THE DAILY NEWS

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Re: THE DAILY NEWS

Post by thelivyjr » Thu Feb 18, 2021 1:40 p

RIGZONE

"Oil Prices Decline As US Refinery Outages Linger"


by Bloomberg | Andres Guerra Luz

Thursday, February 18, 2021

(Bloomberg) -- Oil fell the most in nearly a month alongside a broader market selloff with the ongoing energy crisis in the U.S. likely keeping refineries shut for another week.

Futures in New York declined 1% in a choppy trading session on Thursday.


While U.S. oil output has plunged nearly 40% amid the unprecedented cold blast in parts of the country, crude demand from refineries is expected to remain weak as Gulf Coast fuel-making plants make repairs and take time to restart following operating issues caused by the freezing temperatures.

Further pressuring prices, U.S. equities weakened after initial jobless claims hit a four-week high.

“Right now, we have both refining capacity and oil production down at the same time, so there aren’t particular supply stresses and the market is reflecting that,” said Bart Melek, head of commodity strategy at TD Securities.

Meanwhile, despite crude stockpiles declining, there’s a sense that “oil’s rally may be a little overdone.”

Technical indicators also show crude is due for a pullback.

The 14-day Relative Strength Indexes for both the U.S. and global crude benchmarks remain above 70 in a sign the commodity is overbought.

West Texas Intermediate futures are up about 25% this year as Saudi Arabia’s deep output cuts and an improving demand outlook encourage investors.

Still, capping further losses, U.S. crude stockpiles tumbled more than 7 million barrels last week to the lowest in almost a year, according to an Energy Information Administration report on Thursday.

The data also showed supplies at the nation’s largest storage hub at Cushing, Oklahoma, fell by the most in a month, while crude output ticked lower.

Traders are assessing the limited available U.S. output with another freeze expected in Texas overnight.

Estimates for how long the U.S. outages may last have risen in recent days as analysts try to figure out the timespan involved in thawing out infrastructure.

The supply shock is aiding an already frothy global oil market and is starting to alter energy flows, with traders snapping up ocean-going tankers to haul millions of barrels of European diesel to the U.S.

Prices

West Texas Intermediate for March delivery fell 62 cents to settle at $60.52 a barrel.

Brent for April settlement slid 41 cents to end the session at $63.93 a barrel.

The global crude benchmark earlier jumped above $65, a level it hasn’t reached since Jan. 21, 2020.

The inventory declines in the U.S. are “supportive of the general thesis that as the recovery takes shape, refiners are going to uptick and demand is going to increase,” said Quinn Kiley, a portfolio manager at Tortoise, a firm that manages roughly $8 billion in energy-related assets.

“There’s a stated goal to reduce capital spending, so that means supply’s going to be weak."

"That’s a positive setup for prices all around the globe.”

The EIA data also showed distillate inventories fell by more than 3 million barrels last week, while gasoline supplies rose.

Meanwhile, as American barrels are removed from the market, North Sea traders have been frantically bidding for the region’s cargoes.

Buyers in Asia, meanwhile, have been snapping up Middle Eastern crude at higher premiums.

Brent’s prompt timespread moved further into a bullish backwardation structure this week, reflecting the tightening global supply backdrop, with the nearest contract trading at a nearly 80-cent premium to the following month.

More oil-market news

Prices for crude produced in West Texas held at the highest since early January after rising as a cold blast led to widespread production shut-ins across the state.

Iraq’s crude oil exports jumped in the first half of February even after OPEC’s second-biggest producer pledged to cut production this month.

Oil markets have entered a strong cycle, with a tightening of supply and demand that hasn’t been seen on a protracted basis for more than a decade, RBC said.

Marine fuel prices in Asia continue to climb amid tightening supplies and a robust rebound in oil, adding to the strain on crude shippers grappling with loss-making routes and facing lower near-term bookings.

--With assistance from Grant Smith.

https://www.rigzone.com/news/wire/oil_p ... 6-article/

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Re: THE DAILY NEWS

Post by thelivyjr » Thu Feb 18, 2021 1:40 p

CNBC

"Treasury yields slip after jobless claims data"


Jesse Pound @jesserpound Vicky McKeever @vmckeevercnbc

Published Thu, Feb 18 2021

Key Points

* Initial jobless claims came in higher than expected on Thursday.

* Wells Fargo strategists said in a note on Wednesday that demand for $27 billion worth of 20-year bonds was “weak from nearly all perspectives.”


