The European Union medicines agency said Tuesday it has moved a meeting to evaluate the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for provisional approval in the 27-nation bloc as of 21 December. The agency said it made the decision after receiving additional data from vaccine manufacturers.
The announcement came after the German health ministry publicly requested that the agency move faster than the previously scheduled December 29 meeting where it was to discuss the vaccine’s approval.
Meanwhile, British authorities are expected to hold talks on the Christmas coronavirus rules after a spate of infections fueled calls for medical experts to stop families from mixing over the holidays. Cabinet Minister Michael Gove would discuss the matter with his counterparts in devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland later on Tuesday.
Unemployment in the UK rose in the three months to October, exposing the brutal impact of the pandemic on the economy. The number of job seekers increased by 241,000 over the period, bringing the unemployment rate to 4.9 percent, the highest since 2016, the Office for National Statistics said.
Additionally, the Indian community of 1.5 million people in the UK was the group most affected by the pandemic among non-whites in the UK, according to new data released on Tuesday. The data show that their mental health was particularly affected and 1,105 people of Indian descent died in England alone.
An 89-year-old resident of a nursing home in Quebec became the first Canadian to receive a Covid-19 vaccine injection as the country is among the first to launch its vaccination program. Gisèle Lévesque received the Pfizer-BioNTech jab in Quebec City.
With input from agencies