January 11 coronavirus news

By Helen Regan, Adam Renton, Tara John, Florence Davey-Attlee and Ed Upright, CNN

Updated 12:01 a.m. ET, January 12, 2021
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12:39 p.m. ET, January 11, 2021

The UK has vaccinated almost 2.3 million people

From CNN's Niamh Kennedy

A patient receives an injection of a Covid-19 vaccine at the NHS vaccine centre at Robertson House on January 11 in Stevenage, England.
A patient receives an injection of a Covid-19 vaccine at the NHS vaccine centre at Robertson House on January 11 in Stevenage, England. Joe Giddens/WPA Pool/Getty Images

Around 2.3 million people have already been vaccinated across the UK, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said Monday.

“So far across the UK, we've given 2.6 million doses to 2.3 million people, and we’ve protected more people through vaccinations than all the countries in Europe put together,” Hancock said at a Downing Street briefing.

Hancock said the UK was on track to deliver a first dose of the vaccine to “everyone in the top four cohorts” – which account for 88% of Covid-19-related deaths – by Feb.15.

He said that two-fifths of people over 80 and almost quarter of older care home residents have now received first dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

12:12 p.m. ET, January 11, 2021

No obligation to supply Covid vaccines to West Bank and Gaza, says Israel’s health minister

From CNN's Andrew Carey and Abeer Salman in Jerusalem, Maija Ehlinger in Atlanta and Mary Ilyushina in Moscow

Israel’s Health Minister Yuli Edelstein is seen at the French National Assembly in Paris on May 16, 2018.
Israel’s Health Minister Yuli Edelstein is seen at the French National Assembly in Paris on May 16, 2018. Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty Images

Israel’s Health Minister has told CNN he does not believe Israel has an obligation or responsibility to supply Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza with a vaccine for the coronavirus but stressed instead co-operation on treatment to avoid a surge in new cases of Covid-19 in the Palestinian territories. 

Yuli Edelstein’s comments come after the World Health Organization (WHO) said it had held informal discussions with Israel’s Health Ministry regarding the possible supply of vaccines for the Palestinian health workforce as an “immediate priority target group.” 

“We are cooperating with the Palestinians to make sure that they get proper treatment to coronavirus patients. At this stage we are not supplying vaccines, but we do understand that it is in Israel's interest to make sure we don't get into a situation where we are vaccinated and out of trouble, and on the Palestinian side there is another surge in numbers," Edelstein said on CNN’s New Day.  

Israel is leading the world in vaccinating its people, with almost 20% of the population having received at least one dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. But it has come under criticism from some human rights groups which say it has obligations under international law to provide vaccines to Palestinians as well. 

Amnesty International, for instance, said last week: “The Israeli government must stop ignoring its international obligations as an occupying power and immediately act to ensure that COVID-19 vaccines are equally and fairly provided to Palestinians living under its occupation in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.” 

Groups like Amnesty point to the Fourth Geneva Convention which, among other duties of an occupying power, speaks of ensuring “measures necessary to combat the spread of contagious diseases and epidemics.”

Israel argues that the Oslo Accords, signed with the Palestinians in the 1990s, hand responsibility for health care provision for Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza to the Palestinian Authority (PA). 

The Director General of the Public Health Directorate at the Palestinian Ministry of Health told CNN the PA had not sought Israel’s assistance with vaccines, something that was contradicted by the President of the Union of Medical Relief Committees, Mustafa Barghouti, himself a leading Palestinian politician. He told CNN reports the PA had sought about 10,000 doses for health care workers were correct. Barghouti said the request had been rejected by Israel. 

The WHO said it was told the Israeli Health Ministry was ready to “explore the option” of immediate vaccines for medical workers in the Palestinian territories but had been told it was “currently not in a position to supply vaccines because of a shortage of vaccines in Israel.”

Edelstein told CNN: "It is our interest; it doesn't mean in any way it is our obligation or our responsibility. The Palestinians are running the Palestinian Authority … but as has been happening for the last several months, we were always ready to help with equipment, with good advice, with products or with medicine, and this sort of cooperation will continue."  

