15 August 2021

• As the Delta variant spreads into more remote Outback areas in Australia, it presents a threat to the country’s Indigenous people. There are high rates of diabetes and heart disease in these rural areas.

Nationwide, only 14 percent of First Nations people are fully vaccinated – and only 8 percent of First Nations people in western parts of the state, in contrast to 20- 24 percent of the general population.  A case was detected in the Northern Territory, where 30 percent of the 250,000 residents are Indigenous. In western New South Wales – hundreds of miles from Sydney – 35 new infections were detected; 16 of them were among Indigenous people in the city of Dubbo. Source

• Australia has purchased one million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine at a no-profit price from Poland, which has fully vaccinated over a third of its 38 million residents. Source   

• In South Africa, the seven-day average of coronavirus infections rose for a fourth consecutive day, reaching 10,319. KwaZulu-Natal is the worst affected of the country’s nine provinces, accounting for 28 percent of the  country’s cases. Source

• Uganda’s President, Yoweri Museveni, announces plans for importing coronavirus vaccine reagents, which will enable the country to start making its own vaccines. Source

• In the US, the number of people under age 50 hospitalized with COVID-19 has hit a record high. Source

JAMA publishes a study on pediatric transmission of SARS-CoV-2 among 6,280 households, which found that younger children (ages 0-3 years) may be more likely than older children (ages 14- 17 years) to spread the virus to caregivers and siblings. The authors noted that caregivers should remain vigilant, when feasible, about infection control measures such as masking, handwashing and keeping sick children apart from siblings. Source

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