The U.S. drug regulator granted full approval to the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, prompting President Joe Biden to make a fresh pitch to vaccine sceptics to get the shot to fight the pandemic.
* French health authorities said the number of people hospitalised for COVID-19 and those treated in intensive care units stood at the highest levels in more than two months. read more
* Germany has decided to stop using the coronavirus infection rate as its yardstick for deciding if restrictions should be in force, Chancellor Angela Merkel said. read more
* Britain has agreed to buy 35 million more doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, to be delivered from the second half of next year. read more
* Sweden is likely to see infections gain momentum in the coming months, the health agency said. read more
* Vietnam deployed soldiers to help enforce a strict lockdown in Ho Chi Minh City, its biggest urban area and current epicentre of its worst outbreak to date. read more
* Indonesia will start reopening restaurants, malls and places of worship in some areas including the capital Jakarta, as new cases have fallen sharply from their peak and vaccinations rise. read more
* China reported no new locally transmitted cases for the first time since July.
* New Zealand’s prime minister extended the lockdown, as criticism mounts of her strategy to eliminate COVID-19 amid the slow rollout of vaccinations. read more
* New York City will require public school teachers and staff to get vaccinated, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
* The Pentagon is preparing to issue updated guidance to require all U.S. service personnel to be vaccinated after Monday’s approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine by the Food and Drug Administration, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said. read more
* White House press secretary Jen Psaki said a review on the origins of COVID-19 sought by the president is expected to be complete by Tuesday’s deadline, but it will take a “few days” to put together an unclassified version for the public. read more
* Ahead of next month’s Canadian federal elections, most of the contenders doing the rounds will be vaccinated – but not all of them. read more
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* Egypt will vaccinate all 4.5 million of its state employees in August and September as it seeks to accelerate vaccinations ahead of a likely fourth wave.
* The Biden administration is working on offering vaccines to refugees from Afghanistan, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.
* EU competition regulators approved Danish aid to fund Bavarian Nordic’s (BAVA.CO) coronavirus-related research and development activities.
* Valneva (VLS.PA) said it started rolling submission for its vaccine candidate’s initial approval with the U.K. Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.
* Global equity markets rose while the U.S. dollar dipped on Monday as investor concerns that the Federal Reserve would soon begin changing its accommodative monetary stance faded.
* Business activity in the euro zone grew strongly again this month, as rapid vaccination allowed more firms to reopen and customers to venture out, a survey showed -REUTERS.
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