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FDA approves a new vaccine against covid, amid new restrictions in the world

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The United States authorized its third vaccine against covid-19 on Saturday, renewing hopes in the country hardest hit by the pandemic to move towards the end of the health crisis, while in different parts of the planet new restrictions are being applied due to spikes in the contagions.

The US regulator, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has authorized Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine against COVID-19 for emergency use. This single-dose, refrigerator-safe immunizer is the third to get the green light in the country, after those from Pfizer and Moderna in December.

Highly effective, this vaccine is considered key to accelerating the immunization rate in the United States.

President Joe Biden celebrated the “exciting” announcement. But he warned: “We cannot lower our guard now or assume that victory is inevitable.”

Although vaccination is exciting, access by countries is very uneven, and most of the 217 million doses administered are concentrated in the most developed nations.

This Saturday, the United States received another piece of news that many consider a way to move towards ending the turbulence caused by the pandemic: the House of Representatives approved the stimulus plan of 1.9 trillion dollars that Biden is promoting, after which the President urged the Senate to approve it “immediately.”

The package could become the second largest stimulus in the country’s history, an example of efforts to overcome the crisis unleashed by the pandemic that infected more than 113 million people and claimed the lives of more than 2.5 million in all the planet.

– Measures in France and Brazil –

Despite the advances in vaccination campaigns, the world continues to be very vulnerable: spikes in the virus led in the last hours to the return of restrictions in countries such as France and Brazil.

In the European country, the government activated measures concentrated in departments under surveillance due to their high number of infections. Thus, for example, Nice and its famous Promenade des Anglais on the Côte d’Azur, in the south of the country, were confined for the weekend.

“If you have to do this to be able to have a little more freedom later, why not?” Said Frédérique Duval, a 51-year-old clothing designer, on Saturday in Nice.

As the UK paid a final tribute to its hero Tom Moore, “Captain Tom”, a veteran famous for raising a record sum for public health during the pandemic, vaccination in the country has vastly improved prospects for many older people, and has stood out in the distribution to vulnerable groups.

In Italy the executive introduced more restrictions in several regions, including Lombardy (north).

The authorities of the Czech Republic decided to reconfine the population as of Monday to try to curb its infection rate per inhabitant, the highest in the world at the moment.

– Alert in Brazil –

In Brazil, several governors and mayors announced new restrictions to avoid a health collapse in the face of the rebound in the pandemic, which already leaves more than 254,000 dead there.

The government of Sao Paulo, the largest and richest state in Brazil, on Friday made a setback in its flexibilization plan official and further reduced the hours of bars and restaurants.

The states of Paraná and Rio Grande do Sul (south) ordered that only essential services will work, that is, pharmacies, hospitals and supermarkets, among others.

In Brasilia, the regional government decreed as of Sunday the closure of schools, shops and activities such as cinemas, theaters and gyms.

Colombia also extended until June 1 the closure of its land and river borders, in force since March 16 of last year.

On the other side of the world, in New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern ordered this Saturday that the country’s largest city, Auckland, be confined again due to the appearance of a new case.

– Persistent effects –

In addition to the virus itself, there is a growing global concern about “prolonged covid” cases, in which people suffer symptoms for months after illness.

The World Health Organization this week urged governments to prioritize understanding the long-term effects of infections.

But not only do the health effects remain, the pandemic also continues to affect cultural events.

The whirlwind of parties that precedes Hollywood awards season, with a dazzling Golden Globe awards kicking off the cycle leading up to the Oscars, will not take place this year.

This Sunday, the Golden Globes will be held primarily as a remote event broadcast from Beverly Hills and New York, and most of the nominees are expected to meet their luck on the couch in their living rooms.

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