Hawaii offers a virus vaccination incentive program

Officials in Hawaii are offering a vaccination incentive program to encourage more shots.

Hawaii offers a virus vaccination incentive program

Hawaii Public Radio reports that a second round will be offered for vaccine incentives. The second round of incentives will be available to those who register by July 12. New prizes include furniture, cash, and cars.

Local businesses have funded the incentive programs.

According to the state Department of Health, 30% more vaccinations were received in June than was anticipated by the incentive program.

Nearly 58% are fully vaccinated in Hawaii. All COVID-19 restrictions on Hawaii will be lifted when the state reaches 70 percent.

Due to safety concerns or delays in distribution, several countries have attempted to mix vaccines.

Approximately 70,000 people in Buenos Aires received a first shot of Sputnik V about three months ago. They are still waiting for a second dose. This number is approximately 300,000.

At the beginning of the Southern Hemisphere winter, the country saw a new wave of infections.

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PRAGUE -- Czech Republic has taken measures to stop the spread of highly contagious coronavirus delta variant.

Adam Vojtech, Health Minister, says that all Czechs returning from abroad must be tested, even those at low risk.

Employees who fail to pass a negative test upon returning to the country have been told to stop working in their workplaces.

However, the new restrictions won't apply to people who are fully vaccinated.

After several months of declines, infections started to rise this week.

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LISBON (Portugal) - Portugal will impose an 11 p.m. curfew for areas of the country that have seen an increase in coronavirus cases.

The curfew applies to 45 areas of council, including Porto and Lisbon, which are the largest cities in Portugal.

Cafes, restaurants, and cultural venues are allowed to remain open until 10.30 pm. However, there are limits on the number of people who can sit together in a restaurant or cafe.

Health officials claim that the delta variant of the virus is causing infections at levels not seen since February in a country with 10.3 million inhabitants.

Thursday saw nearly 2,500 confirmed cases. Hospital admissions for COVID-19 patients have reached a two-month peak.

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BERLIN -- A German advisory board has recommended that people who have received the AstraZeneca vaccine should be given another shot with one the mRNA vaccines.

The German committee on vaccinations points to studies that show a "significantly better" immune response when AstraZeneca is combined with a second dose of an mRNA vaccine, as compared to two shots of AstraZeneca.

A Thursday draft recommendation calls for at least four weeks of time between each shot.

Germany uses Moderna and Pfizer mRNA vaccines.

German authorities ruled that anyone under 60 years old who received AstraZeneca's first shot should be given a second shot.

This decision was made after AstraZeneca vaccine was linked with extremely rare blood clots.

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RIO DE JANEIRO -- A newly established tent city in Rio de Janeiro has seen hundreds of families homeless. This is a sign of Brazil's resurgent poverty after the pandemic.

Police fired water cannons and tear gas at the tents, as residents blocked the entrance to the site. The city was experiencing one its coldest mornings in years, right in the middle of Southern Hemisphere winter.

Itaguai's forced evacuation was ordered by a court in favor of Petrobras, the state oil company Petrobras. Two months had passed since the residents had been living on the plot and they christened it the "First of May Refugee Camp."

Many cities in Brazil have seen an increase in poverty since the government cut back on its pandemic welfare programs. Many were left vulnerable to rising inflation, as the country's weak labor market continues to show no signs of recovery.

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BRANSON MO. BRANSON, Mo. -- As the July 4 holiday weekend approaches health officials in Missouri are worried about the potential for high coronavirus vaccination rates. This could create the perfect environment for the rapid-growing delta variant.

Missouri ranks second to Nevada in terms of having the highest coronavirus diagnoses rate over the past week. According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the average daily coronavirus cases in Missouri has increased from 576 per person on June 15th to 891 Tuesday.

According to state data, hospitalizations have increased by 38%

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ISTANBUL -- Turkey has lifted almost all pandemic restrictions on events and businesses, and lifted Sunday and nighttime curfews.

According to the Interior Ministry, restaurants and weddings do not have to limit the number but must still adhere to social distancing guidelines. Only hookah shops remain closed.

Festivals and concerts can be held indoors or outdoors. However, music must end at midnight.

Turkey's vaccination drive is moving at a rapid pace, with more than 50 million doses. Only 18% of Turkey’s 84 million inhabitants have been fully vaccinated.

Coronavirus infections are at an average seven-day high of around 5,500 cases.

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LONDON -- Boris Johnson, British Prime Minister, has stated that unspecified "extra precautions” to limit the spread of coronavirus in the coming weeks will be necessary. He also expressed confidence that the restraints on social contact could be lifted by July 19.

Infections in the U.K. have increased sharply over recent weeks. Government figures showed another 27,989 cases on Thursday. This is the highest level of infection since January.

Johnson said that he believes life will return to normal after COVID, given evidence that vaccines reduce deaths even though there are more infections from the contagious delta variant.

On Thursday, 67% had received at least one dose and 49% had received two. The number of daily virus-related deaths remains low.

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WASHINGTON -- President Joe Biden is not able to deliver 80 million vaccines to the rest the world by June 30th.

According to the White House, logistical and regulatory obstacles have slowed down U.S. vaccination diplomacy. Biden's administration had previously announced that about 50 countries and organizations would be eligible for a portion of the COVID-19 excess vaccine doses.

