U.S. President Joe Biden is expected to call for a summit on boosting the global supplies of COVID-19 vaccines, according to U.S. news outlets.
The summit will be held during the U.N. General Assembly later this month. The Washington Post reports the topics will include coordination among world leaders to collectively tackle the health crisis and address inequities, including the slow rate of vaccinations in the developing world.
The United States and other wealthy nations have been under increasing pressure to donate their surplus of COVID-19 vaccines to poorer countries as the pandemic wreaks havoc across the globe with the emergence of new and more contagious variants of the coronavirus, which causes COVID-19.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organization, on Wednesday implored wealthy nations to forgo COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for the rest of the year to ensure that poorer countries have more access to the vaccine. Tedros had previously asked rich countries not to provide boosters until September.
The global vaccine sharing initiative COVAX also announced Wednesday that it expects to receive about 1.4 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of the year, as opposed to the projection of 1.9 billion doses it made in June.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Board of Education is expected to approve a measure Thursday that would mandate vaccinations against COVID-19 for all students 12 years old and older. Students would be required to receive their first dose by November 21 followed by a second dose by December 19 in order to be fully vaccinated by the next semester.
The measure would also require students participating in in-person extracurricular activities to receive both shots by the end of October.
If the measure passes, Los Angeles would be the largest school district in the U.S. to impose a mandatory vaccination policy. The district is the nation’s second-largest with just over 600,000 students.
Separately, Japan announced Thursday that it will extend its current coronavirus state of emergency for Tokyo and 18 other areas until September 30. Two prefectures will be shifted from full emergency status to more targeted restrictions.
The state of emergency was first imposed for the city and a handful of other prefectures just weeks before the start of the Tokyo Olympics as Japan struggled under the surge of new infections sparked by the delta variant and a sluggish vaccination campaign.
Japan currently has more than 1.6 million confirmed infections, including 16,600 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, with nearly 50% of its population fully vaccinated.
Source: Voice of America