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  • Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (2020) G

    Pfizer vaccine coming for 40-49s in NSW -sharenews

    Around a million people in NSW aged between 40 and 49 could get a Pfizer COVID-19 jab at the new purpose-built vaccination hub at Sydney Olympic Park within weeks. Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the "exciting" development at the opening of the…
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    Vic plane passengers wait for test results -sharenews

    About 15,000 people are isolating in Victoria, including 38 in hotel quarantine, as the state continues to deal with the fallout from Western Australia's coronavirus outbreak. Victoria's testing commander Jeroen Weimar has revealed it took more than half a…
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    Bubble not burst yet

    Tasmanian and New Zealand Health officials will meet on Wednesday to discuss any possible implications of a new coronavirus case at Auckland airport. It comes only a day before the first direct flights between Hobart and Auckland begin again after 20 years.…
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    US reviews J&J COVID-19 vaccine -sharenews

    The United States is reviewing reports of a handful of potential cases of severe side effects among people who received Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine, as well as those that led to a pause in its use, a top US public health official says. US health…
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    National cabinet meets to discuss vaccine -sharenews

    The meeting of the national cabinet will aim to get the nation's vaccine program back on track and discuss ways to ease international border restrictions, perhaps later in the year. One route in and out of the country has already eased, after restrictions on…
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    PM, premier urge calm after NSW clot death -sharenews

    Scott Morrison and Gladys Berejiklian have warned against rushing to conclusions after the death of a NSW woman who developed blood clots a day after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. The NSW premier also reiterated her enthusiasm to receive her second…
  • PA Hospital

    COVID-19 found in Brisbane hospital ward -sharenews

    Engineering consultants are inspecting a Brisbane hospital's infectious diseases ward after traces of coronavirus turned up in testing there, one week after it was deep cleaned. The Princess Alexandra Hospital's Ward 5D was shut from March 30 and deep cleaned…
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    Qld man aged in his 80s dies from COVID-19 -sharenews

    Australia has recorded its first COVID-19 death for 2021 after a man in his 80s died in a Brisbane hospital. Health minister Yvette D'Ath said the Australian man succumbed to the disease on Monday night after returning from the Philippines. It follows the…
  • coronavirus update

    Second case of rare blood clots identified -sharenews

    Australia's medicine regulator has identified a second case of rare blood clots believed to be linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine. The Therapeutic Goods Administration released a safety alert announcing the possible link on Tuesday. The blood clots affected a…
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    US breaks daily vaccine record with 4.6m -sharenews

    The US continues to make rapid strides with its vaccination programme, announcing that health care workers have carried out more than 4.6 million vaccinations in one day. "A new record," Cyrus Shahpar, the person responsible for vaccination data at the White…
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    Under-50s AstraZeneca jabs on hold in Tas -sharenews

    Tasmania has halted first-dose injections of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for people aged under 50 years, following federal health advice. The decision comes after Prime Minister Scott Morrison late on Thursday received recommendations from the Australian…
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    Australia's vaccine rollout plans in chaos -sharenews

    Australia is facing a major delay in its coronavirus vaccine rollout after new bombshell advice plunged the program into chaos. Health supremos have recommended not administering the AstraZeneca vaccine to people under 50 because of an extremely rare but…
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    Aus monitoring AstraZeneca concerns

    The Morrison Government is now considering next steps in regard to the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine rollout, after the UK began offering people aged under 30 an alternative formula. It comes after the European Medicines Agency confirmed the jab can cause…
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    SA moves to ease some virus measures -sharenews

    South Australia has eased some COVID-19 restrictions despite the growing virus outbreak in Queensland. SA has declared the greater Brisbane area a coronavirus hotspot, preventing people travelling from the region unless they are a returning resident or…
  • Coronavirus latest news2

    Brisbane locations deemed high risk

    Queensland has recorded one new locally acquired case of coronavirus. A man from the Moreton Bay region is a close contact of a 26-year-old Brisbane man, who has also tested positive. Results from genomic sequencing have confirmed ties to a hospital doctor…
  • covid vaccine

