The European Union begins its campaign to vaccinate its population against Covid-19

 Less than a week after the European Union gave the green light to the "Pfizer-Biontech" vaccine, most European countries such as Italy and Spain officially began vaccination campaigns against the Covid-19 epidemic on Sunday, in the footsteps of Many other countries.

The first two doses of the Pfizer-Biontec vaccine, which were delivered on Saturday, were administered in Italy shortly before 08:00 (0700 GMT) to nurse Claudia Olivernini and Maria Rosaria Capobianchi, director of the epidemiology laboratory at the Spallanzani Hospital in Rome.

"It's a small gesture, but it is essential for all of us. I say it from the bottom of my heart: Let's get the vaccine. For our sake, for our loved ones and for the community," said Alevernini.

"Italy wakes up," the Italian prime minister wrote on his Twitter account.

The mass vaccination campaign will begin on January 8, coinciding with the arrival of 470,000 doses of the vaccine per week to Italy, the country most affected by the epidemic with more than 71,000 deaths, and whose lockdown measures have been re-imposed before Christmas.

An hour later, Spain followed in the footsteps of Italy and Acacili Rosario Hidalgo Sanchez, 96, who lives in a nursing home in Guadalajara in the center of the country, was the first to receive the first dose. Smiling, she said she did not feel "anything" when the vaccine was given.

A woman over a hundred years old in Germany, a doctor in Hungary and an infectious disease specialist in Slovakia: Other countries in the European Union began vaccination on Saturday, a day before they were launched in the rest of the bloc.

In the coming days, a campaign to promote the vaccine will be launched in Germany on television and on advertising platforms under the slogan "Roll up the sleeves".

In France, 78-year-old Morissat said she was "excited" while receiving the first vaccine dose around 11:00 (10 GMT) at the René-Mauret-Dossafran hospital, near Paris.

About 19,500 doses of the vaccine were transferred to the central pharmacy of Paris hospitals. And transported there by workers who wear masks and gloves to prevent the cold, as the vaccine is kept in special refrigerators with temperatures below 70 degrees below zero.

A few thousand kilometers away in Bucharest, nurse Michaela Angela, who works at the Matte Pulse Hospital for infectious diseases, who was the first in February to treat a patient with COVID-19, received the vaccine. The nurse felt it was the "least painful vaccine" she had ever received, confirming that she was "nervous."

In Slovakia, Bishop Frank Kramberger, 84, received the first dose of the vaccine.

Although most countries have chosen elderly people or medical workers to launch the vaccination campaign, Prime Minister Andrej Babis received the first dose in the Czech Republic.

"Yesterday I saw a woman on TV saying that she was waiting to see Babys get the vaccine. So I decided to be a role model," the populist billionaire said.

Before the European Union, many other countries began their campaigns of vaccination against Covid-19, which killed at least one million 756 thousand and 060 people and infected about eighty million people around the world, according to official data collected by Agence France-Presse on Sunday.

Russia, whose number of infections exceeded the threshold of three million on Saturday, and the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Mexico, Chile and others began vaccinating its population in December. China was the first country to do so last summer.

And Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Saturday that the Hebrew state intends to vaccinate a quarter of its population against the Corona virus within a month in order to return to normal life before Corona.

Netanyahu was the first Israeli to receive the vaccine on December 19, before the launch of the national vaccination program on Monday.

In a new breakthrough at the end of the year that was overshadowed by the pandemic, the British group AstraZeneca confirmed Sunday in the "Sunday Times" newspaper that it had found "a winning formula" for its vaccine against Covid-19, which it had developed in partnership with the University of Oxford.

AstraZeneca vaccine is widely expected because it is less expensive and does not need to be stored in a very low temperature. Group General Manager Pascal Surio confirmed that the vaccine provides "100 percent protection" against severe forms of Covid-19.

The British health authorities are expected to announce their decision on this vaccine in the coming days.

And Saturday, several countries reported that they had discovered cases of the mutated Corona virus on their soil, including Canada, Italy, Sweden, Spain and Japan, after announcing this week that there were cases in France, Germany, Lebanon and Denmark.

According to a study conducted by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, this new strain is contagious by "50 to 74 percent" more than its predecessors, which raises fears of an increase in the number of adult infections that need intensive care in hospitals and deaths in 2021 compared to 2020.

After the discovery of this strain from Covid-19, dozens of countries suspended their air, sea and land flights with the United Kingdom, causing chaos in the suburbs of Dover (southeast), where thousands of trucks stopped for days.

For its part, Japan decided to stop receiving new arrivals from non-resident foreigners on its soil from Monday until the end of January.

In the face of alarming high rates of COVID-19 cases, many countries once again imposed restrictions, such as Austria, which imposed a quarantine on its residents on Saturday until January 24.

Italy and Ireland imposed restrictions again before Christmas, and local lockdowns or severe restrictions have affected millions of people in the UK.

Also, the Israeli government imposed an almost complete quarantine on Sunday.

And French Health Minister Olivier Ferrand warned that France does not rule out imposing a third lockdown if the epidemic situation worsens.

The Director of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, warned in a video Sunday on the occasion of the International Day of Epidemic Preparedness, that the epidemic caused by the Corona virus will not be the last. He said attempts to improve human health "are doomed to failure" if we do not deal with the problem of climate change and animal welfare.

 

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