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Regional News • Europe • France
France will offer the Oxford/AstraZeneca Coronavirus vaccine to some people over 65
France will offer the Oxford/AstraZeneca Coronavirus vaccine to some people over 65
Credit: Gencat, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons CC0 Waiver)

France has lifted the age restriction of the Oxford/AstraZeneca Coronavirus vaccine. The vaccine will now be offered to "people aged 50 and above who have comorbidities such as diabetes, high blood pressure or a history of cancer can be vaccinated with AstraZeneca, including those aged 65 to 74."

“The Haute Autorité de Santé now considers as of today that all three vaccines that we have in France have a remarkable efficacy to protect people against the risk of severe forms of Covid-19,” Health minister Olivier Véran said.

Regional News • Asia
Armenian protesters storm government building in capital Yerevan

Russian state-owned domestic news agency RIA reports that a group of Armenian protesters stormed into a government building in Yerevan on Monday demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.

"We are completing our action. Our goal was to show that we can enter any ministry," said one of the participants according to RIA.

Regional News • Asia
Myanmar: 18 dead in pro-democracy demonstrations
Protest against military coup (9 Feb 2021, Hpa-An, Kayin State, Myanmar)
Protest against military coup (9 Feb 2021, Hpa-An, Kayin State, Myanmar) Credit: Ninjastrikers, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

At least 18 people have been killed and more than 30 others injured in Myanmar during nationwide pro-democracy demonstrations against the military coup, the United Nations said in a statement on Sunday. According to the UN, security forces fired live ammunition at crowds in the two largest cities of Yangon and Mandalay, as well as in Dawei, Bag, Myeik and Pokokkuo. At least 85 medical workers and students and seven journalists were also arrested during the demonstrations.

Regional News • Americas • Canada
Canada authorizes the AstraZeneca's Coronavirus vaccine
ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine (AZD1222); Oxford University-AstraZeneca
ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine (AZD1222); Oxford University-AstraZeneca Credit: Agência Brasília, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Health Canada regulators authorized Oxford University-AstraZeneca's Coronavirus vaccine for adults 18+ on Friday.

"This is very encouraging news. It means more people vaccinated, and sooner. Because for AstraZeneca, just like we were for Pfizer and Moderna, we are ready to get doses rolling," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said. "Vaccines will keep arriving faster and faster as we head into the spring."

Regional News • Europe • France
Half of France's Coronavirus cases attributed to British strain
Half of France's Coronavirus cases attributed to British strain
Credit: unsplash.com/Fran Boloni

Prime Minister Jean Castex said that B117 (the UK strain) now accounts for about half of people infected with Covid-19 in France". France is considering stricter measures for affected areas, including weekend lockdowns for Paris and 19 other departments.

Regional News • Europe • France
Paris considers a three-week "Zero Covid" lockdown
Paris subway station during lockdown, April 2020
Paris subway station during lockdown, April 2020 Credit: unsplash.com/Kevin Dellandrea

Deputy Mayor Emmanuel Grégoire has said the city of Paris is considering a three-week-long strict lockdown, known as "Zero Covid". The measure would give the city "the prospect of reopening everything", instead of "half-measures with bad results" and "semi-prison for months". Currently Paris is under a night-curfew, all eaters and culture venues are closed.

Regional News • Europe • France
Dunkirk region to impose weekend lockdown
Olivier Véran being vaccinated
Olivier Véran being vaccinated Credit: Olivier Véran (Twitter Reproduction)

Health Minister Olivier Véran announced a weekend lockdown for the northern French Dunkirk area. Véran called the Dunkirk area situation "alarming" as infection rates are over 900 infections per 100,000 people.

Government spokesman Gabriel Attal said "requires rapid and strong measures" were necessary due to "a worsening situation" and to "avoid having to impose another national lockdown."

Regional News • Europe • France
Macron calls upon US and EU to allocate 5% of vaccine supplies to developing countries
Macron calls upon US and EU to allocate 5% of vaccine supplies to developing countries
Credit: Ashles Winkler for Pendect

French President Emmanuel Macron is urging the United States and European countries to allocate up to 5% of Coronavirus vaccine supplies to poor and developing countries.

Macron: “If we allow to take root the idea that hundreds of millions of vaccines are made in rich countries and that we don’t start in poor countries, that idea is unsustainable.”

Regional News • Europe • France
Far-right group Génération Identitaire to be banned in France

Génération Identitaire, a French far-right group declaring a "war on migrants", faces dissolution as the French government tries to tackle far-right extremism. A bill to fight Islamist extremism and separatism was approved by the National Assembly on February 16th.

Regional News • World
Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala confirmed as WTO's new Director General
DG selection process 2020- Press conference - Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria
DG selection process 2020- Press conference - Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria Credit: World Trade Organization/Jay Louvion, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

The World Trade Organization has confirmed Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a Nigerian-American economist and international development expert, as its new director general. She is the first female and the first African to hold this position.