SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea says it will resume administrating AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine to all eligible people between the ages of 30 and 60.
Last week, South Korea suspended the use of AstraZeneca vaccines for those 60 years old or younger while awaiting the outcome of the European Medicine Agency’s review.
The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said Sunday it will restart the use of AstraZeneca vaccine beginning Monday, citing studies showing that the vaccine’s benefits outweighs the risk of side effects.
An agency statement said those aged 30 or younger will be excluded, as U.K. authorities have recommended they take alternative vaccines.
It says it’s found three cases of blood clots from vaccinated people in South Korea — but none belong to the type of side effects determined by European authorities.
Those who would get AstraZeneca vaccines from Monday include medical workers and people in long-term care facilities, those at special schools and welfare centers for disabled people and homeless people.
In recent days, South Korea has been experiencing a steady increase in new coronavirus infections. Earlier Sunday, South Korea reported 677 new confirmed cases, raising the total to 109,559 with 1,768 deaths.
THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
— More Black Americans say they are open to taking vaccine
— Delayed vaccine shipments could stall progress against COVID-19 in some of world’s poorest countries
— Iran enforces 10-day lockdown amid fourth wave of pandemic
— Nearly one-third of Texans have received virus vaccine
— Ecuador, Peru head to polls under strict virus measures
— Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
BEIJING — China has reported 10 new confirmed coronavirus cases and no deaths.
All the new infections were believed have been acquired abroad, the National Health Commission announced Sunday.
China’s death toll stood at 4,636 out of 90,410 confirmed cases.
ISLAMABAD— Pakistan has reported it’s highest single-day death toll from COVID-19.
The National Command and Control Center announced Sunday that 114 deaths from coronavirus had been confirmed, as well as more than 5,000 new cases.
A weekend ban on inter-city transport has been extended until mid-April, as part of measures to control a surge in virus infections and deaths. The ban will not apply on freight, ambulance services and supplies of medical equipment.
Pakistan, with a population of 220 million people, has vaccinated more than a million people using the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine since February.
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Sri Lankan health authorities have imposed tough restrictions ahead of this week’s New Year festival in a bid to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Health officials on Sunday banned musical shows and many other traditional games, including the tug-of-war, for the April 14 holiday.
They’ve also ordered other gatherings not to exceed 100 people, and asked that gatherings for rituals be limited to immediate family members and close relatives.
The country’s New Year festival typically involves large-scale events, games, competitions and musical shows.
BUCHAREST — Marchers have taken to the streets of the Romanian capital of Bucharest to protest restrictive measures to fight the spread of COVID-19 even as new daily infections and deaths rise in the European Union nation.
About 1,000 people converged Saturday on Victory Square and University Square, expressing frustration with an earlier curfew and shop closures that took effect at the end of March. Many demonstrators waved tri-color Romanian flags and chanted “Freedom!” and “Down with the government!”
“We came to fight against this state of alert that buries all our rights and freedoms,” Dumitru Balan, leader of the civic movement Action for the Nation, told The Associated Press.
The protest was held on the same day that Romania passed 1 million confirmed COVID-19 cases. Hospital intensive care units are struggling to cope with the record demand of just under 1,500 COVID-19 patients; 12,000 others are in other wards.
“There are now very severe patients admitted in our clinical ward that normally would require intensive care … we don’t have enough ICU beds available and patients are waiting with sub-optimal care,” Dragos Zaharia, a pneumologist at Marius Nasta Institute, told the AP. “We are at risk of being accused of malpractice.”
NEW YORK — State lawmakers across the U.S. are taking actions to limit the emergency powers of governors — not just in the current coronavirus pandemic, but for any future emergencies.
The pushback is coming primarily from Republican lawmakers but is not entirely partisan. GOP lawmakers are targeting both Democratic and Republican governors.
When the pandemic hit a year ago, many governors and their top health officials temporarily ordered residents to remain home, limited public gatherings, prohibited in-person schooling and shut down dine-in restaurants, gyms and other businesses. Many governors have been repealing or relaxing restrictions after cases declined from a winter peak and as more people get vaccinated.
The potential remains in many states for governors to again tighten restrictions if new variants of the coronavirus lead to another surge in cases.
The U.S. has recorded 31 million coronavirus cases and more than 561,000 confirmed deaths, the most in the world.
LONDON — As many as 60 countries might be stalled at the first shots of their coronavirus vaccinations because nearly all deliveries through the global program are blocked until as late as June.
The COVAX initiative is designed to provide vaccines to countries lacking the clout to negotiate on their own for scarce supplies. In the past two weeks, only 2 million doses were cleared for shipment to 92 countries through the program, the same amount injected in Britain alone.
Internal World Health Organization documents obtained by The Associated Press say uncertain deliveries are causing some countries to lose faith in COVAX.
The vaccine shortage stems mostly from India’s decision to stop exporting vaccines from its Serum Institute factory because of a surge of coronavirus cases in that country. The factory produces the majority of the AstraZeneca doses that COVAX counted on to supply about a third of the global population.
WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreysus says while one in four people in rich countries had received a vaccine, only one in 500 people in poorer countries had received a dose.
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