An Associated Press tally indicates that the U.S. has sent less than 24,000,000 doses to 10 countries. According to the White House, more doses will be shipped in the days ahead.

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COPENHAGEN (Danemark) -- Denmark will donate 2 million doses AstraZeneca to Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo.

Jeppe Kofod, Foreign Minister of the Balkans, says that the country is experiencing a "major vaccine shortage" and that he is glad to help his close partners with this essential weapon against the pandemic.

Denmark will also give an additional 1 million doses of COVAX vaccines. This initiative aims to provide access to coronavirus vaccinations to all countries, regardless of their financial status. Flemming Moeller, Foreign Aid Minister, says that the donation will be used for North African countries as well as Bhutan.

The AstraZeneca vaccines were donated by the Scandinavian country to Kenya. They also pledged to provide doses to Ukraine.

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NEW YORK -- A new alarming variant of coronavirus is using low global vaccination rates in an attempt to reduce pandemic restrictions.

This is making it more urgent to get more guns in the hands. The most widely used vaccines in Western countries seem to provide strong protection against the highly contagious Delta variant. It was first discovered in India, and is now found in over 90 countries.

This week, the World Health Organization warned that easy-to-spread strains and insufficiently immunized people will slow down the end to the pandemic.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, states that widespread vaccination is even more important because the virus we have circulating can be more transmissible that the original wild type.

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MOSCOW -- Russian health officials have launched booster vaccines to protect those who were inoculated against coronavirus over six months ago. This comes amid an increase in deaths and new infections.

Moscow's health authorities began offering booster shots on Thursday with both the two-shot Sputnik V and one-shot Sputnik Light vaccines. Other Russian regions also offer boosters.

Russia has seen an increase in infections with over 20,000 COVID-19 cases every day since last Thursday. This is more than twice the average for early June.

It registered 672 deaths on Thursday, which is the highest daily death toll since the outbreak of the pandemic.

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JAKARTA (Indonesia) -- Indonesians gathered at a sports venue to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in a one-day mass vaccination.

Authorities in Bekasi, just outside Jakarta, plan to immunize 25,000 people.

This is part of an effort to significantly increase the country's ability to fight viruses as hospitals become overcrowded with sick patients. It is planned to give 1 million doses daily in July, and 2 million in august.

President Joko Widodo issued new restrictions to communities and mobilized the National Police and other resources in order to fight the rising infections.

Red Cross warned that Indonesia is at the "edge of a COVID-19 disaster" and advised that it urgently needed to improve medical care, testing, and vaccinations.

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GENEVA -- According to the World Health Organization, any coronavirus vaccines that it has approved for emergency use must be recognized by all countries when they open their borders.

This move could make it difficult for Western countries to accept two Chinese vaccines. The U.N. has licensed them, but most European and North American nations have not.

The WHO approved two Chinese vaccines, Sinovac and Sinopharm, in addition to those authorized by Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer.

The European Union stated in May that it would not recognize European citizens as having been vaccinated if the shots had been approved by the European Medicines Agency. This does not include Chinese vaccines. Individual countries can decide whether to allow people who have been vaccinated with other vaccines, such as Sputnik V from Russia, into their country.

Many developing countries use Chinese-made vaccines, despite the fact that most Western countries have relied heavily on vaccines manufactured in the U.S. or Europe.

The head of China's Center for Disease Control and Prevention has acknowledged that the effectiveness of its own shots is low. Many countries who have used them extensively have seen COVID-19 spikes, even though they have had relatively high levels.

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NAIROBI (Kenya) -- Africa's special envoy to the African Union is leading efforts to procure COVID-19 vaccinations. Africa is struggling amid a third wave of infected.

Strive Masiyiwa states that "not one dose, and not one vial" has left a European factory in Africa.

Masiyiwa also attacked Thursday's global COVAX effort for vaccine distribution to low- and middle-income countries. She accused it of withholding vital information, including the fact that key donors have not fulfilled funding pledges.

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KUALA LUMPUR (Malaysia) -- Malaysia will impose a curfew throughout Selangor and Kuala Lumpur where coronavirus cases are still high despite a nationwide lockdown in place since June 1.

The Defense Minister Ismail Sabri said that the decision was taken due to the dense population, rising infection rates in Selangor or Kuala Lumpur as well as the spreading of more aggressive COVID-19 varieties. Malaysia had 6,988 new infections on Thursday. Selangor and Kuala Lumpur accounted for almost 60%.

Ismail states that the order will restrict people to their homes for two weeks starting Saturday. Only one person per household is allowed to leave the house to shop within a 10-kilometer radius. The curfew begins at 8 p.m.

Only essential services, factories that produce food, medicine and masks are allowed to operate.

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BERLIN -- German officials are scathing of European soccer's governing body, which allowed some 40,000 people to view England's European Championship match against Germany at London’s Wembley Stadium.

The England-2-0 win in Tuesday's second round match was witnessed by the largest crowd in Britain since the pandemic. This came at a time when the more contagious Delta variant is causing a sharp increase in cases in the U.K.

German Interior Minister HorstSeehofer stated Thursday that he thought the UEFA position was irresponsible.

Seehofer stated that protecting the health of people against infection must be considered in addition to commercial interests.

He asked UEFA to clearly state that it wanted fewer people and not to "push this off on local healthcare authorities."

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