Coronavirus live news: Australia begins vaccine rollout; Israel says Pfizer jab 96% effective
PM Scott Morrison one of the first to be vaccinated; Ireland’s pubs to stay closed until summer; all UK adults to be offered vaccine by ‘end July’. Follow latest updates
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In Australia the state of Victoria has recorded no new locally-acquired cases as the government commits $143m of support for businesses unable to operate on Valentine’s Day due to the state’s five-day lockdown.
Vaccinations will start for eligible high-risk recipients on Monday in Victoria, where there were no local or overseas-acquired coronavirus diagnoses in the latest 24-hour period, with more than 10,300 tests conducted.
Chinese state media reports the government has approved another 16 domestically-produced vaccines for clinical trials.
According to government organ, China Daily, six of the 16 have entered phase three trials.
China specialists are pointing to the way it has rolled vaccines into its belt and road initiative framework, using summits with Middle East and African countries to offer preferential access to jabs alongside investments in highways, ports, 5G grids and renewable energy. Last year, while Washington was trumpeting an “America first” response to the pandemic, Beijing was making high-profile deals to trial, produce and sell vaccines in Latin America, deep inside the US’s traditional sphere of influence.