Coronavirus live updates: 90-year-old becomes first to receive Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine outside trial

first_imgSamara Heisz/iStockBy MORGAN WINSOR, ERIN SCHUMAKER and IVAN PEREIRA, ABC News(NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now infected more than 67.6 million people and killed over 1.5 million worldwide, according to real-time data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.Here’s how the news is developing Tuesday. All times Eastern:Dec 08, 7:04 amUK ‘can’t afford to relax now,’ prime minister warnsAs COVID-19 vaccinations were administered to high-risk groups of people across the United Kingdom on Tuesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned that the nation “can’t afford to relax now.”“It is important for people to understand that the virus is alas still rising in some parts of the country,” Johnson said while visiting a newly-opened vaccination center in London.When asked whether he would be receiving the shot, Johnson told reporters he is “not in the priority group” outlined by the government but that those who are eligible should get it.“I would just say to all those who are scared, don’t be,” he said. “You see people take the vaccine this morning, in large numbers, people are going to be taking it in the next few days and weeks and there is nothing to be nervous about.”The United Kingdom — made up of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland — has the seventh-highest tally of COVID-19 infections in the world, with more than 1.7 million confirmed cases, including over 61,000 deaths, according to a real-time count kept by Johns Hopkins University. The European island nation launched a mass immunization program on Tuesday, after authorizing emergency use of a COVID-19 vaccine developed by U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech.Dec 08, 6:36 amUS reports over 192,000 new casesThere were 192,299 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in the United States on Monday, according to a real-time count kept by Johns Hopkins University.It’s the 35th straight day that the U.S. has reported over 100,000 newly diagnosed infections. Monday’s tally is less than the country’s all-time high of 227,885 new cases confirmed on Dec. 4, according to Johns Hopkins data.An additional 1,404 deaths from the disease were also registered nationwide on Monday, down from a peak of 2,879 fatalities on Dec. 3, according to Johns Hopkins data.COVID-19 data may be skewed due to possible lags in reporting over Thanksgiving followed by a potentially very large backlog from the holiday.A total of 14,954,331 people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and at least 283,746 of them have died, according to Johns Hopkins data. The cases include people from all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and other U.S. territories as well as repatriated citizens.Much of the country was under lockdown by the end of March as the first wave of pandemic hit. By May 20, all U.S. states had begun lifting stay-at-home orders and other restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The day-to-day increase in the country’s cases then hovered around 20,000 for a couple of weeks before shooting back up over the summer.The numbers lingered around 40,000 to 50,000 from mid-August through early October before surging again to record levels, crossing 100,000 for the first time on Nov. 4 and reaching 200,000 for the first time on Nov. 27.Dec 08, 5:52 amRussia extends ban on mass gatherings at schools until 2022Russia has banned schools and extracurricular clubs from holding mass gatherings until Jan. 1, 2022.A ban on mass gatherings at Russian schools was first imposed in June to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus and was set to expire on Jan. 1, 2021. But a new decree published Monday and signed by Russia’s chief sanitary doctor, Anna Popova, extends the ban and now also applies to sports organizations and other social infrastructure for children and youth.Universities and colleges are exempt from the ban.Russia’s coronavirus response headquarters said Tuesday it had confirmed 26,097 new cases of COVID-19 as well as 562 deaths from the disease in the past 24 hours. The country’s cumulative total currently stands at 2,515,009 confirmed cases with 44,159 deaths.Despite the growing number of infections and deaths, Russian authorities have repeatedly said they have no plans to impose another nationwide lockdown.The Eastern European country of 145 million people has the fourth-highest tally of COVID-19 cases in the world, behind only the United States, India and Brazil, according to a real-time count kept by Johns Hopkins University.Dec 08, 4:16 am90-year-old grandmother becomes first to receive Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine outside clinical trialA 90-year-old grandmother became Patient A on Tuesday morning as she was the first person in the world to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine outside a clinical trial.Margaret Keenan, who turns 91 next week, received the shot — the first of 800,000 doses — at University Hospital Coventry in central England at 6:31 a.m., as part of a mass immunization program rolled out across the United Kingdom, according to a press release from the National Health Service (NHS), the country’s publicly-funded health care system.Keenan, a former jewelry shop assistant who only retired four years ago, said she feels “so privileged to be the first person.” She will receive a booster injection — re-exposure to the immunizing antigen after initial vaccination — in 21 days “to ensure she has the best chance of being protected against the virus,” according to the press release.“It’s the best early birthday present I could wish for because it means I can finally look forward to spending time with my family and friends in the New Year after being on my own for most of the year,” Keenan, who has two children and four grandchildren, said in a statement released by the NHS.Last week, the U.K. became the first country in the world to authorize emergency use of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech. The potentially life-saving vaccine was shown in late-stage clinical trials to be more than 95% effective in preventing COVID-19.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img

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