• China reports 50 new cases of COVID-19, including 21 in Hebei province, which is near Beijing. Health authorities said they will continue to use stringent curbs to stop transmission of the virus. Source

• For the first time, daily coronavirus infections in New Zealand surpass 200. Source

• Eleven COVID-19 patients died in a hospital fire in Maharashtra, India. Source

• In Austria, where 64 percent of the population is fully vaccinated, those who are not vaccinated will not be allowed to enter cafes, restaurants, and hairdressers. Source

• Texas senator Ted Cruz condemns Sesame Street character Big Bird, for tweeting “I got the Covid-19 vaccine today! My wing is feeling a little sore, but it’ll give my body an extra protective boost that keeps me and others healthy,“ describing it as “Government propaganda …for your 5 year old!” Source

• Robin Swann, Northern Ireland’s health minister, is suing singer Van Morrison for defamation after the singer, who has protested coronavirus restrictions that prevent live performances and recorded anti-lockdown songs, accused him of being “very dangerous” and “a fraud” over COVID-19 restrictions. Source

• Australia’s National Centre for Immunization Research and Surveillance issues a report on vaccination rates among people with COVID-19 during the New South Wales Outbreak, 16 June to 7 October 2021. Unvaccinated people were more than 10 times more likely to become infected with SARS-CoV-2 than those who were fully vaccinated. Only 6.1 percent of 61,800 COVID-19 cases occurred in fully vaccinated people. Of the 8,660 people hospitalized with COVID-19, 1,015 were admitted to the ICU (30 fully vaccinated) and 412 of them died (47 of whom were fully vaccinated). The average age among fully vaccinated people who died from COVID-19 was 82, many with significant co-morbidities. Source

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