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Coronavirus update: Latest Covid-19 vaccine and world news

February 24, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 23.2%. 2 min read.

The pandemic has brought countries to a standstill. Meanwhile, vaccinations are underway as cases continue to rise. Follow here for the latest.

About a quarter of adults in the United States – more than 66 million people – are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, according to data published Thursday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The [Portuguese] Directorate General of Health recommends, until further information is available, the administration of the AstraZeneca vaccine to people with more than 60 years,” it said in a statement on Thursday.

In its statement, the Portuguese Directorate General of Health goes on to remind people who have already been vaccinated with AstraZeneca that these events are “extremely rare,” while recommending that those vaccinated remain vigilant to the appearance of symptoms within two weeks of vaccination.

The number of Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine shots allocated to states and other jurisdictions by the federal government is expected to drop 84% next week, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This week, nearly 5 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine were allocated to states and other jurisdictions, but only about 785,000 are slated for next week.

According to data from the CDC, the first allocation of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine – for the week of March 1 – included more than 2. 8 million doses.

There are no allocations of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine logged for the week of March 8, and allocations dropped to less than 500,000 doses for the two following weeks.

Here are the total allocations for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to states and other jurisdictions each week, according to data from the CDC: 

John Nkengasong, director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (ACDC), said the decision was not related to recent safety concerns over the AstraZeneca vaccine but “because we work very closely with COVAX,” the vaccine-sharing facility for the world’s poorest countries.

Last week, the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT) signed an Advance Purchase Agreement with Johnson & Johnson for 220 million doses on behalf of the 55 member states of the African Union (AU).

The AU will now explore options of securing an additional 180 million doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine, he said.

The AU's decision comes a day after EU regulator European Medicines Agency (EMA) found that there was a “possible link” between the AstraZeneca vaccine and “very rare cases of blood clots. ”

Once the doses are produced, it is up to each member state to administer the vaccines, Breton said, adding that he was in contact with all EU countries who are “doing the right things” to make sure people will get vaccinated.

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