The state of California announced Wednesday that all residents over the age of 65 would be eligible for the coronavirus vaccine.
“There is no higher priority than efficiently and equitably distributing these vaccines as quickly as possible to those facing the most serious consequencesGovernor Gavin Newsom said in a statement Wednesday.
The measure gives seniors priority over emergency workers and teachers.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Ohio and Arizona governors urged teachers to get vaccinated to make it easier for schools to reopen.
Funeral homes in California run out of space due to COVID-19
Crews from the United States Army Corps of Engineers help supply oxygen in some hospitals.
“We will not fund empty seats or allow schools to remain in a perpetual state of closure,” Arizona Governor Doug Ducey said Wednesday. The state has already started vaccinating some teachers.
The United States set another single-day record for COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday at 4,327, increasing the total number of deaths in the country to 384,000, becoming a world leader, effective Wednesday night. .
Across the Atlantic, Portugal enacted a national lockdown on Wednesday amid a surge in coronavirus cases after easing restrictions over the holidays. Portugal has confirmed just over half a million cases.
The National Health Commission reported 115 new cases Tuesday, with 90 cases in Hebei province, which surrounds Beijing. The commission also said 107 of the new cases were local broadcasts, the highest daily jump since July 30.
Authorities in Hebei province have ordered the closure of several cities, while authorities in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang, which registered 16 new cases, have declared a “state of emergency” for the entire province and its 37 million inhabitants. .
Vaccines in test
Meanwhile, Brazilian researchers say a COVID-19 vaccine developed by China‘s Sinovac Biotech proved to be just over 50% overall effective after large-scale human trials in that country, well below the efficacy rate of the 78% against mild to severe cases announced last week.
The researchers said the most recent data included results from a group of participants who reported “very mild” cases of infection, which explains the huge discrepancy between the two figures.
The Sinovac vaccine has been approved for emergency use by Indonesia, where President Joko Widodo received the first vaccine on Wednesday. The vaccine launched the push for the Southeast Asian nation to vaccinate its 181 million citizens, who are scattered across the vast archipelago. Indonesia has one of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks in the region, with a total of 858,043 infections, including 24,951 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced on Wednesday that the government is extending the state of emergency to seven more prefectures in central and western Japan to curb the growing increase in new coronavirus cases. The new decree, which will take effect on Thursday and remain in effect until February 7, will cover Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, Fukuoka, Aichi, Gifu and Tochigi.
Wednesday’s statement comes more than a week after Prime Minister Suga issued an emergency declaration for Tokyo and the neighboring prefectures of Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa. Japan has recorded a total of 302,740 total infections, including more than 4,000 deaths.