Costa Rica to require COVID-19 vaccine for children

COVID-19 case numbers have been on the rise across the U.S. and around the globe, with many states and countries resuming lockdowns and preventative measures. The sudden increase in cases has caused an increase in restrictions across many countries, such as Costa Rica, which has declared that all children above the age of 5 must be vaccinated. 

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WHO Declares Support for Sinovac Booster

The World Health Organization (WHO) supported two Chinese-produced COVID-19 vaccines earlier this year in response to the increased need for international vaccine supply. While China has been exporting a significant number of vaccines, with around 1.2 billion being exported just last month, the WHO’s decision to recommend third doses for those who received either the Sinopharm or Sinovac vaccine has cast doubts on the efficacy of these Chinese-made vaccines, according to The Washington Post.

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FOCUS on Vaccine Diplomacy: China

Over a year after the world first felt the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, countless vaccines have been produced at record speed. Vaccine diplomacy, the practice of using shots to enhance a country’s regional ties and global status, provide nations like China the opportunity to flex their diplomatic muscles by using resources and development to their advantage. If vaccine diplomacy is a competition, then China is winning.

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German Politician Resigns Over Mask Corruption

In Germany, corruption allegations are threatening the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) as well as its sister party the Christian Social Union (CSU) ahead of elections in multiple German states. The CDU is the party of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has been in power for 15 years. However, this scandal is coming just months before she planned to step down in September.  BBC News notes that with Merkel leaving office, strong CDU leadership is needed if the party is to pick up the torch from the chancellor.

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FOCUS on Vaccine Diplomacy: Israel

The world’s most pressing challenge is the rush to inoculate everyone against COVID-19 and achieve herd immunity. Some countries choose to exchange vaccines with foreign nations to reward compliant behavior, while others seek to help countries that do not have access to vaccines. The Soufan Center, a non-profit research center, calls this a “new arms race,” states  France 24. Amid this “vaccine diplomacy” race, Israel is demonstrating its power to the international community and stands as number one in global vaccine rollouts. The country vaccinated almost 60 percent of its residents over 16 years old with the first dose, according to The Wall Street Journal. 

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FOCUS on Vaccine Diplomacy: Russia

The global effort against COVID-19 is intensifying as countries race to vaccinate their populations and use vaccine diplomacy to improve relations with foreign nations. Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine now has emergency authorization in more than 30 countries and a peer-reviewed efficacy rate of 91.6 percent in Phase 3 trials, reports the New York Times Vaccine Tracker. Researchers are currently working on a single-dose version of Sputnik V, which would be called “Sputnik Light.”

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Palestine Struggles with Vaccines While the Virus Transcends Borders

Israel stands tall on the international stage with its success in vaccination distribution, while Palestinians under Israeli occupation await access to vaccines. According to Al Jazeera, “[Israel] has already supplied vaccine doses to more than half of its 9.3 million people in just less than two months, making it the world leader in the vaccination drive to inoculate populations.” However, recently, Israel has been criticized for shipping vaccines overseas as Palestinians remain unvaccinated.

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Turbulent Take-Off: COVID-19 Immunization Efforts Finally Roll Out in South Africa

After a turbulent take-off, the South African government has finally started vaccinating its people against the COVID-19 virus. The country’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa, was among the first six people to receive the jab, according to VOA. Earlier in the month, the South African government halted the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine on frontline workers after a study found it not to be effective enough against the variant prevalent in that country.

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