ECONOMY

Hong Kong Plan for Unused Shots; Moderna for Teens: Virus Update

Hong Kong may donate Covid-19 vaccines to countries more in need of them as local demand for Pfizer Inc.-BioNTech SE shots ebbs. Moderna Inc.’s vaccine was highly effective in younger teens in a large study, putting it on track to become the second shot authorized in the U.S. for adolescents.

A White House official said that half of American adults will be fully vaccinated as of Tuesday. The nation’s top airlines are seeing a rebound in travel.

In Europe, France is weighing whether to impose additional restrictions at its border with Britain to fend off the variant first identified in India. The British government warned people to avoid traveling to hot spots in England where the variant is spreading.

Most Mainers 12 and Over Have Had a Shot (5:50 p.m. NY)

Maine Governor Janet Mills said 70% of state residents age 12 and older have received one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. Five other states — Vermont, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Connecticut — have also reached that milestone, she said in a statement, citing CDC data.

British Columbia Plans a Return to Normal (5:45 p.m. NY)

British Columbia, whose economy weathered the pandemic better than much of Canada, said it foresees a return to “normal life” as it announced plans to lift most restrictions by the fall.

The western province on Tuesday released a four-stage plan that could see offices fully reopened, sporting events and concerts allowed, and constraints on travel lifted by September. The reopening will be based on data, and dates and rules could change depending on new outbreaks.

U.S. Travel Rebound Quickens (4:45 p.m. NY)

The rebound in U.S. travel is gaining steam, according to the country’s three biggest airlines. The pace of the recovery has been faster than expected, Delta Air Lines Inc. President Glen Hauenstein said Tuesday.

United Airlines Holdings Inc. predicted it would turn a profit before certain items next quarter, while American Airlines Group Inc. said corporate trips and long overseas flights — the worst-hit segments during the pandemic — are poised for improvement.

Uruguay Leader’s Response Rating Drops (4:37 p.m. NY)

Public approval of Uruguay President Luis Lacalle Pou’s handling of the pandemic fell to 62% in May from 72% in February, pollster Opcion Consultores found.

Disapproval of Lacalle Pou’s handling of the pandemic rose to 15% from 10%. Opcion interviewed 824 people via mobile phone May 13-20 with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5%.

Uruguay led the world in Covid-19 deaths per capita in the last week even with one of Latin America’s most successful vaccination programs.

Harvard Students Returning to Classroom (3:10 p.m. NY)

Harvard students will return to the classroom full time for the fall semester and campus housing will go back to its usual density after more than a year of remote learning.

The university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is expecting the largest entering class in its history, Harvard said Tuesday in a statement on its website. All enrolled students, who must be vaccinated to attend, can expect full campus access, which includes libraries, archives, museums and research facilities.

Hong Kong May Donate Excess Vaccines (1:30 p.m. NY)

Hong Kong may donate Covid-19 vaccines to countries more in need of them via channels such as the World Health Organization’s Covax initiative as local demand for Pfizer-BioNTech shots “has gradually become sluggish recently,” according to a government statement late Tuesday.

Of the approximately 2 million BioNTech doses which have been delivered to Hong Kong, the city has 840,000 unused doses in storage that will expire in mid-August; it has procured 7.5 million doses in total.

Yakutia Steps Up Russia’s Vaccine Drive (11 a.m. NY)

As Russia struggles to get its population to take the coronavirus vaccines heralded by President Vladimir Putin, the far east region of Yakutia is passing the strictest inoculation requirements yet.

All companies, both public-sector and private, are required to organize shots for their workers, according to a decree by the region’s chief medical authority. Employers that fail to do so may face fines, Yakutia President Aisen Nikolaev’s press service said separately.

The target is to cover at least 70% of all adults by July.

NYC Bringing Mobile Vaccine Units to Beaches (11 a.m. NY)

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city will bring mobile vaccination units to beaches and parks starting during the Memorial Day weekend and lasting through the summer, including the Rockaways, Coney Island, Central Park and Governors Island. De Blasio said that starting Tuesday there will be a vaccination site in front of Madison Square Garden, which will be offering people getting the shot a chance to win tickets to the next New York Knicks playoff game.

Hong Kong Plan for Unused Shots; Moderna for Teens: Virus Update

CDC Reports 10,000 Breakthrough Cases (11 a.m. NY)

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that as of April 30 there were 10,262 cases of vaccinated people who were later infected with Covid-19 out of approximately 101 million people who are fully inoculated.

A small number of so-called breakthrough infections after full vaccination are to be expected because no vaccines are 100% effective. The CDC notes the reported cases are likely a substantial undercount since many people, especially those who are asymptomatic or have only mild illness, might not seek testing.

In May, health officials shifted to investigating only cases in which patients were hospitalized or died, drawing concern from some scientists who say that may mean missing needed data.

U.K. Says Avoid Hot Spots; France Mulls Curbs (9:47 a.m. NY)

The British government warned people to avoid traveling to hot spots in England where the variant first identified in India is spreading, as officials in France consider further curbs on passengers arriving from the U.K.

The guidance applies to eight areas including Hounslow in west London, the central England city of Leicester and the northwest towns of Blackburn and Bolton. People there should not meet up indoors or travel outside their districts, the government said.

Hong Kong Plan for Unused Shots; Moderna for Teens: Virus Update

Ireland to Lift U.K. Travel Curbs: Telegraph (8:20 a.m. NY)

Ireland is set to announce this week that it will remove the requirement for travelers arriving from the U.K. to self quarantine for 14 days, the Daily Telegraph newspaper reported, even amid increasing concern about the spread of the variant first identified in India.

Authorities are watching the variant’s spread in the U.K. “very carefully,” Prime Minister Micheal Martin told reporters in Brussels. Irish officials declined to comment on the Telegraph report.

Moderna Shot Effective in Teens (8 a.m. NY)

Moderna Inc.’s vaccine was highly effective in 12- to 17-year-olds in a large study, paving the way for regulatory submissions around the world by early June.

In a news release, the company said its vaccine was between 93% and 100% effective in preventing symptomatic Covid in teenagers, depending on whether very mild cases are included in the count. The study met its primary goal of showing that immune responses to the vaccine were as good as those produced in adults, and no significant safety concerns were observed, according to the company.

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