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Biden administration to purchase millions more vaccine doses to curb virus

(AP)

The Biden administration will purchase 200 million more coronavirus vaccines and funnel more to states now, in a bid to deliver on the US president’s promise to curb the pandemic, a senior administration official has said.

Joe Biden, who took office last week, is in a race to contain the virus as faster-spreading variants threaten to increase the death toll across the United States, which has already been hard-hit.

The administration is briefing state governors about its plans to increase the amount of the vaccine going to those local governments to 10 million doses per week for the next three weeks, up from 8.6 million currently, according to the official who declined to be named, who previewed a policy the president has not yet discussed.

The administration will purchase 100 million doses each of the vaccines made by Pfizer Inc and Moderna Inc , increasing the overall total doses to 600 million, with delivery expected by summer. Each vaccine requires two doses per person to be fully effective, suggesting the new purchases would cover most of the country’s 331 million people.

The administration also promised to provide notice to the states three weeks in advance of how much vaccine they would be getting in the future.

Mr Biden made management of the pandemic a core issue in his presidential election campaign, but in its early days, the administration has sent mixed messages about when exactly the vaccines will be fully administered.

On Monday, Mr Biden said he believed it was possible to have 150 million doses of the vaccine administered in his first 100 days in office, an aspiration his press secretary Jen Psaki said was not an official adjustment of the current target of 100 million doses over that same time period.

“The president and his team have been working around the clock over the past six days to make meaningful progress on vaccinating as many people as possible,” she said.

(with Reuters)

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Jersey honeymoon memento found at Australian rubbish tip

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The Tourism Committee President, Deputy Clarence Dupré, presents honeymooners with their gift at a ball for newly married couples held at the West Park Pavilion in April 1961. (30091157)
The Tourism Committee President, Deputy Clarence Dupré, presents honeymooners with their gift at a ball for newly married couples held at the West Park Pavilion in April 1961. (30091157)

Lorna Peneueta (39) was born and brought up in the Island but now lives in Perth with her husband Esera, who she met while backpacking in New Zealand 17 years ago.

Esera, who is from Samoa in the Pacific Islands, came across the souvenir – a ceramic plaque in the shape of Jersey – yesterday while looking around the rubbish tip. Made by Jersey Pottery, the mementos were given to couples on their honeymoon by the Tourism Committee during the 1950s and 60s.

Picture: Esera Peneuepa [The plaque was given to honeymooning couples during the 1960s] (30099280)

‘My husband went to take some bulk rubbish down to the local tip, and they have a system here where they also do recycling and people bring stuff they want to get rid of but is still good to sell,’ said Mrs Peneueta. ‘As he was looking around he found it and recognised the map of Jersey on it, and sent the photos through to our family group chat.’

The plaque reads ‘a memento of your honeymoon in sunny Jersey’ and features a raised border of waves, shells and seaweed.

‘I looked at the watermark on the back and realised it was the old-style Jersey Pottery mark,’ said Mrs Peneueta. ‘It was quite a thing to go honeymooning in Jersey back when travel was a bit more expensive. It’s a nice little bit of history.’

Having travelled almost 10,000 miles from where it was originally made, the plaque will now sit in their house as a reminder of her time in the Island, said Mrs Peneueta.

‘It’s nice to have a little bit of Jersey here as well – it might be our new key plate next to the front door.’

Her mother, Rachel Wilkinson, posted pictures of the plaque on social media and received a wave of responses from others who recognised the item.

‘I gathered what it was,’ she said. ‘I knew that Jersey was a honeymoon isle. It’s so sweet – it’s certainly generated some comments.’

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