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Thursday, 18 February 2021

Supply chain problems are slowing down vaccines everywhere

The Health Ministry reported 618 new covid-19 infections yesterday, down from 633 the day before. The ministry also reported 49 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 10,150. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 175,677 confirmed cases of covid-19.

Kuwait’s central bank has reportedly decided to extend its virus relief program until June 2021, after originally scheduling the program to end in 2020, Bloomberg reports. Kuwait follows Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the UAE in extending its stimulus measures following the combined economic pressures of covid-19 and lower oil prices that have left Gulf economies reeling.

Japan is trying to get the 2021 Olympic games back on track: Japan kicked off its covid-19 inoculation drive and administered the first shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to 40k Tokyo hospital workers, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said at a presser yesterday.

Global vaccine roadblocks, thanks to supply chain issues: Russia’s outsourcing of the production of its Sputnik V vaccine to countries like India, Brazil, and South Korea due to its limited manufacturing capacity means it is likely to face supply chain hurdles that could undermine its output, the Financial Times reports. Meanwhile, vaccine rollouts could be significantly delayed as a result of a shortage of sterile bioreactor liners — effectively giant plastic bags — which are used to mix the ingredients to make covid-19 vaccines, the salmon-colored newspaper reports. German supplier MilliporeSigma has been unable to keep up with soaring demand.

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