(Reuters) – The pace of vaccination must be quickened to avert “a pandemic of the unvaccinated”, the European Union’s chief executive Ursula von der Leyen said.
The European Union will also donate a further 200 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to poorer countries and close gaps in its own vaccination coverage, she added.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
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* After running through the worst of the pandemic, French care homes are facing staff who would rather quit than comply with a government mandate that they get vaccinated.
* The Dutch government on Tuesday announced it is easing restrictions and will introduce a “corona” pass showing proof of vaccination to go to bars, restaurants, clubs or cultural events.
* China has fully vaccinated 91% of students aged 12-17, state television reported, although authorities said schools needed to be vigilant. The outbreak in Fujian province has prompted cities in other parts of the country to issue travel warnings ahead of major holidays.
* India is considering resuming exports of vaccines soon, mainly to Africa, as it has partly immunised a majority of its adults and supplies have surged, a source said.
* In Australia, a curfew imposed in the 12 Sydney suburbs will end on Wednesday night, authorities said, while Victoria state reported a second consecutive daily fall in new cases as its first-dose vaccination rate neared the 70% level where some curbs will be eased.
* Next year’s world cross country championships have been pushed back to 2023 due to travel restrictions in Australia, governing body World Athletics said, while the 2022 Gay Games due to be held in Hong Kong will also be postponed for a year, according to organisers.
* U.S. officials preparing to roll out booster shots in the face of waning vaccine protection and surging hospitalisations and deaths caused by the Delta variant are hoping they might prevent mild cases as well.
* U.S. President Joe Biden is expected to meet with executives from Walt Disney, Microsoft and Walgreens Boots Alliance to advance his vaccination requirements for the private sector, the Wall Street Journal reported. His administration also said most federal employees must be fully vaccinated no later than Nov. 22.
* American army officers who refuse to be vaccinated could be suspended from their duties and possibly discharged, the U.S. Army said on Tuesday.
* Mexico will send vaccines to Nicaragua in September, the country’s foreign minister said on Tuesday, in a rare sign of international engagement with the administration of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Saudi Arabia’s healthcare administration has signed memoranda of understanding with Pfizer and AstraZeneca, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
* The African Union on Tuesday accused manufacturers of vaccines of denying African countries a fair chance to buy them, and urged manufacturing countries to lift export restrictions on vaccines and their components.
* Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine has demonstrated 97.2% efficacy against COVID-19 during the vaccination campaign in Belarus, Russia’s RDIF sovereign wealth fund said.
* The Drugs Controller General of India has given permission to the Christian Medical College Vellore to start a trial on the mixing of vaccines, Mint reported on Tuesday.
* Sputnik’s single-dose vaccine, Sputnik Light, has also received a green signal from India’s drug regulatory authority to conduct phase III, India Today reported.
* Global stocks eased as weaker-than-expected Chinese data cast a pall over economic recovery and a spike in UK prices fuelled the intense debate over inflation’s staying power. [MKTS/GLOB]
* The European Commission will re-launch a review of the Union’s budget rules in weeks, with a view to agree on a reform by 2023, the head of the Commission said.
(Compiled by Juliette Portala and Devika Syamnath ; Edited by Shounak Dasgupta and David Evans)