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Dec. 9 Coronavirus updates: Countries across the world prepare to vaccinate millions

Millions of people in the U.S. and across the world could be vaccinated this month.
Image: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, and and his Health Minister Yuli Edelstein, center, attend the arrival of over 100,000 of doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccines at the Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv, Israel
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, at the arrival of over 100,000 doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine at the Ben Gurion Airport on Wednesday.Abir Sultan / AP

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For the first time, more than 3,000 Covid-19-related deaths were recorded in the United States on Wednesday. More than 290,000 people have died from the coronavirus across the country since the beginning of the pandemic this spring.

As at least 15 U.S. states step up their own efforts to encourage people to take a Covid-19 vaccine, countries across the world are hurtling ahead with unprecedented plans to vaccinate millions of vulnerable adults and frontline healthcare workers.



U.S. forces in South Korea apologize for rule-breaking events

American armed forces in South Korea apologized Wednesday for holding parties that "displayed poor judgment and actions" and were in violation of Covid-19 health measures.

In a statement, U.S. Forces Korea said that two events, one at United States Army Garrison — Humphreys and one at Osan Air Base, "do not reflect USFK’s commitment to mitigating the spread of Covid-19." Both facilities are closed until further notice.

The statement didn't provide details of how the rules were broken but the Korean Yonhap news agency reported that some party-goers did not wear masks or follow social distancing rules.

U.K. investigates possible allergic reactions to Covid shot

LONDON — U.K. regulators say people who have a “significant history’’ of allergic reactions shouldn’t receive the new Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine while they investigate two adverse reactions that occurred on the first day of the country’s mass vaccination program.

Professor Stephen Powis, national medical director for the National Health Service in England, said health authorities were acting on a recommendation from the Medical and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, the nation’s medicines regulator.

“As is common with new vaccines, the MHRA has advised, on a precautionary basis, that people with a significant history of allergic reactions do not receive this vaccination after two people with a history of significant allergic reactions responded adversely yesterday,’’ Powis said in a statement. “Both are recovering well.”

Netanyahu says he intends to be first person vaccinated in Israel

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the arrival of the first doses of the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine in Israel Wednesday and said he intended to be the first person in the country to be vaccinated. 

“I want the citizens of Israel to be vaccinated, and to do so I want to set an example for them,” he said at a ceremony at Ben Gurion Airport. 

Netanyahu said he believed in the vaccine and that he expected to receive approval for it in coming days. 

“This is a holiday for Israel,” he added.