BANGKOK – Thailand started its first vaccinations on Sunday with 200 public health officials who received the Sinovac vaccine from China.
Health Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Anutin Charnvirakul received the first shot at a hospital near Bangkok, followed by the Deputy Health Minister and other senior officials.
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, who attended the vaccination ceremony, said the public should have confidence in the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness, as approved by authorities in Thailand and other countries.
Prayuth did not receive the vaccine on Sunday because he is older than Sinovac’s recommended age of 18 to 59 years. Prayuth is 66.
Thailand received the first 200,000 doses of the Sinovac vaccine on Wednesday. They are part of the government plan that has so far received 2 million doses from Sinovac and 61 million doses from AstraZeneca.
Thailand had more than 25,000 confirmed cases and 83 deaths from COVID-19.
– J & J’s single dose shot cleared and the US received a third COVID-19 vaccine
– Falling demand for COVID-19 testing could put the US at risk
– Biden welcomes the passage of a $ 1.9 trillion virus bill to the Senate
– New York State mandates dance zones that distance each other when weddings resume
Follow all AP pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak
HERE HAPPENS WHAT ELSE HAPPENS:
WASHINGTON – The US now has a third vaccine against COVID-19.
The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday cleared a Johnson & Johnson shot that works with just one dose instead of two.
Health professionals have been eagerly awaiting a one-off option to speed up vaccinations. The virus has already killed more than 510,000 people in the US and is mutating in increasingly worrying ways.
The FDA said J & J’s vaccine offers strong protection against what matters most: serious illness, hospitalization, and death. One dose was 85% protected from the most serious COVID-19 disease, in a massive study that spanned three continents.
LONDON – Church bells rang and a WWII-era plane flew over Captain Tom Moore’s memorial service in honor of the veteran who raised millions for British health workers by doing laps in his backyard.
Captain Tom, as he came to be known, died on February 2 at the age of 100 after testing positive for COVID-19. Only eight members of the veteran’s immediate family attended Saturday’s private memorial service, but soldiers carried his coffin and formed a ceremonial guard.
“Daddy, you always told us ‘best foot forward’ and just like you did, you did that last year,” said Moore’s daughter Lucy Teixeira at the service.
Moore, who served in India, Burma and Sumatra during World War II, set out to raise a modest £ 1,000 for the UK’s NHS by doing 100 laps of his backyard by the time he turned 100 last year. But donations poured in from across the UK and beyond when his search went viral.
His trademark – “Please remember, tomorrow will be a good day” – inspired the nation in a time of crisis. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle in July.
A version of the song “Smile” singer Michael Bublé, which was recorded for the funeral, was played. Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” was just as Moore demanded.
MILAN – The Lombardy region, where Milan is located, faces a partial lockdown on Monday. Mayor Giuseppe Sala said in a video message that he was disturbed by scenes of people gathering in public places, often with their masks down.
Italy failed to smooth the fall resurgence curve as the number of new infections and deaths remains stubbornly high despite new variants leading to new outbreaks. The Italian Ministry of Health reported 18,916 new infections and 280 deaths on Saturday.
The regions of Lombardy, Piedmont and Marche will be partially closed on Monday, which means that no table service will be offered in bars and restaurants. Police vans blocked access to Milan’s trendy Navigli district on Saturday evening after the mayor announced increased patrols to prevent gatherings on a spring weekend.
Basilicata and Molise will be designated as red zones on Monday, which means the upper classes have distance learning and non-essential businesses are closed. There is still a 10 p.m. curfew across the country.
ALBANY, NY – New York’s new coronavirus-era dance rules aren’t exactly strict, but you don’t plan on taking off your Sunday shoes with anyone.
The state says when wedding receptions resume next month, guests will only be allowed to step onto the dance floor with members of their immediate party, household, or family seated at the same table.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has already announced that weddings can start again on March 15th. Venues are limited to 50% capacity, up to 150 guests, and all must be tested for coronavirus beforehand.
Dancers must wear face masks and stay in their own “dance areas or zones”.
Happy couples can still spin for a ceremonial first dance and other couples can join in, but they must stay all 6 feet apart.
BISMARCK, ND – Nearly 10% of North Dakota residents have completed both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
North Dakota Department of Health data shows that nearly 70,000 people in the state, or 9.5% of the population, received the full two-dose series. More than 126,000, or 17.3%, received the first dose.
North Dakota reported three COVID-19-related deaths on Saturday, bringing the state’s confirmed death toll to 1,445. Another 71 cases were confirmed, for a total of 99,780.
Meanwhile, the North Dakota Department of Commerce announced $ 20 million in grants to help state hotels, motels and lodging establishments that have lost revenue due to the pandemic.
INDIANAPOLIS – Nearly 900 new cases of the coronavirus and 27 more deaths have been reported in Indiana.
The Indiana Department of Health says the 897 newly diagnosed cases bring the state’s confirmed total to 660,942 since the pandemic began.
The state has recorded 12,125 deaths, while another 431 probable deaths from clinical diagnoses have been reported in patients who did not test positive.
More than 981,000 Indiana residents have received a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 552,241 are fully vaccinated.
JUNEAU, Alaska – The federal government has approved Alaska’s plan to provide nearly $ 50 million in pandemic aid to the state fishing industry.
Commercial applicants must demonstrate that they lost at least 35% of their sales in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Applications are accepted from March to May.
Rachel Baker, Deputy Commissioner for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, says the final plan will exclude commercial license holders who fish in Alaska but live in other coronavirus cleared states. Payments could start as early as June.
CoastAlaska reported Friday that the decision was made after two major revisions to the plan and more than 200 public comments from all industries.
CARIBOU, Maine – Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins wants the Biden administration to reconsider the US-Canada border restrictions imposed a year ago because of the pandemic.
Her letter came less than a week after the Department of Homeland Security announced that the U.S., Mexico, and Canada had jointly agreed to maintain land border restrictions through March 21.
Collins wrote in a letter to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas that a “just solution” is needed for border communities that recognize lower risk.
Only Canadian citizens, dual Americans, and family members and partners can cross for non-essential purposes.
SEATTLE – People looking for a unique alfresco dining option during the pandemic can now walk to the Seattle Seahawks home.
A food series called “Field to Table” started this month at Lumen Field. It offers four-course meals from local chefs, as well as a view of the NFL stadium usually reserved for players and coaches.
Guests eat their meals under an open tent in the field near the North End Zone.
Event producer Sam Minkoff says the series’ original dates sold out quickly, but additional reservations will be available soon.
Part of the proceeds go to the charitable Big Table, which helps the struggling restaurant and hospitality workers. Seattle area restaurants recently resumed indoor seating with reduced capacity after being limited to takeout or outdoor seating.