Covid-19: WHO confirms AstraZeneca’s effectiveness, Germany extends restrictions

UPDATE ON THE SITUATION – New measures, new reports and highlights: an update on the latest developments in the Covid-19 pandemic around the world.

After its questioning, in particular for its effectiveness against variants, the WHO finally recommended the administration of the AstraZeneca vaccine against Covid-19, including for people over 65 years old. The European Union, which recognizes its delay in vaccination, wishes to strengthen its mass production.

  • Germany extends restrictions until March 7

Non-food businesses, restaurants, cafes, museums and sports facilities will remain closed in Germany “Given the uncertainty regarding the spread of virus variants”, explained Angela Merkel, after a meeting on the subject with the regional states. The Chancellor, however, clarified that the regions could open their schools if local health conditions allow.

  • WHO supports AstraZeneca

The WHO announced Wednesday that the anti-Covid vaccine developed by AstraZeneca could be administered to people over 65 and used even in a country where variants circulate, the effectiveness of the product in these two cases having been put involved in recent weeks. The British group AstraZeneca has announced a partnership with the German IDT Biologika in order to be able to produce more vaccines for Europe from the second quarter.

For its part, South Africa has discarded the British vaccine in favor of that of Johnson & Johnson, and says it is ready to resell or exchange a million AstraZeneca doses.

SEE ALSO – Covid-19: according to the WHO, the AstraZeneca vaccine is also valid for “over 65 years”

  • European Medicines Agency wants to know which vaccines are effective against variants

While several variants of the coronavirus have emerged recently, sparking fears about an increase in its contagiousness and the real effectiveness of vaccines, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) announced on Wednesday that it had asked all developers of vaccines against Covid- 19 to assess whether their product is effective against novel coronavirus mutations. The agency aims to publish new guidelines for manufacturers.

SEE ALSO – What treatments are really effective against Covid?

  • The EU wants to boost its vaccine production

To better prepare the Twenty-Seven for the propagation of the new variants, the European Union, which was “Too optimistic” on vaccine deliveries, wants to boost mass production according to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
In Marburg, Germany, the BioNTech laboratory will start production of its vaccine designed with Pfizer in a new factory.

SEE ALSO – Vaccines: “We underestimated the difficulty linked to mass production”, admits Ursula von der Leyen

  • More than 2.34 million dead

The pandemic has killed more than 2.34 million people worldwide since the end of December 2019. After the United States (468,203 deaths), the most bereaved countries are Brazil (233,520), Mexico (168,432), the India (155,252) and the United Kingdom (113,850). For its part, Argentina passed the two million case mark on Wednesday, as the death toll approaches 50,000.

  • Over 151 million doses

This is the number of doses of vaccine that have been administered in at least 91 countries. Outside of micro-states, Israel is by far the most advanced country: more than four in ten Israelis (42%) have already received at least one dose. In absolute terms, the United States is leading the way, with 43.2 million doses administered to nearly 10% of its population, ahead of China (40.5 million doses).


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