• 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: New Zealand vaccinates 2.5% of its population in one day; US to accept mixed vaccines doses from international travellers; Britain reports highest daily COVID-19 case total since July.

1. How COVID-19 is affecting the globe

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have passed 240.6 million globally, according to Johns Hopkins University. The number of confirmed deaths stands at more than 4.89 million. More than 6.65 billion vaccination doses have been administered globally, according to Our World in Data.

Thousands of children have returned to school in Sydney after months of at-home learning as the city eased more COVID-19 restrictions.

Melbourne is also set to end stay-at-home restrictions this week. The city has spent nearly nine months under lockdown since March 2020.

Britain reported 45,140 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Sunday - the highest daily total since mid-July.

Russia has reported a record one-day number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases. The 34,303 cases recorded on Sunday was the highest since the start of the pandemic.

The UAE has reported a drop in new confirmed COVID-19 cases below 100 for the first time since the start of the outbreak last year.

France has seen the biggest spike in new COVID-19 infections since the end of July. The jump in new confirmed cases came on the same day as the last day of free testing for unvaccinated residents.

The Philippines began vaccinating 12- to 17-year-olds against COVID-19 on Friday, hoping it will allow schools to safely reopen.

Outside advisors to the US Food and Drug Administration have unanimously recommended the agency authorize a second shot of Johnson & Johnson's one-shot COVID-19 vaccine.

The FDA is also considering lowered the recommended age for Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to people as young as 40.

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. New Zealand vaccinates 2.5% of its population in one day

New Zealand vaccinated at least 2.5% of its people on Saturday, as the government works to accelerate vaccinations and tries to live with COVID-19.

A variety of strategies saw 124,669 shots given on Saturday - the country's population is 4.9 million. Vaccination spots were set up on Saturday throughout the country, including at fast-food restaurants and parks, with some spots offering sweets afterwards, local media reported.

"We set a target for ourselves, Aotearoa, you've done it, but let's keep going," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, using a Maori name for New Zealand at a vaccination site, according to the Newshub news service. "Let's go for 150 [thousand]. Let's go big or go home."

Auckland, the country's biggest city, will remain in lockdown for at least another two weeks though, Arden announced on Monday.

3. US to accept mixed vaccine doses from international travellers

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on Friday that it would accept mixed-dose COVID-19 vaccines from international travellers.

It had previously announced it would accept any vaccine authorized for use by US regulators or the World Health Organization. "While CDC has not recommended mixing types of vaccine in a primary series, we recognize that this is increasingly common in other countries so should be accepted for the interpretation of vaccine records," a CDC spokeswoman said.

New vaccine requirements for international travellers to the United States will begin from 8 November the White House also said on Friday. The new rules will affect visitors crossing at land borders as well as international air travellers.

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.