Meanwhile, fears are growing over a new variant of the coronavirus spreading across the UK, with Japan on Sunday barring the entry of all non-resident foreign nationals as a precaution against the strain.
Thailand, meanwhile, is working to contain a COVID outbreak linked to a seafood market in a southern province, and residents of Sydney – Australia’s largest city – are waiting to be informed of whether public New Year’s celebrations will be allowed.
Here are the latest updates:
Italy launches COVID-19 vaccinations in Rome
Almost 10 months after the first Italian patient tested positive for the new coronavirus, Italy vaccinated the first residents against COVID-19.
Three health workers from the Rome Spallanzani hospital were inoculated shortly before 07:00 GMT with the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, according to a statement from epidemic commissioner Domenico Arcuri.
“The vaccine went very well and it was an exciting historic moment,” 29-year-old nurse Claudia Aliverini told RAINEWS24 public television.
“It’s the beginning of the end and I hope to be the first among more than 60 million Italians”.
Cyprus begins deployment of COVID-19 vaccine
Cyprus has started to vaccinate its population against COVID-19.
Retirees from homes in the capital Nicosia and the towns of Larnaca and Limassol were the first to receive an injection of the two-dose vaccine, which arrived by plane on Saturday.
Cyprus has reported 19,391 cases of the new coronavirus and 111 deaths.
Czech Republic begins deployment of coronavirus vaccine
The Czech Republic has started administering vaccines against the virus.
Prime Minister Andrej Babis was the first to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at the Central Military Hospital in Prague, just before other hospitals in the capital and the second largest city of Brno started distributing the 9,750 doses the country has received so far.
“The vaccine that arrived yesterday from the European Union is a hope, a hope that we will return to normal life,” Babis said before taking the hit.
EU begins vaccine deployment
Several EU countries have started vaccinating their most vulnerable groups as a new variant of the coronavirus spreads internationally and the WHO has warned that the current pandemic will not be the last.
The first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine arrived in Italy, Spain and France on Saturday, ready to be distributed to retirement homes and nursing staff.
The approval and rollout of vaccines has heightened hope that 2021 could bring a respite from the pandemic, which has killed more than 1.7 million people since it emerged in China late last year.
Thailand’s COVID-19 outbreak is increasing
Thailand has confirmed 121 new infections of the novel coronavirus, a senior official said, up from 103 cases reported earlier today.
Taweesin Wisanuyothin, a spokesperson for the country’s COVID-19 pandemic task force, said in a briefing that the new cases include 94 domestic transmissions and 18 in migrant workers linked to an outbreak at a fruit market beach in Samut Sakhon, a province southwest of Bangkok.
Infections from this cluster have spread to 38 provinces.
Japan stops all foreign arrivals compared to UK variant
Japan is banning the entry of all non-resident foreign nationals as a precaution against a potentially more contagious new variant of the coronavirus that is spreading across the UK.
The Foreign Ministry said the entry ban will begin on Monday and last until January 31.
Sydney awaits verdict on New Year’s Eve festivities
The COVID-19 outbreak in Sydney continued on Sunday with more than a quarter of a million people locked out as Australia’s largest city waited for it to be known whether public New Years celebrations will be allowed.
Seven cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the state of New South Wales, six directly linked to the outbreak in Sydney’s northern suburbs, which are on orders to stay home until Wednesday. Infections are 122.
“We hope to have clear information for everyone tomorrow, or at the latest the next day, on what New Years Eve will look like and the weeks to come,” Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian said at a conference. hurry.