UK vaccine minister warns of "tsunami of disinformation"

South Africa receives first shipment of single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine

South Africa has received its first shipment of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine, the country's health minister announced Tuesday, putting it on target to become the first in the world to administer the shot.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said on Twitter that South Africa had secured a total 9 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, with the first delivery containing 80,000 shots.

Vaccinations are due to begin this week, he added.

About the vaccine: Developed by Janssen, Johnson & Johnson's Belgium-based vaccine division, the single-dose vaccine has shown to be effective in preventing moderate and severe disease from South Africa's coronavirus variant.

The AstraZeneca vaccine: South Africa said it plans to share 1 million unwanted doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine with other countries in the African Union, after early data suggests it provided only “minimal protection” against mild and moderate infections from the South African variant.

North Korea hacked Pfizer in bid to steal vaccine tech, South Korean lawmaker says

North Korea successfully hacked US drug maker Pfizer in an attempt to steal technology related to coronavirus vaccines and treatments, a South Korean lawmaker said.

“There have been core technology theft attempts of coronavirus vaccines and treatment," said opposition lawmaker Ha Tae-keung in comments carried on local television following a briefing from South Korea’s National Intelligent Service. "Pfizer’s (vaccine) technology has been hacked, according to (the NIS) briefing.”
Ha’s office confirmed the remarks to CNN on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Ha’s office told CNN that North Korea tried to hack pharmaceutical companies or companies that developed Covid-19 vaccine or treatments in a number of ways, including through the South Korean local government’s administration network.

It is not clear when the attack happened. Pfizer told CNN Tuesday it would not comment on the matter.

First case of South Africa Covid-19 variant identified in Massachusetts
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced today the state has confirmed its first case of the Covid-19 variant first identified in South Africa.

The case is a Middlesex County woman in her 20s with no reported travel, according to the the public health department.

“The Massachusetts State Public Health Laboratory is working in collaboration with many healthcare and academic partners to quickly identify variants of concern by sequencing a subset of positive samples,” the release said.

There are also currently 34 confirmed cases of the B.1.1.7 variant, which was first identified in the United Kingdom, in Massachusetts, the public health department said.

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