological warfare" from a government that has "virtually no plan" to follow through on its rhetoric.
rt - 4 hours ago
Marjorie Taylor Greene Believes In Frazzledrip, QAnon’s Wildest Conspiracy Theory - vice

Marjorie Taylor Greene Believes In Frazzledrip, QAnon’s Wildest Conspiracy Theory

Greene has repeatedly tried to distance herself from QAnon, but she has never disowned the conspiracy movement.
vice - 4 hours ago
53 dead after blaze engulfs bus and fuel truck in horror Cameroon crash - rt

53 dead after blaze engulfs bus and fuel truck in horror Cameroon crash

A horrific crash between a bus and a fuel-laden truck in western Cameroon has left 53 people dead after an enormous fire engulfed the two vehicles.
rt - 4 hours ago
RT

RT's Ruptly was MOST-WATCHED news agency on YouTube in 2020, raking in nearly 430mn views

Ruptly, RT’s video agency, bested AFP, Reuters, the Associated Press and others to become the most-watched news agency on YouTube in 2020, a triumph attributed to its exclusive footage of some of the biggest stories of the year.
rt - 4 hours ago
Trippy drugs and magic ’shrooms can cure people mentally scarred by racist abuse, new research suggests - rt

Trippy drugs and magic ’shrooms can cure people mentally scarred by racist abuse, new research suggests

For people scarred by racism, one cure is a psychedelic trip, new research says. And it claims treatment with the same compound found in magic mushrooms and ecstasy decreases post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) within 30 days.
rt - 4 hours ago
France overturns €90,000 fine imposed on Paris mayor’s office for hiring ‘too many’ women - rt

France overturns €90,000 fine imposed on Paris mayor’s office for hiring ‘too many’ women

A controversial €90,000 fine imposed on the office of Paris mayor late in 2020 has been canceled, a French minister has said. The hefty fine was levied on the city for hiring too many women into managing positions.
rt - 4 hours ago
Europe

Europe's air safety authority declares Boeing's 737 MAX safe to return to service after two years on the ground

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has given the green light for a modified version of the Boeing 737 MAX to return to service, but issued a package of measures that must be completed before aircraft can fly.
rt - 4 hours ago
Win, win, win? Scientists claim new contraceptive gel enhances libido, prevents pregnancy and may stave off STDs - rt

Win, win, win? Scientists claim new contraceptive gel enhances libido, prevents pregnancy and may stave off STDs

Researchers have created a new spermicidal, anti-viral and libido-enhancing contraceptive gel which boasts the holy trinity for sexual health. The scientists claim the gel improves both the “safety and quality” of sex.
rt - 5 hours ago
Beijing to implement stricter Covid-19 restrictions to help contain virus ahead of Lunar New Year  - rt

Beijing to implement stricter Covid-19 restrictions to help contain virus ahead of Lunar New Year 

Beijing has announced that it will require people travelling to the city from low-risk areas of China to present a negative Covid-19 test, as part of a raft of measures introduced ahead of the Lunar New Year celebrations.
rt - 5 hours ago
Huge explosion heard over Norfolk believed to be sonic boom - metro

Huge explosion heard over Norfolk believed to be sonic boom

More follows.
metro - 5 hours ago
Tehran aims to manufacture 14 million indigenous Covid-19 vaccines in June alone as govt highlights good progress in human trials - rt

Tehran aims to manufacture 14 million indigenous Covid-19 vaccines in June alone as govt highlights good progress in human trials

A senior public official has said that Iran is moving towards solving its inoculation problems as it looks to mass-produce its first vaccine after very early trial data suggest the jab is effective against Covid-19.
rt - 5 hours ago
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channel 4
FactCheck: are we on track to hit vaccination targets? 

FactCheck: are we on track to hit vaccination targets? 

channel 4 - 2 weeks ago

The Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, and other government ministers have insisted the UK is on track to hit a target of offering a Covid-19 vaccine to almost 14 million people by the middle of next month.

But questions remain about the supply of vaccines. Will the government hit this target, and others that have been mentioned by ministers?

What is the target exactly?

On January 4, Boris Johnson first set out the target of offering the first dose of a vaccine to the top four priority groups identified by the governments main advisory body on vaccinations by February 15.

The number was initially put at 15 million people, but Matt Hancock said in a BBC Radio 4 interview today that the first four categories amounted to 13.9 million across the UK.

The target has always been to offer people the first dose. Since vaccines are not mandatory in the UK, its expected that some people will decline the offer, so the government cannot guarantee the number of vaccinations that will actually be done.

Sir Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, told MPs on Monday that the government was expecting around three-quarters of people offered a vaccine shot to take up the offer, but said there was enough vaccine, provided that supply carries on coming onstream as we expect it to to cover ensure coverage even if everyone takes up the offer.

In case there was any suspicion about the meaning of the February 15 deadline, Matt Hancock told the Health and Social Care Select Committee: The point about the exact language of the target is that people will be offered to have had the vaccine.

It is not that you might get an offer on the 14th for a vaccine in a couple of weeks time; it is that you will have been offered to have had the vaccine by 15 February.

Matt Hancock announced a new target this week: offering a vaccine to every adult in the UK by the autumn. That could stretch from September to December 21, depending on your definition, and its not clear what precise date he has in mind, or whether he envisages all adults getting one dose or two.

In evidence to MPs, Sir Simon Stevens talked about reaching all adults during the balance of the year.

Are we on track?

Around 165,000 people were vaccinated on Monday and 224,000 on Tuesday, according to the latest official figures.

Just over 3 million people have now received a first or second dose in the UK, and there are 33 days between January 12 and February 15.

To vaccinate all 13.9 million people by then, we would need to carry out more than 300,000 vaccinations a day around double the current rate.

The government says that ability of drug companies to supply enough vaccine quickly is the limiting factor in the rollout.

Two companies are making vaccines for the UK: Pfizer and AstraZeneca. The UK has placed its biggest order with AstraZeneca: 100 million doses. So its clear that the success of the vaccination programme will depend to a large extent on AstraZenecas ability to ramp up vaccine production.

How much AstraZeneca vaccine do we have?

Tom Keith-Roach, the President of AstraZeneca UK, told Parliaments Science and Technology Committee today that the company had release just over 1.1 million doses of vaccine so far since the rollout began.

He said AstraZeneca was absolutely on track to increase supply to 2 million doses every week on average imminently, although he would not say how many doses were expected next week.

Even if we reach two million doses a week almost immediately and sustain that rate of production, that may not be enough to hit the government target of having nearly 14 million doses available by 15 February although we dont know how much Pfizer is expected to supply before then.

Why is it less than expected?

Its clear from many statements made by ministers and others that the supply of AstraZeneca has been slower than was expected last year.

Back in May 2020, a government press release talked about the company supplying 30 million doses by September. That fell by the wayside quickly.

On November 4 Kate Bingham, then head of UK Vaccine Taskforce, admitted that early production forecasts had been over-optimistic but said we would “end up with the 100 million doses that we have secured from AZ in the first half of next year”.

On November 27, the government said AstraZeneca expected to have 40m doses ready by March 2021, echoing briefings the company was giving at the time.

At a rate of 2 million doses a week, AstraZeneca will not now come up with 40m doses in the first quarter of this year, or 100m doses in the first half.

Sir Mene Pangalos, Executive Vice President of BioPharmaceuticals Research and Development at AstraZeneca, said today: Yields were lower than anticipated. We had batch failures, and thats all part of moving very rapidly as youre trying to optimise a process.

sauce: channel 4
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