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A “World War Two” style collaboration will give the United States enough Covid-19 vaccines for its entire adult population by the end of May, according to President Joe Biden.
Vaccine developer Johnson & Johnson and rival Merck are set to join together to deliver 100 million vaccine doses two months earlier than expected.
The president hailed the deal as “the type of collaboration between companies we saw in World War Two”.
“We’re now on track to have enough vaccine supply for every adult in America by the end of May,” said the US leader – who previously targeted late July to amass sufficient doses to inoculate all Americans.
“That’s progress. Important progress. But it is not enough to have the vaccine supply,” Mr Biden said, stressing that a huge effort still lay ahead to administer the vaccines once acquired.
Despite the companies’ fiercely competitive past, Merck agreed to produce Johnson & Johnson’s inoculation, ultimately doubling the US’s ability to produce vaccines.
Mr Biden said he hoped that the United States would be “back to normal” at this time next year, and potentially earlier thanks to the step up in production.
“It depends upon if people continue, continue to be smart and understand that we still can have significant losses,” he said.
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Theatres can make major contribution to recovery of UK, says charity
Theatres can make a “major contribution” to the recovery of the country, promoting wellbeing and reviving the high street, according to a leading charity.
Theatres Trust, which champions theatres in communities and supports community groups to save their local theatre, welcomed the news that the Chancellor will provide more than £400 million of additional support for the badly-hit culture sector in his Budget.
Rishi Sunak is preparing to hand out £408 million to help museums, theatres and galleries in England to reopen once coronavirus restrictions start to ease in the coming months.
Many theatres have not been able to open their doors since March 2020.
Jon Morgan, director of Theatres Trust, said: “Theatres Trust welcomes not only the Chancellor’s announcement of additional funding for the arts, but also his recognition for the important role culture will play in the country’s social and economic recovery.