Here are some significant developments:
- President Biden announced the vaccine deals Thursday in an emotional address in which he spoke through his mask as he called it a “patriotic responsibility” to wear one.
- The Australian city of Melbourne will enter a five-day lockdown to curb a local outbreak involving the variant first detected in Britain. The restrictions include the barring of spectators from the Australian Open tennis tournament.
- Health officials in D.C., Illinois and North Carolina announced the first known cases of the variant B.1.351, which was first identified in South Africa. As of this week, more than 30 states have reported cases of the B.1.1.7 variant.
- Cash-strapped Venezuela is seeking a $300 million fund for vaccine supplies, including cash frozen in the United States by economic sanctions.
- The United States has recorded more than 27.3 million coronavirus cases and more than 473,000 deaths. At least 35.4 million people have received one or both doses of the vaccine.