U.S. Treasury yields fell in choppy trading on Thursday following the release of weekly jobless claims data and other economic data.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note slipped to to 1.287%, while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond inched higher to 2.072%.

Yields move inversely to prices.

The move in Treasury yields accompanied a higher-than-expected reading for initial jobless claims from last week.

The job market data comes as U.S. policymakers continue to work on another round of economic relief, and some investors may view the weak data as a catalyst for a larger package.

Other data releases on Thursday showed the homebuilding market slowing amid high lumber prices and a significant jump for import prices.

The move in yields also followed jumps in retail sales and producer prices in data released on Wednesday, stoking inflation fears.

Meanwhile, an auction for $27 billion worth of 20-year bonds on Wednesday was “weak from nearly all perspectives,” Wells Fargo strategists said in a note.

“Today’s auction was a key barometer for the demand for duration near new highs on yields over the past year,” the strategists said.

Auctions were held Thursday for $30 billion worth of four-week bills, $35 billion of eight-week bills and $9 billion of 30-year Treasury inflation-protected securities.

Data also provided by Reuters

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/02/18/us-bond ... -data.html

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Re: THE DAILY NEWS

Post by thelivyjr » Thu Feb 18, 2021 1:40 p

CNBC

"U.S. housing starts fell more than expected in January amid soaring lumber prices"


Reuters

Published Thu, Feb 18 2021

Key Points

* U.S. homebuilding fell more than expected in January amid soaring lumber prices, though a surge in permits for future construction suggested the housing market remains supported by lean inventories and historically low mortgage rates.

* Housing starts decreased 6.0% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.580 million units last month, the Commerce Department said on Thursday. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast starts would drop to a rate of 1.658 million units in January. Homebuilding fell 2.3% on a year-on-year basis.

* Permits for future homebuilding shot up 10.4% to a rate of 1.881 million units in January. Permits typically lead starts by one to two months.


U.S. homebuilding fell more than expected in January amid soaring lumber prices, though a surge in permits for future construction suggested the housing market remains supported by lean inventories and historically low mortgage rates.

Housing starts decreased 6.0% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.580 million units last month, the Commerce Department said on Thursday.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast starts would drop to a rate of 1.658 million units in January.

Homebuilding fell 2.3% on a year-on-year basis.

The housing market has outperformed other sectors of the economy during the Covid-19 pandemic, supported by lower mortgage rates and demand for spacious accommodations for home offices and schooling.

But expensive inputs and lack of land pose a threat to continued robust housing market gains.

A survey on Wednesday showed confidence among single-family homebuilders edged up in February.

But builders complained that record-high lumber prices were “adding thousands of dollars to the cost of a new home and causing some builders to abruptly halt projects.”

Softwood lumber prices jumped a record 73% on a year-on-year basis in January, according to data from the Labor Department.


Still, the housing market remains supported by historically low mortgage rates and lean inventories of previously owned homes.

Permits for future homebuilding shot up 10.4% to a rate of 1.881 million units in January.

Permits typically lead starts by one to two months.

Single-family homebuilding, the largest share of the housing market, tumbled 12.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.162 million units.

Single-family starts had increased for eight straight months.

Single-family building permits rose 3.8% to a rate of 1.269 million units in January.

Starts for the volatile multi-family segment surged 17.1% to a pace of 418,000 units.

Building permits for multi-family housing projects soared 27.2% to a pace of 612,000 units.

Data also provided by Reuters

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/02/18/us-hous ... 1613658505

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Re: THE DAILY NEWS

Post by thelivyjr » Thu Feb 18, 2021 1:40 p

CNBC

"U.S. import prices increased 1.4% in January, biggest gain since 2012, lifted by higher prices for energy products and a weak dollar"


Reuters

Published Thu, Feb 18 20219:20 AM EST

Key Points

* U.S. import prices increased by the most in nearly nine years in January, lifted by higher prices for energy products and a weak dollar, supporting expectations for an acceleration in inflation in the coming months.

* The Labor Department said on Thursday import prices jumped 1.4% last month, the biggest gain since March 2012, after increasing 1.0% in December.

* Export prices increased 2.3% on a year-on-year basis in January, after rising 0.4% in December.


U.S. import prices increased by the most in nearly nine years in January, lifted by higher prices for energy products and a weak dollar, supporting expectations for an acceleration in inflation in the coming months.

