The COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech is likely to protect against more infectious variant of the virus, which was discovered in Britain and has spread around the world. Reuters Emer McCarthy reports. The encouraging results from an analysis of blood of participants in trials are based on more extensive analysis than those released by the drug maker last week. In those tests, Pfizer said a similar lab study showed the vaccine was effective against one key mutation that's found in both of the highly transmissible new variants spreading rapidly across Britain and South Africa. The latest study, which was posted online but is yet to be peer reviewed, was conducted on a synthetic virus with 10 mutations that are characteristic of the variant known as B117 identified in Britain. Among the 11 authors of the study are the co-founders of BioNTech. That's Reuters Emer McCarthy.
The slowdown of getting vaccines into the arms of Americans continues. AP's Shelley Adler reports. A number of states are reporting that they are running out of vaccine, and tens of thousands of people who managed to get appointments for a first dose are seeing them canceled. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio: "We've had to tell 23,000 New Yorkers who had an appointment this week that they will not be able to get that appointment for lack of supply." The CDC says about half of the 31 million doses sent to the states by the federal government have been given so far. However, only about 2 million people have gotten the two doses needed for maximum protection against COVID-19. I'm Shelley Adler.
Two U.N. agencies say that 43 African migrants died when a ship they were on capsized in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Libya. In a joint statement, the International Organization for Migration and the U.N. refugee agency say the vessel overturned in rough seas after its engine quit a few hours into its trip. The agencies say a "partner on the ground," the International Rescue Committee, reports 10 survivors were rescued by coastal security and brought to shore. The survivors say all the passengers were men from West African countries. The U.N. agencies say this is the first such accident of 2021, following a year in which hundreds of people lost their lives attempting to cross the central Mediterranean.
On Wall Street, stocks rose on the hope of a new coronavirus aid bill from the Biden administration. The Dow Jones Industrials closed up 0.83 percent. The S&P gained 1.39 percent. The NASDAQ rose by 1.97 percent. Visit voanews.com for more. Reporting by remote, I'm David Byrd, VOA news.