Russian State Employees Describe Pressure to Join Vaccine Trials | World News


By Polina Ivanova, Rinat Sagdiev, Gleb Stolyarov and Kate Kelland

MOSCOW (Reuters) – In late September, Moscow municipal official Sergei Martyanov sent a series of text messages to his subordinates: “Colleagues!!!… What is this sabotage???”

Martyanov was expressing dismay at his staff’s apparent reluctance to volunteer for the human trials of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, named after the Soviet-era satellite that triggered the space race. The official in the Moscow department of city property said many quota spots for his staff to join the trial remained unfilled.

He said he had heard some workers were signing up to receive flu vaccines, making them ineligible for the coronavirus trial.

“Who are you trying to trick???” Martyanov said in the texts. “The coronavirus vaccine is the absolute priority!!!”

Anyone who had received the flu jab, he said, must still sign up for the COVID trial, allowing a month’s delay. He urged

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104-year-old Alabama World War II vet survives COVID


An Alabama man who spent World War II repairing bomb-damaged trains in France recovered from a fight with COVID-19 in time to mark his 104th birthday on Thursday.

Major Wooten was physically drained and a little fuzzy mentally after battling the new coronavirus but appears to be on the mend, said granddaughter Holley Wooten McDonald.

“I’m just thankful that they were able to treat him so quickly and we were able to get him tested,” said McDonald, adding: “It’s amazing that a 104 year old survived COVID.”

Madison Hospital shared video of Wooten wearing a face mask and waving while workers sang “Happy birthday dear Pop Pop” as he was discharged in a wheelchair decorated with balloons on Tuesday, two days before his actual birthday.

McDonald said her grandfather, who served as a private first class in the Army before going on to a postwar career with U.S. Steel in

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A nurse looks at his computer while working in a Covid-19 unit at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in the Mission Hills section of Los Angeles on Thursday, Nov. 19.
A nurse looks at his computer while working in a Covid-19 unit at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in the Mission Hills section of Los Angeles on Thursday, Nov. 19. AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Los Angeles will run out of hospital beds by Christmas if the coronavirus continues to spread at its current, unprecedented rate, Mayor Eric Garcetti warned in a news conference Wednesday, calling on residents to “hunker down” and “cancel everything” to help stop the spread of the virus.

“The public health condition of our city is as dire as it was in March in the earliest days of this pandemic,” he said.

The number of daily coronavirus infections in Los Angeles have tripled since early November. Hospitalizations have more than tripled as well and are at a new peak, according to Garcetti.

On Tuesday, the county reported its highest number of new coronavirus cases and hospitalizations since

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UK approves Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in world first


LONDON (Reuters) – Britain approved Pfizer Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday, jumping ahead of the rest of the world in the race to begin the most crucial mass inoculation programme in history.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson touted the green light from Britain’s medicine authority as a global win and a ray of hope for the end of the pandemic, though he recognised the logistical challenges of vaccinating an entire country of 67 million.

Britain’s move raised hopes that the tide could soon turn against a virus that has killed nearly 1.5 million people globally, hammered the world economy and upended normal life for billions since it emerged in Wuhan, China, a year ago.

Britain’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) granted emergency use approval to the vaccine developed by Pfizer and German biotechnology partner BioNTech, which they say is 95% effective in preventing illness,

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Regional Overview of Food and Nutrition Security in Latin America and the Caribbean 2020 – World


New United Nations report reveals the inequality in the geographical distribution of malnutrition in Latin America and the Caribbean

The United Nations calls for the targeting of new policies and investments in the lagging territories of Latin America and the Caribbean.

December 2, 2020, Santiago de Chile – A new United Nations report shows the territorial inequality of malnutrition in the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Regional Overview of Food and Nutrition Security in Latin America and the Caribbean 2020 analyzes child overweight and stunting in the countries of the region, and identifies which territories are highly lagging, that is, those that exhibit levels significantly higher than the national averages.

