Sri Lanka gives Pfizer injections for some as 2nd dose

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – Sri Lanka is administering Pfizer injections to people who were waiting after receiving their first doses of AstraZeneca earlier this year.

Mixed two vaccines are still being studied for their effectiveness, but the Sri Lankan health authorities have approved it due to a severe shortage of AstraZeneca.

Sri Lanka received 26,000 doses of Pfizer on Monday, the first batch of 5 million shots received this year. It began rolling out them on Wednesday to residents 55 and over in the capital Colombo.

About 384,000 people were fully vaccinated before Sri Lanka ran out of doses of AstraZeneca and 540,000 people were only partially vaccinated.

Channa Jayasumana, the minister of state overseeing pharmaceuticals, said obtaining Pfizer because the 2nd dose was optional and a shipment of AstraZeneca vaccine was expected this month.

Sri Lanka has also used Sinopharm and the Russian Sputnik V to vaccinate people against COVID-19.

Sri Lanka has seen a sharp increase in coronavirus infections and deaths since April. It has recorded 266,499 cases with 3,268 deaths in total.



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WELLINGTON, New Zealand – New Zealand medical regulators have approved the use of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine, after approving the Pfizer vaccine earlier in the year.

But the New Zealand government intends to stick to its plan to primarily use the Pfizer vaccine to inoculate the population of 5 million.

The provisional approval of the J&J vaccine by regulator Medsafe applies to adults aged 18 and over and will need to be approved by Cabinet, which will likely take place next month.

New Zealand has an agreement to purchase 2 million doses of the J&J vaccine. COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said a second vaccine would provide more flexibility and could be used in emergencies or in hard-to-reach places.


SYDNEY – A two-week pandemic lockdown in Australia’s largest city is extended by one week due to the vulnerability of a largely unvaccinated population to the coronavirus.

New South Wales State Premier Gladys Berejiklian said on Wednesday that health experts had recommended postponing the Sydney lockdown until July 16 at midnight.

The decision means most children in Sydney and some neighboring communities will not be returning to school next week after their mid-year break.

Only 9% of Australian adults are fully vaccinated, raising fears that the delta variant of the coronavirus could spread rapidly and out of control.

There have been more than 300 coronavirus infections in Sydney linked to a limo driver who tested positive on June 16. He is believed to have been infected while transporting an American flight crew from the airport.


SEOUL, South Korea – South Korea reports more than 1,200 new cases of the coronavirus, an unprecedented level since its worst outbreak in December as it slides into another wave of the virus with most of its residents no vaccinated.

The 1,212 new cases reported on Wednesday are close to South Korea’s biggest daily increase during the pandemic on Christmas Day, when authorities listed 1,240 new cases.

The government had planned to raise the ceiling for private social gatherings from four to six people and allow restaurants to extend meals to within two hours from this month. But officials in Seoul and neighboring areas have resisted the rise in infections.

On Wednesday, only 30% of South Korea’s population received the first dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum said officials would consider stricter social distancing rules if transmissions continue to grow over the next two or three days.


HARARE, Zimbabwe – Zimbabwe has returned to strict lockdown measures to tackle a resurgence of COVID-19 amid a vaccine shortage.

Infections have increased dramatically in recent weeks despite a nighttime curfew, reduced opening hours, localized closures in sensitive areas and travel bans between cities.

The country’s information minister announced that the virus had spread to rural areas where health facilities are sparse.

Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa announced after a Cabinet meeting that most people must stay at home, similar to movement restrictions enacted in March last year when towns became nearly deserted .

People will now need letters from employers to justify why they have to venture out of their neighborhood.

Zimbabwe is one of over 14 African countries where the delta variant is spreading rapidly. The delta variant was first identified in India.


WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden has said the rise of a more transmissible COVID-19 variant in the United States “should make everyone think twice about it.”

Speaking at the White House on Tuesday as he described his administration’s summer plans to boost vaccinations, Biden said the delta variant first identified in India is now responsible for the majority of new cases of the virus in much of the country.

“It seems to me that should make everyone think twice, and it should lead to a re-examination, especially among young people,” he said, referring to the population least at risk of negative results. virus.

Biden says the safest way for Americans to protect themselves and their loved ones is to get vaccinated. He said the White House was working with state and local partners to support hyper-local vaccination campaigns in low adoption communities.


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