(Reuters) – The U.S. drug regulator granted full approval to the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, prompting President Joe Biden to make a fresh pitch to vaccine sceptics to get the shot to fight the pandemic.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
* Eikon users, see COVID-19: MacroVitals here for a case tracker and summary of news
* French health authorities said the number of people hospitalised for COVID-19 and those treated in intensive care units stood at the highest levels in more than two months.
* Germany has decided to stop using the coronavirus infection rate as its yardstick for deciding if restrictions should be in force, Chancellor Angela Merkel said.
* Britain has agreed to buy 35 million more doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, to be delivered from the second half of next year.
* Sweden is likely to see infections gain momentum in the coming months, the health agency said.
* Vietnam deployed soldiers to help enforce a strict lockdown in Ho Chi Minh City, its biggest urban area and current epicentre of its worst outbreak to date.
* Indonesia will start reopening restaurants, malls and places of worship in some areas including the capital Jakarta, as new cases have fallen sharply from their peak and vaccinations rise.
* China reported no new locally transmitted cases for the first time since July.
* New Zealand’s prime minister extended the lockdown, as criticism mounts of her strategy to eliminate COVID-19 amid the slow rollout of vaccinations.
* New York City will require public school teachers and staff to get vaccinated, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
* The Pentagon is preparing to issue updated guidance to require all U.S. service personnel to be vaccinated after Monday’s approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine by the Food and Drug Administration, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said.
* White House press secretary Jen Psaki said a review on the origins of COVID-19 sought by the president is expected to be complete by Tuesday’s deadline, but it will take a “few days” to put together an unclassified version for the public.
* Ahead of next month’s Canadian federal elections, most of the contenders doing the rounds will be vaccinated – but not all of them.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Egypt will vaccinate all 4.5 million of its state employees in August and September as it seeks to accelerate vaccinations ahead of a likely fourth wave.
* The Biden administration is working on offering vaccines to refugees from Afghanistan, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.
* EU competition regulators approved Danish aid to fund Bavarian Nordic’s coronavirus-related research and development activities.
* Valneva said it started rolling submission for its vaccine candidate’s initial approval with the U.K. Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.
* Global equity markets rose while the U.S. dollar dipped on Monday as investor concerns that the Federal Reserve would soon begin changing its accommodative monetary stance faded.[MKTS/GLOB]
* Business activity in the euro zone grew strongly again this month, as rapid vaccination allowed more firms to reopen and customers to venture out, a survey showed.
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