04 August 2021

• WHO urges wealthy nations to halt administration of coronavirus vaccine boosters until the end of September, so that vaccine suppliers can provide poorer nations with enough shots to vaccinate ten percent of their population. “I understand the concern of all governments to protect their people from the Delta variant,” said WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, “But we cannot — and we should not — accept countries that have already used most of the global supply of vaccines using even more of it, while the world’s most vulnerable people remain unprotected. We need an urgent reversal, from the majority of vaccines going to high-income countries to the majority going to low-income countries.” Source

WHO asked wealthy countries to delay booster shots in vaccinated populations, since scientists have not reached consensus on whether they are needed – not to withhold boosters for immunocompromised people who need them to mount an immune response to SARS-CoV-2. Dr. Anthony Fauci said giving immunocompromised people a booster is “…almost not considered a booster, it’s considered part of what their original regimen should have been…Many such patients have not gotten an adequate immune response to begin with.” Source

China seals off the city of Zhangjiajie and prevents people from leaving their homes, to stop the spread of the Delta variant. Source

Pakistan has vaccinated over one million people per day – but overcoming disinformation-fed, widespread vaccine hesitancy has required harsh measures, including government threats to shut off cellphone service, hold back salaries and prohibit air travel for unvaccinated people. To date, 26 million of the country’s 220 million people have gotten at least one dose of vaccines from Sinopharm, Sinovac, AstraZeneca and Pfizer/BioNTech. Shabbir Ahmed, a data entry officer at one of Karachi’s vaccination centers said, “After the government’s warnings, it seems the entire Karachi came out to the vaccination centers. Keeping their cellphone service was more important for people than their lives.” Source

Vaccination against coronavirus is speeding up in South Africa, with daily shots reaching 220,000 people per day last week; the country is currently on-track to meet its target to vaccinate 35 million of its 60 million residents by the end of 2021, and an additional five million by February of 2022. Over 7.7 million people have gotten their first dose, and 100,000 (or 1.6% of the population) is fully vaccinated. 

The country’s vaccine supply has increased after the US donated 5.7 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, adding to the 40 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 30 million doses of the J & J vaccine South Africa has already purchasedSource

The  Infectious Diseases Society of America announces that the Delta variant has increased the threshold for herd immunity from 60 to 70 percent to at least 80 percent, and possibly 90 percent. Source

Local media in Chinese cities report that inspections of imported frozen foods will be tightened to prevent coronavirus infections.  The country has linked infections with frozen food in the past, and has been testing shipments for months; some markets even have separate coolers for imported goods. Although WHO and US CDC say the chance of getting COVID-19 from frozen foods is very low. In Nanjing, more than 35,000 samples have been tested since a recent outbreak of the Delta variant – all were negative. Source

Israel reinstates some restrictions to deal with the Delta variant. Source

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