A healthcare worker administers a SINOVAC Covid-19 vaccine on a minor during the Numolux/SINOVAC Pae - Sputnik International

Live Updates: Only 2% of Global COVID-19 Vaccines Administered to Africa, WHO Says

The global death toll from the coronavirus infection has topped 4.639 million, while over 225 million cases of the infection have been detected, according to Baltimore, Maryland's Johns Hopkins University, which tracks and compiles data from national and local authorities, the media and other sources.
The United States has the highest death toll and overall coronavirus tally, with 41.2 million infected and 662,000 fatalities. It is followed by India (33.2 million cases and a death toll of over 442,000) and Brazil (21 million cases, 587,000 deaths).
Just over half the US population supports the idea that everyone must have compulsory evidence of vaccination against the COVID-19 vaccine before participating in any work, shopping, social or other activities outside their homes, a new poll, which was conducted by the SSRS research company for CNN, revealed.
Meanwhile, medical officers in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have recommended that all 12 to 15-year-olds should be offered a COVID-19 vaccine in a letter addressed to each of the health ministers in the four countries of the United Kingdom.
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22:38 GMT 14.09.2021
Biden Administration Hit With Arizona Lawsuit Over Federal Vax Mandate
US President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the Delta variant and his administration's efforts to increase vaccinations, from the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, US, September 9, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 14.09.2021
Arizona Sues Biden Administration Over Federal Vaccine Mandate - Attorney General
22:17 GMT 14.09.2021
Netherlands to Reopen With COVID-19 Passes Next Week
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Dutch government will mandate COVID-19 passes for going to restaurants, entertainment and cultural venues from September 25 but will scrap social distancing requirements.

"The vaccination rate is high enough to lift the mandatory 1.5 meter [5 feet] distance rule everywhere, but it is not high enough yet to do this without conditions," a statement read.

The Dutch aged 13 and over will be required to present a digital coronavirus pass that shows if its holder is fully vaccinated, has recently tested negative or has recovered from the disease.

The number of visitors at outdoor venues will not be capped. Indoor places will be filled at 75% capacity if no fixed seating is provided.

Bars and restaurants will be closed between midnight and 6 a.m. Mask wearing continues to be mandatory in public transport and in airports.

People who have a severe immunodeficiency will be invited to receive a third COVID-19 vaccine shot. The government said that it did not plan to use boosters more widely yet.
22:10 GMT 14.09.2021
New York Medical Workers Win Ruling to Stop Their Own Vaccinations - Court Order
NEW YORK (Sputnik) - A federal judge has temporarily blocked the state of New York from forcing its medical workers to be vaccinated, citing a violation of their constitutional rights, a court order showed.

“The plaintiffs’ motion for a temporary restraining order is granted,” Judge David Hurd in Utica city of New York wrote in the order, seen by Sputnik.

The decision was in favor of 17 health professionals, including doctors and nurses, who claimed in a lawsuit that their rights were violated with a vaccine mandate that disallowed the exemptions.

The state of New York issued the order on August 28, requiring at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine by September 27 for health care workers at hospitals and nursing homes.

The not-to-vaccinate right has been a stumbling block to New York state’s plan to get at least 80% of its nearly 20 million population inoculated. As of this week, just about 62% of the state’s people had been vaccinated.

In their lawsuit against the state, the healthcare workers — comprising practicing doctors, nurses, a nuclear medicine technologist, a cognitive rehabilitation therapist and a physician's liaison — all cited their Christian faith and strong objection to abortion as reasons for resisting the vaccination.

The plaintiffs argued that all of the available vaccines employ aborted fetus cell lines in their testing, development or production. To further bolster their case, they said they were not typical “anti-vaxxers” who opposed all vaccines.
22:05 GMT 14.09.2021
Turkey Registers 27,802 Daily COVID-19 cases, Maximum Since May - Health Ministry
ANKARA (Sputnik) -Turkey registered 27,802 daily COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, the highest infection rate in the last four months, the country's health ministry said.

