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Third US COVID Vaccine on Verge of Approval

In this Feb. 25, 2021, photo, vials for the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines are displayed on a tray at a clinic set up by the New Hampshire National Guard in the parking lot of Exeter, N.H., High School.

The U.S. moved a step closer Friday to having another vaccine in its coronavirus arsenal, after an advisory panel to the Food and Drug Administration unanimously endorsed Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose COVID vaccine.

Formal authorization for the vaccine could come in the next few days. The one-dose vaccine would become the third coronavirus inoculation approved by the FDA after the two-dose vaccines manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus went on television Friday to encourage African Americans to receive the COVID-19 inoculations.

“We’re looking at historic fear of vaccines and a fear of the health care industry,” said Rep. Barbara Lawrence, a Democrat from Michigan.

Black and Latino communities are being inoculated at lower rates in the U.S. than their white counterparts, public health officials say.

Meanwhile, Britain’s Trades Union Congress says in a study that the pandemic has provided a “mirror to the structural racism” in Britain, with the unemployment rate for communities of color double that of their white contemporaries during the pandemic.

Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center reports early Saturday more than 113 million global COVID infections with more than 2.5 million deaths.

The U.S. continues to lead the world in the number of coronavirus infections with more than 28 million cases, followed by India with over 11 million infections and Brazil with more than 10 million.

Former British prime minister Tony Blair’s Institute for Global Change has issued a report titled The New Necessary: How We Future-Proof for the Next Pandemic that calls for international cooperation in the future to identify and test for any new outbreak. The report also called on countries to work together to produce vaccines.

Blair told The Guardian, “Had there been global coordination a year ago, I think we could have shaved at least three months off this virus,” in a reference to the outbreak of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.