Early trials of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine among children ages 12 to 17 have started in Moscow, city officials said Monday.
Deputy Mayor Anastasia Rakova said 100 volunteers have been recruited who haven’t been previously infected with the coronavirus and don’t have health issues that would prevent them from getting the shots. Rakova said the youths will receive a small dose of Sputnik V than what is usually administered for adults.
The new trial comes as Russia faces a sharp surge in coronavirus infections and struggles to ramp up its low vaccine uptake. As of last week, only 23 million people, or just over 15% of the country’s 146-million population, have received at least one shot of a coronavirus vaccine.
In the meantime, the number of daily new virus cases have more than doubled over the past month, going from roughly 9,000 a day in early June to over 24,000 this week. On Monday, Russia’s state coronavirus task force reported 24,353 new cases and 654 deaths.
Russian authorities have registered over 5.6 million confirmed cases of the virus in the pandemic and 138,579 deaths.
MORE ON THE PANDEMIC:
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— Luxembourg prime minister hospitalized after positive test
— Iran reimposes virus restrictions as delta variant spreads
— Johnson says UK must live with virus as he announces easing
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
BERLIN — The German government is rejecting calls to fine people who don’t show up to vaccination appointments and fail to cancel them beforehand.
The head of the German Red Cross’s Berlin branch, Mario Czaja, has suggested fines of 25 to 30 euros ($29.65 to $35.60) for people who fail to turn up for appointments at vaccination centers. He says the number of such no-shows has increased in recent weeks.
His call has drawn a mixed response. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said Monday that appointments are “valuable” and appealed to people to cancel if they can’t keep them. But he said that “the federal government has no plans for fines.”
Health Ministry spokeswoman Parissa Hajebi said that “we want to motivate citizens to get vaccinated and we don’t to scare them off and threaten punishment.” She said the ministry didn’t have information that no-shows were a widespread phenomenon.
Germany had given 56.5% of its population at least one vaccine shot by Sunday and 38.9% were fully vaccinated.
ISLAMABAD — Normalcy returned at COVID-19 vaccination centers across Pakistan on Monday, days after Washington delivered 2.5 million doses of the Moderna vaccine to Islamabad.
That enabled Pakistan’s government to overcome shortages of specific vaccines which were needed to inoculate expatriate workers wishing to travel abroad.
Moderna vaccines were delivered to Pakistan last week by Washington in partnership with the COVAX global vaccine initiative and UNICEF.
Before receiving this vaccine, Pakistan had mostly relied on Chinese vaccines.
Pakistan faced the shortage of specific vaccines last month after some Middle Eastern countries asked travelers to produce a certificate to show they’ve received specific vaccines, including the Moderna, Pfizer or AstraZeneca shots.
LONDON — Britain’s royal palace says the Duchess of Cambridge is self-isolating after a contact tested positive for the coronavirus.
Kate had been due to attend events with her husband Prince William on Monday celebrating the 73rd birthday of Britain’s National Health Service.
But the couple’s Kensington Palace office says the duchess is self-isolating at home after coming into contact last week with someone who subsequently tested positive.
Under current British rules, contacts of confirmed coronavirus cases must quarantine at home for 10 days.
The palace says Kate, who is 39, does not have any symptoms of COVID-19.
Both Kate and William received first doses of coronavirus vaccine in May.
BRUSSELS — Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel has been hospitalized and is under observation “as a precautionary measure” after testing positive for COVID-19 a week earlier.
A government official, who spoke on customary condition of anonymity, said there was no update with new information early Monday after Bettel had been taken in for 24 hours of testing and medical analysis on Sunday.
The 48-year-old Bettel announced his positive test just after he had attended an European Union summit with 26 other leaders from the bloc for two days. At first he experienced only mild symptoms. But on Sunday, he had to be hospitalized.
EU summit organizers said they were confident that all virus precaution measures had been strictly adhered to during the two-day meeting. So far, no other leader has said he or she tested positive.
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Sri Lanka on Monday received a first batch of…