Travel Curbs Easing; China Halts Some Flights: Virus Update

World | 16 Oct 2021 1:52 pm

The U.S. plans to open its borders to vaccinated international travelers on November 8, the biggest travel policy shift since the virus’s early days.

And in Asia-Pacific, some of the world’s longest and toughest Covid-induced border curbs are finally being eased, with countries taking their firmest steps yet toward reopening to international travel in recent days. China, meanwhile, ordered five airlines to halt flights after cases were detected on board.

Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine booster gained a key recommendation from advisers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that brings it a step closer to clearance. Authorization of Moderna Inc.’s shot for adolescents is being delayed by the FDA to review myocarditis risks, Dow Jones reported.

Brazil reported 15,239 confirmed virus cases and 570 deaths in the last 24 hours. Thailand had 10,648 infections and 82 fatalities, while China reported 14 new cases. South Korea said 63.9% of its population had been fully vaccinated, and New Zealand counted 41 new cases of Covid-19 in the community.

 

Key Developments:

- Virus Tracker: Cases top 240 million; deaths exceed 4.8 million

- Vaccine Tracker: More than 6.64 billion shots given

- International travel: Barcelona, Frankfurt, Sydney ease restrictions

- U.S. labor unions are having a moment, and Covid-19 is to thank

- Vaccine lotteries didn’t move the needle on Covid inoculations

- NYC sees big gains in vaccine equity as rate slows across U.S.

 

U.S. to Open to Vaccinated Travel (8:36 a.m. NY)

The U.S. will open its borders to vaccinated foreign travelers on Nov. 8, a move that will expand travel options for those who’ve gotten their shots and clamp down on those who haven’t. 

The measures are the biggest changes to U.S. travel policy since the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, and replace a system that flatly barred most foreign nationals coming directly from certain places, including Europe, India, Brazil and China.

Separately, coronavirus cases in the U.S. increased 0.2% as compared to the same time yesterday to 44.8 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News.

 

China Orders Five Airlines to Halt Flights (10:49 a.m. HK)

China’s Civil Aviation Administration ordered five domestic and foreign airlines to suspend some flights from Monday after multiple coronavirus cases were found on board, it said in a statement.

The carries included Air China Ltd., which had six infections detected on an inbound flight from Frankfurt to the northeastern city of Changchun, the administration said in the statement released Friday.

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, EL Al Israel Airlines and Condor Flugdienst GmbH were required to pause two flights each after cases were found on flights to Shanghai and Xi’an, it said. Shandong Airlines Co. was also required to suspend some services.

 

J&J Booster Backed by FDA Panel (1:37 p.m. NY)

Johnson & Johnson’s Covid vaccine booster gained a key recommendation from advisers to U.S. regulators that brings the additional shot a step closer to clearance. 

The Food and Drug Administration’s vaccine advisory group voted unanimously Friday in favor of recommending the booster for people 18 and older who received their initial immunization at least two months earlier.

FDA’s Vaccine and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee voted to back Moderna Inc.’s booster Thursday, and Pfizer Inc.’s additional shot was authorized after the panel’s recommendation. While President Joe Biden had foreseen offering boosters to all vaccinated Americans eight months after their first dose, the panel has so far recommended them for people at least 65 years old and younger adults who risk severe illness or viral exposure at work.

 

FDA Delays Moderna for Adolescents, DJ Says (12:26 p.m. NY)

The Food and Drug Administration is delaying a decision on authorizing Moderna Inc.’s vaccine for adolescents to review its myocarditis risk, Dow Jones reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

At issue is whether the Moderna shot may lead to a heightened risk of the inflammatory heart condition among younger men, compared with those who received the vaccine by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE, according to the report. Moderna shares fell.

 

Covid Cuts Life Expectancy in Parts of U.S. (11:15 a.m. NY)

Covid-19 has cut more than two years from life expectancy in 16 U.S. states in the past year, with the Sun Belt and Great Plains hardest hit.

In Texas, Covid-19 caused an implied reduction in life expectancy at birth of 2.6 years to 76.4 in the twelve months ending in September, according to an analysis of death statistics from University of California at Los Angeles sociology professor Patrick Heuveline, an update of data originally published in the BMJ Open journal. 

In Arizona, the reduction was 2.6 years to 77.2 and in South Dakota, 2.5 years to 76.8. 



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