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Coronavirus latest: White House says vaccine deliveries have tripled to 27m a week

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More than 5m Mexicans have dropped out of school because of Covid-19, a heavy toll in a country badly lagging behind its peers in education quality even before the pandemic struck. Statistics agency Inegi found 5.2m people between the ages of 3 and 29 did not enrol for the 2020-21 school year because of Covid-19 or lack of resources. 

More than one-quarter of Americans have now received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, data published on Tuesday showed. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the number of people with one or more shots rose to 83.9m people, equal to 25.3 per cent of the overall population.

Coronavirus will be around for the “foreseeable future”, England’s chief medical officer said on Tuesday. Chris Whitty said that the chances of eradicating coronavirus were “close to zero”, arguing that while it may be possible to bring infection levels down to manageable levels, the virus was “not going away”.

South Korea’s Hyundai Motor is facing curbs to production from April as a chronic shortage of chips in the automotive industry hits a group that has to date been one of the most resilient. Hyundai and its affiliate Kia, which together rank as the world’s fifth-largest carmaker, have already begun cutting output of less popular models.

A window washer works on the Manulife headquarters in Toronto
A window washer works on the Manulife headquarters in Toronto © Bloomberg

Insurance policyholders who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 are to be offered gift cards, hotel discounts and other perks under plans from Canada’s Manulife to encourage take-up of the jabs. Canadians who are signed up to the Manulife Vitality programme will be eligible for 400 “Vitality points” with proof they have received a vaccine.

Pfizer has begun an early-stage clinical trial of an oral drug to treat coronavirus at the first sign of infection. Mikael Dolsten, chief scientific officer at Pfizer, said the antiviral treatment had “demonstrated potent” activity against Sars-Cov-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, as well as other coronaviruses.

The European Commission is set to clear EssilorLuxottica’s €7bn acquisition of GrandVision, one of the largest mergers under review, which faced delays when the pandemic forced opticians to close. The approval of the deal is subject to EssilorLuxottica’s sale of retail operations in Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands.

German biotech company CureVac said that a preclinical study on mice suggested its coronavirus vaccine candidate may be effective against the more infectious B.1.351, commonly known as the South African variant. Mice given the vaccine were immunised from the original Sars-CoV-2 virus as well as the strain identified in South Africa.