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Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus

FILE PHOTO: Health workers attach a notice on the shortage of COVID-19 vaccine supplies at a vaccination centre in Mumbai

(Reuters) – The World Health Organization expects to release its assessments for emergency use listing of the two main Chinese vaccines for COVID-19 as well as the Moderna shot by the end of next week, WHO Assistant Director-General Mariangela Simao said.

DEATHS AND

EUROPE

* Some EU countries still want Brussels to strike a deal to buy Valneva’s vaccine candidate despite a recent setback in talks, as the bloc aim to shore up and diversify supplies, sources familiar with the talks told Reuters.

* All people in France aged 18 and over will be able to get COVID-19 vaccines from June 15 onwards, said French President Emmanuel Macron on his Twitter feed, as the country aims to ease its way out of a third COVID lockdown.

* Sweden said it would take three weeks longer then expected to offer all adults their first COVID-19 shot after it decided not to use the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

* Britain said it would host a summit in 2022 to raise money for vaccine research and development to support an international coalition seeking to speed up the production of shots for future diseases.

ASIA-PACIFIC

* Doctors and scientists in India are warning of the dire hazards of trying to make medical oxygen at home as the country faces a shortage of the gas in its COVID-19 battle and various videos and tips on DIY methods do the rounds on social media.

* Thailand will next month receive another 3.5 million doses of Sinovac Biotech’s vaccine, a senior health official said, as the country seeks to shore-up supplies amid its biggest outbreak so far.

* The Olympics must not be a burden on medical systems, Japan’s chief government spokesman said, amid worries that daily athlete testing will tax health resources already stressed in fighting a rebound of COVID-19 cases.

AMERICAS

* Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said he expects the United States to send Mexico around 5 million doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine.

* Brazil’s Senate approved a bill to suspend patent protection for COVID-19 vaccines, tests and medications during the pandemic.

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

* Turkey’s official Medicines and Medical Devices Agency said the country has granted emergency use authorization to Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine.

* Uganda has detected the Indian variant, stirring fears the East African nation could suffer a resurgence of cases just when its outbreak has waned, a senior health official said.

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS

* Pfizer and its partner BioNTech said they had applied to the European health regulator to extend the marketing authorization for their coronavirus vaccine for use in adolescents aged 12 to 15.

* Russia has produced the world’s first batch of COVID-19 vaccines for animals, its agricultural regulator said.

* Indonesia’s drug regulator approved the vaccine of China’s Sinopharm, which it will use in a private immunisation scheme where companies buy government-procured vaccines to inoculate their staff.

ECONOMIC IMPACT

* World shares softened following Thursday’s record peak on strong U.S. data and earnings, while the dollar was on course to narrowly avoid a fourth straight weekly decline. [MKTS/GLOB]

* Taiwan’s economy grew at its fastest pace in more than a decade in the first three months of 2021 as the “work from home” boom sparked strong global demand for the island’s hi-tech exports.

* The economies of Germany, Portugal, Spain and Italy contracted in the first quarter, data showed, as restrictions to curb a third wave of coronavirus stifled output.

(Compiled by Veronica Snoj and Juliette Portala; Edited by Mark Heinrich, Kirsten Donovan)

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