    Vaccine rollout hits GP clinics

    Dozens of Tasmanian GP clinics are among more than 1100 around the country set to deliver coronavirus vaccines in five days' time. The Morrison Government has announced six million Australians are able book appointments for phase 1b of the vaccine rollout…
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    SA to get first AstraZeneca virus vaccines -sharenews

    South Australians will be the first in the nation to get the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine option. Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed the batches that arrived from overseas recently have been tested and given the tick of approval. They are being…
  • tassie coronavirus response

    1 year on from Tassie's first COVID case

    Tuesday marks a year since Tasmania's first coronavirus case was identified, and we're being assured the vaccine rollout is proceeding as planned. 1159 Tasmanian front line workers have received their first dose of the Pfizer jab. Health Minister Sarah…
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    Slow rollout for Victoria COVID vaccines -sharenews

    Victoria's COVID-19 vaccinations are rolling out slowly, with less than a third of the supplied doses being administered. According to federal figures, only 30 per cent of Victoria's doses were injected in the first week of the vaccination program. It comes…
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    More than 10,000 NSW residents vaccinated -sharenews

    In just a week more than 10,000 people in NSW have received their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine. Phase 1a of the nation-wide vaccination program began last Monday, with healthcare and border workers the first to be jabbed with the Pfizer vaccine. "NSW…

Bells toll as US reaches 500k COVID deaths -sharenews

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

In a proclamation honouring the dead, President Joe Biden ordered the US flag to be flown at half-staff on public buildings and grounds until sunset on Friday.

"On this solemn occasion, we reflect on their loss and on their loved ones left behind," Biden said in the proclamation. "We, as a nation, must remember them so we can begin to heal, to unite, and find purpose as one nation to defeat this pandemic."

Bells tolled at the National Cathedral in Washington to honour the lives lost on Monday evening - ringing 500 times to symbolise the 500,000 deaths.

"As we acknowledge the scale of this mass death in America, remember each person and the life they lived," Biden said in an emotional speech at the White House after the bells sounded.

A few moments later, Biden, Vice-President Kamala Harris and their spouses appeared wearing black. They stood silently as the hymn Amazing Grace was played.

The country had recorded more than 28 million COVID-19 cases and 500,264 lives lost as of Monday afternoon, according to a Reuters tally of public health data, although daily cases and hospitalisations have fallen to the lowest level since before the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

About 19 per cent of total global coronavirus deaths have occurred in the United States, an outsized figure given that the nation accounts for just four per cent of the world's population.

"These numbers are stunning," Dr Anthony Fauci, a top infectious disease adviser to President Joe Biden told ABC's Good Morning America program. "If you look back historically, we've done worse than almost any other country and we're a highly developed, rich country."

In an interview with Reuters on Monday, Fauci said political divisiveness contributed significantly to the US death toll.

The country's poor performance reflects the lack of a unified, national response last year, when the administration of Donald Trump mostly left states to their own devices in tackling the greatest public health crisis in a century, with the president playing down the pandemic and often in conflict with his own health experts.

In 2020, the virus has taken a full year off the average life expectancy in the United States, the biggest decline since World War II.

Sweeping through the country at the beginning of last year, the US epidemic had claimed its first 100,000 lives by May.

The death toll doubled by September as the virus ebbed and surged during the summer months.

By December, the death toll had reached 300,000 in the United States. In the three months after Thanksgiving, the virus would claim 230,000 lives.

Deaths recorded between December and February accounted for 46 per cent of all US COVID-19 fatalities, even as vaccines finally became available and a monumental effort to inoculate the American public got started.

Despite the grim milestone, the virus appears to have loosened its grip as COVID-19 cases in United States fell for a sixth week. Health experts warn, however, that coronavirus variants discovered in Britain, South Africa and Brazil could unleash another wave that threatens to reverse the recent positive trends.

© RAW 2021

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