(Reuters) – Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:
Chinese city offers residents experimental vaccines
Shaoxing city in China’s Zhejiang province will offer experimental coronavirus vaccines to its residents, as China broadens an emergency use programme to people in non-priority groups, the city’s health commission said on Tuesday on its WeChat account.
It did not name the vaccine, say when inoculation would start or how many doses would be offered. Residents aged between 18 and 59 who are not in priority groups, can apply online for inoculation. Applicants will need to give reasons for wanting the vaccine on their applications and will be charged 400 yuan ($60) for two doses, with an additional inoculation fee of 28 yuan per dose, the city said.
Hundreds of thousands of people have already taken experimental COVID-19 vaccines in China since it launched its emergency use programmeme in July aimed at essential workers and other limited groups of people at higher risk of infection. Last week, Zhejiang became the first Chinese province to offer the voluntary inoculation to non-priority residents via the emergency use programmeme, without specifying how many people will be vaccinated.
Victoria state paves way for pop-up dining
Australia’s heaviest-hit coronavirus state of Victoria logged a sixth consecutive day of low single-digit new cases on Wednesday, as the state government said it was on track to announce fresh easing measures at the weekend.
Victoria, which has been under strict lockdown measures since early July, hopes to revitalise outdoor dining over the summer in the hospitality sector, by allowing pop-up restaurants in public gardens and carparks in downtown areas.
Victorians were allowed to extend travel up to 25 km (15 miles) from their homes as of Monday, up from 5 km, although retail, most beauty services, and hospitality outside of takeaway remain closed.
Brazil will use China’s Sinovac in immunisation programme
The Brazilian government will include China’s Sinovac vaccine against COVID-19 in its national immunisation programme, state governors said on Tuesday after a meeting with the country’s health minister, in addition to one developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University. The national vaccination programme could begin in January 2021, he said, which could make it one of the first immunisation efforts against coronavirus in the world.
Sao Paulo state’s research centre Butantan Institute said on Monday that preliminary results from late-stage clinical trials of the experimental Chinese vaccine called CoronaVac on 9,000 volunteers have proven that the two-dose vaccine is safe. It’s the first set of results of Sinovac’s global Phase 3 trials, which are also being conducted in Turkey and Indonesia.
Separately, Venezuela plans to vaccinate citizens with Russian and Chinese coronavirus vaccines, which could arrive in the South American nation in December or January, President Nicolas Maduro said on Tuesday, adding that older people and those with existing diseases would take priority, but that all Venezuelans would be vaccinated.
Mexico could share vaccine liabilities with laboratories
Mexico could share some liabilities arising from any adverse side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines used in the country, but it will negotiate the issue once laboratories have finished developing the medicines, the foreign ministry said on Tuesday.
As various vaccine candidates make their way through different stages of global clinical trials at a record pace, it remains unclear who foots the bill if people in poor countries fall sick from treatments.
Martha Delgado, the deputy foreign minister in charge of Mexico’s international response to the pandemic, earlier told Reuters in an interview that she did not expect Latin America’s second-largest economy to need a contingency fund to cover liabilities, saying not participating in COVAX and missing out on its vaccines would have been a bigger risk for Mexico.
(Compiled by Karishma Singh; Editing by Stephen Coates)