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New China swine fever strains point to unlicensed vaccines

By Dominique Patton
- via The Japan Times    Jan 22, 2021

A government agricultural officer collects urine samples from pigs arriving at a slaughterhouse in Wuyi county, Zhejiang province, China, in July 2020. Although the known infections are limited now, if the strains spread widely, they could slash pork output in the world's top consumer and producer; two years ago, swine fever wiped out half of China's 400 million-head pig herd. | CHINA DAILY / VIA REUTERS

The variants of the disease cause a chronic condition that reduces the number of healthy piglets born.

Biden prepares to take oath of office as Trump leaves Washington

via The Japan Times    Jan 21, 2021

The Republican president hailed his administration's record for the last time, hours before President-elect Joe Biden assumes the helm of a country beset by deep ...

Emerging coronavirus variants may pose challenges to vaccines

By Apoorva Mandavilli
- via The Japan Times    Jan 21, 2021

A coronavirus testing site in Sacrament, California, on Tuesday.  Two new studies suggest that some variants of COVID-19 may pose unexpected challenges to the immune system, even in those who have been vaccinated. | PHILIP CHEUNG / THE NEW YORK TIMES

Experts said it was possible that people who had survived mild infections with the coronavirus may still be vulnerable to infection with a new variant.

From day one, Biden moves to undo Trump’s legacy

By Michael D. Shear
- via The Japan Times    Jan 21, 2021

U.S. President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden watch fireworks from the White House after his inauguration as president of the United States on Wednesday.  | REUTERS

Biden took a series of executive actions on issues including immigration and criminal justice. He also moved to rejoin the Paris climate accord.

As U.N. nuclear treaty comes into force, Japan sees different path to nonproliferation

By Eric Johnston
- via The Japan Times    Jan 20, 2021

Hiroshima atomic bombing survivor Setsuko Thurlow attends a meeting on the U.N. nuclear weapons ban treaty in March 2017. | NOT JUST A SURVIVOR FILMS LLC / VIA KYODO

Nuclear weapons states, as well as Japan, have refused to sign the treaty, preferring arms control treaties that they hope will lead to the elimination ...

The ethics of prioritizing COVID-19 vaccinations when considering race and ethnicity

By Peter Singer
- via The Japan Times    Jan 20, 2021

A nurse administers the COVID-19 vaccine in Pasadena, California, on Jan. 12. A relevant fact is that in many countries, disadvantaged racial and ethnic minorities have a lower-than-average life expectancy, raising questions as to who should be vaccinated first. | REUTERS

A relevant fact is that in many countries, disadvantaged racial and ethnic minorities have a lower-than-average life expectancy, raising questions as to who should be ...

Vaccine disparities raise alarm as coronavirus variants multiply

By James Paton
- via The Japan Times    Jan 19, 2021

Technicians prepare vials of the Sinovac Biotech Ltd. coronavirus vaccine at the Butantan Institute in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Friday. | BLOOMBERG

Global gaps in access to vaccines are raising concerns that the spread of the virus will breed more dangerous versions of the pathogen, weakening medical ...

Johnson triggers G7 fears of rival alliance to counter China

By Alberto Nardelli,Isabel Reynolds
- via The Japan Times    Jan 19, 2021

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a virtual news conference in London on Friday.  | POOL / VIA AFP-JIJI

Expansion of the G7 is an idea that Japan, Italy, Germany and France oppose, according to officials familiar with those governments’ positions.

Previous coronavirus infection may offer less protection from South Africa variant

via The Japan Times    Jan 19, 2021

Paramedics prepare to transport a man showing symptoms of COVID-19 in Pretoria, South Africa, on Friday.  | AFP-JIJI

Previous infection with the coronavirus may offer less protection against the new variant first identified in South Africa, scientists said on Monday, although they hope ...

Japan’s new COVID-19 vaccine czar Taro Kono commits to rapid, safe rollout

By Satoshi Sugiyama,Osamu Tsukimori
- via The Japan Times    Jan 19, 2021

Administrative and regulatory reform minister Taro Kono attends the opening of an ordinary session of the Diet in Tokyo on Monday. | REUTERS

The nation is preparing to vaccinate, starting with medical workers and older people, based on hopes that Pfizer's vaccine will be approved here by mid-February.




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