Australian Airline Says It Will Require COVID-19 Vaccine to Fly

The Australian airline company Qantas says it will require international travelers in the future to prove they have been vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to fly, as another pharmaceutical company announces progress in creating a potential vaccine to fight the coronavirus.In an interview with Australia’s Nine Network on Monday, Qantas Chief Executive Alan Joyce said the company thinks such proof will be a necessity for international visitors in the future, adding, “whether you need that domestically, we’ll have to see what happens.”He said of requiring proof of vaccination, “I think that’s going to be a common thing, talking to my colleagues in other airlines around the globe.”FILE – Laboratory technicians work at the mAbxience biopharmaceutical company on an experimental coronavirus vaccine developed by Oxford University and the laboratory AstraZeneca in Garin, Argentina, Aug. 14, 2020.His remarks point to how some industries and companies might want to use proof of COVID-19 vaccinations in their business models going forward, potentially setting up legal challenges from those who oppose such measures.The comments come as AstraZeneca said early Monday that clinical trials of its COVID-19 vaccine in Britain and Brazil have shown it is “highly effective in preventing COVID-19” without “hospitalizations or severe cases of the disease” in any of the trial’s volunteers.The England-based pharmaceutical company says the vaccine was 70% effective overall, but there were differences between two dosing regimens. One was 90% effective. The other was 62%.”More data will continue to accumulate, and additional analysis will be conducted, refining the efficacy reading and establishing the duration of protection,” AstraZeneca said in a statement Monday.”These findings show that we have an effective vaccine that will save many lives,” Professor Andrew Pollard, chief investigator of the Oxford Vaccine Trial at Oxford, said in a statement.FILE – A volunteer receives an injection from a medical worker during the country’s first human clinical trial for a potential vaccine against the novel coronavirus, at Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto, South Africa, June 24, 2020.AstraZeneca said it “will seek an Emergency Use Listing from the World Health Organization for an accelerated pathway to vaccine availability in low-income countries. In parallel, the full analysis of the interim results is being submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.”Drugmakers Pfizer and Moderna have also announced initial results from late-stage trials showing their vaccines were nearly 95% effective.  Vaccination plansCountries have begun laying out plans to distribute COVID-19 vaccines, with Germany and the United States preparing to vaccinate some populations as early as next month.German Health Minister Jens Spahn told reporters Sunday that there “is reason to be optimistic” that a vaccine would be approved in Europe before the end of the year, and that after approval, vaccinations could begin “right away.”The United States has set preliminary plans to begin vaccinating some groups as early as December 12, two days after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is scheduled to review the Pfizer vaccine.Health care workers in the United States, who have been hard-hit by COVID-19, would be among the first to receive a vaccine.WATCH: Vaccines Raise Hopes of Rapid Global RolloutSorry, but your browser cannot support embedded video of this type, you can
Licensed vocational nurse Caren Williams, left, collects a nasal swab sample from a traveler at a COVID-19 testing site at the Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, Nov. 23, 2020.California Governor Gavin Newsom and his family are in quarantine after three of his children were exposed to a Highway Patrol officer who tested positive for COVID-19.The Associated Press reports that China has imposed new lockdowns on three cities, Shanghai, Tianjin and Manzhouli, where a handful of COVID-19 cases have reemerged.More than 59 million people around the world have been infected with the coronavirus, the Johns Hopkins Resource Center reported Monday.The United States continues to lead the world in infections with more than 12 million cases, followed by India with more than 9 million infections and Brazil with 6 million.The virus has claimed nearly 1.4 million lives. More than a quarter million of those deaths were in the U.S. 

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