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Vaccine deals for countries in need, a boom in Japan, and more coronavirus news


The drug makers are striking again Vaccine deals, the European Union expands travel policies, and Japan fights a new boom. Here’s what you should know:

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Pharmaceutical manufacturers agree to provide doses of the vaccine to countries in need

Pfizer and BioNTech pledged earlier today To give one billion doses of their Covid vaccine to low- and middle-income countries by the end of this year, and another billion doses over the course of 2022. It is unclear whether these donations will pass through the Covax initiative, which has struggled to gain momentum, especially since the discontinued exports from India has placed its largest supplier Delayed delivery of doses. To make up for the shortfall, GAVI, one of the organizations behind Covax, agreed today on Buy 200 million doses Johnson & Johnson Vaccine.

This week, President Biden also announced that the United States will donate More vaccine surplus. In addition to a previous commitment to send 80 million doses of AstraZeneca abroad, his administration will send 20 million doses of shots approved for use in the United States by the end of June. Even as the vaccination rate slows in the United States, many countries around the world are struggling to secure the doses and shed Vaccine equality questions In sharper comfort.

The European Union eases travel restrictions in the run-up to the summer vacation

This week the European Union made several major changes to Covid’s travel policies in preparation for the summer break. On Wednesday, 27 member states Agree to relax the restrictions For people who have received an approved vaccine or who have come from a country considered safe. Due to higher UK levels for the B.1.617 variant first identified in India, the country Currently not in this list. The European Union also agreed to a Digital certification system That would enable people who can demonstrate that they are unlikely to have Covid – either because their tests are negative or because they have been vaccinated – to travel more freely within the area.

In the United States, government officials were reported to be Probability weighs To change US travel policies surrounding Covid. at present , Restrictions will remain, Including those limiting non-essential travel from Canada and Mexico, which the Department of Homeland Security said will remain in place at least until June 21.

Japan expands the state of emergency as the Tokyo Summer Olympics approaches

Today Japan The state of emergency expanded For the third week in a row two additional vaccines have been approved – from Moderna and AstraZeneca – in hopes of slowing down the recent wave of the virus in the country. The state of emergency now applies to 42 percent of the country’s population. So far, vaccine rollout has been worryingly slow: only 4 percent of the population has received one or more doses. We are nine weeks away from the Tokyo Summer Olympics, and the International Olympic Committee has said that The games will go ahead Even if the state of emergency is still in effect. But polls show that around 60 to 80 percent of the population is as well Against hosting the games.

Elsewhere in Asia, there are cases Also on the riseEven in countries where the numbers were once meager. ResponseHong Kong and Singapore changed their travel policies, Malaysia imposed a new lockdown, and many people across the region are returning home.

Daily distraction

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Something to read

In 2011, the security giant RSA was hacked, giving foreign clients access to technology that thousands of organizations have used to protect themselves from abuse. Ten years later, many of the company’s executives have passed their nondisclosure periods. WIRED’s Andy Greenberg has a file The full story of the amazing hack.

Sanity check

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One question

What will happen to manufacturers who have focused on making masks and other supplies during the pandemic?

A year ago, when there was a shortage of much-needed goods and imports were disrupted, manufacturers within the United States quickly adapted to make masks and other important items. Now, with the economy recovering and cheap imports returning, so are these companies They fight to keep their new business. Last week, members of the newly formed Association of American Masks Manufacturers wrote a letter to the White House asking for help as inexpensive masks and respirators from China are now returning to the United States. Without government support, the group expects that half of its collective production capacity will be lost within 60 days.


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