Lucky few in US hit vaccine jackpot for rare extra doses; Brazil awaits shots from India amid supply concerns; Germany passes 50,000 virus dead


From Associated Press


Media  – With millions of Americans waiting for their chance to get the coronavirus vaccine, a fortunate few are getting bumped to the front of the line as clinics scramble to get rid of extra, perishable doses at the end of the day.


Sometimes they just happen to be near a clinic at closing time. Sometimes clinic workers go out looking for recipients.


Other times the demand is so great clinics set up lotteries to give out extra shots. It has become one of the most unusual, and to some unseemly, quirks in the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines, Bernard Condon, Candice Choi and Matt Sedensky report.


In the meantime, public health experts are blaming vaccine shortages around the U.S. in part on the Trump administration’s push to get states to vastly expand their vaccination drives to reach the nation’s estimated 54 million people age 65 and over.


The push that began over a week ago has not been accompanied by enough doses to meet demand, leading to frustration and confusion. President Biden has vowed to turn things around.


Brazil Vaccine: The government is eagerly awaiting the arrival today of 2 million doses of vaccine from India. The shipment was announced as public health experts are sounding the alarm over insufficient supply in South America’s biggest nation. Neither the government’s Fiocruz Institute nor Sao Paulo state’s Butantan Institute have yet received the technology to produce vaccines domestically and instead must import the active ingredient. There are only about 10 million doses available at the moment, and Brazil’s government is estimated to need that many just to cover front-line health workers in the nation of 210 million people, Diane Jeantet and David Biller report.


Germany Deaths: The death toll has passed 50,000, a number that has risen swiftly over recent weeks even as infection figures are finally declining. Germany had a relative small number of deaths in the pandemic’s first phase and was able to lift many restrictions quickly. But it saw much higher levels of infections in the fall and winter. Hundreds of deaths have been reported daily over recent weeks, Geir Moulson reports from Berlin.


Tokyo Olympics: IOC President Thomas Bach and local organizers are pushing back against reports that the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be canceled entirely. Now set to open July 23, the Tokyo Games were postponed 10 months ago at the outbreak of the pandemic, and now the event appears threatened again. The local organizing committee did not address directly The Times of London story, but said the Olympics were going forward and had the support of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Stephen Wade reports.


PHOTOS: Postponed Tokyo Olympics to open in just 6 months.


Timeline: Wuhan’s 76-day lockdown, one year later.


Wuhan Documentary: China is rolling out a state-backed film praising Wuhan ahead of the anniversary of the 76-day lockdown in the central city where the coronavirus was first detected. The documentary, “Days and Nights in Wuhan,” features contributions from 30 filmmakers portraying the suffering and sacrifices made by the city’s 11 million residents, medical staff and front line workers, Emily Wang Fujiyama reports.


PHOTOS: Long lines as Beijing expands mass COVID testing.

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