The Palestinian Health Ministry said Monday it had registered the Russian Sputnik V vaccine for what it called emergency use, with an initial batch expected to arrive in the territories within a month, according to the Russian Direct Investment Fund, which sponsored the vaccine’s development. The Health Ministry says it has also signed contracts with three other Covid-19 vaccine suppliers.

11:41 a.m. ET, January 11, 2021

UK to "rapidly scale up" Covid-19 vaccination operation 

From CNN's Lindsay Isaac

People line up to receive an injection of a Covid-19 vaccine at the NHS vaccine centre at the Millennium Point centre on January 11 in Birmingham, England.
People line up to receive an injection of a Covid-19 vaccine at the NHS vaccine centre at the Millennium Point centre on January 11 in Birmingham, England. Jacob King/WPA/Pool/Getty Images

The United Kingdom plans to have "tens of millions" of people immunized by spring with over 2,700 vaccine sites established across the country, the Department of Health said on Monday. 

It has set out plans to "rapidly scale up" the vaccine programme, pledging to have capacity to deliver "at least two million" vaccinations in England per week by the end of January at over 2,700 sites in the UK. 

Every adult in the country is to be offered a vaccine according to a press release and 10,000 care homes will have access to a vaccine by end of the month, it says. 

"The next few months will present a significant opportunity to turn the tide of battle against Covid – I am looking forward to watching these plans bring more reassurance and hope back to people’s lives after a difficult year," British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said. Hancock is expected to announce the plan to expedite vaccinations later on Monday during a daily government press briefing. 

11:01 a.m. ET, January 11, 2021

Pfizer/BioNTech aims to deliver 2 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccine globally by end of 2021

From CNN's Amanda Sealy

Workers carry boxes containing the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at the Pfizer Global Supply manufacturing plant in Kalamazoo, Michigan, on December 13.
Workers carry boxes containing the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at the Pfizer Global Supply manufacturing plant in Kalamazoo, Michigan, on December 13. Morry Gash/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

In a presentation posted by BioNTech on Monday the company said, it can “potentially” deliver about 2 billion doses of its Covid-19 vaccine by the end of 2021.

Previously, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said the companies would manufacture 1.3 billion doses in 2021, but noted, “We are working very diligently to increase this number.”

BioNTech pointed to the updated label allowing for six doses as one of the factors to help increase supply capacity.

Originally, product labels said each vial had five doses available after dilution, but after it was discovered that there was enough leftover solution to potentially squeeze out extra doses, the FDA updated its guidance to say, “it is acceptable to use every full dose obtainable (the sixth, or possibly even a seventh) from each vial.”

BioNTech also said the 2 billion doses goal, “is based on continuous process improvements and expansion at our current facilities, and contingent upon adding more suppliers as well as contract manufacturers.”

The company also said 32.9 million doses have shipped globally as of Jan. 10, 2021. 

9:44 a.m. ET, January 11, 2021

Some 400 members of the New York police department have been vaccinated this morning

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

The New York Police Department had already vaccinated about 400 of their members by just after 7 a.m. ET Monday morning, on the first day the group became eligible, the NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea told CNN affiliate NY1 Monday.

"We were ready to go, we’ve been ready to go for some time, it’s very welcomed news that finally the officers and detectives and everyone else can get that protection they need," Shea said Monday. 

He described members as "definitely eager to get it" adding "at the same time …we’re New Yorkers, so you know everything that you see in the general population you see with us, and there’s also some hesitancy I’m sure."

"I think it’s going to take some momentum" he said, adding that as more people get it and do not experience side effects it should ramp up across the board. 

Shea contracted the virus Friday and has been working remotely.

He told NY1 via a phone interview "I’m doing ok," adding "myself and a lot of other officers unfortunately and new Yorkers have contracted this."

"We’ll get through it," he continued.

Shea described his symptoms as akin to a "bad flu, the chills the aches, the breathing is the one you got to be careful with," he said adding he is "recovering at home" and looking forward to "getting back to work soon."

