April 2 (Reuters) - Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:
Australia probes AstraZeneca blood clot case
Australia is investigating whether a blood clotting case recorded on Friday is related to the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, a health official said, raising concern in a nation where most people are expected to receive the drugmaker’s shot.
British regulators on Thursday said they have identified 30 cases of rare blood clot events after the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, 25 more than previously reported.
Germany’s vaccine commission recommended on Thursday that people under 60-years old who have had a first shot of AstraZeneca’s vaccine should receive a different product for their second dose.
The United States may not need AstraZeneca’s vaccine, even if it wins U.S. regulatory approval, Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease doctor, told Reuters on Thursday.
Moderna gets nod to speed up vaccine output
The U.S. drug regulator gave Moderna clearance to speed up output of its vaccine by letting it fill a single vial with up to 15 doses, with the United States banking on rapid immunisation to stem the spread of the virus.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration also authorised vaccinators to extract a maximum of 11 doses from the current vials, instead of the ten previously permitted.
However, the regulator also warned that without proper syringes and needles it may not be possible to extract more than 13 doses from Moderna’s 15-dose vials, and more than 10 doses from the current vials
India reports six-month high of daily infections
India reported 81,466 new infections on Friday, the highest daily number in six months, as several states were hit by a second wave of the coronavirus.
Health ministry data showed the total number of cases surged to 12.3 million, making India the third-most hit country from the virus after the United States and Brazil. The number of dead rose by 469 to 163,396.
Merkel appeals to Germans to stay home for Easter
Chancellor Angela Merkel appealed to Germans on Thursday to stay at home over Easter and meet fewer people to help curb a third wave of the pandemic, as the capital Berlin announced a nighttime ban on gatherings from Friday.
“It should be a quiet Easter, with those closest to you, with very reduced contact. I urge you to refrain from all non-essential travel,” Merkel said in a video message.
Opposition grows against UK vaccine passports
More than 70 British lawmakers have signalled their opposition to the introduction of so-called vaccine passports that the government is considering bringing in to help to open the economy as it starts lifting lockdown restrictions.
The government is reviewing the idea of asking people to show proof of a vaccination to access crowded spaces such as pubs or sports events, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson having already said that a certificate is likely to be needed for international travel. (Compiled by Linda Noakes; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)