The Labor Department said on Thursday import prices jumped 1.4% last month, the biggest gain since March 2012, after increasing 1.0% in December.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast import prices, which exclude tariffs, gaining 1.0% in January.

In the 12 months through January, import prices rebounded 0.9% after slipping 0.3% in December.

That was the biggest year-on-year gain since October 2018 and followed 11 straight monthly declines.

Inflation is being closely watched amid concerns from some quarters that President Joe Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion Covid-19 recovery plan could cause the economy to overheat.

But inflation is likely to be driven by the labor market, which is experiencing considering slack.

The government last week reported a moderate increase in consumer prices in January.

Producer prices recorded their largest increase since 2009 in January, in part reflecting bottlenecks in the supply chain caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Imported fuel prices increased 7.4% last month after soaring 8.1% in December.

Imported food prices surged 2.1%.

Excluding fuels and foods, import prices accelerated 0.8% after gaining 0.4% in December.

The rise in the so-called core import prices reflected the dollar’s 2.7% drop last year against the currencies of the United States’ main trade partners.

Last month, the cost of goods imported from China rose 0.3% for a second straight month.

Prices for imported capital goods gained 0.2%.

The cost of imported motor vehicles rose 0.2%.

Prices for consumer goods excluding autos dipped 0.1%.

The report also showed export prices surged 2.5% in January, the largest rise since the index was first published on a monthly basis in December 1988, after increasing 1.3% in December.

Prices for agricultural exports rose 6.0%, while nonagricultural exports increased 2.2%.

Export prices increased 2.3% on a year-on-year basis in January, after rising 0.4% in December.

Data also provided by Reuters

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/02/18/us-impo ... 1613658459

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Re: THE DAILY NEWS

Post by thelivyjr » Fri Feb 19, 2021 1:40 p

CNBC

"Retail sales burst higher in January as consumers use stimulus checks to spend heavily"


Jeff Cox @jeff.cox.7528 @JeffCoxCNBCcom

Published Wed, Feb 17 2021

Key Points

* Retail sales jumped 5.3% to start 2021, well ahead of the 1.2% expectation.

* The big move came as millions of consumers received $600 stimulus checks.

* Every major category of spending, including food and drinking establishments, saw gains.


Consumers flocked to spend their stimulus checks in January, sending retail sales for the month up 5.3% in a blockbuster start to 2021, according to a government report Wednesday.

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones were expecting a rise of just 1.2%.

Excluding autos, sales rose 5.9%, also far ahead of the 1% estimate in a display of unexpected strength from the consumer.

A month after Congress approved a $900 billion additional stimulus package on top of the $2.2 trillion approved earlier in 2020 to counteract the Covid-19 impact, shoppers were armed with $600 checks they used to buy a variety of goods.

The jump in consumer spending came at a time when expectations for growth in the early part of 2021 were muted as the economy continued to shake off the pandemic-induced slowdown.

Spending gains were broad-based, with every major category showing increases.

Electronics and appliances saw the biggest increase, up 14.7% for the month, while furniture and home furnishing stores were up 12% and online spending at nonstore retailers jumped 11%.

Even food and drinking places, which suffered the worst during the pandemic, saw a 6.9% rise.

From a year earlier, bars and restaurants continued to see damage, with sales down 16.6%.

Clothing and accessories were also off 11.1% while electronics and appliances saw a 3.5% decline.

Online shopping is the biggest gainer since January 2020, up 28.7%, while building materials rose 19% and sporting goods increased 22.5%.

While most economists see the year off to a slow start, they expect the pace to pick up later in the year as vaccination efforts spread and the Covid-19 albatross fades.

One of the main concerns for the recovery has become inflation, and a separate data point showed those pressures continuing to build.

The producer price index, which measures the prices that domestic producers receive for their goods, surged 1.3%, the largest monthly gain since the measure began in December 2009.

Data also provided by Reuters

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/02/17/us-reta ... -2021.html

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Re: THE DAILY NEWS

Post by thelivyjr » Fri Feb 19, 2021 1:40 p

CNBC

"U.S. producer prices post biggest gain since 2009"


Reuters

Published Wed, Feb 17 2021

Key Points

* U.S. producer prices increased by the most since 2009 in January as the cost of goods and services surged, suggesting inflation at the factory gate was starting to creep up.

