Coronavirus live news: US has administered a first vaccine dose to more than 100m people; UK records a further 121 Covid deaths and 5,534 cases

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Hundreds of international students at three major London universities are refusing to pay their fees because they say learning mostly in their bedrooms has not justified prices of up to £29,000 a year.

More than 300 students at the Royal College of Art, two-thirds of them from abroad, launched a tuition fee strike in January, the Guardian has learned, potentially withholding around £3.4m in fee payments, in an attempt to force the university to issue refunds for the past year.

The international students, who pay £29,000 a year for a master’s course at the RCA, took action despite fearing their visas may be revoked. After a letter from the college threatening them with suspension, some backed down, but the vice-chancellor, Paul Thompson, confirmed in a meeting on 4 March that 93 students had still not paid. Strikers were told in an email this week that they would be suspended if they did not pay or come to an arrangement with the university by Monday.





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The US is under increasing pressure to share Covid-19 vaccine doses with less wealthy nations, as advocates call for prevention of an emerging “vaccine apartheid” and point to the strategic and diplomatic importance of sharing essential medicines.

Calls to share vaccine doses grew louder this week after the Biden administration announced an additional purchase of 100 million vaccine doses from Johnson & Johnson. The American government has now bought enough doses of vaccines from Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson to vaccinate 500 million people – nearly the entire eligible population twice over.

The administration also holds the rights to 100 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses. The vaccine has not been authorized in the US, but is authorized for use elsewhere in the world. AstraZeneca asked the US to give “thoughtful consideration” to donating the vaccines elsewhere, a spokesperson for the company said.





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