Coronavirus latest: US renews appeal for youth jabs as Biden adviser says son has ‘long Covid’

The US has given out more than 275m doses of coronavirus vaccines from the start of the rollout, inoculating almost half of all Americans. The latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that 158m Americans, or 47.7 per cent of the total population, have received at least one shot. 

Ukraine’s parliament has ousted health minister Maksym Stepanov for mishandling the coronavirus vaccine rollout. The country of 42m people has put just under 1m jabs into arms and with only 27,454 residents having received two doses. Denys Shmyhal, prime minister, asked parliament to remove Stepanov from his government.

Local officials in Texas that attempt to impose a mask mandate could be subject to a fine of up to $1,000, Greg Abbott, governor, announced as part of an executive order preventing governmental entities in the state requiring face coverings. The decision applies to counties, cities, school districts, public health authorities and officials.

About 28.5bn coronavirus vaccines would likely be required to end the pandemic by 2023 and slow down virus mutations in the years ahead, according to estimates by Deutsche Post DHL. The research paper by one of the world’s largest logistics companies and McKinsey suggests that 7-9bn doses must be given out in each of the next two years.

Shoppers wear masks in a Walmart store in Bradford, Pennsylvania © Brendan McDermid/Reuters

Revenue at Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, rose 2.7 per cent year on year to $138bn for the three months to the end of April, beating analysts’ forecasts of $132bn. Comparable sales at Walmart’s US stores jumped 6 per cent excluding fuel, above estimates for a gain of 0.8 per cent, as the company gained market share in groceries.

Jaguar Land Rover made £534m of profit between January and March as car sales rebounded in China and the US, although the company fell to a full-year loss after writing off the costs of old technology. The group took a £1.5bn financial hit to past investments as it pivots to electric vehicles and ends its long-running reliance on diesel.

New York-based retail chain Macy’s said demand remained strong across the home, jewellery, fragrance and luxury categories, as sales recovered faster than anticipated in the first fiscal quarter. Macy’s revenues grew by more than half to $4.7bn, and the company raised its forecast to $22.2bn in net sales in 2021, up from $20.8bn. 

Home Depot booked record first-quarter sales as the pandemic-fuelled surge in DIY projects continued to drive demand. The retailer generated $37.5bn in sales, a rise of 32.7 per cent year on year and beating analysts’ forecast for $35bn. Same-store sales rose 31 per cent compared with a 24.5 per cent gain in the holiday period.

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