Queen Elizabeth honors key women in UK's rapid vaccine drive
Queen Elizabeth II has used her birthday honors list to celebrate those at the forefront of the U.K.’s rapid rollout of coronavirus vaccines over the past few months, which has been credited with turning around the country’s pandemic response.
NC State, Texas A&M move up in women's AP Top 25; UConn tops
North Carolina State returned to the No. 2 spot and Texas A&M climbed to third after South Carolina and Louisville — the previous second- and third-ranked teams — lost games. Coach Gary Blair's team can win the Southeastern Conference regular-season title with victories over Alabama on Thursday and South Carolina on Sunday. The Scarlet Knights play at Michigan State and Penn State this week. South Carolina, Mississippi State and Tennessee are the only teams to win the regular-season crown since the Aggies entered the conference in 2012.
Shops, haircuts return in April as UK lifts lockdown slowly
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a televised press conference at 10 Downing Street in London, Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. Johnson said the government's plan would move the country “cautiously but irreversibly” out of lockdown. “We are now traveling on a one-way road to freedom,” he said at a televised news conference. Three weeks later, people will be able to meet in small groups outdoors for sports or relaxation. “I can’t guarantee that it is going to be irreversible, but the intention is that it should be" he said.
UK's Johnson: Vaccines worldwide takes a 'colossal mission'
Johnson plans to appeal to leaders of the worlds richest nations to unite in a colossal mission to get COVID-19 vaccines to every country and to lead a sustainable recovery from the pandemic. Johnson is set to chair a virtual meeting of leaders of the Group of Seven industrialized nations on Friday. It will be the first session led by Johnson since the U.K. took over the G-7's presidency in January. Rich countries have been criticized for buying up more COVID-19 vaccines than they need, leaving developing nations without access to the lifesaving shots. AdGovernments around the world must cooperate to put vaccine supplies to the best possible use, Johnson said.
AstraZeneca, German firm to try speeding vaccine delivery
FILE - In this file photo dated Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021, a vial of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine against COVID-19 at a hospital in Sofia, Bulgarian. (AP Photo/Valentina Petrova, FILE)LONDON – Drugmaker AstraZeneca says it will work with German firm IDT Biologika to increase shipments of its COVID-19 vaccine to the European Union this spring following a heated dispute with the bloc over delayed vaccine deliveries. IDT Biologika said the extent of AstraZeneca’s participation in the project is subject to future negotiations. “We are delighted to be investing with our partner IDT Biologika in the future health, security and wellbeing of millions of citizens across Europe. AdThe announcement comes after EU leaders demanded that AstraZeneca live up to its contracts with the bloc following the drugmaker’s announcement that it was reducing initial shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine due to production issues.
UN: 'Concerning news' vaccines may not work against variants
(AP Photo/Valentina Petrova, FILE)GENEVA – The head of the World Health Organization said Monday the emergence of new COVID-19 variants has raised questions about whether or not existing vaccines will work, calling it “concerning news” that the vaccines developed so far may be less effective against the variant first detected in South Africa. That designation would allow millions of doses to be shipped to poor countries as part of a U.N.-backed effort to distribute COVID-19 vaccines worldwide known as COVAX. Last week, Tedros said that more than three quarters of COVID-19 vaccines had been administered in just 10 countries and that immunization in nearly 130 countries had yet to start. Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, WHO's chief scientist, said people shouldn't conclude from South Africa's decision that the AstraZeneca vaccine doesn't work. She said all of the available evidence to date shows the vaccines developed so far reduce deaths, hospitalizations and severe disease.
UK to start hotel quarantine Feb. 15 amid criticism of delay
British officials say everyone arriving in the country from coronavirus hotspots will have to spend 10 days in hotel quarantine starting Feb. 15 in a bid to stop new variants of the virus reaching the country. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)LONDON – Everyone arriving in the U.K. from countries identified as coronavirus hotspots will have to spend 10 days in hotel quarantine starting Feb. 15 in a bid to stop new virus variants reaching the country, the government said Friday. But authorities are facing criticism for delays in implementing the policy, which was first announced in late January. The U.K. says it has sought advice from Australia and New Zealand, where quarantine hotels have been used to contain COVID-19. The British government aims to give a shot to 15 million people by Feb. 15, including everyone over 70 and those with underlying health conditions.
