The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was set to begin leaving the company’s Michigan factory on Sunday, ready to be injected into the arms of millions of the most vulnerable Americans as the global death toll approached 1.6 million.
World Roundup: US vaccine set to be injected into millions
EMERGENCY USE. A bottle reading “Vaccine ” is pictured next to US pharmaceutical company Pfizer and German biotechnology company BioNTech logos. An expert committee convened by the US Food and Drug Administration on December 10, 2020, voted heavily in favor of recommending the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for emergency use approval. AFP

Doses will be shipped out in boxes containing dry ice that are capable of staying at -70 degrees Celsius (-94 degrees Fahrenheit), the frigid temperature needed to preserve the drug. General Gus Perna, who is overseeing the massive logistical operation as part of the government’s Operation Warp Speed, likened the moment to D-Day, a turning point of World War II. “I am absolutely 100 percent confident that we are going to distribute safely, this precious commodity, this vaccine, needed to defeat the enemy COVID,” he told reporters. The imminent start of the mass vaccination campaign in the world’s hardest-hit country came as Italy overtook Britain as the European nation with the highest coronavirus death toll. Germany eyes tougher measures German Chancellor will hold crisis talks Sunday with regional leaders of Germany’s 16 states to agree tougher curbs including the closure of shops ahead of Christmas, as coronavirus infections surge unabated. The drastic measures hitting shops other than those selling essential goods would be imposed from Wednesday until at least Jan. 10, according to a draft by Merkel’s office. Schools could also be shuttered, sending pupils into homeschooling, while companies are requested to allow employees to work from home during the period. Bavaria state premier Markus Soeder, who has been pushing for tougher measures, voiced support for the measures. South Korea struggles through 3rd wave South Korea reported 1,030 new coronavirus cases Sunday, a record high for a second day in a row as the country struggles to tackle a third wave of infections. The country had previously been held up as a model of how to combat the pandemic, with the public largely following social distancing and other rules. But a resurgence centered on the capital and the surrounding area has prompted President Moon Jae-in to apologiZe on Facebook for his administration’s failure to contain the latest wave. On Saturday he called the situation “very grave” after authorities reported 950 new infections, the largest daily increase since the start of the pandemic. Saturday’s record was broken on Sunday with 1,002 new locally transmitted cases, some 786 of which were uncovered in the greater Seoul area — home to half the country’s 52 million people. 

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