If you have less than a minute:
- UK new infections now at their lowest since September, down two-thirds from the peak; USA infections down nearly 70% from the peak.
- G7 increases efforts to make vaccines more accessible worldwide, while certain places start to reopen for vaccinated people.
- Pfizer & BioNTech’s vaccine provides strong protection even after one dose and is easier to transport than anticipated.
Fair access to the vaccine worldwide
- G7 leaders pledged to intensify co-operation on Covid-19 and increase their contribution to the Covax vaccine-sharing initiative by raising their overall commitment to $7.5bn.
- Boris Johnson pledged to donate most of the UK's surplus vaccine supply to poorer countries. French President Macron called on Europe and the US to urgently send up to 5% of doses to poorer nations.
- UK Foreign Secretary called local ceasefires across the globe last Wednesday so vulnerable people living in conflict zones can be vaccinated.
World reopening for the vaccinated
- In Israel, vaccinated people are now able enjoy bars and hotels as long as they show proof of vaccination.
- Seychelles welcomes all vaccinated travelers from all over the world, starting this month.
- Research shows that Pfizer & BioNTech vaccines provide strong, one-dose protection, and can be stored in normal freezers instead of ultra-cold ones. AstraZeneca PLC vaccine similarly prevented Covid-19 when doses were spaced three months apart.
- Every adults, including international students, will be offered the vaccine by end of July.
- React study found infections have dropped by two-thirds across England since lockdown began, with an 80% fall in London.
- Vaccination continues to reduce hospital admissions, deaths, and transmission, with optimism for inoculating all over-50s by April.
- Biden promises people who want a vaccine will be able to get one by the end of July, as vaccine supply is expected to reach 13.5 million doses a week across all states combined.
- Overall, cases in the US are falling; Atlantic staff writer suggests it is thanks to social distancing, seasonality, seroprevalence and shots.
- The European Commission launched an Incubator project to serve as “blueprint” for long-term health emergencies and a way to stop COVID-19 mutations.
- The Australian state of Victoria and the New Zealand city of Auckland both exited snap lockdowns last Thursday. There has been no new local COVID cases in Victoria since the cluster which initiated the lockdown rose from 19 to 22.
- Taiwan is expecting to receive its first 200,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine by end of February.
- A great report on reasons to be optimistic in the Higher Education field.