* The producer price index for final demand jumped 1.3% last month, the biggest gain since December 2009 when the government revamped the series, the Labor Department said on Wednesday.
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U.S. producer prices increased by the most since 2009 in January as the cost of goods and services surged, suggesting inflation at the factory gate was starting to creep up.

The producer price index for final demand jumped 1.3% last month, the biggest gain since December 2009 when the government revamped the series, the Labor Department said on Wednesday.

That followed a 0.3% rise in December.

In the 12 months through January, the PPI accelerated 1.7% after rising 0.8% in December.

A 1.3% rise in the prices of services accounted for two-thirds of the increase in the PPI.

That was the biggest gain since December 2009 and followed a 0.1% drop in December.

The cost of goods surged 1.4% after gaining 1.0% in December.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the PPI would rise 0.4% in January and gain 0.9% on a year-on-year basis.

Inflation is under focus this year amid concerns from some quarters that President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion recovery plan could lead to the overheating of the economy.

The package, which would follow on the heels of nearly $900 billion in additional COVID-19 pandemic relief from the government in late December, is working its way thorough the U.S. Congress.

Higher inflation is anticipated by the spring as price declines early in the coronavirus crisis wash out of the calculations, but there is no consensus among economists on whether it would stick beyond the so-called base effects.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said last week he expected the rise in price pressures would be transitory, citing three decades of lower and stable inflation.

Slack in the labor market remains excessive, with at least 20 million Americans on unemployment benefits.

The government last week reported a moderate rise in consumer prices in January.

Excluding the volatile food, energy and trade services components, producer prices accelerated 1.2% in January.

The so-called core PPI increased 0.4% in December.

In the 12 months through January, the core PPI rose jumped 2.0% after gaining 1.1% in December.

The Fed tracks the core personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index for its 2% inflation target, a flexible average.

The U.S. central bank has signaled it would tolerate higher prices after inflation persistently undershot its target.

The core PCE price index is at 1.5%.

Wholesale energy prices surged 5.1% after rising 4.9% in December.

Food prices gained 0.2%.

Core goods prices increased 0.8%.

A 1.4% jump in prices for final demand services less trade, transportation, and warehousing accounted for more than 70% of the increase in services last month.

Healthcare costs accelerated 1.2%, while portfolio fees soared 9.4%.

Those healthcare and portfolio management costs feed into the core PCE price index.

Data also provided by Reuters

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/02/17/us-prod ... -2021.html

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Re: THE DAILY NEWS

Post by thelivyjr » Fri Feb 19, 2021 1:40 p

CNBC

"Jobless claims show unexpected move higher"


Jeff Cox @jeff.cox.7528 @JeffCoxCNBCcom

Published Thu, Feb 18 2021

Key Points

* First-time filings for jobless claims totaled 861,000 last week, above the Dow Jones estimate of 773,000.

* The total represents a slight increase from the previous week as labor market struggles persist.

* Continuing claims edged lower and the total receiving benefits also declined.


First-time filings for unemployment insurance jumped last week in a sign of continuing strife for the labor market.

New claims totaled 861,000, the highest level in a month and above the Dow Jones estimate of 773,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

Markets moved little on the news, with stocks opening lower on Wall Street.

The total for the week ended Feb. 13 marked only a slight uptick from the 848,000 a week earlier.

That number was revised up from the initially reported 793,000.

Continuing claims declined again, edging lower to just below 4.5 million, a drop of 64,000.

That data runs a week behind the headline first-time claims total.

The total of those receiving benefits dropped by 1.3 million to 18.34 million, primarily due to a falloff in those on Covid-19 pandemic-related claims in the final week of January.

However, those numbers have accelerated in early February.

“We’re still at the mercy of the virus, so it’s still a bifurcated economy,” said Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab.

Several states saw large increases in claims last week, led by Illinois with 33,491 and California’s 20,657, according to unadjusted data.

Texas saw a drop of 12,428 while Rhode Island was off 6,269.

Jobs data remains the weak link in an economy that otherwise has shown much stronger-than-expected gains to start the year.

Retail sales surged in January thanks to pandemic relief checks that Congress authorized in December, and most other data points have defied outlooks for a weak first half of 2021.

Congress is trying to negotiate a $1.9 trillion White House stimulus plan.

Part of that proposal includes extended jobless benefits that are scheduled to run out in mid-March.

