Israel approves Moderna corona vaccine, deliveries begin in January

Massachusetts-based pharmaceutical company Moderna announced Israel approved its virus vaccine.

By Associated Press

American biotech company Moderna says Israel has approved its COVID-19 vaccine, but the announcement comes as the country faces a rapidly growing outbreak of the disease.

Moderna said in a statement Tuesday that the Israeli Health Ministry authorized use of the company’s vaccine and that it would begin delivering this month the 6 million doses secured by Israel.

Israel’s Health Ministry reported 8,308 new confirmed cases of coronavirus on Tuesday — one of the highest daily tallies since the beginning of the pandemic — as the country struggles to contain the pandemic during a third national lockdown. Israel has recorded over 450,000 cases of coronavirus and 3,445 deaths.

At the same time, Israel has already vaccinated over 10% of its population, primarily the elderly and healthcare workers.

Meanwhile, China, where the COVID-19 originated, has designated parts of Hebei province near Beijing as a coronavirus high danger zone after 14 new cases of COVID-19 were found.

Eleven of those cases were in Shijiazhuang city, where some events for the 2022 Winter Olympics will be held. An additional 30 people tested positive for the virus without showing any symptoms, the provincial health authority said Tuesday.

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The other three COVID-19 cases were in the city of Yantai. Parts of Shijiazhuang were designated high danger areas, meaning they will undergo stricter testing and isolation measures, while parts of Yantai were registered as medium risk areas. Medical investigators were looking into whether a single event such as a family gathering had been the origin of many of the Hebei cases.

China has recorded a total of 87,183 cases of COVID-19, with 4,634 deaths. People who have tested positive but not shown symptoms have been counted separately from its official COVID-19 tally.

Wary of another wave of infections, China is urging tens of millions of migrant workers to stay put during next month’s Lunar New Year holiday, usually the world’s largest annual human migration. Classes are also being dismissed a week earlier than usual and tourists are being told not to come to Beijing for holidays.