What you need to know about the coronavirus right now By Reuters


© Reuters. Senior citizens receive vaccinations against coronavirus disease in Evanston, Illinois

(Reuters) – Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:

U.S. reaches 500,000 COVID-19 deaths

The United States on Monday crossed the staggering milestone of 500,000 COVID-19 deaths just over a year since the coronavirus pandemic claimed its first known victim in Santa Clara County, California.

About 19% of total global coronavirus deaths have occurred in the United States, an outsized figure given that the nation accounts for just 4% of the world’s population. The country has the highest overall death figure, reflecting the lack of a unified, national response.

COVID-19 from UK variant lasting longer

The reason the coronavirus variant first identified in the UK is more transmissible than earlier versions of the virus may be that it spends more time inside infected people, giving them more time to spread the virus, according to a small study. Among individuals infected with the variant designated B.1.1.7, the average duration of infection was 13.3 days, compared with 8.2 days in those infected by an older version of the coronavirus.

“The findings are preliminary, as they are based on seven B.1.1.7 cases,” the researchers cautioned in a report posted without peer review on a Harvard University website. “However, if borne out by additional data, a longer isolation period than the currently recommended 10 days after symptom onset may be needed to effectively interrupt secondary infections by this variant,” they said.

Pfizer to ship 13 mln vaccine doses a week to U.S. by mid-March

Pfizer Inc (NYSE:) expects to deliver more than 13 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine a week to the United States by the middle of March, more than doubling its shipments from early February, a top Pfizer executive said in prepared testimony ahead of a Tuesday congressional hearing.

Other drugmakers including Moderna (NASDAQ:) and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:) also said they intended to boost shipments, putting the United States on track to receive 240 million doses by the end of March and 700 million doses by mid-year, more than enough to dose the entire U.S. population.

WHO backs compensation fund for serious vaccine side-effects

The World Health Organization has agreed a no-fault compensation plan for claims of serious side effects in people in 92 poorer countries due to COVID-19 vaccines from the COVAX sharing scheme, resolving a big concern among recipient governments.

The programme, which the WHO said was the first and only vaccine injury compensation mechanism operating on an international scale, will offer eligible people “a fast, fair, robust and transparent process”, the WHO said in a statement. Countries funding their own COVID-19 vaccine procurement also plan their own liability programmes.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.