The Latest: Turkey starts vaccinations with China’s Sinovac

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ANKARA, Turkey – Turkey has become the latest country to roll out its COVID-19 vaccination program, starting with health workers in hospitals across the country.

The start of the national immunization program on Thursday came a day after Turkish authorities gave the green light for the emergency use of the vaccine produced by Chinese Minister of Health Sinovac Biotech Ltd. and members of the Scientific Advisory Board. of the country received the first shots live on television. shortly after regulatory approval.

People over 65 will receive the vaccine in two doses next.

Turkey received a first shipment of Sinovac vaccine, consisting of 3 million doses, last month. The country is expected to receive a total of 50 million doses of the vaccine – although there is uncertainty as to its degree of protection.

Brazilian researchers last week estimated the vaccine to be 78% effective in protecting against symptomatic illnesses – but this week they announced data showing that, overall, the effectiveness is somewhat higher. by 50%.

Researchers in Turkey and Indonesia had reported higher efficacy rates, but these studies were far too small to be conclusive. World health authorities have said that any vaccine that is at least 50% effective will help.

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THE VIRUS EPIDEMIC:

– WHO team arrives in Wuhan to investigate the origins of the pandemic

– “ At 6 p.m., life stops ”: Europe uses curfews to fight the virus

– Lebanon starts curfew all day as virus gets out of hand

– California counties have requested more coronavirus vaccine as the state adds a potential 4 million people to those eligible for the doses sought.

– A coronavirus action plan from President-elect Joe Biden focuses on a mass vaccination campaign and closer coordination between all levels of government.

– U.S. state leaders are increasingly pushing for schools to reopen this winter as teachers begin to gain access to the vaccine for the raging pandemic.

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Follow AP’s coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE HAPPENS:

BERLIN – Germany’s disease control agency has reported the highest number of deaths in a single day from COVID-19.

The Robert Koch Institute said on Thursday that 1,244 deaths from the coronavirus had been confirmed in Germany until midnight, bringing the total number to 43,881 since the start of the pandemic.

Data showed that there were also 25,164 new confirmed cases in Germany as of midnight.

German officials are considering tighter restrictions to curb the continued rise in infections in the country.

The seven-day moving average of daily new cases in Germany has increased over the past two weeks from 23.36 new cases per 100,000 people on December 30 to 26.03 new cases per 100,000 people on January 13.

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BEIJING – China is seeing a further rise in coronavirus cases in its frozen northeast and has reported its first death attributed to COVID-19 in months.

Officials said Thursday that Heilongjiang Province, in the region traditionally known as Manchuria, had recorded 43 new cases of the virus, most of them centered in the city of Suihua. The northern province of Hebei, just outside of Beijing, experienced China’s most severe recent outbreak and reported 81 more cases.

The new death brings the official toll of the pandemic to 4,635.

The relatively low figure is shown as proof of the effectiveness of China’s strict sanitary measures, but also raised questions about the government’s firm grip on all information. related to the home.

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MEXICO …

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