COVID-19: European Countries – Italy, Germany and France Kicked Off Coronavirus Vaccination Campaign

European countries including Italy, Germany and France kicked off their vaccination campaign as a growing list of countries in the continent have identified their first cases of the coronavirus mutation widespread in the U.K.

Italy started its vaccination campaign across the country Sunday, with three health workers receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech shot early in Rome.

In an interview with newspaper Repubblica, health minister Roberto Speranza said the vaccination process will not impact Italy’s “three-tier strategy” in the near term, and that he expects that some regions will need to face ‘red zone’ restrictions in coming months.

Italy reported 10,407 new cases earlier, a decrease from 19,037 the day before. The country on Thursday began what will be the first of two strict lockdown periods as the government tries to curb contact between citizens during the holiday period.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte extended the ban on U.K. flights by two weeks and said he’s open to reinstating tighter movement curbs if coronavirus infections spike. Japan will ban entry to most non-Japanese nationals through the end of January.

Global infections surpassed 80 million. U.S. cases rose by more than 226,000 after numbers were skewed by the Christmas Day holiday. Beijing city government is calling for stricter Covid-19 control and prevention as the Chinese capital reported five local cases on Saturday.