Bank of England upbeat on UK recovery after vaccine rollout
(Yui Mok/PA via AP)LONDON – The Bank of England says the U.K.'s rapid rollout of coronavirus vaccines means the British economy should recover much of the ground lost during the pandemic by the end of the year. The bank expects the British economy to contract by a further 4% in the first quarter of 2021 as a result of the lockdown. That contraction is far milder than the 20% or so decline the British economy endured in the second quarter last year during the first lockdown. That would see the British economy grow 5% over the course of 2021 despite the first quarter fall. As of Wednesday, more than 10 million people in the U.K. have received their first vaccine doses, nearly a fifth of the adult population.
Tensions rise as AstraZeneca, EU spar over vaccine delays
The EU has asked AstraZeneca for permission to release the contract, Kyriakides said. The EU’s drug regulator will consider the AstraZeneca vaccine on Friday. “This is this is really, really bad news — not only bad news for the European countries involved,'' he said. Soriot said AstraZeneca had to reduce deliveries to the EU because plants in Europe had lower than expected yields from the biological process used to produce the vaccine. “There are a lot of emotions running in this process right now, and I can understand it: people want vaccine,” Soriot said.
Sri Lanka approves vaccine amid warnings of virus spread
Sri Lanka on Friday approved the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for COVID-19 amid warnings from doctors that front-line health workers should be quickly inoculated to stop the system from collapsing. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)COLOMBO – Sri Lanka on Friday approved the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for COVID-19 amid warnings from doctors that front-line health workers should be quickly inoculated to prevent the medical system from collapsing. It is unknown when Sri Lanka will be getting the vaccine. “Vaccines need to be given quickly to keep the health workers’ morals up and we need health workers to treat patients,” Aluthge said. In the more than three months since then, Sri Lanka has reported more than 52,000 new patients and 260 deaths.
UK toughens up borders over Brazil virus variant fears
The U.K. is ramping up its mass vaccination program as the government seeks to protect the countrys oldest and most vulnerable residents before easing a third national lockdown. Under the travel corridor arrangements, anyone arriving in the U.K. from countries deemed safe was exempt from a period of quarantine. Though the decision was widely welcomed, including by lobby group Airlines U.K., Johnson was also accused again of tardy decision-making. Scientists have said there is no indication the U.K. variant reacts any differently to coronavirus vaccines. The U.K. is ramping up its mass vaccination program to the country’s oldest and most vulnerable residents.
Vaccination drive enters new phase in US and Britain
82-year-old Brian Pinker receives the Oxford University/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine from nurse Sam Foster at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford, England, Monday, Jan. 4, 2021. The second round of shots began in various locations around the country as the U.S. death toll surpassed 352,000. Britain, meanwhile, became the first nation to start using the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, ramping up its nationwide inoculation campaign amid soaring infection rates blamed on the new variant. Elsewhere around the world, France and other parts of Europe have come under fire over slow vaccine rollouts and delays. The European Union likewise faced growing criticism about the slow rollout of COVID-19 shots across the 27-nation bloc of 450 million inhabitants.
UK prime minister orders new virus lockdown for England
People were told to work from home unless it's impossible to do so, and leave home only for essential trips. All nonessential shops and personal care services like hairdressers will be closed, and restaurants can only operate takeout services. As of Monday, there were 26,626 COVID-19 patients in hospitals in England, an increase of more than 30% from a week ago. Authorities have recorded more than 50,000 new infections daily since passing that milestone for the first time on Dec. 29. London and large areas of southeast England were put under the highest level of restrictions in mid-December, and more regions soon joined them.
The Latest: China makes parts of province high danger zones
(AP Photo/Andy Wong)BEIJING — China has designated parts of Hebei province near Beijing as a coronavirus high danger zone after 14 new cases of COVID-19 were found. The other three COVID-19 cases were in the city of Yantai. Approximately 174 private clinics have also requested vaccines, State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs said. County health officials fear the incoming Christmas and New Year’s surge. Superintendent Henderson Lewis said a spike in positive cases in the city prompted the “unfortunate but necessary” decision to go back to distance learning.
