• This daily round-up brings you a selection of the latest news and updates on the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, as well as tips and tools to help you stay informed and protected.
  • Top stories: Vaccine inequality creating 'two-track pandemic'; Moderna seeks authorization for vaccine use in adolescents; recorded cases at lowest in 66 days in India.

1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have passed 173.6 million globally, according to Johns Hopkins University. The number of confirmed deaths stands at more than 3.73 million. More than 2.15 billion vaccination doses have been administered globally, according to Our World in Data.

Plans to ease restrictions in Melbourne, Australia, remain 'on track' Victorian state authorities have said.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said she'll get her first COVID-19 vaccine at the end of the week.

South Korea administered a record number of COVID-19 vaccine doses on Monday - 857,000 - as its rollout picks up speed.

India has reported a daily rise in new COVID-19 infections of 86,498 - the lowest figure in 66 days, according to a government statement.

Researchers in Denmark are using a virtual reality video game to encourage more COVID-19 vaccinations.

Ontario is set to begin loosening COVID-19 restrictions from Friday - 3 days ahead of schedule - as infection rates continue to lower.

What is the COVID Response Alliance for Social Entrepreneurship?

The COVID Response Alliance for Social Entrepreneurship is a coalition of 85 global leaders, hosted by the World Economic Forum. Its mission: Join hands in support of social entrepreneurs everywhere as vital first responders to the pandemic and as pioneers of a green, inclusive economic reality.

Its COVID Social Enterprise Action Agenda, outlines 25 concrete recommendations for key stakeholder groups, including funders and philanthropists, investors, government institutions, support organizations, and corporations. In January of 2021, its members launched its 2021 Roadmap through which its members will roll out an ambitious set of 21 action projects in 10 areas of work. Including corporate access and policy change in support of a social economy.

For more information see the Alliance website or its “impact story” here.

2. Moderna seeks EU, Canadian approval for COVID-19 vaccine's use in teens

Moderna said yesterday that it had submitted applications to the European and Canadian health authorities for authorization to expand the use of its COVID-19 vaccination to adolescents.

It also said it plans to file for emergency use authorization with the United States Food and Drug Administration and other regulatory agencies across the globe for its vaccine to be used in 12 to 17-year-olds.

The company's COVID-19 vaccine is already being used in the United States, EU and Canada in people over 18 years old - among other countries.

3. Vaccine inequality creating 'two-track pandemic'

We're increasingly seeing a 'two-track pandemic' the Director-General of the World Health Organization has warned.

"Many countries still face an extremely dangerous situation, while some of those with the highest vaccination rates are starting to talk about ending restrictions," Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a media briefing.

He also warned that the inequitable distribution of vaccines is allowing the virus to continue to spread, increasing the risk of a variant emerging that makes vaccines less effective.

"Inequitable vaccination is a threat to all nations, not just those with the fewest vaccines," he said.

COVID-19 vaccine doses administered by country income group.
COVID-19 vaccine doses administered by country income group. Image: Our World in Data