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Week 11 - 26/03/2021

Published on 26 March 2021 at 12:15

EU Tighten Control on Vaccine Exports 

European Union leaders have stopped short of banning vaccine exports after a protracted row with vaccine manufacturer AstraZeneca.

 

At a summit on Thursday they gave backing in principle for toughening export controls.

 

But a post-summit statement emphasised the importance of global supply chains needed to produce vaccinations.

 

Elements of the AstraZeneca vaccination are manufactured in a number of EU states.

 

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said AstraZeneca must "catch up" on deliveries to the EU before exporting doses elsewhere.

 

French President Emmanuel Macron told reporters this marked "the end of naivety" from the EU.

 

Vaccine roll-outs in EU states have started sluggishly, and the bloc has blamed pharmaceutical companies - primarily AstraZeneca - for not delivering promised doses. AstraZeneca has denied that it is failing to honour its contract


Biden Pressed on Migration Surge 

US President Joe Biden was pressed on how he would address the surge in migrants at the southern border at his first official press conference.

 

More than 17,000 children are being kept in government detention centres and Mr Biden was challenged on whether his policies could be contributing to the increase in child arrivals.

 

The president defended his record and vowed to be transparent.

 

The hour-long event also covered subjects from guns to foreign policy.

 

He also doubled his administration's vaccine roll-out goal, saying that he now aims to have 200 million jabs be given before his 100th day in office.

 

But questions about the situation at the US-Mexico border dominated the event.

 

President Biden also provided reporters with his ancestral experience with migration citing that his great grandfather 'left because of what the Brits had been doing'

 

 

Suez Canal Blocked by Container Ship

The stranded Ever Given mega-container ship in the Suez Canal is holding up an estimated $9.6bn (£7bn) of goods each day, according to shipping data.

 

This works out at $400m an hour in trade along the waterway which is a vital passageway between east and west.

 

Data from shipping expert Lloyd's List values the canal's westbound traffic at roughly $5.1bn a day, and eastbound daily traffic at around $4.5bn.

 

Despite efforts to free the ship, it could take weeks to remove experts say.

The Ever Given, operated by the Taiwanese company Evergreen Marine, is the length of four football pitches and one of the world's biggest container vessels. The 200,000-tonne ship can carry 20,000 containers.

 

Its blockage is causing huge tailbacks of other ships trying to pass through the Suez Canal.

 

 

Left Over Vaccine Given to Private School Teachers 

The Beacon Hospital has confirmed it administered 20 leftover Covid-19 vaccines to a number of teachers at St Gerard's School in Bray earlier this week.

 

In a statement, the hospital apologised for the upset caused by the move, acknowledging that "the decision was not in line with the sequencing guidelines in place from the HSE".

 

The move, first reported by the Irish Daily Mail, saw 20 leftover AstraZeneca vaccines needing to be used within "a very short period of time" last Tuesday evening.

 

The hospital said that given it was the AstraZeneca vaccine, there "were limitations as to who this could be administered to".

 

Teachers are listed in Cohort 11 of the vaccine roll-out programme, while the programme is currently in the process of vaccinating Cohort 4.

 

The hospital said that on Tuesday, there were "over 200 HSE no shows" to scheduled vaccine appointments, as a result of people being double booked at the Aviva Stadium


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