UK is first to authorize easy-to-handle AstraZeneca vaccine
Hundreds of thousands of people in the U.K. have already received at least one shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, which recommended the AstraZeneca vaccine for emergency use, did not endorse one vaccine over the other. Britain’s action likely means the World Health Organization could soon clear the AstraZeneca vaccine for use in a global effort to help poor countries, called COVAX. The European Medicines Agency said it is still assessing the AstraZeneca vaccine and has asked the company for more information on its quality, safety and effectiveness. In addition to the Serum Institute, AstraZeneca has deals with vaccine makers in Brazil, South Africa and China.
Studies suggest AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine safe, effective
FILE - In this undated file photo issued by the University of Oxford, a volunteer is administered the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, in Oxford, England. “The only way we get the pandemic behind us is if we get doses of vaccine out there,” he said. Hopes are high for the AstraZeneca vaccine because it can be shipped and stored at normal refrigerator temperatures unlike the others that require freezing until a few hours before they're given. AstraZeneca has also signed licensing deals for the vaccine to be produced in countries including Brazil, South Africa and China. ___This story has been corrected to show that COVAX has ordered 400 million doses of AstraZeneca's vaccine, not 700 million.
Dictionary companies choose same word of the year: pandemic
In this Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020, photo taken through a camera lens the word "pandemic" in seen in a dictionary in Washington. Dictionary.com declared pandemic its 2020 word of the year. For the first time, two dictionary companies on Monday — Merriam-Webster and Dictionary.com — declared the same word as their tops: pandemic. “Often the big news story has a technical word that’s associated with it and in this case, the word pandemic is not just technical but has become general. The word pandemic dates to the mid-1600s, used broadly for “universal” and more specifically to disease in a medical text in the 1660s, he said.
UK asks regulator to assess AZ-Oxford vaccine amid questions
This undated photo issued by the University of Oxford shows of vial of coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, in Oxford, England. (University of Oxford/John Cairns via AP)LONDON – The British government said Friday it has formally asked the country’s medicines regulator to assess whether a coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University should be authorized for use. The British government has ordered 100 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, and plans to start distributing it in December if it gains approval. The drugmakers informed the U.K. regulator of the issue when it was discovered, and it was agreed to complete the late-stage trial with two groups. The British government and its scientific advisers have expressed confidence that multiple vaccines will win approval, but say all decisions are up to the regulator.
With hope high for vaccine, Britain prepares to roll it out
The National Health Service is making plans to administer 88.5 million vaccine doses throughout England, according to a planning document dated Nov. 13. While most of the injections would be delivered at around 1,000 community vaccination centers, about a third would go to 40 to 50 “large-scale mass vaccination centers,” including stadiums, conference centers and similar venues, the document indicates. The German government has asked regional authorities to get special vaccination centers ready by mid-December. France, meanwhile, has reserved 90 million vaccine doses, but has not yet laid out its plan for mass vaccination. The vaccinations will be administered in 13,000 public health centers.
EU says first virus vaccinations possible by Christmas
FILE - This undated photo provided by the University of Oxford shows of vial of coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University in Oxford, England. The deals allow it to purchase over 800 million doses, more than the population of the bloc, which stands at around 460 million people. But von der Leyen said that while vaccines are important, “what counts are vaccinations. Still, Von der Leyen urged European citizens to continue respecting restrictions, even as the measures harm businesses, further damage coronavirus-ravaged economies and put people through social and mental hardship. Relaxing too much is a risk for a third wave after Christmas,” von der Leyen said, adding that “this Christmas will be different, and yes, it will be quieter.”___Follow AP’s coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak
Keep the mask: A vaccine won’t end the US crisis right away
This week, AstraZeneca became the third vaccine maker to say early data indicates its shots are highly effective. Federal officials say the first doses will ship within a day of authorization. By the end of January, HHS officials say, all senior citizens should be able to get shots, assuming a vaccine becomes available by the end of 2020. Rather than prevent infection entirely, the first COVID-19 vaccines might only prevent illness. COVID-19 vaccine trials have to include at least 30,000 people, but the chances of a rare side effect turning up are more likely as growing numbers of people are vaccinated.
