A 90-year-old grandmother has became the world’s first person to receive a fully-tested COVID-19 shot as the UK began mass-vaccinating its people with the Pfizer-BioNTech jab.
More than 67.29 million people have been reported to be infected by the coronavirus globally and 1,546,078 have died.
* Germany might tighten restrictions as a partial lockdown and social distancing rules in place since the start of November have slowed but not stopped the disease spreading.
* Poland has bought more than 60 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from six producers as the country gears up for a vaccination program early next year.
* Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte was expected to announce little or no relaxation of lockdown measures for the winter holidays after new cases had risen in the Netherlands for the first week since a late October peak.
* Four lions at Barcelona Zoo have tested positive for COVID-19 in only the second known case in which large felines have contracted coronavirus.
* Children in Spain and Portugal could find that their Christmas presents this year reflect the pandemic as dolls wearing face masks, kits for making personal protection items and other toys adapted to fit the times fly off shop shelves.
* US President Donald Trump’s administration sought to shore up the country’s vaccine supply as a 90-year-old British woman became the first person outside of trials to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
* US president-elect Joe Biden is expected to soon publicly introduce the health team that will lead his administration’s fight against the pandemic.
* The US Congress will vote this week on a one-week stopgap funding bill to provide more time for lawmakers to reach a deal on COVID-19 relief.
* Canada will start receiving its first doses of Pfizer Inc’s vaccine before the end of December, sooner than expected, with millions more to follow in early 2021.
* India may approve some coronavirus vaccines over the next few weeks and an estimated 300 million people would be inoculated in the first tranche, while the country reported the lowest daily rise in cases since July 10.
* South Korea said it had signed deals to provide vaccines for 44 million people next year.
* Researchers in Japan found a higher incidence of COVID-19 symptoms among people who have participated in a domestic travel campaign promoted by the government, suggesting that it is contributing to a spread in the virus.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Israel will receive a first shipment of Pfizer Inc vaccines on Thursday and will administer them to the elderly and other high-risk populations.
* A Cameroon man has been charged by the US government with exploiting the pandemic by defrauding people seeking companionship into buying puppies online that were never delivered.
* Pfizer Inc cleared the next hurdle in the race to get its vaccine approved for emergency use after the US Food and Drug Administration released documents that did not raise any new issues about its safety or efficacy.
* Johnson & Johnson could obtain late-stage trial results of its COVID-19 vaccine earlier than expected, with the company targeting January.
* Abu Dhabi is seeking volunteers to take part in Phase 3 clinical trials of Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine, known as Sputnik V, in the capital of the United Arab Emirates.