Australia recorded three new COVID-19 deaths in its most populous state of New South Wales and nearly 1,500 new cases of the coronavirus disease Sunday.
Speaking to reporters in Sydney, New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the peak of the most recent outbreak was expected “in the next couple of weeks.”
Regarding the vaccination efforts, Berejiklian said 40% of the adult population in her state had received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.
The Australian state of Victoria recorded at least 180 new locally contracted cases of the coronavirus Sunday.
Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said the majority of people hospitalized with COVID-19 were not vaccinated. Andrews urged people to take the vaccine.
New Zealand officials on Saturday reported the country’s first COVID-related fatality in more than 200 days. Doctors said the nonagenarian had several underlying health problems in addition to COVID-19.
In Japan, the Nikkei newspaper reported Sunday that the government plans to issue COVID-19 vaccination certificates online.
The report said the certificates for people vaccinated from around mid-December are intended for overseas travel rather than domestic use.
In Brazil, federal health regulator Anvisa has placed a 90-day suspension on the use of more than 12 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine because they were made in a plant that had not been authorized by it.
Several cities in Brazil have begun providing vaccine booster shots, even though most citizens have yet to receive their second shots. The booster shots were prompted by concerns older Brazilians have about the efficacy of the Sinovac vaccine, The Associated Press reported.
France, Israel, China and Chile are among those countries giving boosters to some of their older citizens, and a U.S. plan to start delivering booster shots for most Americans by Sept. 20 is facing complications that could delay third doses for those who received the Moderna vaccine, Biden administration officials said on Friday.
Japan and South Korea are planning booster shots in the fourth quarter of this year. Malaysia is also considering boosters, but Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said those who have yet to receive their first shot are being prioritized.
Thailand began giving booster shots this week, but only for health and frontline workers.
Russia, Hungary and Serbia also are giving boosters, although there has been a lack of demand in those countries for the initial shots amid abundant supplies.
According to The Associated Press, France’s worst coronavirus outbreak is unfolding 12 time zones away from Paris, devastating Tahiti and other idyllic islands of French Polynesia.
Regional health officials say the South Pacific archipelagos lack enough oxygen, ICU beds and morgue space, and that the vaccination rate is just half the national average.
With more than 2,800 COVID cases per 100,000 inhabitants, the region now holds France’s record for the highest infection rate. The majority of the region’s 463 documented COVID-19 deaths have taken place in the past 30 days.
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center said early Sunday that it had recorded nearly 220.3 million global COVID-19 infections and 4.56 million deaths. The center said more than 5.4 billion vaccines have been administered.
Some information for this report came from the Associated Press and Reuters.