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Budget 2021

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Oklahoma asks Trump to declare coronavirus an 'act of God' to help oil producers

Declaring a "force majeure" or "act of God" would allow oil companies to halt operations without risking that land leases will be canceled for stopping production, Stitt said.

April 27, 2020 / 10:59 PM IST

Oklahoma's governor has called on U.S. President Donald Trump to declare the coronavirus pandemic an "act of God," a step to help oil-producing states contend with a crude glut that caused futures prices to close below $0 last week for the first time.

"Over-production of oil continues to threaten the economy," Governor J. Kevin Stitt said in a letter to Trump that Stitt posted on Twitter late on Saturday.

Declaring a "force majeure" or "act of God" would allow oil companies to halt operations without risking that land leases will be canceled for stopping production, Stitt said.

Oklahoma's energy regulator said on Wednesday that current production can be considered "economic waste." That may allow producers to close money-losing wells without losing their leases, in what was viewed as a for struggling U.S. oil companies seeking relief from states after the market crash.

U.S. production reached a record-high of near 13 million barrels per day late last year, but the pandemic has cut global consumption by 20% to 30%, or up to 30 million bpd.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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Reuters
first published: Apr 27, 2020 10:56 pm

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