Pedestrians walk pass a mural depicting Indonesia’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic in Jakarta on August 16, 2020.

Feature China | Barcroft Media via Getty Images

SINGAPORE — Indonesia will take at least a year before a sufficient portion of its population becomes immune to Covid-19, the country’s Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati told CNBC and stressed the need for the government to keep spending to support the economy.  

“We see that the pandemic is not declining, and we need to keep vigilant on that,” Sri Mulyani told CNBC on Monday as part of the coverage of World Economic Forum’s Davos Agenda.

Indonesia launched its Covid-19 vaccination program earlier this month after approving for emergency use the vaccine developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech.

Sri Mulyani said conservative estimates by experts showed Indonesia needs about 15 months to vaccinate around 180 million people in order to reach “herd immunity.” That occurs when enough people in a population develop protection against a disease such that it can no longer spread easily.

We see that the pandemic is not declining, and we need to keep vigilant on that.

Sri Mulyani Indrawati

Finance Minister, Indonesia

But President Joko Widodo wants to “accelerate” that process

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U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about his administration’s plans to respond to the economic crisis during a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response event in the State Dining Room at the White House in Washington, January 22, 2021.

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

President Joe Biden has painted a bleak picture of the nation’s coronavirus outbreak in his first few days in office, warning that it will take months to turn around the pandemic’s trajectory and that fatalities are expected to dramatically rise over the next few weeks.

“A lot of America is hurting. The virus is surging. We’re 400,000 dead expected to reach well over 600,000,” Biden said on Friday before signing two executive orders designed to reduce hunger and bolster workers’ rights amid the pandemic.

The U.S. surpassed 400,000 total Covid-19 deaths on Tuesday, with a quarter of those coming over the previous 36 days, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. On Biden’s first full day as president on Thursday, he told reporters following a meeting with his Covid-19 advisors, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, that the nation would likely top 500,000 Covid-19 deaths in February.

Biden warned on Friday that as the outbreak continues, “there’s nothing we can do

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Scientists work in a lab testing COVID-19 samples at New York City’s health department, during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New York, April 23, 2020.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

New York state is running about 1,000 genome tests per week to look for new, more infectious Covid variants, the state’s health commissioner, Dr. Howard Zucker, said at a press conference Friday.

“The new strains are frightening: the U.K. strain, Brazil strain, now the South Africa strain,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at the briefing. “The U.K. strain is here.”

Zucker said the state has run about 6,000 genome tests so far and has found only the strain that originated in the U.K. New York officials have identified 25 of those cases so far, including two new cases in Westchester County and one new case in Kings County, Cuomo said. There have been no deaths among those cases, according to Zucker.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told reporters Friday there is “some evidence” the mutated strain could also be more deadly than the original one, which originated in Wuhan, China.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has previously said there’s no evidence that any of the new

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Johnson & Johnson board member Dr. Mark McClellan told CNBC that “if the clinical trial works out,” the company could significantly increase the nation’s Covid vaccine supply availability within the coming weeks. 

“I do know that J&J is making a very large supply, going all out with its production, both here in the U.S. and elsewhere around the world, with the goal of having perhaps enough vaccines for 100 million Americans by spring, by this April or so,” said the former FDA Commissioner in a Thursday evening interview on “The News with Shepard Smith.” 

During remarks at the White House on Thursday, the government’s top infectious disease doctor Anthony Fauci said that Johnson & Johnson would have enough data on its vaccine to begin analysis within a week or two. McClellan told host Shepard Smith that the most important thing for the company’s vaccine is the large scale clinical trial that is under way now.  

“The independent scientists who are overseeing that study should be taking a close look in the very near future based on those results, and we’ll see how fast the vaccine could go forward,” McClellan said. 

The U.S. is averaging about 883,000 jabs of the

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New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) blamed Walgreens and the federal government for the Garden State’s sluggish vaccine rollout during a Wednesday evening interview on CNBC’s “The News with Shepard Smith.”

“The big reason is the federal program with CVS and Walgreens,” Murphy said. “They basically amassed these doses, they schedule visits to long-term care nursing homes, extended living, and they’re punching under their weight, particularly Walgreens, and that’s where most of the yet to be used doses are.”

Murphy suggested to host Shepard Smith that Walgreens “put more bodies on the case” in order to solve the rollout problem. 

On Tuesday, Murphy said that New Jersey was effectively equipped to dole out the vaccine, but that all the providers were missing “are the vaccine doses.” New Jersey has a population of approximately 8.882 million people, and has distributed 898,550 vaccines, while only administering 432,220 of them, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Murphy pointed to the Covid vaccine doses under state control and said that they are getting into people’s arms more efficiently.

“You can’t find many doses in hospitals or other distribution points that we control directly, that are going unused,” Murphy said. “We’re

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At Leipzig University Hospital, pharmacy students Anne Brandt (l) and Sarah Schulz prepare six syringes from a vial of Biontech/Pfizer’s SARS-CoV-2 corona virus vaccine for the vaccination of medical staff. There are currently more requests for vaccination appointments than can be offered at the moment.

picture alliance | picture alliance | Getty Images

Since Germany kicked off its vaccination drive in late December, along with the rest of the EU, it’s come across a raft of logistical challenges.

Now, nearly a month into the program, its sluggish progress is causing frustration and concern among some German lawmakers and health professionals.

Health Minister Jens Spahn had targeted 300,000 inoculations a day, but so far the country has failed to hit that. Data from public health agency, the Robert Koch Institute, published Tuesday showed that in the previous 24 hours, just over 62,000 vaccinations (the majority of which were first doses) were carried out.

In total, since Germany began vaccinations in all its 16 states on Dec.27, almost 1.2 million people in Germany (the priority groups for now are healthcare workers, nursing home residents and staff and the elderly) have received a first dose of the coronavirus vaccine and almost 25,000 have

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