The pharmaceutical company Pfizer is trying to allay concerns in Europe about the delivery of the coronavirus vaccine it developed with German company BioNTech

Pharmaceutical company Pfizer sought to address concerns in Europe about its coronavirus vaccine delivery as restrictions on tackling the rampant pandemic doubled around the world.

The coronavirus pandemic is showing no signs of slowing. Infections are rising to over 94 million and more than two million deaths, and Europe is one of the hardest-hit parts of the world.

There are concerns that delays in the delivery of Pfizer BioNTech images could hamper a European vaccine launch that has already been heavily criticized across the continent.

The Pfizer plant in Belgium is currently working on increasing capacity, and the company and its German partner BioNTech announced on Saturday that they can “significantly” increase vaccine production in the second quarter.

Deliveries to the EU would return to the original schedule from January 25, they promised.

Several Nordic and Baltic countries have described the situation as “unacceptable”, while the Belgian Task Force on Vaccination Strategies has condemned Pfizer’s lack of consultation on the deliveries as “incomprehensible”.

France, which exceeded 70,000 COVID-19 deaths over the weekend, will launch a campaign to vaccinate people over 75 as of Monday. Russia plans to start mass vaccination the same day.

Covid-19: more than 2 million deaths worldwide

Countries with the highest number of coronavirus-related deaths since the pandemic began.

Despite the introduction of vaccines, countries have few options to rely on movement and distance restrictions to control the spread of the virus.

In Italy and Switzerland, curbs will be tightened from Monday, while in the UK all international arrivals will have to be tested.

Biden promise

The number of infections in the United States – the hardest hit country – rose to more than 23.7 million on Saturday, with nearly 400,000 deaths, according to a record by Johns Hopkins University.

The pandemic has hit the American economy, millions have been left unemployed, and President-elect Joe Biden has vowed to step up efforts to end the pandemic.

Biden will sign executive orders on the day he is inaugurated next week, including action against the coronavirus crisis.

The new government has pledged to set up thousands of vaccination sites, set up mobile clinics, and expand the public health workforce to revive the stuttering vaccine adoption.

Residents of Shijiazhuang, north of Hebei, China, are waiting for coronavirus tests

Residents of Shijiazhuang, north of Hebei, China, are waiting for coronavirus tests

India, second only to the US in terms of the number of coronavirus cases, launched one of the world’s largest vaccination campaigns on Saturday to vaccinate 300 million people by July.

It uses two vaccines, the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot, made locally by the Indian Serum Institute, and a home-grown vaccine called Covaxin.

Covaxin is still in clinical trials and recipients have had to sign a consent form stating that “clinical efficacy … has not yet been established”.

But Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged people to reject “propaganda and rumors” about the indigenous vaccine.

“I’ve seen people die,” said Santa Roy, a health worker who was one of the first to receive a push in Calcutta, and told AFP he had now seen a “glimmer of hope”.

“Anti-Mask Madness”

The global surge in cases, partly triggered by new virus varieties, has forced the reintroduction of deeply unpopular restrictions on populations tired of social distancing and economic pain.

Lockdown protesters carry a mannequin symbolizing ailing shops in Mexico City.

Lockdown protesters carry a mannequin symbolizing ailing shops in Mexico City.

This resentment has sparked protests in some countries.

Around 10,000 people marched against coronavirus restrictions in the Austrian capital Vienna on Saturday and called on the government to resign.

Most of them refused to wear masks or obey the rules of social distancing, and their rally was condemned as “anti-mask madness” by a much smaller counter-protest.

The pandemic continues to devastate the global sports calendar.

The Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of the year, got into disarray on Saturday when three people tested positive on two of the 17 charter flights that tennis players and their supporters brought into the country.

A fourth person, a member of a broadcast team on one of the same flights, tested the positive Sunday.

According to the quarantine rules, 47 players are not allowed to train five hours a day as previously agreed. However, the organizers said the tournament should begin February 8th.

Follow the latest news on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

© 2021 AFP

Quote: Pfizer Insures Europe Against Coronavirus Vaccines As Pandemic Rise (2021, January 17), accessed January 17, 2021 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-01-pfizer-reassures-europe-coronavirus-vaccines .html

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