US vaccine supplies look set to surge as Johnson & Johnson gets nod from panel advising FDA – live

11.40pm GMT

Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell has issued a statement saying he supports Joe Biden’s decision to authorize airstrikes in Syria, his first military act as president, which has killed 22 near the border town of Abu Kamal.

“I believe the president acted well within the authorities of his office,” McConnell said.

INBOX: McConnell backs Biden on Syria strike. pic.twitter.com/s1clImg0Ca

McConnell: “I support President Biden’s decision to authorize strikes against facilities associated with Iranian-backed terrorist groups responsible for attacks against American interests in Iraq.”
Still no comment from Schumer and Pelosi on strike

11.32pm GMT

Joe Biden was at a vaccination site in Houston, Texas, this evening to talk about FEMA and other federal responses in the aftermath of the winter storm.

He addressed the bipartisan rhetoric that arose with the discussion around Texas’s infrastructure, saying: “We’re not here today as Democrats or Republicans.

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Coronavirus live news: Greece extends lockdown to more areas; Johnson & Johnson jab ‘to get EU approval’

Greece announced tighter measures as pandemic showed no signs of waning in the country; EMA expected to approve vaccine on 11 March

12.18am GMT

The British health secretary Matt Hancock on Friday defended the continued rollout of the UK vaccination programme in age order instead of prioritising other risk groups by occupation or ethnicity, saying it is the “fastest and simplest way to roll out the jabs”.

PA reports:

The Health Secretary said the view of the Government and its advisers was that “the right thing to do, the moral thing to do is to make sure that we save the most lives”.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has advised that vaccination in order of age remains the quickest way to cut deaths, with age still a dominant risk factor for serious illness and death from Covid-19.

11.50pm GMT

Argentina’s newly appointed health minister Carla Vizzotti said on Friday she had tested positive for Covid-19, one week after her predecesor resigned following reports that VIPs in the South American nation had jumped the line to receive vaccination shots early.

Reuters reports:

Vizzotti, who replaced former minister Ginés González García, said on social media she would quarantine for several days as she recovers from the illness. President Alberto Fernandez’s chief of staff Santiago Cafiero said he too would quarantine as a precaution after recent meetings with Vizzotti.

Argentines have been growing more frustrated with a slow-moving vaccination program wrought with scandal. Since December, Argentina has been using primarily Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine to inoculate frontline health workers, and deliveries have lagged far behind initial projections.

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