More than 20 million cases of Covid-19 identified in the United States, delays in vaccination campaigns in many countries: 2021 has started under bad auspices, dampening hopes for a better new year.
The outbreak of the epidemic shows no sign of slowing down in the United States, the most bereaved country in the world with more than 347,500 dead from the virus. It had hit the 10 million case mark on November 9, and the pace of new infections has skyrocketed since.
This spectacular rebound in the epidemic since the fall has been worsened by the travel of millions of Americans for the big Thanksgiving family celebration at the end of November and the end-of-year celebrations, despite numerous calls from the authorities to stay at home .
Delay in vaccines
Hopes of an eradication of the disease fueled by the arrival of vaccines have for their part been dampened by the slowness of the American vaccination campaign, weighed down by logistical difficulties and overwhelmed hospitals.
Only 2.8 million Americans had received the first dose of their Covid-19 vaccine on Friday, far from the target set by the Trump administration, of 20 million people vaccinated by the end of the year .
A delay deplored by President-elect Joe Biden, who was however determined to step up the pace. “Let’s be clear: the Biden-Harris administration will not spare any efforts to ensure that people are vaccinated,” he assured Friday.
Vaccines in Europe
Vaccination campaigns are also the subject of criticism in Europe. German doctors have complained that hospital staff is not a priority in their country. In France, it is the slowness of the process that alarms.
Part of the difficulty is the relatively low number of orders placed by the EU for its 27 member countries, with a contract signed only in November, later than other countries.
The German company BioNTech explained that it plans to rapidly increase the production of its vaccine in Europe, developed with its American partner Pfizer, in order to fill a “gap” in the absence of other approved vaccines.
A deadly pandemic
BioNTech intends in particular to run a new manufacturing unit in Marburg in Germany from February.
In the meantime, the pandemic has killed at least 1,820,970 people worldwide for more than 83 million people infected, according to a report established by Agence France-Presse on Friday.
In France, the curfew in force throughout the country from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. will start at 6 p.m. from Saturday in a large part of the country where the health situation is considered particularly alarming, especially on the Côte d’Azur.