COVID-19 Vaccine | EU receives first dose

(Paris) The first dose of the vaccine arrived in the European Union on Saturday, on the eve of the start of a vaccination campaign against coronovirus in 27 member states, the British version of which has been revealed in more and more countries worldwide. .

MARK BASTIAN, with AFP offices worldwide
France Media Agency

According to the latest official figures compiled by AFP on Saturday, the epidemic has killed at least 1,750,780 people and infected about 80 million people.

More than 25 million cases (543,993 deaths) have been reported in the most affected region in Europe, and where the virus is spreading fastest (250,000 new infections per day).

Photo Dominico STINELLIS, Associated Press

Russia, the fourth most affected country, passed the three million case mark on Saturday.

The United States is the most affected country, with both deaths (330,279) and cases (18,761,369).

Several countries confirmed cases of the British version of the coronavirus on Saturday, such as Italy, Sweden, Spain or Japan, after infected people in France, Germany, Lebanon and Denmark announced earlier this week. .


According to a study by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), this new version of coronovirus is “50% to 74%” more infectious than its predecessors, with more hospitalizations in 2020 than in 2021 Increases the possibility of being and death. .

After the discovery of this version, anxiety pushed dozens of countries to cut off their air, sea or land links with the United Kingdom, chaos in its supply. Japan has decided to end all new arrivals of non-resident foreigners in its territory from Monday to the end of January.

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First vaccines in the European Union

Vaccination begins on Sunday in the European Union, after the United Kingdom, the United States, Mexico and several other countries, whose regulators authorized the Pfizer-BioNotech vaccine last Monday.

Hungary began vaccinating its health staff on Saturday, just hours after receiving its first dose, ahead of most countries in the European Union.

In Italy, the most bereaved European country (more than 71,000 dead), 9,750 vaccines escorted by riflemen were transported to Rome’s Splenjani Hospital on Saturday morning. “We will regain our independence and we will be able to start kissing again,” Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said.

Facing an outbreak of pollution, Italy had already rejoined Ireland before Christmas, having received its vaccines on Saturday but would not begin its campaign until Wednesday.

In France, 19,500 doses arrived in the suburbs of Paris, the central pharmacy of Parisian hospitals. Masked workers (measures stored at −70 ° C), wearing special protective gloves against the cold, transferred the boxes to a special refrigerator.

“This is historic, these are the very first doses”, exclaimed Frank Hett, head of the Pharmacy Poll, the hospital of Parisian hospitals.

In Germany, Health Minister Jens Spann greeted “a day full of hope”, as the vaccine was “the key that will allow us to reclaim our lives”. “The following year autumn, winter and Christmas should no longer be placed under the sign of this epidemic”, he hoped.

Reconciliation in series

Like Italy, Austria limited its population on Boxing Day on Saturday. Non-essential businesses, hotels and restaurants will be subject to curfew throughout the day until 24 January.

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In the United Kingdom, which died 70,000 on Friday, local lockdown or binding restrictions have come into force for millions.

Mainland Scotland goes completely to maximum alert, returning to virtual control (non-essential trade offs, non-essential travel prohibited), like Northern Ireland.

In England, six million people in the South and East are also returning to control, which now affects a total of 24 million people.

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