India will export 8m vaccine doses abroad by the end of October, a ministry official has announced as the country resumed exports.
Most of the 8m doses of the Johnson & Johnson single-shot vaccine will be sent to Asia-Pacific countries, foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said in a statement reported by AFP.
This would be ready by the end of October. This is an immediate delivery, from the Quad into the Indo-Pacific region,” Shringla told reporters.
The country, which is one of the world’s biggest vaccine producers, had pledged to export 1bn doses by December 2022, but suspended exports in May after India was overwhelmed by its second wave of cases.
Nearly half of the adults in India have now had at least dose jab and 16% have had a second dose. The export ban was lifted earlier this week.
Russia recorded an additional 22,041 Covid cases in the past 24 hours, taking the cumulative total to 7,398,415.
The largest number of cases were in Moscow, which registered 3,211 infections, while St Petersburg tallied 1,907.
A further 822 Covid patients died in the 24-hour period, while there were 16,325 recoveries across the country.
El Salvador to administer booster shots
Salvadoran health workers, vulnerable and elderly people will be offered a booster shot, President Nayib Bukele has said.
The central American nation of roughly 6.4 million people has obtained 12m vaccines since February, Reuters reports.
Third shots would be given to people including those aged over 60, frontline health staff, teachers, the armed forces, police and firefighters, as well as Salvadorans with pre-existing health problems, Bukele said on Twitter.
“Considering the success of the third dose in Israel, we have decided to start with a third dose in El Salvador,” the president said. People will be able to book a vaccination appointment from Sunday.
Panama, Ecuador and Chile are also offering third jobs to at-risk populations.
Israel is going ahead with its campaign to administer third doses to over-12s, encouraged by the US rolling out booster shots to more vulnerable patients.
The AP news agency reports that Israeli officials attributes the suppression of its third wave to the booster shot rollout, and expects the US and others to expand their campaign in coming months.
The decision reinforced our results that the third dose is safe,” said Dr Nadav Davidovitch, head of the school of public health at Israel’s Ben-Gurion University. “The main question now is of prioritisation.”
The WHO has called on countries to hold off on administering booster doses until at least the end of the year to allow people in poorer countries to get their initial doses.
Davidovitch acknowledged the problem, saying: “We know for sure that the current system of vaccine nationalism is hurting all of us, and it’s creating variants”, but added that the problem is “much broader than Israel”.
Northern Ireland to ease travel rules
Northern Ireland will relax rules on Covid-19 testing for international travel from October in line with the rest of the UK.
From 4 October, fully vaccinated travellers will no longer have to take a pre-departure test when arriving from non-red list countries from 4 October.
The change, which will come into force at 4am on 4 October, has been welcomed by the travel industry.
The announcement follows a simplification of the travel rules in England, under which the travel traffic light system was replaced with a single red list. Pre-departure tests for jabbed passengers have also been scrapped, while from October, travellers returning to England will be able to take a lateral flow test instead of a PCR on day two.
Daily Covid cases pass 3,000 in South Korea
Covid cases in South Korea topped 3,000 for the first time following a three-day holiday this week.
A further 3,273 infections were added to the country’s tally as the outbreak continued to grow, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said to Reuters.
Of the new cases, 3,245 were locally transmitted and 28 were imported, taking the total number of cases to 298,402 infections with 2,441 deaths. More than 77% of the domestic cases were in the capital Seoul and areas neighbouring the city, where about half of South Koreans live.
Mortality remained low, at 0.82%, helped by its vaccine rollout. South Korea has inoculated 73.5% of its 52 million population with at least one dose of a vaccine, and has fully inoculated nearly 45%.