California reported its second-biggest one-day increase in coronavirus deaths on Wednesday, with hospitalisations hitting another record high and fast-approaching the 23,000-mark. A further 459 deaths in the country’s most populous state were attributed to coronavirus by authorities, up from 368 on Tuesday.
A total of 29 people suffered anaphylactic reactions after receiving coronavirus vaccines in the first week and a half after approval, the US public health organisation has warned. The rate of anaphylaxis among people receiving the Moderna and BioNTech/Pfizer vaccines in the early days of distribution was 11.1 per 1m people, the CDC said — 10 times higher than that experienced after a flu shot.
Ireland has imposed new travel restrictions requiring people visiting from Britain or South Africa to present evidence of a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours before arriving in the country. The move by Micheál Martin’s government came as it closed schools until the end of January and shut construction sites.
The pandemic hampered fourth-quarter sales of Ford’s critical F-150 truck, with 15 per cent fewer sold than the same period last year. The F-150 has been the bestselling truck in the US for decades, and the carmaker launched a new model in June.
Portugal’s president has begun self-isolating at the height of campaigning for his reelection after one of his closest aides tested positive for coronavirus. His decision came as Portugal reported its highest daily number of Covid-19 infections to date.
The head of Sweden’s civil contingencies agency has offered his resignation after a controversial Christmas trip to the Canary Islands appeared to breach his own authority’s Covid-19 advice. Sweden has been rocked in the past few weeks by a series of revelations about senior officials seeming to go against their own coronavirus recommendations.
Teacher assessments will be used to award GCSE, AS and A Level grades in England this summer, education secretary Gavin Williamson confirmed on Wednesday, saying that the department for education and exam regulator Ofqual had drawn up a “range” of contingency options.
The number of jobs in the US private sector declined for the first time since April, as parts of the country grappled with a resurgence of coronavirus and renewed curbs on businesses. Private-sector employment fell by 123,000 jobs in December, compared with a rise of 304,000 a month earlier, according to a report from payroll processor ADP.
EU regulators have approved US drugmaker Moderna’s vaccine, paving the way for its rollout. The European Medicines Agency gave the greenlight for a conditional marketing authorisation on Wednesday, leaving only the formality of sign-off by the European Commission.
A Spanish genetics laboratory has discovered the new, more highly transmissible variation of Covid-19 first detected in Britain in two patients with no known links to the UK. The Valencia region’s Fisabio Foundation discovered the new variety in samples taken from the patients about two weeks ago.