The Latest: Biden says US set on helping India with pandemic

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Medic Azin Chakeri prepares a Coviran Barekat Covid-19 vaccine to administer to volunteers during the third phase of the clinical trial of the Iranian developed vaccine, in a staged event at the Eram Grand Hotel in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, April 25, 2021. Shifa Pharmed is in the last stage of their vaccine study, while the country has been hardest-hit by the coronavirus in the Middle East. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden says the U.S is determined to help India as it grapples with a surge in coronavirus cases.

In a tweet Sunday, Biden said, “Just as India sent assistance to the United States as our hospitals were strained early in the pandemic, we are determined to help India in its time of need.”

The president didn't offer specifics in the brief message. But earlier Sunday the White House said the U.S. is “working around the clock” to immediately deploy to India drug treatments and rapid diagnostic COVID-19 testing kits. Also coming are ventilators and personal protective equipment, and the U.S. will seek to provide oxygen supplies as well.

The White House says it has identified sources of raw material urgently needed for India’s manufacture of the Covishield vaccine and will make that available. The U.S. also intends to pay for an expansion of manufacturing capability for the vaccine manufacturer in India, BioE, so it can ramp up and produce at least 1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2022.

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Fans attending the West Virginia girls and boys state basketball tournaments will have the chance to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department says the shots will be administered starting Tuesday at the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center. Anyone age 16 and older can receive one.

In the words of Dr. Sherri Young, the department’s health officer: “We understand that parents and teenagers are busy, so this is one way we hope to make the process more convenient for them.”