Coronavirus live news: Brazil suffers record daily deaths; Hong Kong suspends Pfizer vaccines

Coronavirus live news: Brazil suffers record daily deaths; Hong Kong suspends Pfizer vaccinesMarch 24, 2021

Brazil Covid deaths pass 3,000 for first time; EU to tighten export rules to stop one-way flow of vaccines; Hong Kong suspends Pfizer vaccinations over defective packaging

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Cuba will administer experimental Covid shots to nearly the entire population of the capital Havana by May as health authorities carry out massive interventional studies and late stage trials, officials said on Tuesday.

Cuba, which has a long history of developing and exporting vaccines, this month began late phase trials of two of its five experimental shots, Soberana 2 and Abdala, which will be Latin America’s first homegrown Covid vaccines if they prove successful.

Reuters: Ileana Morales, the health ministry’s director of science and technological innovation, said on a roundtable broadcast on state television that authorities would conduct an intervention study in 1.7 million people in Havana by May.

That comes on top of one it has already started for 150,000 frontline workers in the city, which is estimated to have 2.1 million inhabitants.

Cuba’s capital is at the centre of its worst coronavirus outbreak since the start of the pandemic, registering 292 cases per 100,000 inhabitants compared with a nationwide average of 103.5, Deputy Health Minister Carilda Peña said.

More than four in five people who said last December they were either uncertain about or intended to refuse a Covid-19 vaccine had changed their mind by February and had accepted a jab or planned to, an analysis has found.

Researchers tracked responses of 14,713 adults in England and Wales over the two months, finding that the change was consistent across all ethnic groups and all levels of social deprivation. The results are encouraging given minority ethnic people have been hit hardest by Covid but are among the least likely to take up the vaccine.

Related: Covid ‘vaccine hesitancy’ in England and Wales is being overcome, study finds

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