• The US FDA authorizes emergency use of a lower dose (10 micrograms vs. 30 micrograms) Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine to include children ages 5 through 11 years. Source

• South Africa’s Health Department Deputy Director-General, Nicholas Crisp, says that South Africa will begin offering booster doses of the J & J coronavirus vaccine to nearly 500,000 healthcare workers as on 8 November, following a clinical trial that reported that a booster dose substantially increased protection against severe illness. Source

• Takeda Pharmaceutical Co, which is partnering with Novavax on NVX-CoV2373, its experimental protein-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate, is planning to seek regulatory approval in Japan, with roll-out planned for early 2022. Novavax has submitted applications in Australia and the UK, but has delayed its US filing after reports of production problems. Source

• G20 leaders released a statement to announce that it has advanced its global vaccination target of 70 percent, from Q3 2022 to mid-2022, and the launch of a task force to fight future pandemics, which will look at ways to fund pandemic preparedness, prevention and response.

The international advocacy group Global Citizen applauded the earlier target, but said the world needed “a battle plan” to map out how to achieve the target, greater transparency how many doses of the coronavirus vaccine were being produced where, when and for whom, and a clear understanding of gaps.”It’s no longer the time for statements of intentions. Now is the time for our leaders to act,” said Friederike Roder, Global Citizen’s Vice President. Source

• The US CDC publishes data on the odds of SARS-CoV-2 infection among 94,264 symptomatic hospital inpatients, comparing incidence among fully vaccinated versus unvaccinated people who recovered from COVID-19 within 90 to 179 days before hospitalization. Medical records from 187 hospitals in nine states were analyzed during the period between 1 January 1 and 2 September 2, 2021. The researchers reported that unvaccinated people who had recovered were over five times more likely to have symptomatic COVID-19 than fully vaccinated persons. The authors recommended vaccination for everyone eligible, including people with a previous SARS-CoV-2 infection. Source

• WHO reports weekly totals of global cases of and deaths from COVID-19 have increased slightly. The European region continued to report an increase in new cases of COVID-19 for the fourth week in a row, while all other regions reported that cases were in decline. Weekly deaths from COVID-19 increased in the European and South-East Asia regions by 14 and 13 percent, respectively. Source

• Tonga, which has fully vaccinated 32 percent of the population, reports its first-ever COVID-19 case, in a fully-vaccinated traveler from Christchurch, New Zealand, who tested negative prior to the trip. All health workers, police officers and airport staff who were on duty when the plane arrived are in precautionary quarantine. Source

• In the UK, only 21 percent of 12- to 15-year-olds have received coronavirus vaccines. The country’s current COVID-19 surge is being driven by infections among school-age children, which account for more than a third of cases. COVID-19 may be spreading from unvaccinated children to older people with waning immunity. Source

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