Nurse first in Netherlands to get COVID-19 vaccination
By Piroschka van de Wouw VEGHEL, Netherlands (Reuters) - A Dutch nurse on Wednesday became the first person in the Netherlands to receive a COVID-19 shot as the European Union's last vaccination programme for the new coronavirus began after a late start. Sanna Elkadiri, a 39-year-old who cares for dementia patients at a care home in the south of the country, received a shot of the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech on live television. 'This is the beginning of the end of this crisis,' said Health Minister Hugo de Jonge at a brief ceremony
By Piroschka van de Wouw
VEGHEL, Netherlands (Reuters) - A Dutch nurse on Wednesday became the first person in the Netherlands to receive a COVID-19 shot as the European Union's last vaccination programme for the new coronavirus began after a late start.
Sanna Elkadiri, a 39-year-old who cares for dementia patients at a care home in the south of the country, received a shot of the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech on live television.
"This is the beginning of the end of this crisis," said Health Minister Hugo de Jonge at a brief ceremony.
Elkadiri said she didn't hesitate after being offered the chance to get the shot, travelling to a converted distribution centre capable of conducting hundreds of vaccinations per week.
Public anger swelled over the weekend and opinion polls showed support for the government waning after it became apparent the Netherlands was last among major European countries to begin vaccinations.
In a debate in parliament on Tuesday, Prime Minister Mark Rutte defended the slow roll out.
"The main problem was that we got it sooner than we had expected," Rutte said, referring to regulatory approval for a vaccine. "It was a different vaccine (than we had expected)...making it impossible to be flexible."
The Dutch government thought the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine would be approved first, though Rutte did not explain why. Moderna's vaccine is expected to become the second COVID-19 vaccine endorsed by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) later on Wednesday.
After a review, the Dutch government and National Institute for Health (RIVM) dropped plans to vaccinate elderly people in care homes first. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will go initially to nursing home staff and healthcare workers. That list will expand as more vaccines become available.
Coronavirus infections in the Netherlands have remained high in recent weeks, despite a tough lockdown in which all schools and most stores remain closed.
(Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Alex Richardson)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.