The global tally of confirmed cases of COVID-19 was headed toward 179 million on Tuesday, a day after the World Health Organization issued its latest warning that lower-income countries are not getting their fair share of vaccines.
More than half of those countries receiving doses through the agency’s Covax program do not have enough supply to continue, according to a WHO senior adviser.
“I would say of the 80 AMC countries at least well over a half of them would not have sufficient vaccine to be able to sustain their programs right now,” Bruce Aylward said at a news briefing. Some countries have fully run out of vaccines, amid a disruption in supplies from India, the world’s biggest vaccine maker, and manufacturing delays.
The U.S. has fully vaccinated 150 million people, or 45.2% of its overall population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s tracker, up from 45% on Monday. That means they have received two doses of the vaccines developed by Pfizer Inc.
with German partner BioNTech SE
or Moderna Inc.
or one shot of the single-dose vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson
jab has not been authorized in the U.S.
Among adults 18 and older, the U.S. has fully vaccinated 55.9%, while 65.4% of that group has received at least one jab. President Joe Biden is expected later Tuesday to acknowledge that his administration may fall short of its target of having 70% of American adults receive at least one dose by July 4 but will note how the nation’s reopening has progressed.
The picture in the rest of the world is less impressive. Germany, for example, has fully vaccinated just 31% of its population, and France has managed just 25%, according to Johns Hopkins University. In Africa, several countries, including South Africa, have inoculated less than 1% of their populations.
There was sad news for Colombia, when it passed 100,000 COVID fatalities overnight, becoming the 10th country to pass that milestone, as the New York Times reported. A surge in infections and a shortage of vaccines have led to widespread protests that have at times become violent.
In Moscow, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, frustrated with the city’s low vaccination rate, has mandated that residents will need to present an anti-COVID pass to enter restaurants, AFP reported. That means proof that an individual has been vaccinated, has had COVID within the past six months or has a negative test valid for three days.
Thailand is allowing vaccinated travelers to visit some of its resort islands again, the South China Morning Post reported. The news will cheer businesses deprived of income for the past year, but Chinese tourists, who accounted for more than a quarter of Thailand’s 40 million visitors in 2019, are not expected to return in heavy numbers yet.
In medical news, federal health experts plan to meet on Wednesday and Thursday to discuss rare but serious cases of myocarditis and pericarditis — inflammation of the heart — reported in about 800 people who had been vaccinated against COVID-19 with the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines as of June 12.
More than half of those cases occurred in people younger than 30, including about 75 teens, according to data shared by CDC officials. Though the cases of myocarditis are considered concerning, these cases are also very rare, occurring out of the roughly 300 million doses that have been administered in the U.S. NPR reported last week that the condition typically resolves with rest.
The global tally for the coronavirus-borne illness headed above 178.8 million on Tuesday, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University, while deaths climbed above 3.87 million.
The U.S. continues to lead the world in total cases at 33.6 million, and deaths climbed above 602,000 to 602,111.
India is second in total cases at 29.9 million and third by fatalities at 389,302, although those numbers are expected to be undercounted given a shortage of tests.
Brazil has the third-highest caseload at 17.9 million, according to John Hopkins data, and is second in deaths at 502,586, after passing 500,000 over the weekend.
Mexico has fourth highest death toll at 231,244 and 2.5 million cases.
The U.K. has 128,245 fatalities and 4.6 million cases, the highest number of deaths in Europe and fifth-highest in the world.
China, where the virus was first discovered late in 2019, has had 103,578 confirmed cases and 4,846 deaths, according to its official numbers, which are widely held to be massively underreported.