• 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: US to lift Canadian and Mexican land border restrictions; Japan working on starting booster shots by year-end; South Korea to donate vaccine doses to Viet Nam and Thailand.

1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have passed 238.7 million globally, according to Johns Hopkins University. The number of confirmed deaths stands at more than 4.86 million. More than 6.54 billion vaccination doses have been administered globally, according to Our World in Data.

South Korea has launched a panel to debate a strategy on how to 'live with COVID-19' in the long-term.

Scientists at the US Food and Drug Administration said that Moderna has not met all the agency's criteria to support the use of a booster dose of its COVID-19 vaccine.

Ukraine has reported its second-highest daily death toll from COVID-19: 471, close to the record of 481 on 7 April.

Panama has approved a booster dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for high-risk people - including healthcare workers and those aged over 55.

CureVac has announced it will give up development of its first-generation COVID-19 vaccine candidate and instead focus on collaboration with GSK on developing improved mRNA vaccine technology.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for the country to speed up its vaccination campaign against COVID-19.

India has recommended emergency use of Bharat Biotech's COVID-19 vaccine in those aged 2 to 18 years old.

South Korea has announced it will donate 1.1 million doses of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine to Viet Nam and 470,000 doses to Thailand.

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. US to lift Canadian and Mexican land border restrictions

The United States has announced plans to lift restrictions at its land borders with Canada and Mexico for fully vaccinated foreign nationals. The easing of restrictions in early November would bring to an end curbs on non-essential travel that have been in place since March 2020.

US Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement that, from next month, the administration "will begin allowing travellers from Mexico and Canada who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 to enter the United States for non-essential purposes, including to visit friends and family or for tourism, via land and ferry border crossings".

Unvaccinated visitors will still be prevented from entering the United States from Canada or Mexico at land borders.

3. Japan working on starting booster shots by year-end

Japan is working towards starting COVID-19 vaccine booster shots by the end of 2021, Yoshihiko Isozaki, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary, said at a news conference yesterday.

Who would get booster shots first is still under discussion by experts.

"We would like to ensure that the roll-out of the booster shots is done seamlessly, based on the advice of experts," he said.

To date, 65% of people in Japan are fully vaccinated, according to Our World in Data.

What is the COVID Response Alliance for Social Entrepreneurship?

The COVID Response Alliance to Social Entrepreneurs - soon to continue its work as the Global Alliance for Social Entrepreneurship - was launched in April 2020 in response to the devastating effects of the pandemic. Co-founded by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship together with Ashoka, Echoing Green, GHR Foundation, Skoll Foundation, and Yunus Social Business.

The Alliance provides a trusted community for the world’s leading corporations, investors, governments, intermediaries, academics, and media who share a commitment to social entrepreneurship and innovation.

Since its inception, it has since grown to become the largest multi-stakeholder coalition in the social enterprise sector: its 90+ members collectively support over 100,000 social entrepreneurs across the world. These entrepreneurs, in turn, have a direct or indirect impact on the lives of an estimated 2 billion people.

Together, they work to (i) mobilize support for social entrepreneurs and their agendas; (ii) take action on urgent global agendas using the power of social entrepreneurship, and (iii) share insights from the sector so that social entrepreneurs can flourish and lead the way in shaping an inclusive, just and sustainable world.

The Alliance works closely together with member organizations Echoing Green and GHR Foundation, as well as the Centre for the New Economy and Society on the roll out of its 2022 roadmap (soon to be announced).