Last time a similar number of daily cases in Turkey was registered on May 6, when the daily infection rate reached 28,997 new cases.

"Today 334,535 tests have been done, 27,802 new cases of COVID-19 have been identified, and 276 people have died," the Turkish health ministry said in the statement.

The highest infection rate in Turkey was registered on April 16, when the country reached a maximum of 63,082 new daily cases. After that the rate started to gradually decline and in June - the first half of July stabilized at the level of 5,000-7,000 a day. Since mid-July, the infection rate has been increasing again.

In January, Turkey started mass COVID-19 vaccination. About 52 million citizens received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine in the country, while about 41 million residents received two doses, according to the Turkish Ministry of Health.
18:59 GMT 14.09.2021
White House: Biden Plans to Engage With World Leaders on COVID at UN General Assembly
US President Joe Biden plans to meet with world leaders on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) next week to discuss efforts to end the coronavirus pandemic, White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre said on Tuesday.

"We are actively planning COVID-19 engagements for the President on the margins of the UN General Assembly high-level week as part of President Biden's ongoing effort to rally the world to end this pandemic," Jean-Pierre told reporters aboard Air Force One. "I anticipate there will be an opportunity for the President to engage with his counterparts on this issue during UNGA week."
18:59 GMT 14.09.2021
Drug Firms Block Efforts to Share Vaccine Technology With Poor Countries, Advocacy Group Says
Lobbying in wealthy nations by powerful pharmaceutical firms have stalled a proposal to temporarily waive global trade and intellectual property rules to expand access to COVID-19 vaccines, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Tuesday.

“The pandemic has laid bare the dangers of having manufacturing capacity for life-saving vaccines concentrated in a few countries where governments have refused to prioritize and mandate intellectual property waivers and technology transfers for rapid diversified and global production,” HRW said in a press release.

As a result, access to COVID-19 vaccines remains deeply unequal, with three-quarters of more than 5 billion vaccine doses administered in just 10 countries, HRW said, citing World Health Organization (WHO) data.

For example, only 2 percent of Africa’s population is fully vaccinated at a time when some wealthy nations have begun offering booster shots, the release added.

HRW also faulted wealthy countries that spent public funds to develop vaccines for failing condition funding on affordability and sharing technology, leaving companies to decide how, when, and where they will manufacture, distribute, and price vaccines.

In May, the United States signalled that it would support negotiations on a proposed waiver. But the European Commission, representing the European Union member states, Switzerland, and several other high-income governments have consistently stalled and blocked efforts to swiftly adopt the waiver, according to the release.

HRW published the release on the eve of a World Trade Organization meeting in Geneva this week where negotiations on vaccine technology transfers are due to resume.
18:30 GMT 14.09.2021
WHO: Only 2% of Global COVID-19 Vaccines Administered to Africa
Only 2% of COVID-19 vaccines administered globally were used in Africa, and as a result, only two nations on the continent have reached the WHO benchmark to support every country in vaccinating 40% of the population by the end of 2021, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Tuesday.

The statistical data from the director-general implies that only 114 million vaccine doses have been administered in Africa, a continent with a total population of 1.3 billion.

"The WHO global target is to vaccinate at least 40% of its population by the end of this year and 70% by the middle of next year. So far only two countries in Africa have achieved the 40% target, the lowest of any region. That's not because African countries do not have the capacity or experience to roll out vaccines. It's because they have been left behind by the rest of the world, as more than 5.7 billion vaccine doses have been administered globally but only 2% of those in Africa," Ghebreyesus said at a press conference on the latest about COVID-19, with a focus on Africa and vaccine equity.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
WHO Director-General
Although the infection and death rates due to COVID-19 complications are rapidly growing in African countries, the pharma giants have sold more than 90% of their COVID-19 vaccines to rich countries which overpay them as much as 24 times the actual price, according to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.