A separate report Thursday saw January housing starts fall 6%, more than expected, but building permits surged 10.4%, easily above Wall Street estimates.

Data also provided by Reuters

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/02/18/us-jobl ... lainternal

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Re: THE DAILY NEWS

Post by thelivyjr » Fri Feb 19, 2021 1:40 p

CNBC

"Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen makes push for major stimulus, sees bigger risk in not doing enough"


Jeff Cox @jeff.cox.7528 @JeffCoxCNBCcom

Published Thu, Feb 18 2021

Key Points

* Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told CNBC on Thursday that a “big package” of stimulus is necessary to help the economy stage a full recovery.

* “I think the price of doing too little is much higher than the price of doing something big,” she said on “Closing Bell.”

* Yellen’s comments come against the backdrop of a brightening economic picture in the U.S. as the Covid-19 pandemic subsides.


Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Thursday said a large stimulus package is still necessary to get the economy back to full strength, despite momentum suggesting that growth is off to a faster start than anticipated in 2021.

In a CNBC interview, the lead economic official in the Biden administration said the $1.9 trillion proposal could help the U.S. get back to full employment in a year.

“We think it’s very important to have a big package [that] addresses the pain this has caused – 15 million Americans behind on their rent, 24 million adults and 12 million children who don’t have enough to eat, small businesses failing,” Yellen told Sara Eisen on “Closing Bell.”

“I think the price of doing too little is much higher than the price of doing something big."

"We think that the benefits will far outweigh the costs in the longer run,” she added.

Yellen said she’s not worried that all of the government spending could cause inflation down the road.

“Inflation has been very low for over a decade, and you know it’s a risk, but it’s a risk that the Federal Reserve and others have tools to address,” she said.


“The greater risk is of scarring the people, having this pandemic take a permanent lifelong toll on their lives and livelihoods.”

Her comments come against the backdrop of a brightening economic picture in the U.S. as the Covid-19 pandemic subsides.

Recent data has shown unusual strength in retail sales, albeit thanks to late-2020 stimulus checks from Congress, as well as continued gains in real estate and manufacturing.

A tracker from the Atlanta Federal Reserve that gauges gross domestic product growth is indicating a gain of 9.5% in the first quarter.

However, the employment picture remains murky, with 10 million workers still out of jobs including millions relating to business shutdowns instituted by governments in response to the pandemic.

Earlier Thursday, the Labor Department reported another 861,000 claims for jobless benefits last week, still well above anything seen since the coronavirus hit.

It’s those displaced workers where Yellen feels policy should be directed.

As part of the latest round of stimulus spending, President Joe Biden wants to send $1,400 checks to millions of Americans.

“You know, there’s so much pain in this economy,” Yellen said.

“I think these checks really will provide relief and they’ll help jump-start our economy, giving people money to spend when we can get out again and go back to our former lives."

"So you know, there’re a lot of families that are operating on the margin."

"And I think these checks will really help them.”

Paying for the various stimulus initiatives is not something administration and Fed officials are focusing on now.

The Congressional Budget Office projects a $2.3 trillion budget deficit in fiscal 2021 not even counting all the added spending, and Yellen acknowledged that there “probably” would be “tax increases to pay for at least part of it that would probably phase in slowly over time.”


Data also provided by Reuters

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/02/18/treasur ... nough.html

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Re: THE DAILY NEWS

Post by thelivyjr » Fri Feb 19, 2021 1:40 p

REUTERS

"Yellen says tax hike would pay for part of Biden infrastructure bill"


By Reuters Staff

February 18, 2021

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Thursday said a tax hike would be needed to pay for part of a big infrastructure modernization package that President Joe Biden plans to introduce later this year.

Yellen, in an interview with CNBC, said details were still being worked out on the infrastructure and clean energy package, which would come on top of a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan that is now working its way through Congress.

Reporting by Andrea Shalal and David Lawder; Editing by Leslie Adler

https://www.reuters.com/article/usa-eco ... SW1N2HQ03O

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Re: THE DAILY NEWS

Post by thelivyjr » Fri Feb 19, 2021 1:40 p

REUTERS

"AstraZeneca vaccine faces resistance in Europe after health workers suffer side-effects"


By Caroline Pailliez, Johan Ahlander

February 18, 2021

PARIS (Reuters) - Health authorities in some European countries are facing resistance to AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine after side-effects led hospital staff and other front-line workers to call in sick, putting extra strain on already-stretched services.

