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Sept. 18, 2021, 3:29 p.m. EDT

WHO warns lack of COVID-19 vaccine supply in Africa could make it breeding ground for new variants and ‘send the whole world back to square one’

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Ciara Linnane

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Dispatches from a Pandemic:   COVID-19 long haulers are frustrated with unvaccinated friends, worried about reinfection, and mired in medical bills

The CDC’s vaccine tracker shows that 54% of Americans are fully vaccinated, meaning they have had two shots of the vaccines developed by Pfizer with German partner BioNTech /zigman2/quotes/214419716/composite BNTX -0.30% or Moderna, or one of Johnson & Johnson’s /zigman2/quotes/201724570/composite JNJ -0.63% one-jab regimen.

Some 63.5% of the overall population has received at least one dose.

In a sign of how exhausted nurses have become, many are quitting their jobs, with 62% of U.S. hospitals reporting  a nurse vacancy rate higher than 7.5% , according to a 2021 NSI Nursing Solutions report. Many have taken to social media to document the abuse they receive from patients who refuse to accept that COVID is real, even as their oxygen levels sink to the point of death.

Don’t miss:   ‘Shoulda Got the Shot’: New PSAs employ real people rather than science and data to encourage unvaccinated Americans to change their minds

Elsewhere, Cambodia has started to vaccinate 6- to 11-year-olds, to make it safe for them to return to school in person, the AP reported. The move comes as regulators in other countries await data from clinical trials seeking to determine the safety and efficacy of vaccines in that age group.

The first civil lawsuit over an outbreak at an Austrian ski resort in March 2020 was set to be heard in a court on Friday, AFP reported. T housands of people from 45 countries claim they were infected at the resort of Ischgl and are accusing authorities there of not responding quickly enough. The suit is being brought on behalf of the family of 72-year-old Hannes Schopf, who died after contracting the virus in Ischgl.

Italy has introduced one of the most aggressive measures of the pandemic, making it mandatory for all workers to show proof of vaccination, a recent negative test or recovery from a COVID infection, the Washington Post reported. Workers who fail to comply could be fined or suspended without pay, but not fired.

In London, transport officials are reporting a spike in accidents on the Tube due to passengers, fearing COVID infection, declining to use handrails, according to local media.

The Daily Telegraph and Evening Standard said there were 12 serious injuries on the Tube network between April and June, and 23 on buses — more than any quarter throughout 2020-21.

Latest tallies

The global tally for the coronavirus-borne illness climbed above 227 million on Friday, while the death toll rose to 4.67 million, according to  data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University .

The U.S. continues to lead the world with a total of 41.8 million cases and 670,034 deaths. 

India is second by cases after the U.S. at 33.4 million and has suffered 444,248 deaths.

Brazil has the second highest death toll at 589,246 and has reported 21 million cases.

In Europe, Russia has recorded the most fatalities at 193,111, followed by the U.K. at 135,134.

China,  where the virus was first discovered late in 2019,  has had 107,792 confirmed cases and 4,849 deaths, according to its official numbers, which are widely held to be massively underreported.

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