The inequalities become more obvious when statistics come into perspective. In the European Union at the moment, 57.8% of the population is vaccinated with at least one dose of the vaccine. In the United States, this percentage is 56.8%. At the same time, in very large African countries with hundreds of millions of people, those percentages are in the single digits.
16:15 GMT 14.09.2021
Italy's COVID-19 Deaths Top 130,000
The number of coronavirus-related deaths in Italy surpassed 130,000 on Tuesday after the country recorded 72 new fatalities in the past day, official figures show.

The country’s death toll now stands at 130,027. Italy reported 36 virus-related deaths on Monday, up from the daily average of 20 in July.

The daily tally of infections increased by 4,021, up from 2,800 reported on Monday. The number of infections confirmed in the country since the start of the epidemic has passed 4.61 million.

As of Tuesday, the number of hospitalized coronavirus patients stands at 4,100, with 554 people remaining in intensive care, down from 563 seen the day before.
16:14 GMT 14.09.2021
Japan Reportedly Detects Foreign Substances in COVID-19 Vaccines Again
Several vaccination centers in Japan have reported detecting foreign substances in their Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines, following another recent case when contaminated vials were found in a batch of Moderna shots, Kyodo said on Tuesday.

White floating matter was found in five unused Pfizer vials in vaccination centers in the cities of Sagamihara and Kamakura in Kanagawa prefecture, and Sakai in Osaka prefecture, according to the news. The contaminated vials reportedly belonged to the same lot, FF5357.

Local authorities said they did not use the doses containing foreign substances, but continued administering remaining vaccines from the same batch after they had been proved clean, Kyodo said.

This is the second time Japan has reported finding foreign substances in COVID-19 vaccines distributed in the country. In late August, three batches of about 1.63 million doses of the Moderna vaccine were put on hold after a pharmacist identified black particles in some of the vials. The substance was later identified as metallic powder. Other contaminated vials contained residue of rubber caps from the incorrect injection of syringes.

By the time the contaminated Moderna vaccines were withdrawn, they had already been distributed to 889 vaccination centers and 55 of them had been used.

Moderna and a Spanish pharmaceutical company, responsible for bottling Moderna vaccines, claimed the incident could have been caused by manufacturing issues. European safety regulators launched an investigation into the case.

Japan's vaccination campaign began on February 17. Currently, the country has approved the use of three vaccines belonging to Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Moderna. Japan has reported having fully vaccinated over half of its population as of the first week of September, amounting to 65.2 million people.
14:19 GMT 14.09.2021
EU Commission Approves $3.5Bln State Aid for French Companies Affected by COVID-19
The European Commission on Monday approved 3 billion euros ($3.5 billion) in state aid for France so the country can establish a relief fund for companies and businesses affected by COVID-19.

"This €3 billion recapitalization scheme will enable France to support companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak by facilitating their access to finance in these difficult times. We continue working in close cooperation with Member States to find workable solutions to mitigate the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak, in line with EU rules," Margrethe Vestager, the executive vice-president in charge of competition policy, said as quoted in the press release by the EU Commission.

The support from the relief fund will be allocated under the Temporary Framework to companies in need through debt capital support, hybrid and equity instruments and it is estimated that between 50 to 100 legal entities will benefit. The scheme is for companies that are based in France, operational in all sectors (except the financial one), and have been viable prior to the pandemic and have demonstrated a long term sustainable business model, according to the release.

The commission adopted the Temporary Framework in March 2020 in order to give flexibility to its member states to better support their economies under the State aid rules. The Temporary Framework allows EU members to ensure that enough liquidity is available to all types of businesses and to maintain continuity of economic activity within and after the pandemic.
12:27 GMT 14.09.2021
Vietnam Detects 10,508 New COVID-19 Cases
11:51 GMT 14.09.2021
Italy Considering Making COVID-19 ‘Green Pass’ Mandatory For All Job Sectors, Minister Says
Italy is planning to make the coronavirus "green pass" mandatory for all employees in both the private and public sectors, Minister of Economic Development Giancarlo Giorgetti announced on Tuesday.

