COVID-19: Here's what you need to know todayFriday, October 22, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — The novel coronavirus has infected more than 242.2 million people, leaving more than 4.9 million dead across 196 countries and territories.
The majority of those infected have recovered and many countries have rolled out vaccine campaigns as economies start to recover from the pandemic.
— Jamaica recorded 173 new COVID-19 cases and four additional deaths on Wednesday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 87,970 and the death toll to 2,153.
— The National Evangelical Association of Belize (NEAB) has objected to a government vaccine mandate imposed on churches.
— An optional booster shot of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is being offered to those individuals who meet specific criteria Barbados health officials announced Thursday.
— Coronavirus infections and deaths in Russia climbed Friday to another pandemic record, putting a growing strain on the country's health care system.
— Kid-size doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine appear safe and nearly 91 per cent effective at preventing symptomatic infections in 5- to 11-year-olds, according to study details released Friday as the US considers opening vaccinations to that age group.
— Fully vaccinated travellers to Barbados with a valid negative pre-flight COVID-19 PCR test result will no longer be required to be tested or be in quarantine on arrival on the island.
— The WHO said Thursday that 80,000 to 180,000 health care workers may have been killed by COVID-19 up to May this year, insisting they must be prioritised for vaccination.
— The US is the worst-affected country with 733,218 deaths from 45,301,092 cases. After the US, the hardest-hit countries are Brazil with 604,679 deaths from 21,697,341 cases, India with 453,042 deaths from 34,143,236 cases, Mexico with 285,669 deaths from 3,772,556 cases, and Russia with 228,453 deaths from 8,168,305 cases.
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