Start United States USA — China Johnson & Johnson, Hong Kong, Sheet Pan Dinners: Your Wednesday Evening Briefing

Johnson & Johnson, Hong Kong, Sheet Pan Dinners: Your Wednesday Evening Briefing

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Here’s what you need to know at the end of the day.
(Want to get this newsletter in your inbox? Here’s the sign-up.) Good evening. Here’s the latest.1. A third Covid-19 vaccine is poised for U.S. approval. Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine strongly protects against severe Covid-19 and may reduce the spread of the virus by vaccinated people, according to new analyses of trials in the U.S., Brazil, five South American countries and South Africa, above. The Food and Drug Administration could authorize the vaccine for emergency use as early as Saturday, but supplies may be severely limited at first. Separately, the Biden administration said it will send more than 25 million masks to vulnerable communities next month as part of its push to deliver equitable care. Many experts advise that we upgrade our masks to protect against more-contagious coronavirus variants. Here’s what you need to know.2. As America’s vaccine efforts ramp up, a global campaign is just getting started. Ghana received about 600,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine, above, in the first major shipment under Covax, an international program aimed at making vaccine access more equal. Ghana and other West African countries will begin vaccinations in the coming days, officials said. Covax, put together by the World Health Organization and two international partners, has a goal of delivering two billion free doses of Covid-19 vaccines to 92 low- and middle-income countries this year, which officials said would make it the largest vaccine procurement and supply operation in history. Many public health officials have criticized the unequal distribution of vaccines, as wealthy nations have bought up tens of millions of doses for their populations.3. President Biden is expected to sign an executive order that will kick off a review of supply chains crucial to U.S. manufacturing, like the automobile, pharmaceutical and clean energy industries. The order is widely seen as the next step in an effort to counter the economic rise of China and to promote U.S. factory growth. China has periodically moved to ban the export of rare earth materials used in making electronics, fighter jets and weaponry. Early in the coronavirus pandemic, Beijing halted exports of surgical masks and protective gear. In other administration news: 4. China’s effort to quash dissent is moving into Hong Kong’s classrooms. New curriculum guidelines unveiled by the territory’s government aim to use history to instill a deep affinity for and loyalty to mainland China in the city’s youngest residents. Critics say it will turn the history they learn into pro-China propaganda.

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