Such symptoms, as reported in clinical trials for the AstraZeneca shot, can include a high temperature or headache and are a normal sign that the body is generating an immune response.

They usually fade within a day or so.

The other shots approved in Europe, developed by Pfizer and Moderna, have been linked to similar temporary side-effects, including fever and fatigue.

But with the AstraZeneca shot the latest to be rolled out, health authorities in France have issued guidance to stagger giving the shot, two regions in Sweden paused vaccinations, and in Germany some essential workers are refusing it.

A spokesman for AstraZeneca said: “Currently, the reactions reported are as we would expect based on the evidence gathered from our clinical trial programme.”

People receiving the vaccine are closely monitored through routine pharmacovigilance activities, the Anglo-Swedish drug maker said, adding that it was continuing to keep a close eye on the situation.

“There have been no confirmed serious adverse events,” the spokesman said.

‘MORE SIDE-EFFECTS’

In France, which started administering the AstraZeneca shot on Feb. 6, staff at a hospital in Normandy experienced stronger side-effects than seen with the alternative vaccine from Pfizer and German partner BioNTech.

“AstraZeneca caused more side-effects than the Pfizer vaccine,” said Melanie Cotigny, communications manager at Saint-Lo hospital in Normandy.

“Between 10% and 15% of those vaccinated may have side-effects from this vaccination, but it is only a feverish state, fevers, nausea and within 12 hours it goes away.”

Following similar reports from other hospitals, the French medicines safety agency said on Feb. 11 that such side-effects were “known and described” but should be subject to surveillance with regard to their intensity.

It also issued guidance to stagger vaccinations of front-line staff working together in teams to minimise the risk of disruption to operations.

The agency put out the advice after receiving 149 alerts of often strong flu-like side-effects from the AstraZeneca vaccine.

During this period a total of 10,000 people received the shot nationwide.

Some U.S. hospitals and other organisations with front-line staff adopted a similar strategy when the country’s vaccination programme started in December.

The United States is administering shots from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna.

In Britain, home to the AstraZeneca vaccine developed at Oxford University, the policy has been to make vaccinations readily available to hospital staff.

As many work shifts, that naturally spaces out the process.

The issues in France highlight how some doctors and hospitals are still learning how best to administer vaccines as governments race to tame the pandemic and get shots in arms as quickly as possible.

It’s also the latest setback for the French vaccination campaign which has been criticised for a slow start.

Last week, the government said just over 3% of the population had received their first dose.

In Sweden, two of 21 healthcare regions paused vaccinations of workers last week after a quarter called in sick after getting the AstraZeneca shot.

The Sormland and Gavleborg regions said that around 100 out of 400 people vaccinated had reported fever or fever-like symptoms.

Most cases were mild and in line with previously reported side-effects.

Both regions said they would resume vaccinations, and the Swedish Medical Products Agency saw no reason to change its vaccination guidelines.

NO SHOWS

AstraZeneca’s vector-based vaccine is the third to win regulatory approval in the European Union.

As part of the European Medicines Agency’s positive recommendation on Jan. 29, the watchdog concluded it was about 60% effective, compared to more than 90% for the vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna.

It also deemed the product safe to use and it will monitor reports of side-effects as a matter of routine.

In Germany, Health Minister Jens Spahn responded on Wednesday to reports that essential workers were reluctant to receive the AstraZeneca shot after some experienced strong side-effects, saying it was both safe and effective.

“I would be vaccinated with it immediately,” Spahn told reporters.

Like most European countries, German states typically do not offer people a choice of which vaccine they will get, leading in some cases to people not turning up to appointments to get the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Germany has taken delivery of 737,000 doses from AstraZeneca but only administered 107,000, according to figures from the health ministry and the Robert Koch Institute that leads its pandemic response.

“This vaccine is an excellent way to prevent serious COVID disease,” said the health ministry in the eastern state of Saxony.

“Still, we note that there are still vacant vaccination dates for AstraZeneca."

“From our point of view, it is wrong that this vaccine is available but not being used,” it said, adding that it was reallocating spare shots to teachers and public health workers.

Caroline Pailliez reported from Paris, Johan Ahlander from Stockholm; Additional reporting by Caroline Copley in Berlin, Ludwig Burger in Frankfurt, Richard Lough in Paris and Paul Sandle in London; Writing by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Josephine Mason and Nick Macfie

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-heal ... SKBN2AI237

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