• Dr. John Nkengasong, Director of the Africa CDC, says that providing booster shots in high-income countries will hinder vaccine access for low-income countries, adding that “The problem we have with the third doses is that we have not seen enough science behind them. It is really still confusing to me as to why we are moving toward a vast recommendation for a booster dose.” Source

• US President Biden announces a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for for 100 million Americans, including some private sector employees, health care workers, federal contractors and most federal workers. Source

• In the US, home to 150,000 new daily coronavirus infections, Dr Anthony Fauci says that “In a country of our size, you can’t be hanging around and having 100,000 infections a day. You’ve got to get well below 10,000 before you start feeling comfortable,” noting that “ …we are still in the middle of a serious pandemic, and it is definitely involving children.” Source

• Residents of Phuket, Thailand, nearly 70 percent of whom are fully vaccinated, will get a third dose to protect them during the resort’s upcoming Q4 tourist season (although visitors must be vaccinated). Source

• UNICEF issues Education Disrupted, a report covering pandemic-related school closures from March 2020 to September 2021. It found that, worldwide, schoolchildren have lost an estimated 1.8 trillion of in-person learning since the pandemic began, with 131 million students in pre-primary to upper secondary education in 11 countries missing at least three quarters of classroom instruction time. As of September 2021, there is no region where all countries have fully reopened schools. The report urges that “…no effort should be spared to reopen schools, as schools are critical for children’s learning, safety, health and well-being.” Source

• In the US, where 30,000 children were hospitalized with COVID-19 during August, unvaccinated adolescents were ten times more likely to be hospitalized that those who had been vaccinated. Source

• In Japan, the coronavirus-related state of emergency in Tokyo and 18 other areas has been extended until the end of September by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who announced that he will not seek another term after sharp criticism over ineffective measures to control COVID-19. Source

• The US FDA ended a two-month suspension of Eli Lilly’s monoclonal antibody combo, bamlanivimab and etesevimab, because it is active against the Delta variant, which is currently dominant in the US. Source

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