• China, which has fully vaccinated 75 percent of its 1.4 billion people, is rolling out boosters and starting to administer coronavirus vaccines from Sinopharm and Sinovac to children ages 3 to 11 years to halt outbreaks of the Delta variant. Source

• Singapore’s Ministry of Health announces that there are only 60 ICU beds left in its public hospitals, which have been filling up with seriously ill COVID-19 patients. Source

• After facing increasing pressure for withholding its coronavirus vaccine from poor countries, Moderna announces that it will sell up to 110 million doses to African Union member countries, but only 15 million will be delivered by the end of 2021. “It’s a drop in the ocean for what the needs are,” said Fatima Hassan, head of the Health Justice Initiative in South Africa, said of Moderna’s announcement. “It’s up to 110 million for a population and a continent of 1.3 billion.” Source

• In Mexico, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is disregarding a court order to vaccinate young people (ages 12-17) resulting from a lawsuit – one of many – initiated by parents of an unvaccinated girl. The President, who dismissed the ruling, has hinted that he plans to challenge it.

Although the country’s medical safety agency has granted emergency use authorization for the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine in young people, the government has forbidden vaccination to most minors while downplaying their risks from COVID-19.

Mexico has fully vaccinated 41 percent of adults, and says it will continue to keep the focus on them, instead of otherwise healthy children – and that it will want until the vaccines have proven to be safe for them, although hundreds of parents are suing the government to demand vaccines for their children. Xavier Tello, a public health policy expert in Mexico City, said that ““This mess comes from the lack of preparation,” and that the government has “no strategy.” Source

• Dr. Deborah Birx, the coordinator of former President Donald Trump’s Coronavirus Task Force, testified before the US House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis in a closed-door meeting. Her testimony contrasted with an earlier account from the New York Times, which said: “Dr. Birx would roam the halls of the White House, talking to Mr. Kushner, Ms. Hicks and others, sometimes passing out diagrams to bolster her case. ‘We’ve hit our peak,’ she would say, and that message would find its way back to Mr. Trump.”

Dr. Birx testified that tens of thousands of lives could have been saved if Mr. Trump had supported preventive measures. “I believe if we had fully implemented the mask mandates, the reduction in indoor dining, the getting friends and family to understand the risk of gathering in private homes, and we had increased testing, that we probably could have decreased fatalities into the 30 percent less to 40 percent less range,” Dr. Birx testified. When she was asked whether Mr. Trump did everything he should have to counter the pandemic, she said: “No. And I’ve said that to the White House in general, and I believe I was very clear to the president in specifics of what I needed him to do.” Source

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