(NEW YORK) — The United States is facing a COVID-19 surge this summer as the more contagious delta variant spreads.
More than 622,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 and over 4.3 million people have died from the disease worldwide, according to real-time data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.
Just 59.3% of Americans ages 12 and up are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Here’s how the news is developing Tuesday. All times Eastern:
Aug 17, 9:03 am
Biden administration ships 1st of 500 million vaccine doses to Rwanda
The Biden administration on Tuesday will ship the first 188,370 doses of a 500 million dose commitment of the Pfizer vaccine to Rwanda, according to a senior administration official. The 500 million dose pledge was announced at the G7 summit in June and the contract the U.S. negotiated with Pfizer identified late August as the goal for initial shipments.
The U.S. is also sending 300,000 additional U.S. surplus doses to Rwanda Tuesday, making this first total shipment 488,370. All the doses will be distributed through Covax, the World Health Organization’s vaccine-sharing initiative.
Aug 17, 4:56 am
US reports over 200,000 new cases in a day for 3rd time this month
There were 209,988 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in the United States on Monday, according to a real-time count kept by Johns Hopkins University.
It’s the third time this month that the U.S. has reported more than 200,000 newly confirmed infections in a single day.
Meanwhile, Johns Hopkins data shows an additional 683 fatalities from the disease were registered nationwide on Monday, down from this month’s peak of 1,889 new deaths on Aug. 13.
A total of 36,888,978 people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and at least 622,321 have died, according to Johns Hopkins data. The cases include people from all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and other U.S. territories as well as repatriated citizens.
Aug 17, 4:38 am
Bangladesh extends COVID-19 vaccines to Rohingya refugees
Bangladesh has launched a COVID-19 vaccination program for Rohingya refugees housed in one of the world’s largest and most densely populated camps in Cox’s Bazar, according to a press release from the World Health Organization.
The campaign, led by the Bangladeshi government with technical support from the WHO and other partners, is initially targeting nearly 48,000 Rohingya refugees who are 55 and older. It’s part of Bangladesh’s national deployment and vaccination plan to ensure equity and fair allocation of vaccines across the country.
“Bangladesh is demonstrating what WHO has been advocating for — equitable access to vaccines,” Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh, regional director of the WHO South-East Asia Region, said in a statement Monday. “Inclusion is key to protecting vulnerable populations like the refugees, for safeguarding their health and that of their host communities and societies.”
More than 1 million Rohingya — a stateless ethnic group who predominantly practice Islam — are sheltering in crowded camps in Bangladesh after fleeing persecution in Buddhist-majority Myanmar.
Aug 16, 11:38 pm
Biden admin expected to recommend boosters for all Americans
The Biden administration could soon be urging Americans to get a booster shot eight months after completing their original vaccination, a source familiar with the discussions told ABC News Monday.
Federal health officials and experts are currently coalescing around the idea that all Americans should receive a booster, the source said. Those booster shots could be rolled out as soon as mid to late September — pending Food and Drug Administration authorization.
The announcement, first reported by The New York Times and The Washington Post, could come as soon as this week.
The new timeline for the booster shots in a significant shift for the administration, which previously had been non-comital on when boosters for the majority of Americans would be needed.
Aug 16, 10:20 pm
El Paso sues state of Texas over ban on mask mandates
The city of El Paso has filed a lawsuit challenging Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s ban on mask mandates in the state to allow for local protective measures to be ordered in the county.
Starting Wednesday at 12:01 a.m., a local health authority order will mandate that all individuals over the age of 2 wear some form of face covering while in public indoor spaces.
The parents of children under the age of 10 will be responsible for appropriately masking their children while outside their home, city officials said.
The order comes after El Paso City-County Health Authority Dr. Hector Ocaranza recommended masks at all indoor facilities in the county.
A face covering is not required on those who are eating or drinking or anyone who has trouble breathing, has a medical condition or disability that prevents wearing a face covering.
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