peterschreiber.media/iStockEmily Shapiro, ABC News(PHILADEPHIA) — The Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia’s Center City has 4,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses that are set to expire amid a major drop in demand, according to the city’s health department.“These are doses [from the city’s allocation] that we’ve had for awhile now. There is a shelf life,” James Garrow, communications director for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, told ABC News Wednesday. “These vaccines have reached the end of their storage capability.”Garrow said officials are hoping to use up the doses before they expire Thursday afternoon.FEMA spokesperson Charlie Elison said workers at the convention center do not pull the vaccines out of freezers until they know the doses can be used.This rush to use up expiring doses comes during a sharp drop in vaccine demand, Garrow said.At one point the convention center was vaccinating 6,000 to 7,000 people per day, Garrow said. Elison said the site is now “vaccinating somewhere in the low hundreds each day.”“We hit a point probably about a week-and-a-half to two weeks ago where demand just sort of fell of a cliff,” Garrow said.“We figured we reached everybody who was very, very excited to go and get vaccinated,” Garrow said. Residents may also have had trouble accessing the Center City site, he said.According to city data, 42.3% of Philadelphians ages 16 and older have received at least one dose, while 27.5% of Philadelphians 16 and older are fully vaccinated.For those still planning to go to the Pennsylvania Convention Center for their shot, Garrow promised that people can get in and out in 30 minutes, stressing that the site does not require a registration or ID. The convention center is also offering free public transit passes to get residents back home “to try to make this as simple and seamless as possible,” he said.Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
By Simon EvansMANCHESTER, England (Reuters) – FIFA is to launch a major “once and for all” review of the international match calendar, which governs the dates of major competitions and tournaments, world soccer’s governing body said yesterday.There have been a number of complaints from coaches, such as Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp, about the scheduling of games and concerns about the increasing number of commitments.“The international match calendar plays a central role in the sustainable growth of football in all regions of the world and at all levels,” FIFA said in a new document ‘The Vision 2020-2023: Making Football Truly Global’.“For this reason, the current system should, once and for all, be discussed thoroughly with all stakeholders, and reviewed according to their needs in a collective effort to guarantee a truly global approach,” FIFA added. The review is part of a list of ‘11 goals’ which FIFA president Gianni Infantino has outlined for the next three years.Those goals include their ongoing attempt to reform the transfer system and expanding the use of technology, including the video assistant referee (VAR) system.“The successful implementation of VAR in FIFA’s competitions provides a foundation for the continuous enhancement of VAR technology, which should focus particularly on improving communication around VAR incidents and making the technology accessible for all member associations, regardless of their size and/or financial resources,” said FIFA.
The Sports Minister Elvis Afryie Ankrah on behalf of the President John Dramani Mahama, has sent a solidarity and motivational message to Ghana’s Black Satellites ahead of the final of the African Youth Championship in Algeria.It will be Ghana’s fifth final appearance out of which there have been three victories (1993, 1999, 2009).Ghana’s goodwill Sports envoy Ambassador Ray Quarcoo will personally carry the message on behalf of the government and people of Ghana to the Satellites.North African opponents Egypt, will be playing Ghana for the second time in the tournament following their 2-1 win over their Ghanaian counterparts in the opening Group A fixture.For this reason, some sports analysts see the Satellites as slight underdogs ahead of Saturday’s final at the Ahmed Zabena Stadium in Oran.But Afriyie Ankrah thinks differently, stating that the Satellites have the will power and belief to beat Egypt ” The boys have done tremendously well to get to the final and in so doing qualify for Turkey 2013 in June”. The Sports Minister believes the current squad can follow in the footsteps of other Satellites players who went on to carve illustrious careers.”We must not forget about the likes of Sammy Kuffuor, Stephen Appiah, Sulley Muntari, Michael Essien, and most recently Andre Ayew and Emmanuel Agyemang Badu just to mention a few who all rose to prominence after winning Junior titles”Afriyie Ankrah holds the view that the opening group game defeat was a blessing in disguise.” My interactions with the players even before they left Accra four weeks ago gave me an insight into how focused these lads are and how hungry they are for success”.According to Afriyie Ankrah, the players displayed great confidence at the farewell dinner he held for the team and promised to bring the cup to him straight from the airport so that he presents it to the President.“This was the bold promise made by natural born winners and it comes as no surprise that they have reached the finals.” The Minister also commended the players for concentrating on their mission and assured them that all their outstanding bonuses will be paid upon their arrival following delays in budget approvals and allocation.The statement concluded that ” The President and good people of Ghana regard you as winners regardless of the result against Egypt and a victory in the final will simply endorse the great confidence we have in you.”Ghana reached the final courtesy a 1-0, 2-0 and 4-2 win on penalties over Benin, Algeria and Mali respectively while Egypt also beat Ghana, Algeria, Benin and Nigeria to reach only their fourth final.