"We will go towards an extension without discriminating against anyone," Giorgetti said, as quoted by Corriere della Sera, emphasizing that extending the green pass to all workers would satisfy the need for companies to have a safe working environment.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi will hold a cabinet meeting to discuss the matter on Thursday.

Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza said last week that the authorities were considering including all sectors in the list of those required to have COVID-19 green passes, in order to give a boost to the coronavirus vaccination campaign.

The so-called "green pass," which shows that a person has either been vaccinated or tested negative for COVID-19 (or recently recovered from the infection), is currently required in Italy for long-distance travel, attending mass events and entertainment venues, dining indoors in restaurants, engaging in cultural and leisure activities, as well as for certain workplaces.
11:26 GMT 14.09.2021
Fiji Registers 131 New Coronavirus Cases
11:08 GMT 14.09.2021
Iran Detects 22,329 New COVID-19 Cases
10:18 GMT 14.09.2021
All Educational Institutions in Pakistan Will Open From 16 September
09:12 GMT 14.09.2021
Philippines Reports 18,056 New COVID-19 Cases
09:07 GMT 14.09.2021
Israel Hopes to Overcome COVID-19 Wave, Become Safe Tourist Destination in 1 Month, Minister Says
The Israeli authorities expect to overcome the current wave of the coronavirus pandemic and turn the country into a completely safe tourist destination within a month, Tourism Minister Yoel Razvozov said.

Given the decreasing rate of COVID-19 spread across Israel, the country will probably be one of the first to overcome the current wave of the pandemic, the official said.

"We most likely open the borders in a month, we will already be a completely 'green' country, we will be safe for tourists who want to peacefully spend time, they will have fewer restrictions inside Israel, more places will be open to them, and so on. ... This is our task," Razvozov said.

So far, some three million Israeli citizens have been administered a third booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine since 1 August, the minister added.
08:55 GMT 14.09.2021
Mongolia Logs 2,939 New Coronavirus Cases
08:44 GMT 14.09.2021
UK’s Johnson to Announce COVID-19 Booster Program for Over 50s
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will unveil on Tuesday his plan to manage a likely surge of the COVID-19 pandemic during autumn and winter which include giving a booster jab to people over 50, the government announced.

“Today I will set out a clear plan for the autumn and winter, when the virus has a natural advantage, to protect the gains we have made,” Johnson was quoted as saying ahead of the press conference that he will be leading this afternoon.

According to the official statement, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization has given its final advice on the booster program for the most vulnerable people, so he will be announcing to the public how the third dose will be rolled out.

The booster program for people over 50 is separate to the one already designed for those who are immunocompromised, the government said.

Johnson is also expected to repeal some of the powers that were handed to him in the Coronavirus Act passed by Parliament in March, 2020, including those allowing him to shut down sectors of the economy, impose restrictions to events and gatherings and disrupt education.

However, he would highlight the need to keep in reserve measures such as compulsory mask-wearing in some settings, work from home where possible and social distancing.
08:44 GMT 14.09.2021
Russia, Israel in Talks on Recognizing Sputnik V COVID Vaccine, Minister Says
Russia and Israel are holding negotiations on the recognition of Russia's coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V at the level of health and foreign ministries to facilitate tourism and movement of people between both nations, Israeli Tourism Minister Yoel Razvozov said in an interview with Sputnik.

"There are some negotiations both at the foreign ministry, the health ministry ... I heard it was about Sputnik V. But so far, I do not have enough information," Razvozov said when asked about the mutual vaccine recognition.

The minister added that starting Sunday, Israel would open borders to tourists from countries that use coronavirus vaccines approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency. Tourists from Russia still have to take PCR tests to visit Israel.
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