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BBC News. Hello, I'm Tom Watts. The US Food and Drug Administration has authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for emergency use. President Trump said it would be made available for free to all Americans and that the first inocations would happen within 24 hours. His administration had put intense pressure on the FDA to approve. Peter Bowes reports. The vaccine's authorization in the United States comes at a time when new infections, hospital admissions and deaths from the disease are soaring to record levels around the country. The decision means the vaccination will be given to people aged 16 and above with health care workers and the elderly in long term care facilities expected to be the first recipients. In line with advice issued by British regulators, the US Food and Drug Administration said the vaccine should not be given to individuals with the history of severe allergic reactions.
The Pfizer jab earlier received approval from authorities in Mexico. Here's Will Grant. The announcement couldn't come soon enough for many Mexicans. The decision to approve the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for emergency use was made on the same day that Mexico registered its highest daily number of coronavirus cases since the pandemic began. There had been 12,253 cases in 24 hours, said Mexico's Health Sub Secretary Hugo Lopez-Gatell, and there had been more than a hundred and 13,000 COVID related deaths registered in Mexico. Mexico city has been especially badly hit. There are no ICU beds currently available for emergency patients in the city.
President Trump has criticized the US Supreme Court for rejecting a bid by the state of Texas to invalidate presidential election results in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. In an angry tweet, he accused the court of really letting down his Republican supporters and showing neither wisdom nor courage. The ruling is that they just set back to the Trump campaign's efforts to use the courts to overturn Joe Biden's victories in key states in the presidential election. Texas had sought to stop electoral college votes from those states being counted. The electoral college is due to vote on Monday.
Iranian state media say the opposition journalist Ruhollah Zam has been executed after an appeal against the death sentence was rejected. Ali McConnell reports. Ruhollah Zam ran a hugely popular channel called Amad News on the social media App Telegram. He was accused by the Iranian authorities of fermenting violence during nationwide anti-government protests which broke out in late 2017. Ruhollah Zam had fled Iran and had been operating out of Turkey and France where had been granted asylum. It's not clear how he ended up back in Iran. But its thought he was seized last year in an operation by agents of Iran's revolutionary guards in neighboring Iraq. World news from the BBC.
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