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Rich Countries to Pledge COVID Vaccines for World's Poorest

FILE - A man photographs his mother getting a shot of a COVID-19 vaccine during a priority vaccination program for the elderly at a drive-through site set up at the Pacaembu soccer stadium parkinglot in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Feb. 8, 2021.

The world’s richest countries and pharmaceutical companies are set to pledge to get coronavirus vaccines to the world’s poorest countries Friday.

The announcement comes ahead of a virtual G-7 meeting Friday of the world’s largest economies where they will discuss how to combat the pandemic and rebuild the global economy. The World Health Organization has warned that vaccine inequality would only lead to a prolonged pandemic.

Friday marks U.S. President Joe Biden’s first appearance at a G-7 meeting. Afterward, he will fly to Kalamazoo, Michigan, where he will tour a Pfizer COVID vaccine manufacturing site and meet with the workers who are producing the vaccines.

Around the world

There have been more than 100,000 confirmed COVID-19 on the African continent where there is also a scant of supply of coronavirus vaccines, according to an Associated Press report.

On Friday, Russia reported 13,433 new coronavirus cases in the previous 24-hour period and 470 deaths.

Japan’s National Institute of Infectious Diseases says a new COVID variant has emerged at a Tokyo immigration facility.

A day after the Australian state of Victoria lifted its COVID five-day lockdown, three family members tested positive for the coronavirus. Two of the three had quarantined at the Holiday Inn at the Melbourne airport.

90-year-old woman walks 6 miles for COVID shot

A report in The New York Times says a 90-year-old woman walked six miles in the snow Sunday to get a COVID vaccine shot.

Frances H. Goldman thought there was too much snow on the ground to drive. So instead, she pulled out her snow boots and used her hiking poles for the 3½ -hour walk to the Seattle Children’s Hospital for the shot. After she got her shot, she walked back home. Goldman said the walk would have been harder for her if she had not had a hip replacement surgery last year.

The nonagenarian said she had been frustrated with the countless phone calls and website visits she endured in her attempt to secure a shot. She had friends and family helping her, but to no avail. Finally, she was able to secure an appointment and she was not going to let snow prevent her from getting the vaccine.

There are more than 110 million global COVID cases, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. The U.S. tops the list with more than 27 million infections. India is second with nearly 11 million cases, followed by Brazil with 10 million.