Coronavirus News Briefing – Oct. 27: U.S. to End Ban on Foreign Visitors Provided They Show Proof of Vaccination

By Anna Breuer on 27 October 2021
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Vienna Airport from the air

The Biden Administration issued an executive order that imposes new vaccination requirements for most foreign nationals traveling by air to the United States, the White House said on Monday.  Such travelers must be fully vaccinated with a vaccine approved by either the U.S. Centers for Disease Control or the World Health Organization.

Children under the age of 18 will be exempt from the vaccination requirement as will non-tourist visitors from countries with nationwide vaccination rates of under 10%.

The president also lifted restrictions that have been in place since the start of the pandemic that barred most non-U.S. citizens from visiting the United States. The list of countries included Brazil, China, India, South Africa, and much of Europe. 

In other news, authorities in Sweden announced that the death toll there had surpassed the 15,000 mark on Wednesday.  The country has seen 1.68 million cases since the start of the pandemic.

Finally, Australia’s health minister, Greg Hunt, said that his fellow countrymen would be allowed to travel abroad starting November 1 provided they are fully vaccinated. They will not face any restrictions upon return.

As of Wednesday morning, the world has recorded 245.5 million Covid-19 cases and over 4.98 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, 222.5 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus.

The average daily number of new coronavirus cases in the United States over the past 14 days is 70,824, a -23% change.  The average daily death toll over the same period is 1,401, a change of -17% over the same period.

In addition, since the start of the pandemic the United States has as of Wednesday recorded over 46.5 million cases, a higher figure than any other country, and a death toll of 759,939. India has the world’s second highest number of officially recorded cases, over 34.2 million, and a death toll of 455,684, although experts believe that both numbers are in reality significantly higher.  Finally, Brazil has recorded the second highest number of deaths as a result of the virus, 606,293, and has seen over 21.7 million cases.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of Wednesday, 220.6 million people in the United States – or 66.5% – have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 57.5%, or 190.8 million people, are now fully vaccinated, and the total number of doses that have been dispensed in the United States is now 414.3 million. Breaking this down further, 79.6% of the population over the age of 18 – or 205.5 million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 69% of the same group – or 178.2 million people – is fully vaccinated.

More than 3.85 billion people across the globe  have received a dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, a figure that roughly equates to 50.1% of the world’s population, a 0.1 percentage point increase in the past 24 hours. There remains, however, a countries such as Canada, China, Denmark, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States, where at least 65% of the population has received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine, and countries such as Ethiopia, Haiti, Syria, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda, for example, where vaccination rates are in the single digits, if not lower.

Figures from the World Health Organization show that well-off countries are vaccinating people at the rate of one person per second, while the majority of poor countries have yet to give a single dose to its citizens.

It is critical that the world do a better job of sharing vaccines with poorer nations.

Sharing vaccines is not merely a form of charity.  Rather, the equitable distribution of vaccines is in every country’s health and economic interest and no country will be able to move past the pandemic until other countries have recovered as well.

Jonathan Spira contributed to this story.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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