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As States Struggle with Vaccine Scarcity, Canada Begs Biden for Help

(Associated Press) For the second day running, Britain had another record increase in coronavirus-related deaths.

The government says another 1,820 people died in the 28 days after testing positive for the coronavirus. That takes the confirmed total to 93,290, which is Europe’s highest virus-related death toll and fifth highest in the world.

The lockdown restrictions across the U.K. have helped reduce the number of people contracting the virus, although the U.K. is still recording high levels of infections when compared with other nations in Europe, such as France or Germany.

On Wednesday, the U.K. recorded another 38,905 new cases. That’s up from the previous day’s 33,355. However, it’s below the seven-day average of nearly 60,000 earlier this month.

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TORONTO — Canada won’t be getting any Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccines next week and 50% fewer than expected over the next month, officials say, prompting the leader of Canada’s most populous province to ask U.S. President-elect Joe Biden to share a million doses from Pfizer’s Michigan plant.

Maj. Gen. Dany Fortin, who is leading Canada’s logistical rollout and distribution of vaccines, called it a major reduction, but says Pfizer is still expected to meet its contractual obligation to ship four million doses to Canada by the end of March.

U.S. pharmaceutical company Pfizer confirmed last week it would temporarily reduce deliveries to Europe and Canada of its COVID-19 vaccine while it upgrades production capacity at its plant in Puurs, Belgium. Pfizer’s Belgian plant supplies all shots delivered outside the U.S.

Doug Ford, the premier of Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, says he’s angry. He asked Biden to help Canada, noting there’s a Pfizer plant in Michigan.

“Our American friends, help us out,” Ford says. “You have a new president, no more excuses. Help us out.”

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Vaccine scarcity is continuing in California as indicators suggest a slowing in the holiday-driven surge that led the state to be the first to top 3 million confirmed coronavirus cases.

San Francisco’s public health department is likely to run out of vaccine Thursday, in part because the state pulled back on administering a batch of Moderna vaccine. Sacramento County is also running short.

Los Angeles County is starting to inoculate those 65 and older despite the scarcity.

But infection indicators are starting to show what the state’s top health official on Tuesday called “rays of hope.”

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia’s speedy coronavirus vaccination drive is facing a roadblock, with state leaders saying they didn’t receive an expected increase in doses this week.

With 99.6% of first doses delivered already administered, officials are clamoring for the federal government to send more vaccine.

Noting that other states have doses unused, Gov. Jim Justice said Tuesday: “We’ve got them all in people’s arms and we’ve done exactly what we should have done. … I think performance ought to be rewarded.”

He says the state hasn’t received a promised 25,000 additional doses this week on top of its usual weekly allocation of about 23,000.

West Virginia officials say 7.4% of the state’s 1.78 million people have received at least one of two doses — the highest rate among the 50 states

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