(Reuters) – New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio declared his coronavirus vaccination order for emergency responders a success, with no disruption to city services, despite a sickout by some firefighters who officials said were protesting the mandate.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
* Leaders of the world’s 20 biggest economies endorsed in Rome a global minimum tax aimed at stopping big business from hiding profits in tax havens, and also agreed to get more COVID vaccines to poorer nations.
* Britain will send 20 million vaccine doses to developing countries by the end of this year in what Prime Minister Boris Johnson will tell other world leaders is a much needed step to speed up the post-pandemic economic recovery.
* President Vladimir Putin said Russia may need the army’s help to build field hospitals for COVID-19 patients as the country battles a surge in infections that has led to a nationwide workplace shutdown.
* The Netherlands will impose new coronavirus restrictions this week in a bid to curb a recent surge in infections.
* Latvia has received shipments of emergency medical equipment from the Netherlands, Finland, Hungary and Sweden as it fights the worst surge in new COVID-19 cases in the European Union amid a low take-up of vaccinations.
* The Biden administration said a planned rule requiring private-sector employers with 100 or more employees to mandate COVID-19 vaccines or regular testing will be published in the coming days.
* The United States is rolling out Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines for children aged 5 to 11 this week, but most of the 15 million shots being shipped initially are unlikely to be available before next week.
* U.S. states with the highest adult vaccination rates against COVID-19 are planning a big push to get children inoculated compared to states where hesitancy remains strong, potentially widening the gaps in protection nationwide, public health officials and experts said.
* Thailand, Australia and Israel eased international border restrictions significantly Monday for the first time in 18 months, offering a broad test of demand for travel worldwide amid the pandemic.
* New Zealand will extend coronavirus curbs for another week in its largest city of Auckland but ease some after that, with the country logging another day of record new infections.
* A declassified U.S. intelligence report saying it was plausible that the COVID-19 pandemic originated in a laboratory is unscientific and has no credibility, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said.
* Indonesia has approved the Sinovac Biotech vaccine for children aged 6-11, its food and drug agency said, following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for younger children.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* The United Arab Emirates has approved for emergency use the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine for children aged 5-11, the health ministry said in a statement carried by state media.
* Novavax Inc expects regulators in India, the Philippines and elsewhere to make a decision on its COVID-19 vaccine within “weeks,” its chief executive told Reuters, after the shot received its first emergency use authorization from Indonesia.
* Global equity markets rose at the start of a big week for central bank meetings, helped by bets of fiscal stimulus in Japan and undeterred by concerns of future interest rate hikes that have tempered bonds.
(Compiled by Aditya Soni and Federico Maccioni; Edited by Angus MacSwan and Arun Koyyur)