• 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: G20 urges more support for poorer nations; Study suggests booster dose of Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine increases antibody activity; European Medicines Agency evaluating data on Pfizer/BioNTech booster dose.

1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have passed 221.1 million globally, according to Johns Hopkins University. The number of confirmed deaths stands at more than 4.57 million. More than 5.49 billion vaccination doses have been administered globally, according to Our World in Data.

Confirmed daily COVID-19 infections have fallen for a third straight day in Sydney, Australia, as the outbreak spurred a rise in vaccination rates in the hard-hit western suburbs.

New Zealand is 'very close' to procuring more COVID-19 vaccines and a deal could be announced this week, according to the country's COVID-19 Response Minister.

Chile's health regulator has approved the use of Sinovac's CoronaVac COVID-19 in children over 6.

Restrictions have been extended in Viet Nam's capital, Hanoi, for a further two weeks. Authorities are launching a mass testing campaign in an effort to try to slow a rise in infections.

Peru has reached an agreement with Russia to install a plant to produce the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine.

The European Medicines Agency is evaluating data on a booster dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, to be administered six months after the second dose.

Denmark has cancelled a previous plan to establish a national COVID-19 vaccine production facility, instead betting on a vaccine already under development by a Danish firm.

Daily new confirmed COVID-19 cases per million people in selected countries
Daily new confirmed COVID-19 cases per million people in selected countries.
Image: Our World in Data

2. G20 urges more help for poorer states

The Group of 20 (G20) said yesterday that more efforts were needed to help poor countries vaccinate their populations against COVID-19. However, no new numerical or financial commitments were announced.

"The level of (vaccine) inequality is too high and is not sustainable," Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza told reporters. Italy holds the G20 presidency this year and said the 'Pact of Rome', where the meeting was held on Sunday and Monday, includes a political agreement to share more vaccines and increase support for poor nations.

"If we leave part of the world without vaccines, we risk new variants which will hurt all of us... Our message is very clear: no one must be left behind in the vaccination campaign," Speranza said.

He also said that poorer countries must be helped to produce their own vaccines. "Transferring doses is not enough. We have to make other areas of the world capable of producing, sharing methodologies and procedures," he said.

3. Sinovac booster shot reverses drop in antibody activities against Delta, study

A new study has shown that booster dose Sinovac Biotech's COVID-19 vaccine reversed a decline in antibody activities against the Delta variant.

The study comes amid concerns about the vaccine's efficacy against Delta, which has become the globally dominant variant.

Neutralising antibody activities against Delta were not detected in samples taken from vaccine recipients six months after they received the second dose of Sinovac's CoronaVac vaccine, according to the study published on Sunday before a peer review.

But recipients of booster shots showed over 2.5-fold higher neutralizing potency against Delta about four weeks after the third dose, compared with the level seen about four weeks after the second shot, researchers from Chinese Academy of Sciences, Furan University, Sinovac, and other Chinese institutions said in the paper.

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.