Queen Elizabeth II’s husband Prince Philip dies at age 99

  by Joe JACKSON / Callum PATON Agence France Presse LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — Britain’s Prince Philip, a constant presence at Queen Elizabeth II’s side for decades, died Friday at age 99, Buckingham Palace announced. The death of the Duke of Edinburgh is a profound loss for the 94-year-old monarch, who once described him as her “strength and stay all these years”. The outspoken former navy commander devoted much of his life as the […]

French under-55s given AstraZeneca jab to get different second vaccine

by Paul RICARD and Stuart WILLIAMS PARIS, France (AFP) — France on Friday said under 55s who received a first injection of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine should be given a second jab from a different producer, but the WHO warned there was not sufficient data to recommend the practice. France’s national health authority HAS last month said the AstraZeneca vaccine should only be given to those aged 55 and over because of reports of potentially […]

Queen Elizabeth II’s husband Prince Philip has died: palace

  LONDON, United, Kingdom (AFP) — Queen Elizabeth II’s 99-year-old husband Prince Philip, who was recently hospitalized and underwent a successful heart procedure, died on Friday, Buckingham Palace announced. “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,” it said in a statement. “His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.” © Agence France-Presse

Covax backs AstraZeneca as vaccines reach 100 territories

by Robin MILLARD GENEVA, Switzerland (AFP) — Covax backed the AstraZeneca jab on Thursday as the scheme celebrated shipping coronavirus vaccine doses to 100 different territories around the world, despite delays dogging deliveries. AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine accounts for almost the entire first wave of doses being distributed via the facility, which ensures the 92 poorest participating economies can access jabs for free. But the programme has been hit by delays after New Delhi put the […]

Germany talks to Russia about buying Sputnik jabs

by Deborah COLE BERLIN, Germany (AFP) — Germany sparked controversy Thursday after launching talks with Russia about purchasing doses of its Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine without waiting for coordinated EU action. The creators of Sputnik confirmed in a message on their Twitter feed on Thursday evening that “discussions” had begun. They said German government officials were in talks with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which financed the development of the vaccine, for an advance […]

Robbers steal jewels worth 100,000 euros from top Paris hotel

PARIS, France (AFP) — Two armed men late Thursday made off with jewels worth 100,000 euros from the famed George V hotel in Paris just off the Champs-Elysees avenue, a source said. The two men entered the hotel at around 9:30 pm (1930 GMT), smashed show windows and took jewellery, the source said. They managed to flee and no-one was hurt. © Agence France-Presse

German mayor suspended for skipping vaccine queue

BERLIN, Germany (AFP) — A German mayor was suspended by his own city council after it emerged he had received a coronavirus vaccination in January, despite not being in a priority group. An overwhelming majority of 34 councillors voted late Wednesday to temporarily suspend Bernd Wiegand, mayor of the central city of Halle. Wiegand, 64, had previously admitted to receiving the vaccine in January, at a time when it was still only available to older […]

Spain reserves AstraZeneca vaccine for those over 60

MADRID, Spain (AFP) — Spain on Wednesday announced it would reserve the AstraZeneca vaccine for those over 60 after an EU regulator said blood clots should be listed as a rare side effect of the jab. “We will continue to administer the AstraZeneca vaccine, but from the age of 60,” Health Minister Caroline Darias told a press conference as the country joined several other nations that have taken similar measures. The EU medicines regulator EMA […]

UK govt offers reassurance on AstraZeneca vaccine safety

by Callum PATON LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — Britain moved Thursday to reassure the public over the safety of its coronavirus vaccine campaign, after deciding to offer alternatives to an AstraZeneca jab amid blood clot concerns. Health Secretary Matt Hancock urged people to keep getting inoculated, a day after Britain’s medicines regulator said the vaccine developed by the British-Swedish firm was linked to 79 cases of rare clotting and 19 deaths. But those under 30 […]

79 blood clots, 19 deaths in UK after taking AstraZeneca jab: regulator

LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — There have been 79 cases of rare blood clots, resulting in 19 deaths, in people receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine in Britain, the country’s medicines regulator said Wednesday. “By the 31st of March over 20 million doses having been given, we have had 79 cases reported. Of the 79 cases, 19 people have sadly died,” June Raine, Chief Executive of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), told a briefing. […]

Amnesty condemns rich world’s ‘near-monopoly’ on Covid vaccines

by Martine PAUWELS LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — Richer countries are failing a “rudimentary” test of global solidarity by hoarding Covid vaccines, Amnesty International said Wednesday as it accused China and others of exploiting the pandemic to undermine human rights. In its annual report, the campaigning rights organisation said the health crisis had exposed “broken” policies and that cooperation was the only way forward. “The pandemic has cast a harsh light on the world’s inability […]

Germany’s Bavaria plans to buy Sputnik vaccine

BERLIN, Germany (AFP) — Germany’s Bavaria region has signed a provisional agreement to buy doses of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine once it is approved by European regulators, state premier Markus Soeder said Wednesday. The southern state has “signed a memorandum of understanding today… for the supply of Sputnik,” Soeder told reporters in Munich. If the Sputnik vaccine is approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), Bavaria is set to receive around 2.5 million doses […]