8:16 a.m. ET, January 11, 2021

Germany imposes tougher restrictions as deaths mount

From Inke Kappeler in Berlin 

A person walks through a deserted shopping arcade in Munich, Germany, on Monday, January 11.
A person walks through a deserted shopping arcade in Munich, Germany, on Monday, January 11. Sven Hoppe/picture alliance/Getty Images

Germany strengthened its Covid-19 restrictions on Monday, which include longer school closures and travel limits. These measures will last until at least January 31.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will discuss extending the measures past February 1 with federal state leaders on January 25. She said Germany was entering the most difficult phase of the pandemic in the coming weeks, during her weekly podcast this weekend.

The country's new restrictions include: residents may only have one home visitor at a time; those living in high-incidence regions are confined to a nine-mile radius around their houses; only grocery stores and drugstores can remain open; and travelers entering Germany from high-risk areas must register upon arrival, quarantine for 10 days, and be tested for the virus.

Germany has been seeing record Covid-19 infections as it struggles with a winter surge. On Sunday, it recorded 16,946 new infections and 465 deaths -- pushing the total death toll to more than 40,000.

8:05 a.m. ET, January 11, 2021

Are you a doctor, nurse or medical professional in the UK? CNN would like to hear from you

From CNN's Kara Fox

As the UK tackles a surge in Covid-19 cases and record hospital numbers, CNN is hoping to hear from health care workers about the realities on the frontline.

Use the form below to share your experiences:

Read more about the situation in the UK here:

9:56 a.m. ET, January 11, 2021

Los Angeles' Dodger Stadium will turn into a vaccination site

From CNN's Stella Chan

Cars line-up at the Dodger Stadium COVID-19 testing site on January 4.
Cars line-up at the Dodger Stadium COVID-19 testing site on January 4. Al Seib/Los Angeles Times/Shutterstock

The Dodger Stadium will become a Covid-19 vaccination site by the end of the week and will no longer offer testing after today, according to a statement from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. 

Once the site is fully operational, up to 12,000 people can be vaccinated per day, the statement said, adding that the transition to a vaccination site will reduce testing capacity in the county but will triple the number of vaccines available to residents. Plans are underway to scale up testing at other locations throughout the county. 

Vaccines are the surest route to defeating this virus and charting a course to recovery, so the City, County, and our entire team are putting our best resources on the field to get Angelenos vaccinated as quickly, safely, and efficiently as possible,” said Garcetti.

"In this moment of darkness where cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are skyrocketing, this bold step of offering both Covid-19 testing and vaccines in the heart of Los Angeles, reflects the dual nature of this moment – it is dark, but simultaneously hopeful," said L.A. County Board of Supervisor Chair Hilda Solis. 

On Sunday, California's public health department announced that anyone in the higher priority groups known as phase 1A — including health care workers, nursing home residents and staff, and those living in congregate settings, such as shelters — will be eligible for a vaccination starting today.

Data from the health department shows about 33% of the doses received have been administered statewide.

Hear from Los Angeles EMT workers struggling to keep pace:

7:16 a.m. ET, January 11, 2021

So many people went ice-skating on a frozen Munich canal that police had to shut it down

From CNN's Stephanie Halasz in London

Police officers clear the Nymphenburg Canal in Munich, Germany, on Sunday.
Police officers clear the Nymphenburg Canal in Munich, Germany, on Sunday. Sven Hoppe/picture alliance/Getty Images

A frozen canal in the German city of Munich got so busy with people breaking coronavirus rules Sunday that police had to intervene and close it down.

The Schlosskanal, also known as the Nymphenburg canal, was packed with ice skaters, families playing ice hockey, people sledging and walkers.

Police initially tweeted a warning the canal was very busy. “A minimum distance cannot be upheld here any more. Please wear a mask. We are advising walkers to find somewhere else, to enjoy the weather,” the post said. 

Officers then added that two people had broken through the ice, but were not injured. “We are therefore closing the entire area because of a danger of breaking ice,” police tweeted. 

The Bavarian capital added 365 coronavirus cases to its tally on Sunday, bringing the total to 47,630, according to the city's website. Munich has recorded 658 deaths.