A succinct summation of the good, the bad, and the ugly in the global pandemic news this week. This brief pandemic update is featured every week at the End of History. Click on the links for deeper dives into the stories that tell what happened this week in the historic global pandemic of our generation.
The worldwide coronavirus total climbed to more than 224 million, and coronavirus deaths surpassed 4.6 million.
The US surpassed 40 million known coronavirus cases this week. Weekly pediatric coronavirus cases reached 250,000 this week for the first time since the start of the pandemic. For the week ending September 2, a quarter of the new cases in the US were children. More than 2,400 children were hospitalized nationwide. August saw 30,000 American children admitted to hospitals for COVID19. New coronavirus deaths in the US climbed to nearly 1,400 per day. Hospitalizations averaged 103,000 per day. Hospitalizations on Labor Day this week were 160% higher than Labor Day in 2020. Several states have reached full capacity in their ICUs, including Idaho and Oregon.
President Biden ordered all American companies employing more than 100 workers must enact vaccine mandates or weekly testing. Mandatory vaccines for healthcare workers and federal workers are also part of the President’s announcement. Some experts say President Biden’s move is too late.
- Recommended Read – Vaccination Mandates Are An American Tradition. So Is the Backlash (New York Times)
The second-largest school district in the country, Los Angeles, mandated vaccines for all children ages 12 and over.
Strained Vaccine Supplies
The World Health Organization once again called on wealthier nations to hold off on vaccine boosters until more of the world’s poorer countries receive vaccines. The more affluent nations of the world continued to ignore that request. While the US has fully vaccinated only 53% of its adult population, the limitation is vaccine resistance – not supply. Only 28% of people in Latin America and the Caribbean have been fully vaccinated, mainly due to limited supplies. Guatemala and Nicaragua have not yet reached the 10% vaccination mark in the country. Haiti has vaccinated only 1% of its population.
The World Health Organization dropped its forecast for vaccines that will be administered in Africa by the end of the year. The continent will receive 25% fewer doses than expected. Just over 3% of the continent has been fully vaccinated to date. Across the continent, more than 7.9 million cases have been confirmed, along with 200,000 deaths.
The European Union has one of the world’s most successful vaccine rates, with 70% of the region’s adults fully vaccinated. That success rate drops in Eastern Europe, where vaccine resistance has led to far lower vaccination counts and higher mortality rates.
Nearly 80% of the world’s 5.5 billion administered vaccine doses to date have gone to wealthier countries. While rich nations have pledged one billion vaccine doses to poorer countries worldwide, only 15% of those donations have been realized.
Pandemic Headlines from Around the World This Week
- Activists called for the United Nations to postpone the November climate change talks as many of the world’s poorest countries cannot attend due to the pandemic.
- The WHO called pregnancy during the pandemic a dire threat in Latin America.
- Vietnam sentenced a man to five years in prison when he spread the virus after breaking lockdown rules.
- States across India are clamping down on mass gatherings, including religious festivals. More than 200,000 Indians have died in the pandemic to date. A recent surge in new cases in Kerala state followed a recent religious festival there.
- The Palestinian Authority banned weddings, mourning tents, and other large gatherings to combat a pandemic surge in the West Bank.
- The Philippines is experiencing record numbers in new daily cases and a 30% positivity rate in its testing but relaxing national restrictions due to growing economic strains.
- Brazil’s health ministry suspended the use of 12.1 million Chinese Sinovac
- Chile authorized the Chinese Sinovac vaccine for use among children ages six and older.
- Cuba began administering its own vaccination to children ages two and over.
- Qantas became the first airline to require international passengers to be vaccinated.
- The United Nations said the pandemic has disrupted learning for 400 million students in South Asia.
- The Housing and Land Rights Network issued a report saying India forcefully evicted 21 people every hour during the pandemic months March 2020 and July 2021. More than 43,000 homes were demolished.
- Miami International Airport is now using COVID sniffing dogs to detect the virus among employees.