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Coronavirus: What’s happening in Canada and around the world on Friday

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European Union governments have agreed to train an choice to purchase over 180 million doses of a model of the COVID-19 vaccine tailored for the Omicron variant developed by BioNTech and Pfizer, the top of the European Fee (EC) stated.

Pfizer and BioNTech started growth of a prototype Omicron-specific coronavirus vaccine on Nov. 25, and stated they may have it prepared in March.

“The member states have agreed to set off a primary tranche of over 180 million further doses of tailored vaccines, in our third contract with BioNTech-Pfizer,” Ursula von der Leyen informed a information convention on Thursday evening on the finish of an everyday summit with EU leaders.

The European Medicines Company (EMA) has up to now stated that there isn’t any conclusive proof an tailored vaccine is required towards Omicron, and lots of nations are embracing booster doses for adults utilizing present vaccines.

The EU’s newest contract with Pfizer and BioNTech permits EU states to purchase as much as 1.8 billion doses by 2023, of which half have already been ordered and the opposite half are non-obligatory.

Pfizer stated that no non-obligatory doses had been ordered but and talks with the EU for his or her potential provide had up to now not involved tailored variations of the vaccine.

“At the moment, discussions with the EC concerning the potential for extra provide pursuant to their choice rights beneath our settlement will not be particular to an tailored vaccine,” Pfizer stated in an announcement on Friday.

“Whereas we imagine we will ship an tailored vaccine in March 2022, we don’t but know whether or not this shall be wanted and availability would require authorization by regulatory authorities,” Pfizer stated.

Spokespersons for the European Fee weren’t instantly out there to offer extra particulars concerning the announcement.

-From Reuters, final up to date at 7:10 a.m. ET

What’s taking place throughout Canada

WATCH | Restrictions tighten as Omicron circumstances surge throughout Canada: 

Restrictions tighten as Omicron circumstances surge throughout Canada

Because the Omicron variant continues to unfold throughout Canada, a number of provinces are tightening restrictions to fight rising COVID-19 circumstances. However some provinces are hoping increasing booster shot availability will stop additional shutdowns. 3:08

What’s taking place all over the world

WATCH | Ottawa’s renewed journey warnings sparks passenger anxiousness: 

Ottawa’s renewed journey warnings sparks passenger anxiousness

Would-be Canadian travellers are once more anxious after the federal authorities renewed warnings towards non-essential worldwide journey to attempt to cut back the unfold of the Omicron variant. 2:02

As of early Friday morning, greater than 273 million circumstances of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, in line with Johns Hopkins College’s case-tracking instrument. The reported world demise toll stood at greater than 5.3 million.

In Africa, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is making good progress together with his restoration from COVID-19 whereas persevering with to obtain therapy for delicate signs, the presidency stated on Friday. Ramaphosa, who was given Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine in February, examined constructive for COVID-19 on Sunday.

Within the Americas, the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) really useful Individuals select to obtain considered one of two different approved vaccines over Johnson & Johnson’s shot, on account of uncommon however typically deadly circumstances of blood-clotting.

Nurse Sheena Davis administers a dose of a Moderna COVID-19 vaccine throughout a vaccination clinic on the Keystone First Wellness Middle in Chester, Pa., on Wednesday. (Matt Rourke/The Related Press)

In Europe, Austria stated on Friday it was quickly loosening its lockdown on these not totally vaccinated towards COVID-19 over Christmas and New 12 months’s Eve due to a drop in infections.

“Christmas ought to present us as soon as once more how vital contact with our family members is and the way treasured time collectively is,” Well being Minister Wolfgang Mueckstein stated. Austria was the primary nation in Western Europe to reimpose lockdown final month — its fourth of the pandemic — as infections hit file ranges.

That has introduced repeated road protests. With circumstances plummeting since, the federal government had eased the total lockdown final weekend however stored curbs on the unvaccinated and plans to make inoculation obligatory as of February.

Within the Asia-Pacific area, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida stated Friday his authorities is accelerating COVID-19 booster pictures and securing oral medicines after talking with Pfizer’s CEO. Japan has confirmed a handful of Omicron variant circumstances, whereas revealing a cluster of infections of about 100 U.S. troops on Japan’s southern island of Okinawa since earlier this month. Japan, which lacks home-developed vaccines, has up to now accepted booster pictures from Pfizer and Moderna. Japan can be transferring to shorten the interval between the second jab and boosters.

Within the Center East, the Palestinian well being ministry reported its first circumstances of the Omicron variant within the territory.

-From Reuters, The Related Press and CBC Information, final up to date at 7:20 a.m. ET

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