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Immunizations

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LONDON (AP) — The U.K. tightened up rules Saturday on mask-wearing and on testing of international arrivals after finding two cases of the new potentially more contagious omicron variant of the coronavirus that was identified just a few days ago in South Africa.

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BERLIN (AP) — Germany's health minister said Saturday he hopes that the sight of air force planes transferring patients across the country will act as a “wake-up call” to millions who are still holding out on getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

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JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Worried scientists in South Africa are scrambling to combat the lightning spread across the country of the new and highly transmissible omicron COVID-19 variant as the world grapples with its emergence.

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GENEVA (AP) — The World Trade Organization is postponing its conference of government ministers set to open Tuesday after Switzerland initiated new travel restrictions following the emergence of a worrying new coronavirus variant, officials said.

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THE HAGUE (AP) — Nations across Europe took new measures Friday in an attempt to keep a COVID-19 spike from spiraling out of control, hoping that action now will safeguard the joys of Christmas next month.

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A roundup of some of the most popular but completely untrue stories and visuals of the week. None of these are legit, even though they were shared widely on social media. The Associated Press checked them out. Here are the facts:

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WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland's resistance to introducing new lockdowns and restrictions amid skyrocketing COVID-19 infections and deaths is drawing criticism from the country's medical professionals and is bucking a growing European embrace of limits on the unvaccinated.

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NEW DELHI (AP) — The Serum Institute of India, the world's largest vaccine maker, resumed exports of coronavirus vaccines to the U.N.-backed COVAX distribution program on Friday after halting most overseas sales in March.

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NEW YORK (AP) — Giant balloons once again wafted through miles of Manhattan, wrangled by costumed handlers. High school and college marching bands from around the country were back, and so were the crowds at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

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FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The holiday tree is towering over the main square in this central German city, the chestnuts and sugared almonds are roasted, and kids are clambering aboard the merry-go-round just like they did before the pandemic. But a surge in coronavirus infections has left an uneasy feeling hanging over Frankfurt's Christmas market.

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BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union warned member countries Thursday that they risk undermining the 27-nation bloc’s COVID-19 travel and access certificate system with new restrictions that some are putting in place to try to thwart a surge in cases.

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BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel labelled Thursday “a very sad day” and backed calls for more restrictions, as her country became the latest to surpass 100,000 deaths from COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Trying to boost one of the nation's lowest coronavirus vaccination rates, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards' administration has spent $27 million and counting on incentive programs, community door-knocking and advertising in hopes of persuading people to get the shot.

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