The WHO African regional office announced that there had been a slowing of COVID-19 cases in the last eight weeks, but the trend was ‘slower than in previous waves due to the persistent effects of variants. South Africa continues to report more than half of all new cases in the region, followed by Ethiopia’. Read more. Elsewhere, Russia has just logged its highest daily death count since the start of the pandemic, largely due to the effect of the Delta variant and sub-optimal vaccination rates, while in Japan, a gradual easing of restrictions will occur with the end of the state of emergency for 19 prefectures later this week. Vaccination rates across the globe have been falling: It’s estimated that just under 45 percent of the world’s population has received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and around one-third are considered fully vaccinated. Africa’s vaccination coverage is sitting at just over four percent. See more from Our World in Data.
In related news:
- On Sept 23, ATAGI published a statement about the need for additional doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
- The Federal Health Minister last week requested that Pfizer present its data on vaccinating children aged between five and 11 years of age with the Comirnaty vaccine ‘at the earliest possible time’. Read more
- The Novavax COVID-19 vaccine has been presented to the WHO for consideration of Emergency Use Listing by the company and its partner, Serum Institute India. The Australian govt. has a supply agreement in place for the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine, however it has not been granted regulatory approval in any country as yet. The partners have completed some of the steps required by regulatory agencies in India, Indonesia and the Philippines as one of their priorities is to enable vaccine access in low- and middle-income countries. Read more
- On rapid antigen testing for COVID-19: the TGA announced this week that a change will be made in a regulation ‘that will allow companies to formally apply for TGA regulatory approval after 1 October to legally supply their self-tests for use at home in Australia after 1 November 2021’. More about rapid antigen tests in The Conversation.
Before you travel, call Travelvax Australia’s telephone advisory service on 1300 360 164 (toll-free from landlines) for country-specific advice and information. You can also make an appointment at your nearest Travelvax clinic to obtain vaccinations, medication to prevent or treat illness, and accessories for your journey.