According to the report, child overweight in the highly lagging territories of the region is twice as high as in the territories with no lag: 13.1% versus 6.6%. Stunting, meanwhile, reaches 27.6% in the territories which are

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UK Approves Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, First in the World | Top News


By Guy Faulconbridge and Paul Sandle

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain approved Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday, jumping ahead of the United States and Europe to become the West’s first country to formally endorse a jab it said should reach the most vulnerable people early next week.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson touted the medicine authority’s approval as a global win and a ray of hope amid the gloom of the novel coronavirus which has killed nearly 1.5 million people globally, hammered the world economy and upended normal life.

Britain’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) granted emergency use approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which they say is 95% effective in preventing illness, in record time – just 23 days since Pfizer published the first data from its final stage clinical trial.

“It’s fantastic,” Johnson said. “The vaccine will begin to be made available across the UK from next week. It’s

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South Korea Coronavirus Outbreak Adds New Stress to Gruelling, Eight-Hour Exam | World News


SEOUL (Reuters) – From avoiding family members to skipping extra study at “cram schools”, the coronavirus has forced nearly half a million South Korean test-takers and proctors to rethink their strategies ahead of a hyper-competitive university entrance exam this week.

The gruelling, almost eight-hour test on Thursday is seen as a life-defining event for high school seniors. A degree from a prestigious university is seen as a minimum requirement for securing one of the coveted but limited corporate jobs in Asia’s fourth-largest economy.

This year teachers, proctors and students drastically changed their study and teaching practices to try to ensure those taking the test don’t ruin their chances by getting sick.

“We take caution not just in classes but also during lunch, sitting facing the walls, eating alone and not talking at all,” said one teacher who will also serve as a proctor, speaking on condition of anonymity as she

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Germany Aims to Have First Risk Groups Vaccinated in January | World News


BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany aims to have the first vulnerable people and caregivers vaccinated against the coronavirus in January, the health minister said on Tuesday, as the European Union’s (EU) most populous country battles a second wave.

“But it remains true, and we have always said, that the cold winter months, in which we spend more time indoors, will be the harder part. That actually applies until the end of winter,” Jens Spahn told public broadcaster Deutschlandfunk.

German authorities are preparing special vaccination centres due to be ready in mid-December even though a vaccine will probably not be available by that time, Spahn added.

Health workers will vaccinate people with mobile teams and at vaccination centres since a candidate developed by Biontech and Pfizer needs to be stored at -70 degrees Celsius, Spahn said.

He added that he expects more vaccines, which can be administered by general practitioners, in spring

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On World AIDS Day, South Africa finds hope in new treatment


JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Health officials are hoping that new, long-acting drugs to help prevent HIV infection will be a turning point for the fight against a global health threat that’s been eclipsed by the coronavirus pandemic.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa highlighted the new drug in a weekly newsletter, saying the long-term acting and injectable HIV drug has “the potential to significantly strengthen our response to the epidemic.”

The region is especially hard-hit. South Africa has the biggest epidemic in the world with 7.7 million people living with HIV, according to UNAIDS.


In separate studies of men and women earlier this year, including one by the HIV Prevention Trials Network and the Reproductive Health and HIV Institute (RHI) at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa, the drug — Cabotegravir — had successful trials. The shot given every two months has been proven to be 90% more effective than the

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Soaring female suicide rate amid COVID crisis in Japan could be a warning to the world


Tokyo — For Koki Ozora, the warning bells started to go off in midsummer. “In July, we started getting a lot of messages from people saying they wanted to kill themselves,” he told CBS News. Ozora is the founder of an online counseling service used mainly by girls and young women.

Tokyo psychiatrist Chiyoko Uchida has seen many of her female clients buckling under the burdens wrought by the coronavirus pandemic. “My patients’ lives have been turned upside down,” she told CBS News. 

As before the pandemic, suicide continues to exact the highest toll on Japanese men, who are less likely to seek help. Males accounted for about two-thirds of the 2,158 self-inflicted deaths recorded here in October, according to Health Ministry statistics released last week. But while male suicides were up more than 20% last month compared to October 2019, the rate for women surged by more than 80%,

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