Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic on Saturday. We’ll have another update for you on Sunday.
1. US approves Pfizer vaccine
The US has become the latest country to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for emergency use. The Food and Drug Administration granted approval after intense pressure from the Trump administration. President Donald Trump said the first vaccines would take place “in less than 24 hours”. The virus has killed more than 292,000 in the US.
2. How will mass vaccination work in the UK?
The UK was the first country in the western world to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and has already begun the rollout of millions of jabs. The vaccine, which is one of several shots the country has bought supplies of, is manufactured in Belgium and has to be kept at -70C which creates plenty of logistical difficulties in getting the jab into patients’ arms. Here is how the UK is planning to inoculate tens of millions of people within months.
3. They’re behind you!
Key workers were joined by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, as well as their three children, at a special pantomime to mark their efforts during the pandemic. Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis watched a performance of Pantoland at the London Palladium on Friday. Their father paid tribute to key workers, telling the audience: “You have given your absolute all this year and made remarkable sacrifices.”
4. ‘Test and dine’ proposal to support restaurants
A “test and dine” pilot scheme has been proposed in Birmingham in a bid to help the struggling hospitality sector. People who want to eat out will need to be tested for Covid-19 a few hours before. The plan, which has been put forward by the city council, is at a very early stage and would need to be approved by the UK government. Meanwhile, in much of central western Scotland, including Glasgow, pubs and cafes are preparing to reopen for the first time in three weeks, as their areas move from level four to level three of the country’s tier system. However, no alcohol can be sold, and premises must close at 18:00 GMT.
5. Six months old and a Covid survivor
One of the youngest survivors of the coronavirus pandemic is now “thriving”, her parents have said. Baby Peyton was diagnosed with the virus when she was just three weeks old but after causing “a lot of worry” in her first six months her parents said she is now a “parcel of goodness” who they “could not be prouder” of. Mum Tracy Maguire said she was “an absolute angel” although she said it still upsets her to think of the early days when Peyton’s grandparents could only see her through a window. “There was so much darkness, but she lights up every room… all you can ever ask for is a happy, healthy baby,” she said.
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And don’t forget…
…with the festive season coming up here are the current social distancing rules to follow for the UK.
You can find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.
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