FACTBOX-Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus

April 8 (Reuters) - The COVAX vaccine facility has delivered nearly 38.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to 102 countries and economies across six continents, six weeks after it began to roll out supplies.

DEATHS AND INFECTIONS

* Eikon users, see COVID-19: MacroVitals https://apac1.apps.cp.thomsonreuters.com/cms/?navid=1592404098 for a case tracker and summary of news.

EUROPE

* France's top health body will on Friday say that recipients of a first dose of AstraZeneca's traditional COVID-19 vaccine who are under 55 should get a second shot with a new-style messenger-RNA vaccine, two sources aware of the plans said.

* Russian Direct Investment Fund has started discussions with German government representatives on advanced purchase agreement of Sputnik V vaccine for Germany, Sputnik V said in a tweet.

* Italy's government is preparing a new stimulus package worth more than 30 billion euros ($35.62 billion) to support its battered economy, driving up this year's budget deficit, a senior Treasury official said.

AMERICAS

* The state of Florida sued President Joe Biden's administration in federal court seeking to block the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's decision to prevent the U.S. cruise industry from immediately resuming operations paused for a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

* Mexico President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said he would be vaccinated with the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, a day after Italy and the United Kingdom recommended its use be restricted to some adults.

* Brazilian health regulator Anvisa said it has approved the beginning of clinical trials in the country for a new COVID-19 vaccine developed by Canada's Medicago R&D and GlaxoSmithKline.

* The U.S. government will allocate nearly 85% fewer Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine doses to states next week, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

ASIA-PACIFIC

* Australia and the Philippines limited use of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, while the Africa Union dropped plans to buy the shot, dealing further blows to the company's hopes to deliver a vaccine for the world.

* Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi rejected calls from states to offer coronavirus vaccinations to younger people to help contain a record surge in cases, while the health minister said India had more than 43 million vaccine doses in stock or in the pipeline.

* Indonesia is in talks with China to secure as many as 100 million vaccine doses to plug a gap in deliveries after delays in arrivals of AstraZeneca shots, the health minister said.

* The Philippines suspended use of AstraZeneca's vaccine for people below 60 years of age to investigate reports of blood clots from overseas.

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

* Tunisia approved Johnson & Johnson's vaccine, Health minister Faouzi Mehdi said, and will soon receive 1.5 million doses under an African Union plan.

* The New Development Bank of the BRICS group of nations has approved a second $1 billion loan to South Africa's government to fight the pandemic, the bank said.

* The African Union dropped plans to buy vaccines from the Serum Institute of India and is exploring options with Johnson & Johnson.

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS

* The U.S. National Institutes of Health has begun a mid-stage study to determine the risk of allergic reactions to the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.

ECONOMIC IMPACT

* Technology shares led Wall Street higher on Thursday and Treasury yields extended their pull-back from recent peaks as market participants digested the U.S. Federal Reserve's vow to stay the course with its dovish monetary policy.

* Euro zone bond yields dipped amid uncertainty over the bloc's COVID-19 vaccination program, while minutes of the European Central Bank's March meeting showed policymakers were ready to reduce bond purchases if conditions allowed.

(Compiled by Veronica Snoj, Sarah Morland and Vinay Dwivedi; Editing by Gareth Jones, Mark Heinrich and Anil D'Silva)

04/08/2021 20:51

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