Coronavirus live news: AstraZeneca expected to miss EU vaccine target; WHO reports 20% drop in global deaths

Global cases, deaths continuing to decline, says WHO; French ICU patients with Covid at three-month high; AstraZeneca to deliver less than half promised doses to EU in second quarter – report

4.42am GMT

Singapore is discussing the mutual recognition of vaccine certificates with other countries, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said, calling it a necessary step towards resuming global travel, Reuters reports.

Singapore, a regional travel and tourism hub, has been rolling out its Covid-19 vaccination programme over the last two months. It has approved shots from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

4.15am GMT

South Korea shipped its first doses of a coronavirus vaccine on Wednesday, transferring AstraZeneca vaccines from a production facility in the country to a warehouse outside the capital of Seoul in preparation for this week’s inoculation drive, Reuters reports.

Healthcare workers are scheduled to receive the first batch of AstraZeneca PLC’s vaccine from Friday, as South Korea looks to protect 10 million high-risk people by July, on its way to reaching herd immunity by November.

AstraZeneca shots enough for about 750,000 people will be distributed from a production facility of SK Chemicals Co Ltd unit SK bioscience to immunisation centres across the country starting on Wednesday.

“We start the first historic vaccination on Friday with the vaccines rolled out today,” Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun told a government meeting.

“This is the first step that will lead us to a long-waited return to normal.”

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