The Oxford start-up Vaccitech that owns the biotech platform behind the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine has raised $168m, as it seeks to use similar technology to treat other infectious diseases and cancer. Twenty-five million people across the UK have now been vaccinated with the first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, health secretary Matt Hancock said on Wednesday, with the latest evidence indicating that just one jab reduces the risk of death by 85 per cent. Massachusetts plans to open up Covid-19 vaccinations to the general public in mid-April, Governor Charlie Baker announced. From March 22, people over the age of 60 and essential workers in sectors such as transit, grocery, utility, agriculture and public health will be able to register for their first shot. The US travel industry is stepping up its lobbying for further government relief, holding 300 virtual meetings with members of Congress on Wednesday as it argues for more tax breaks to help restaurants, convention centres and entertainment venues. The pandemic cost 3m jobs in the travel industry last year, the US Travel Association said. Disney is set to reopen its California theme park on April 30, after shuttering its gates more than a year ago. The world’s largest entertainment group has been pummeled by the pandemic, which forced the closure of cinemas and theme parks, undercutting two of its most profitable businesses. The US will not have to throw away tens of millions of doses of Oxford/AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine, a senior regulator has insisted, even as they remain in storage awaiting approval. Peter Marks, head of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research at the US Food and Drug Administration, said there was no risk of the doses expiring, even as EU officials push Joe Biden’s administration to be granted access to them. Poland is to impose a three-week national lockdown in an effort to stem a surge in coronavirus infections. Shopping centres, hotels, cinemas, theatres and museums are to close from Saturday, health minister Adam Niedzielski said. Schools will switch to remote learning while gyms and swimming pools will also close. Brazil has overtaken the US as the country with the highest Covid-19 death rate and new case rate, according to a report from the World Health Organization. Latin America’s largest nation had a 20 per cent increase in the number of reported new cases last week compared with the previous week to reach more than 230 infections per 100,000 people. This compares with 139 new cases per 100,000 in the US.
馬薩諸塞州州長查理-貝克宣佈，馬薩諸塞州計劃在4月中旬向公眾開放Covid-19疫苗接種。從3月22日開始，60歲以上的人以及公交、雜貨店、公用事業、農業和公共衞生等部門的重要工作人員將可以登記接種第一針。 美國旅遊業正加緊遊説政府進一步救濟，週三與國會議員舉行了300次虛擬會議，因為它主張更多的税收減免來幫助餐館，會議中心和娛樂場所。美國旅遊協會表示，去年這場大流行使旅遊行業失去了300萬個工作崗位。 迪士尼在一年多前關閉大門後，將於4月30日重新開放其加州主題公園。這家全球最大的娛樂集團受到疫情的打擊，被迫關閉了電影院和主題公園，削弱了其最賺錢的兩項業務。 美國將不必扔掉數千萬劑量的牛津/阿斯利康公司的冠狀病毒疫苗，一位高級監管機構堅持認為，即使它們仍在儲存中等待批准。美國食品和藥物管理局生物製品評估和研究中心負責人Peter Marks表示，即使歐盟官員推動喬-拜登的政府獲准使用這些疫苗，也不存在劑量過期的風險。 波蘭將實施為期三週的全國封鎖，以阻止冠狀病毒感染的激增。衞生部長Adam Niedzielski表示，購物中心，酒店，電影院，劇院和博物館將從週六開始關閉。學校將轉為遠程學習，而健身房和游泳池也將關閉。 根據世界衞生組織的報告，巴西已經超過美國，成為Covid-19死亡率和新病例率最高的國家。這個拉丁美洲最大的國家上週報告的新病例數比前一週增加了20%，達到每10萬人感染230多例。相比之下，美國每10萬人中有139個新病例。