Coronavirus briefing: The EMA endorses Janssen vaccineThe epidemic
- EU cases continued to decline. Cases continue to move sideways in France and slightly down in Italy and Spain but are rising in Germany and the Netherlands.
- Cases continue to rise extremely fast in India, while they are moving sideways in Brazil.
- Jan Albert, a Swedish professor in infection control, commented that the “double mutation” virus strain that originated in India seemed to be about equally concerning as the South Africa strain.
- In Sweden, cases point sharply down but this is likely just due to a data issue. Coronavirus hospitalisations have continued to rise and in some regions the capacity starts to be strained.
- Cases and hospitalisations have declined in Norway. In Denmark and Finland the trends are more sideways. Case growth shows small signs of stabilisation in Latvia and Lithuania.
- France will lift domestic travel restrictions on May 3 and let some restaurant terraces open in mid-May. Primary schools will open on April 26 and secondary and high schools on May 3.
- In Germany, the lower house of the parliament backed the lockdown law proposed by Angela Merkel, which would impose local restrictions at specified levels of infections.
- In the Netherlands, the night-time curfew will end on April 28. Restrictions on shops and outdoor dining will also be eased somewhat.
- In Estonia, the government is planning to ease restrictions, concerning outdoor activities, restaurant terraces, young students returning to school, and the opening of non-essential shops.
- The EU regulator EMA announced that the benefits of the Janssen vaccine outweigh its risks and that its use can be continued in the EU. Johnson & Johnson resumed shipping the vaccine to the EU.
- In Italy, the Janssen vaccine will only be given to groups older than 60. Swedish regulators commented that they would publish their decision soon.
- The Swedish vaccine coordinator said that it was unlikely that the German Curevac vaccine would be launched in Sweden before the end of June, as there had been delays.
- According to an interim study, the Indian Covaxin vaccine had 78% efficiency.
- The Swedish and Finnish authorities both announced that the AstraZeneca vaccine would continue to be administered only to individuals above the age of 65.
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