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Global Markets: U.K. COVID-19 vaccine averages 70 per cent effective

WINNIPEG, Nov. 23 (MarketsFarm) – The following is a glance at the news moving markets in Canada and globally.

Preliminary testing of a COVID-19 vaccine developed by the United Kingdom drug company AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford showed an average efficacy rate of 70 per cent. The vaccine could be up to 90 per cent effective, depending on dosage. Pfizer and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines were shown to be over 90 per cent effective. AstraZeneca will reportedly apply for early approval of the vaccine, and seek an emergency use listing from the World Health Organization to make it widely available in low-income countries.

Alberta reported 1,584 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, with 319 total hospitalizations. That’s more than hard-hit Ontario and Quebec reported on the day. Across the country, there are approximately 55,000 active COVID-19 cases. Nunavut has been a particular area of concern, reporting 21 new cases on Sunday. New lockdown restrictions came into effect in the Toronto and Peel regions in Ontario, with non-essential stores closed for shoppers and restaurants only allowed takeout and delivery. The new restrictions will last at least 28 days.

United States president-elect Joe Biden is expected to nominate longtime confidant Antony Blinken as his secretary of state. The official announcement is likely to come Tuesday. Biden is also expected to nominate another close aide, Jake Sullivan, as national security adviser. Linda Thomas-Greenfield is expected to be named Washington’s ambassador to the United Nations. The presidential transition has been overshadowed by U.S. President Donald Trump refusing to concede the results of the election.

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