3rd major COVID-19 vaccine shown to be effective and cheaper
“Because the vaccine can be stored at fridge temperatures, it can be distributed around the world using the normal immunization distribution system. Earlier this month, rival drugmakers Pfizer and Moderna reported preliminary results from late-stage trials showing their vaccines were almost 95% effective. The AstraZeneca vaccine is also cheaper. A half-dose of the vaccine followed by a full dose at least one month later was 90% effective. The AstraZeneca trials were paused earlier this year after a participant in the U.K. study reported a rare neurological illness.
Oxford scientists expect COVID-19 vaccine data by Christmas
LONDON – University of Oxford scientists expect to report results from the late-stage trials of their COVID-19 vaccine by Christmas, a key researcher said Thursday as he discussed the team’s latest findings. Oxford is developing its vaccine in conjunction with the drugmaker AstraZeneca. “I think we’re getting close, and it’s definitely going to be before Christmas based on the progress,” Pollard said in an interview with the BBC. Phase II vaccine trials provide important preliminary data but don’t prove whether they ultimately prevent people from getting sick. Despite recent progress, Pollard said the world is still in the early stages of the effort to protect people against COVID-19.
Nix finds Williams for game winner as Auburn tops Ole Miss
Auburn wide receivers Anthony Schwartz (1) and Ze'Vian Capers (80) both reach for an errant pass during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Mississippi in Oxford, Miss., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Nix finds Williams for game winner as Auburn tops Ole Miss
“Bo (Nix) and Seth (Williams) have a special bond,” Auburn coach GusMalzahn said. “It was down to the end and that’s the way this series hasgone.”Auburn (3-2 Southeastern) rallied from a 28-27 deficit on its finaloffensive series, covering 80 yards in six plays. Nix finished 23 of 30 passing for 238 yards, with thebiggest plays reserved for Williams. Jerrion Ealyhad a 5-yard touchdown run to give Ole Miss a 28-27 lead with 5:43 left,setting up Auburns game-winning drive. Nix directed touchdown drives of 95, 79, 88, 80 and 80 yards and did nothave a turnover after coming off a loss to South Carolina with threeinterceptions.
No. 10 Florida, Mullen plan to resume practice next week
Florida head coach Dan Mullen reacts during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Mississippi in Oxford, Miss., Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020. Mullen was given several more chances Monday, Oct. 12, 2020, to walk back bizarre comments about wanting to pack 90,000 screaming fans inside Florida Field during the coronavirus pandemic. 10 Florida is planning to start returning to its football facility Monday, nearly two weeks after the program shut down because of a COVID-19 outbreak. Coach Dan Mullen, one of more than two dozen Gators who tested positive for the coronavirus last week, sounded congested as he said the team had a new positive Wednesday. '”Mullen suggested Florida would look at potentially changing its road routine, especially in regards to the size of visiting locker rooms around the league.
Virus wreaking havoc on SEC with Saban now testing positive
10 Florida's game against defending national champion LSU was postponed Wednesday to tentatively Dec. 12 after the SEC postponed Missouri-Vanderbilt on Monday. Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason is going through a similar situation. To play, the SEC requires at least 53 on game days. Timing is critical depending on the day of the week a positive test or tracing result returns. “Every time you’re taking a test," Mason said, “you're crossing your fingers ... you don't have anybody in harm's way."
College Football Picks: UGA vs. 'Bama and BYU's tough test
Alabama quarterback Mac Jones (10) hands off to running back Najee Harris (22) during the second half of the team's NCAA college football game against Mississippi in Oxford, Miss., Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. Alabama won 63-48. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
No. 2 Alabama beats Ole Miss 63-48 in record SEC outburst
Matt Corral passed for 365 yards for Ole Miss (1-2) and the Rebels put up 647 yards on the Tide. Alabama and Ole Miss traded touchdowns for much of the night, but with the Tide (3-0) leading 49-42 the Rebels misfired in Alabama territory and had to settle for a field goal. After another Ole Miss field goal, Alabama recovered an onside kick and Harris busted a 39-yard touchdown run moments later to seal it. Ole Miss: The offensive unit is impressive. Ole Miss: The Rebels visit Arkansas on Saturday.
