Mexico has reported 15,586 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 647 more deaths, Reuters reports.
It brings the total number of infections in the country to 3,420,880 and the death toll to 262,868, health ministry data showed on Saturday.
Brazil on Saturday reported 21,804 new coronavirus cases and a further 692 deaths, Reuters reports.
The country has had more than 20.8 million cases overall and over 583,000 deaths.
Brazilian federal health regulator Anvisa has suspended the use of over 12m doses of a Covid-19 vaccine developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech that were produced in an unauthorised plant, Reuters reports.
Anvisa said it was alerted on Friday by São Paulo’s Butantan institute, a biomedical centre that has partnered with Sinovac to locally fill and finish the vaccines, that 25 batches, or 12.1m doses, sent to Brazil had been made in the plant. “The manufacturing unit … was not inspected and was not approved by Anvisa in the authorisation of emergency use of the mentioned vaccine,” the regulator said. The ban was “a precautionary measure to avoid exposing the population to possible imminent risk,” it added. Butantan also told Anvisa that another 17 batches, totalling 9m doses, had been produced in the same plant, and were on their way to Brazil, the regulator said. During the 90-day ban, Anvisa will seek to inspect the plant, and find out more about the security of the manufacturing process, it said.
Australians who participated in clinical trials of the Novavax Covid vaccine are being told their vaccinations cannot currently be recognised on Australia’s immunisation register.
Hundreds of Australians took part in clinical trials for the Novavax jab last year, hoping to help the world chart a way out of the pandemic.
But the participants have since faced significant uncertainty over their vaccination status, unsure whether their doses would be recognised by Australia.
Former British prime minister Gordon Brown accused rich countries of committing a “moral outrage” by stockpiling Covid-19 doses while poor countries are struggling to get supplies.
Brown, who is a United Nations special envoy, called on the US president, Joe Biden, and other Group of Seven leaders to urgently ship vaccines from warehouses in America and Europe to Africa. Western countries are hoarding nearly 300m shots while only 70 million people in Africa have so far been vaccinated, Brown said in an opinion piece published in the Sunday Mirror newspaper, citing research by data firm Airfinity. By Christmas, the west is set to have 1bn surplus doses even if every European and American adult has received a booster shot and all children over 12 are injected, he said.
The US has administered 374,488,924 doses of Covid-19 vaccines as of Saturday morning and distributed 450,175,825 doses, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
Those figures are up from the 373,516,809 vaccine doses the CDC said had gone into arms by Friday, out of 447,619,715 doses delivered.
The agency said 206,908,710 people had received at least one dose while 175,968,266 people were fully vaccinated as of 6am ET on Saturday, Reuters reports.
Parents in the UK should choose whether they allow their children to be vaccinated against Covid-19 if ministers overrule scientific advice against mass vaccination of healthy 12 to 15-year-olds, the government’s independent vaccine advisers said.
The government intends to push ahead with vaccinations for teenagers but Prof Anthony Harnden, the deputy chair of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, said on Saturday that it was “entirely up to parents” to decide.
“The health benefits from vaccinating well 12 to 15-year-olds are marginally greater than the risks,” he told the Observer.
Slovakia has reversed its policy of allowing only people vaccinated against Covid-19 to attend public events during a visit by Pope Francis this month following low registration numbers.
“A negative test or proof of overcoming Covid-19 in the last 180 days will be sufficient to get a ticket,” the Slovak Catholic Church’s bishops’ conference (SBC) said.
The ban on unvaccinated people had been controversial in the EU member state, where only 49.5% of adults are fully vaccinated – compared over 70% in the EU as a whole.
Until now, only Slovaks with full vaccination against Covid-19 had been able to register for the 12-15 September papal visit, and the number of those registered has been much lower than expected.
“A lot of people have been asking to lift the vaccination requirement. So, as it is possible, we accommodated this request,” SBC spokesman Martin Kramara told AFP.