Britain is providing a third dose of the coronavirus vaccine to up to half a million people with severely weakened immune systems to give them extra protection.
Government vaccine advisers say people over 12 with conditions such as leukemia, advanced HIV and recent organ transplants will be offered a third injection.
Professor Wei Shen Lim of the Official Joint Committee on Vaccines and Immunization says the move is aimed at reducing the risks of hospitalization and death for the severely immunocompromised, who are estimated to number around 400,000 to 500,000 people, or less than one percent of the total population. .
The show is separate from decisions about a broader vaccine boosting program, and its details have not been confirmed. Health Minister Sajid Javid says the booster programme, which prioritizes older age groups, is still planned to start this month.
More than 78 per cent of Britain’s population over the age of 16 has received two doses of the vaccine. The Government’s Vaccines Advisory Committee has not decided whether it will include all healthy adolescents between the ages of 12 and 15.
The head of the World Health Organization has said he opposes the “widespread use of boosters” for currently healthy people, stressing the need to get doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to poor countries.
Speaking in Berlin on Wednesday, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the UN health agency last week saw its first drop in new global cases in more than two months. “Obviously this is very welcome but it doesn’t mean much,” he said, as many countries are still seeing sharp increases and “appalling disparities” in access to vaccines.
Tedros said he’s calling for the use of boosters to be halted at least until the end of September “to allow those countries that have fallen behind to catch up.” “Third doses may be necessary for the highest-risk population, where there is evidence of poor immunity to severe disease and death,” he said.
-From the Associated Press, last updated at 7:30 a.m. ET
What is happening in Canada
What is happening around the world
As of early Thursday morning, more than 218.4 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus tracking tool. The reported global death toll has reached more than 4.5 million.
In the AmericasThe WHO’s regional health branch said that the COVID-19 vaccines developed by Cuba do not carry an emergency authorization from the WHO and cannot be purchased for countries in the Americas.
In the Asia Pacific India recorded its biggest one-day rise in COVID-19 cases in two months, amid fears of the virus spreading from hard-hit Kerala state, schools reopening and festival season kicking off.
Moderna Inc and its Japanese partner are recalling more than 1 million doses of the US drug company’s coronavirus vaccine after confirming that the contamination reported last week was small stainless steel particles.
Takeda Pharmaceutical Corporation is responsible for the sale and distribution of Moderna vaccine in Japan. The companies said that an investigation at a Spanish factory that produced the bottles in question concluded that contamination occurred during the process of stopping the bottles.
in a EuropeSpain has reached its initial goal of vaccinating 70 percent of its entire population against the coronavirus, according to the Ministry of Health. Despite the slow rollout of vaccines at the beginning of the year, Spain’s public health care system has fully immunized more than 33 million people. More than 92 percent of those over the age of 40 are fully covered.
in a AfricaThe African Union’s envoy on the emerging coronavirus, COVID-19, said that vaccine doses produced by a factory in South Africa will no longer be exported to Europe following the intervention of the South African government.
Strive Masiyiwa told reporters Thursday that South African drugmaker Aspen, which has a contract with Johnson & Johnson to assemble ingredients for its COVID-19 vaccine, will not ship vaccine doses outside the continent, and that millions of doses stored in Europe will be stored in Europe . They are returned to the continent.
“This arrangement has been put on hold,” he said, noting that J&J doses produced in South Africa “will remain in Africa and will be distributed in Africa.”
In the Middle east, The Abu Dhabi government media office said on Twitter on Thursday, that Abu Dhabi will cancel the quarantine requirement for all vaccinated travelers arriving from international destinations from Sunday.
— From the Associated Press and Reuters, last updated at 10:10 a.m. ET