(Reuters) – Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:
Russia says its vaccine is 92% effective
Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine is 92% effective at protecting people from COVID-19 according to interim trial results, the country’s sovereign wealth fund said on Wednesday, as Moscow rushes to keep pace with Western drugmakers in the race for a shot.
The initial results are only the second to be published from a late-stage human trial in the global effort to produce vaccines.
The results are based on data from the first 16,000 trial participants to receive both shots of the two-dose vaccine.
California, Midwest states clamp down again
California and several states across the U.S. Midwest tightened restrictions on residents on Tuesday as the nation’s top infectious disease specialist called on Americans to remain vigilant until a vaccine can be approved and distributed.
The new clampdowns were announced as the number of COVID-19 infections surged again in the United States with the onset of colder weather, straining hospitals and medical resources in some cities.
“There’s a real thing called COVID-19 fatigue, that’s understandable,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, told CNN in an interview. “But hang in there a bit longer, do the things you need to do and we’ll be OK.”
Trudeau scolds provinces
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday urged premiers of the country’s 10 provinces to “do the right thing” and take stricter measures to fight a rapidly spreading second wave of the coronavirus.
Over the past week Canada has posted a daily average of more than 3,800 cases.
The central province of Manitoba announced a major shutdown beginning on Thursday. All social gatherings will be forbidden, restaurants closed except for takeout meals, and recreational facilities shut.
UK ready to roll out vaccine once regulator gives all-clear
Britain is ready to roll out tens of millions of COVID-19 vaccines to the public with care-home residents and the elderly first in line for a jab that medics hope will allow the world to return to some semblance of normality.
England’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van-Tam said the country was ready to roll out a vaccine once regulators approved it as safe, quipping that he had told his 78-year-old mother to be ready for a jab.
“Do I think we will then move at pace to keep up with the volumes that are supplied to us? Yes I absolutely do,” Van-Tam told reporters.
Coronavirus kills 15,000 U.S. mink
More than 15,000 mink in the United States have died of the coronavirus since August, and authorities are keeping about a dozen farms under quarantine while they investigate the cases, state agriculture officials said.
Global health officials are eying the animals as a potential risk for people after Denmark last week embarked on a plan to eliminate all of its 17 million mink, saying a mutated coronavirus strain could move to humans and evade future COVID-19 vaccines.
(Compiled by Linda Noakes)