Factbox: Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus

(Reuters) – The World Health Organization’s global vaccine-sharing scheme COVAX delivered its first shots on Wednesday, as the race to get doses to the world’s poorest people and tame the pandemic accelerates.

FILE PHOTO: A nurse puts on her protection suit before entering a COVID-19 patient’s ward, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Cascais, Portugal, January 27, 2021. 2021. REUTERS/Pedro Nunes

AstraZeneca Plc has told the European Union it expects to deliver less than half the COVID-19 vaccine doses it was contracted to supply in the second quarter, an EU official told Reuters.

DEATHS AND INFECTIONS * Eikon users, see COVID-19: MacroVitals here for a case tracker and summary of news.


* Germany still expects to receive a planned 16 million doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine in the second quarter, despite a report that there would be delivery shortfalls.

* Poland was set to announce tougher restrictions, especially in regions hit particularly hard by the variant of COVID-19 first detected in Britain.

* Greece will not be able to lift lockdown restrictions in the wider Athens area on March 1 as previously planned, following a sharp increase in infections.

* Hungary cannot yet ease its partial lockdown as a third wave of infections has boosted new cases and only a small section of the population has received a vaccine so far, the prime minister said.

* Denmark plans to allow shops and some schools to reopen in March in a much awaited move that could however send hospital coronavirus admissions soaring in coming months.


* India announced an expansion of its vaccination programme but warned that breaches of coronavirus protocols could worsen an infection surge in many states.

* Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Japan would start vaccinating the elderly from April 12.

* Vietnam aims to obtain 90 million vaccine doses this year, its health ministry said as the country received the first batch of 117,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

* Malaysia launched its COVID-19 inoculation programme, with a target of vaccinating at least 80% of its 32 million people by February next year.

* The Philippines health ministry said it would investigate the illegal use of unauthorised COVID-19 vaccines, after a presidential advisor admitted to receiving shots of a Sinopharm vaccine smuggled into the country.


* COVID-19 vaccine makers told the U.S. Congress that supplies should surge in the coming weeks.

* The presidents of Mexico and Argentina pressed the United Nations and the world’s richest countries to improve poorer nations’ access to vaccines.

* Colombia approved the emergency use of AstraZeneca’s vaccine.


* Hospitals should prepare for a possible second wave of coronavirus and take steps to prevent its spread, health authorities in the government-controlled part of Yemen said.

* The United Arab Emirates is opening field hospitals to increase the health sector’s capacity.

* The World Bank threatened to suspend its multi-million- dollar financing for Lebanon’s vaccinations over politicians jumping the line.

* Israel is giving small amounts of surplus vaccines to Palestinian-run territories as well as to several countries.


* A unit of Sinopharm and CanSinoBIO has applied for public use of its COVID-19 vaccines in China, which if granted would mean China has four locally developed approved vaccines.


* European shares opened generally higher but world shares remained in the red after a weak Asian session, even after Fed Chair Jerome Powell pushed back against inflation fears. [MKTS/GLOB]

* Strong exports and solid construction activity helped the German economy to grow by a better-than-expected 0.3% in the final quarter of last year, but stricter lockdown measures at home and abroad are clouding the outlook.

* Spain announced an additional 11 billion euro ($13.4 billion) package for small and mid-sized companies and the self-employed.

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