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 Vaccines shipped within US are yet to be used.

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JANUARY 5, 2021

Reuters News Now

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS TODAY

Most U.S. vaccines unused
More than two-thirds of the 15 million coronavirus vaccines shipped within the United States have yet to be used, health officials said, as the governors of New York and Florida vowed to penalize hospitals that fail to dispense shots quickly.

In New York, hospitals must administer vaccines within a week of receiving them or face a fine and a reduction in future supplies, Governor Andrew Cuomo said, hours before announcing the state’s first known case of a new, more infectious coronavirus variant originally detected in Britain.

“I don’t want the vaccine in a fridge or a freezer, I want it in somebody’s arm,” the governor said.

Third national lockdown in Britain
Britain began its third COVID-19 lockdown with citizens under orders to stay at home and the government calling for one last major national effort to contain the virus before mass vaccinations turn the tide.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the lockdown late on Monday saying a highly contagious new coronavirus variant was spreading so fast it risked overwhelming the National Health Service within 21 days.

In England alone, some 27,000 people are in hospital with COVID, a number 40 percent higher than during the first peak of infections in April.

Germany set to extend lockdown
German Chancellor Angela Merkel will agree with leaders of the 16 federal states on Tuesday to extend a strict lockdown until the end of the month.

We must remain tough and should not stop too soon,” Markus Soeder, premier of the southern state of Bavaria tweeted before the talks.

Merkel and state premiers are largely agreed on keeping shops and restaurants shut until the end of January, sources involved in the talks have said.

France cranks up vaccine rollout
France is stepping up its vaccine rollout by widening its first target group to include more health workers and simplifying a cumbersome process to deliver shots, Health Minister Olivier Veran said.

France’s inoculation campaign got off to a slow start, hampered in part by red tape and President Emmanuel Macron’s decision to tread warily in one of the most vaccine-skeptical countries in the world.

France has fallen behind neighbors like Britain and Germany and Macron is now demanding the vaccination program speeds up.

Kimmel and Corden take shows back home
James Corden and Jimmy Kimmel are taking their late night talk shows back home due to a surge in coronavirus cases in the Los Angeles area that has brought calls for production on all films and TV shows to be halted indefinitely.

Corden tweeted on Monday that he was headed back to his garage to film “The Late Late Show”.

The decisions follow appeals by the actors union SAG-AFTRA and Hollywood producers for production to be suspended on all TV and film sets until more hospital beds become available.

Track the spread with our live graphic here.

Breakingviews - Corona Capital: Chinese movies, India, Next
China’s cinema-goers shunt the Middle Kingdom to the top of the movie charts, and India’s economy slowly gets back on track. Catch up on the latest financial insights.

Reuters reporters and editors around the world are investigating the response to the coronavirus pandemic.

We need your help to tell these stories. Our news organization wants to capture the full scope of what’s happening and how we got here by drawing on a wide variety of sources.

Are you a government employee or contractor involved in coronavirus testing or the wider public health response? Are you a doctor, nurse or health worker caring for patients? Have you worked on similar outbreaks in the past? Has the disease known as COVID-19 personally affected you or your family? Are you aware of new problems that are about to emerge, such as critical supply shortages?

We need your tips, firsthand accounts, relevant documents or expert knowledge. Please contact us at coronavirus@reuters.com.

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TOP STORIES

Control of the U.S. Senate - and with it the ability to block or advance President-elect Joe Biden’s agenda - is on the line in a pair of runoff elections in Georgia after a dizzying campaign that shattered spending and early turnout records. Incumbent Republican Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler are trying to hold off Democratic challengers Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock in a state Biden narrowly carried on Nov. 3.

Georgia’s top election official said that President Trump, a fellow Republican, had pushed him to take an “inappropriate” call in which he pressured the state to overturn his November presidential election defeat there. In the call on Saturday, Trump told Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to make him the victor in the Southern state, according to a recording published by U.S. media.

Gulf Arab leaders arrived in Saudi Arabia for a summit focused on ending a long-running dispute with Qatar as Washington pushes for a united Gulf front to contain Iran. Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani was met in the historic city of al-Ula by de facto Saudi ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The two men, wearing face masks, embraced on the tarmac.

Julian Assange is “free to return home” to Australia once legal challenges against him are dealt with, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said, after a UK court denied a request to extradite the Wikileaks founder to the United States. A British judge on Monday blocked the extradition request by the United States, where Assange was set to face criminal charges including breaking a spying law, saying his mental health problems meant he would be at risk of suicide.

COVID SCIENCE

Experts advise against antibody drugs in pediatric COVID-19
As of now, antibody therapies for COVID-19 should not be used to treat infections with the new coronavirus in children or adolescents, "including those ... at high risk of progression to hospitalization or severe disease," according to a panel of experts from 29 hospitals across North America who reviewed the available evidence.

Disinfecting during pandemic puts asthmatics at risk
Increased cleaning by people with asthma during the pandemic may be triggering flares of their disease, a new report suggests. Researchers who surveyed 795 U.S. adults with asthma between May and September found the proportion who disinfected surfaces with bleach at least five times a week rose by 155% after the pandemic started.

BUSINESS

In sudden u-turn, NYSE scraps plan to delist three Chinese telecom firms

The New York Stock Exchange said it no longer intends to delist three Chinese telecom giants - a shock reversal of an announcement made only last week and deepening confusion over a U.S. crackdown on firms said to be linked to China’s military.

4 MIN READ

Google workers form small union, eyeing more protests over working conditions

More than 200 workers at Google and other Alphabet units formed a labor union for U.S. and Canadian offices, building on years of protests over working conditions and business practices but falling far short of the support needed to force the tech giant to the bargaining table.

4 MIN READ

Drugmakers kick off 2021 with 500 U.S. price hikes

Drugmakers including Abbvie Inc and Bristol Myers Squibb raised U.S. list prices on more than 500 drugs to kick off 2021, according to an analysis by health care research firm 46brooklyn.

3 MIN READ

Airbus beat 560-plane delivery goal for 2020

Airbus delivered more than 560 aircraft in 2020, according to tracking data and airline industry sources, putting it on course to beat arch-rival Boeing to be the world’s largest planemaker for a second consecutive year.

1 MIN READ

TOP STORIES ON REUTERS TV

COVID-19 'more deadly' than ever - CA governor

U.S.   1:07

Iran resumes 20% uranium enrichment

WORLD   1:17

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