COVID-19 updated, related news

The June 22 WHO COVID-19 epi update notes that the ‘African Region recorded a marked increase in the number of weekly cases as compared to the previous week. Globally, mortality remains high with more than 9000 deaths reported each day over the past week, however, the number of new deaths reported in the past week decreased across all Regions except for the Eastern Mediterranean and the African Regions. In the Western Pacific region, overall case numbers were stable, however Mongolia, Fiji and Singapore all recorded weekly rises in new cases. 

Earlier this week it was reported that the Russian health minister advised a booster dose for those in their population who were vaccinated more than six months ago. The Russian Federation has recorded a 31 percent weekly increase in case numbers, driven by the Delta variant.

In related news:

- June 21 COVID-19 news in the New Scientist: UK to announce plans for booster shots in coming weeks.

- New Zealand’s medical regulatory body, Medsafe, has approved the use of the Pfizer vaccine for teenagers aged 12 to 15 years. Read more

- In response to emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants, the WHO has established two bodies: the Technical Advisory Group on SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution (TAG-VE) to provide advice on the characterisation of VOIs and VOCs and ‘continue assessing the available evidence on impacts on therapeutics, diagnostics and the impact on current and future COVID-19 vaccines’; and the Technical Advisory Group on vaccine composition (TAG-CO-VAC) ’to interpret available evidence and provide recommendations for adapting COVID-19 vaccine composition, if needed’. Read more

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.