EU agency starts 'rolling review' to speed OK for vaccine
LONDON – The European Medicines Agency has started a “rolling review” process for the COVID-19 vaccine being developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, a move it hopes will speed any eventual approval. In a statement Thursday, the EU regulator said instead of waiting for all of the required vaccine data to be submitted before beginning its assessment, the EMA has begun analyzing the preliminary information from scientists on the Oxford vaccine. That data suggests the vaccine “triggers the production of antibodies and T-Cells,” referring to immune system cells that target the virus. Last month, Britain's trial of the Oxford vaccine was paused for several days after a U.K. woman in the trial reported severe neurological symptoms. In August, Russia became the first country in the world to license its Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine.
No. 5 Florida beats Ole Miss 51-35 in Kiffin's debut
– Kyle Pitts caught four of Kyle Trask's six touchdown passes and No. 5 Florida spoiled the head coaching debut of Mississippi’s Lane Kiffin with a 51-35 victory Saturday. Trask completed 30 of 42 passes for 416 yards including touchdown passes of 1, 16, 71 and 17 yards to Pitts. Ole Miss (0-1) tied it at 14 midway through the second quarter before yielding to the Trask-led Florida outburst. “As members of the Florida and Ole Miss football teams, we recognize the impact of our personal platforms and are choosing to amplify the issues that directly impact us.
New Magnolia State coaches prepare for challenging debuts
FILE - In this Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, file photo, Lane Kiffin speaks to Mississippi fans after being announced as the new head football coach during a introductory press conference in Oxford, Miss. In attendance were his children, daughters Presley Kiffin, 13, left, Landry Kiffin, 15, second from left, and son Knox Kiffin, 10. Mississippi State's Mike Leach and Mississippi's Lane Kiffin brought big names and offensive pedigrees to the Magnolia State. But they drew huge challenges for their debuts, with the Bulldogs visiting defending national champion and No. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)
New Magnolia State coaches prepare for challenging debuts
Mississippi State's Mike Leach and Mississippi's Lane Kiffin brought big names and offensive pedigrees to the Magnolia State. Mike Leach expected to start his first season at Mississippi State versus New Mexico. Instead, both coaches — and their respective offenses — will encounter stiffer challenges in their Magnolia State debuts. 5 Florida and ex-Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen as two-touchdown underdogs. Before Deion Sanders made a prime-time splash when he was hired by Jackson State on Monday; Leach and Kiffin were splashy hires in the state.
Rites of fall: Losing college football stings across America
FILE - Fans cheer as the Michigan team takes the field at Michigan Stadium for an NCAA college football game against Wisconsin in Ann Arbor, Mich., Oct. 13, 2018. College football could be the balm for our spirit because it's such a part of our familiar autumn life," he added. Further down the college football food chain, smaller leagues have pulled the plug on their seasons as well. Not without college football. ___Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at https://twitter.com/pnewberry1963 and find his work at https://apnews.com___More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
Wrangling over virus relief persists despite high stakes
In this handout photo released by the University of Oxford a volunteer participates in the vaccine trial in Oxford, England on July 7, 2020. Even as the latest experimental vaccine appeared to show promise, politicians in Washington seemed far apart in finding a way to bring financial relief to Americans. British researchers first began testing the vaccine in April in about 1,000 people, half of whom got the experimental vaccine. Such early trials are designed to evaluate safety and see what kind of immune response was provoked, but cant tell if the vaccine truly protects. We are seeing good immune response in almost everybody, said Dr. Adrian Hill, director of the Jenner Institute at Oxford University.
Confederate statue being moved at University of Mississippi
FILE - In this Feb. 23, 2019 file photo a Confederate soldier monument stands at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Miss. A Confederate monument thats been a divisive symbol at the University of Mississippi was being removed Tuesday from a prominent spot on the Oxford campus. Its not going to create a shrine to the Confederacy, University of Mississippi Chancellor Glenn Boyce told The Associated Press on June 24 at the state Capitol. Since 2016, the university has installed plaques to provide historical context about the Confederate monument and about slaves who built some campus buildings before the Civil War. A plaque installed at the base of the Confederate statue says such monuments were built across the South decades after the Civil War, at a time that aging Confederate veterans were dying.